Souvlaki’s Mediterranean Gardens

9 West State St.
Athens, OH 45701
locationSouvlaki's (Athens, OH)

Confronted with a preponderance of other dining options in the Court Street sector, the owners of Souvlaki’s Mediterranean Garden have opted instead for a combination no one else quite offers: fast food ethnic style for students wanting a late night snack. The eatery sells gyros, pitas and Greek burgers with fries on the side. The variety of food attracts wandering students with its inviting scents and late hours. Souvlaki’s beats almost every other local business in that it is open until 4 a.m. every morning.

Beef and lamb gyro w/ small spicy fries: $6.90

At first it’s really hard to hate Souvlaki’s; the place is open so early it will satisfy a craving long after most other places have shut down for the night.The food isn’t that bad. The fries are the best part; french fried and delicious, they are good plain, but the best option is to order them spicy; a very peppery powder is added into them and it’s delicious.

I tried a lamb and beef gyro, which was good. I definitely think I had a better one at Ali Babas down the street for the same price. But Ali Babas also does not have fries quite as good as these, and it certainly did not have sit-down accommodations. It’s a matter of opinion, I suppose, whether convenience is more important than taste.

While the food itself wasn’t bad, the rest of the experience left me uneasy. The two who managed the food, clearly a husband and wife team, were entertaining and in good humor for our 11:00 run, but I noticed they did not use gloves when preparing our food, which was a very big deal to me. I don’t like wondering when the last time those hands were washed. The food was fresh and made-to-order, but a detail like gloves is huge to a customer like me.

I also wasn’t impressed by the prices, particularly of the fries. At $2.00, a small order of them is a little much, I think, when the order is comparable to a small order of fries at the local fast food chain which sells for half the price. While these fries are good and certainly worth a little extra, I’m not sure double the price is worth the convenience. Many of the other food items are at comparable prices to other eateries in town, but many more are nickled and dimed above them here and there. 12-ounce cans of soft drinks are overpriced. It leaves me wondering if costs like these are intended to take advantage of drunk students. Approach Souvlaki’s with a cautious eye.


  • The fries are a strong offering, and they are particularly good when ordered spicy. Try them as a snack alone or to supplement another meal offering.
  • The gyros aren’t bad, and the pitas are not either, but other places in town offer better iterations in more restricted hours.
  • Open until 4 a.m. this place is hard to dislike. Don’t try to come earlier in the day, though, as lunchtime hours are often unreliable.

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