We Minnesotans appreciate a good sandwich in all its forms, and there’s often nothing better than the Mediterranean delight known as the gyro. Quick, easy and delicious, with tender lamb or sometimes chicken, beef or pork stuffed inside pita with onion, tomato and a few other veggies, and then tzatziki (a truly fantastic yogurt sauce) on top, this is the grab-and-go meal that puts most other sandwiches to shame. Here are the best places to find great gyros in the state.
1668 Grand Ave
Saint Paul, MN 55105
At the quieter end of St. Paul’s Grand Avenue you’ll find some of the city’s best food. There are many restaurants in the area, but you can never go wrong with stopping into the charming storefront that houses Shish. From breakfast to lunch to dinner, the food is consistently satisfying, but the gyros are reason enough to go. You won’t put this sandwich (or you can get it on Lebanese flatbread) down until the last bite is gone. Enjoy your meal with a strong Turkish coffee and you’re sure to go on about your day with a smile on your face.
Ali Baba’s King Of Gyros
1264 Robert Street S
West Saint Paul, MN 55118
A hidden gem in West St. Paul, Ali Baba’s authentic Greek food makes it worth the trek. The husband and wife team behind the restaurant are typically on site to make sure you have the ultimate dining experience, but that’s only an added bonus. The gyro meat is soft but still hearty and the subtle spices make for a new experience with each bite. Small places like this prove that you don’t need to be flashy, or even have a website, to make some of the best food in town.
421 14th Avenue SE
Minneapolis, MN 55414
There might not be much left of Dinkytown that hasn’t gone the way of shiny glass construction and chain restaurants, but what still stands keeps patrons coming back. Kafe 421 is exactly that type of place. In a simple, intimate setting, you’ll find some tasty home cooking fast and at prices that will keep broke college kids smiling. The gyro is also simple as well, with meat sliced thin (but still so juicy), onion, tomato and tzatziki on pita grilled to a perfect crispiness.
Related: Best Mediterranean Food In Minnesota
Gardens of Salonica
19 5th Street NE
Minneapolis, MN 55413
In Northeast Minneapolis, lost among the bright signs of places nearby, a little Greek restaurant pumps out some of the best gyros in the city. You can enjoy them on a combination plate to sample a few other items from the menu, or just know that it’s a gyro you want and order it straight off the bat. It’s truly done well with a little parsley, onion and tomato There are often specials and specialty versions of the gyro, so make sure to ask your server.
523 Cedar Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55454
This might be a place you stumbled upon accidentally during Zombie Pub Crawl or before a show the Triple Rock. If you haven’t experienced the simple joy of a gyro from this little spot, make sure to head over right away. Mediterranean Deli is a little tucked away and if you blink you might miss it. But if you’re looking for a gyro that is made with excellent meat, crisp vegetables and perfectly warm pita for not much more than the change in your pocket, this is where you want to go.
Related: Best Sandwiches in Minnesota
Adrian Schramm is a resident Saint Paul writer with a passion for all things local. Through his work with Saint Paul Almanac and Minneapolis Examiner at Examiner.com, as well as in the kitchens of bars and restaurants around town, he has discovered what truly makes the Twin Cities tick.