Souvlaki GR in Manhattan

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Souvlaki, Greek salad, crab salad, fries with feta cheese and kolokithokeftedes (Greek fried zucchini patties) / Photography: © Tassos Antoniou 

Last month had been crazy busy! Those of you who follow me on Instagram or read my website know that I spent the whole month of May in New York City. So many great things happened there: my (currently in Greek) cookbook presentation in Coco-Mat, Soho ; I filmed my show “New York City Bites” for my YouTube channel;  last but not least, I covered a very interesting piece for Esquire Greece about successful Greeks in the food business in NYC. I will tell you more about my presentation and show in another post.

During my research for the Esquire piece, I discovered the most beautiful souvlaki place that I’ve ever seen. It’s called “Souvlaki GR” (surprise!) and it brings a scent of Greece in Manhattan. The minute you see it from the outside, the bright white and blue shades make you feel like you’re on vacation on a Greek island in Cyclades. But the best part is on the inside, where it’s literally like they moved a part of the charming small streets in Mykonos and gracefully placed it in their locations in Lower East Side and Manhattan Midtown.

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The minute you walk in Souvlaki GR, the Greek Mykonos-style atmosphere will blow your mind

For those of you not familiar with souvlaki, it is probably the most iconic Greek street food (ok, probably the second one following the Greek salad!). Bite-sized pieces of pork meat or chicken grilled on skewers, then wrapped in pita bread and topped with tomato, red onion and tzatziki (a garlic-y Greek yogurt sauce). And that’s what you’ll taste at Souvlaki GR, along with a line-up of classic Greek dishes served at Greek tavernas.

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Souvlaki is probably the most iconic Greek street food. Photography: © Tassos Antoniou
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Chicken skewers served with tzatziki sauce and grilled pita bread. Photography: © Tassos Antoniou
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I couldn’t help but order a Greek salad! They serve it with pita bread and it is 100% tasty. Photography: © Tassos Antoniou
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Kolokithokeftedes (Greek zucchini patties) served with yogurt sauce and a wedge of lemon for an acidic touch. Photography: © Tassos Antoniou

I was told by Errikos, the chef and also a friend of mine since his glorious days in Athens and Mykonos restaurants, that it’s one of the absolute top-sellers and there’s no wonder why. Americans seem to be served their food rather flat in terms of taste so they can upscale it with sauces (ketchup, BBQ sauce, hot sauce, you name it). Errikos has brought his local intel – that is Greek recipes he developed while still in the country – and serves really delectable food, enriched with Greek herbs that really elevate even the most subtle of tastes.

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Greek beef patties topped with tomato and feta cheese. So appetizing and delicious. Photography: © Tassos Antoniou

Tina Plagos, the owner and one of the most amicable Greek American ladies I met during my stay in NYC, is also a frequent visitor every summer in Mykonos, so it’s quite obvious why this place is such a vibrant, cheerful and delicious Greek joint.

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From left to right: Errikos Kassar, Tina Plagos and me

If you find yourselves in NYC and need to grab a tasteful bite, Souvlaki GR surely takes you to Mykonos -and there’s no need to board on a plane!

Souvlaki GR Locations

Lower East Side: 116 Stanton St., NY, NY 10002

Midtown: 162W 56th Street, NY, NY10019

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