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Gyrosa Fresh Greek: Authentic Greek gyros and lively hospitality in Victoria

Allan Reid visits Gyrosa Fresh Greek
Gyros at Gyrosa Fresh Greek, which opened in Victoria in October, 2023.

“These are like every Gyro we had throughout Greece, and we ate a lot of Gyros.”

So claim friends who spent several months touring Greece last year. A claim confirmed by Nico, co-owner and lead line cook at Gyrosa Fresh Greek. 

Nico and his family are clearly proud of their Greek heritage. His eight line cooks, including several family members, work shoulder-to-shoulder, crammed into the shortest culinary assembly line I’ve ever seen. Their speed, coordination and efficiency in churning out an endless procession of eat-in, take-out and pick-up orders is a marvel to watch, in part because of the unmistakable camaraderie among them, and the joyful appreciation they show for every customer who walks through the door.

And for the record, Gyro is pronounced 'yee-row': so say the posters on Gyrosa’s ('yee-rossas') walls.

Gyrosa seats about 20, but it’s full when I arrive. A line extends from the counter to the door, barely discernible among others standing about awaiting orders already placed. Although the line is not out the door, it barely breaks, and I wonder if Nico and his band ever find a moment to breathe.

Two seats open up and I snag them while Dennis places our order. Ever so busy, Nico manages to keep up lively and friendly conversation with his customers. “We import our pitas from Crete. You can taste the difference,” he says. And those pitas can be enjoyed in two ways: whole, in the Gyrosa Wrap Box ($16.85), or cut in the Gyrosa Meal Box, ($15.85). Choose one then add a protein — chicken, beef, prawns, falafel — or not, and two sides from among Fries, Greek Salad, Rice Pilaf, or Feta Fries.

I choose the Meal Box with Gyro beef and Feta Fries. As I’ve had the Greek Salad on a previous visit, I opt for the Rice Pilaf this time.

Allan Reid ordered the Meal Box with Gyro beef and Feta Fries and Rice Pilaf. Allan Reid

The imported Cretan pita, cut in four quarter rounds, lays piled beside a generous serving of deeply coloured and juicy seasoned beef sliced from one of two rotating vertical spits all but invisible behind the wall of busy cooks. The pilaf features brown rice for a nutty flavour and dry texture dotted with slivers of carrot and tiny fluffs of parsley.

The Feta Fries are regular hand-cut fries with a clod of crumbled feta dropped on top. The fries are good, crispy outside, soft inside, but the feta mostly falls off. At the centre of the box is a small tub of Tzatziki, a family recipe, thicker than most. Its intense creaminess masks the usual zip of fresh yoghurt and the fresh taste of cucumber and dill that I expect of Tzatziki.

Dennis orders the Gyrosa Wrap Box, with Gyro beef, Fries and Greek Salad. His pita bursts with plentiful beef, tomato, onions, Tzatziki, a sprinkle of fresh chopped parsley and fries. Wait. Fries? In the Gyro? Yes. “It’s the way it’s done in Greece,” I’m told.

As we finished up we are presented with an unsolicited square of Lemon Olive Oil Cake— “Our grandmother’s recipes”—in apology for having to wait too long for our food. It is rich, moist and intensely lemony. Nico and his crew clearly enjoy the endless bustle. Their smiles and good humour are the order of each day that I have visited.

Oh, and by the way, if Gyrosa sounds like a place you’d like to work, Nico is hiring.

Gyrosa Fresh Greek

102-1517 Admirals Road, View Royal | 250 380 2555 |

Gyrosa is located at 102-1517 Admirals Road, Victoria. Allan Reid