So, you’re at a Greek restaurant, and you want something hearty and filling. You’re in luck; most Greek dishes consist of wheat, olive oil, and wine with a healthy portion of meat and vegetables. You would think it would be as easy as ordering “Greek barbecue,” but it’s not.
What most people perceive as Greek barbecue has many forms, the most popular being the souvlaki and gyros—very different names but very similar traits. The big difference between the two is how they are prepared, but you may need more information to figure out which one you should order.
Here’s a helpful guide to help know the difference between souvlaki and gyros:
What Exactly is Souvlaki?
Souvlaki is a dish made up of pieces of meat grilled on a skewer. It can be served as various types of meat—pork, lamb, beef, and so on. The roasted meat can be served with pita bread or over a bowl of cooked rice—simple enough. It usually comes with vegetables, fried potatoes, a lemon wedge, and a yogurt dip called tzatziki.
The word souvlaki means skewer in Greek. This refers to the way souvlaki is prepared and cooked. The meat is carefully arranged on a skewer before it’s grilled, which shouldn’t take too long if done correctly. Because of this, Greek people actually consider it a fast food dish. But all in all, it, compared to most fast food, it’s a very hearty and refreshing dish.
What are Gyros?
Gyros are a Greek delicacy made from meat cooked on a vertical rotisserie, similar to shawarma from West Asia. Just like souvlaki, there’s no limit to the types of meat one can cook for gyros. It’s served in sandwich-shaped pita bread with tomatoes, onions, and sauces.
Gyros are known for being slowly cooked after marinating the meat. Each slice of meat is placed carefully on the rotisserie. However, once that’s done, making gyros is easy. The hardest part is waiting for the meat to cook before you can finally slice into it and place them in your pita bread.
The dish also got its name from the way it’s prepared. Gyro refers to the process of rotating the meat round and round.
- Gyros are a special Greek delicacy, while souvlaki is considered a “fast food” in Greece.
- You can compare gyros to shawarma or a doner kebab
- Meanwhile, souvlaki is comparable to shish kebab or Kalamaki
The Bottom Line
The difference between the two can be hard to tell. It may seem like it’s just Greek barbecue. As similar as these two dishes are, the experience is still quite different. Souvlaki will have a bit more of a smokey flavor, thanks to the grill. At the same time, gyros are beautifully roasted and hearty from the first to your last bite.
So, should you order the gyros or the souvlaki? It depends on what you feel like eating at the moment. The fact of the matter is that both of these dishes are packed with flavourful and juicy meat, served with some nicely grilled or fresh vegetables and drool-worthy sauces. You can’t go wrong with ordering either because both are worth trying.
If you’re from the area of Chesterton, Indiana, and all this talk of Greek cuisine has your stomach rumbling, we’ve got just the thing for you. George’s Gyros Spot is the best place to go to satisfy all your Greek food cravings. We offer everything from traditional gyros to burgers and fries. Come by our restaurant or order online!