When my husband and I visited Athens, we were there the day before Easter and so we tried to hurry through all of the archaeological sites because they were closing early. As a result, we didn’t have time to stop for lunch, but as we exited the Acropolis we passed this place with signs showing classic Greek choices (gyros and Greek salad). It stuck with us, so the next day, Easter Sunday, we trekked all the way back just to go to it.
Gyristroula is located catty-corner to the Thissio metro station, at the corner of Adrianou St. and Agion Asomaton Place. It’s also very close to the archaeological sites of Keramikos and the Ancient Agora of Athens, so if you’re in the vicinity of those two sites, you’re only a couple of blocks from an excellent lunch. And they have a lot of pictures on signs out front, so you’ll know what they offer before even seeing a menu.
In Greek, the word is spelled Γυριστρούλα (this is the name that you will see on the sign out front), which translates to “roundworms” according to Google Translator. But I asked, the restaurant and the actually name of the restaurant, Gyristoula, has a much nicer meaning and origin :). According to the staff, Gyristroula is a made up greek world from a song called Gyristroula by Lakis Papadopoulos. Gyristroula is a female noun and it means the one who wonders around and goes from a place to another doesn’t stay for a long time in a place or in a relationship and it’s from the Greek word “γυρίζω” which means turns around. That’s where the gyros took its name because it tuns around!
Gyristroula has a really long menu which helpfully includes pictures. We loved it because it’s one of the few places where we actually found pita sandwiches in Athens! I never dreamed that they would be so hard to come by. Brian ordered a sandwich and so he also ordered a Greek salad as a side, which came as a huge salad (see above in the white bowl) while my platter came with a smaller simpler salad (in the red bowl). We could have easily split the bigger one between two people. Our salads were excellent. The tomatoes were red and fresh which is important to me. And the Greek feta was delicious!
For his main course, Brian ordered a pita with shaved chicken, french fries on the side, and it came with a small container of tzatziki sauce. I ordered a platter which consisted of shaved chicken, french fries, bread, and a side salad. My platter also included a yellow sauce, which seemed somewhat like a mayonnaise. Unfortunately I can’t remember the name of it, but I remember that I liked dipping my chicken in both my sauce and in Brian’s extra tzatziki. We shared a slice of baklava for dessert that was delicious, but so very sweet!
We very much enjoyed our meal and we liked sitting outside. The weather in Athens in April was just perfect and our table had some covering which kept back the sun. We had a great time eating Greek food and watching people stroll down the busy street right in front of us. If you find yourself wandering around the tourist sites in Athens, we highly recommend Gyristroula as it’s inexpensive, the food is great, and it’s perfectly located!
Note, we did not receive any compensation for writing this post, we just stumbled upon the restaurant and really loved it!