Only a few blocks down the street from the golden dome of the Georgia State Capital building, a small, unassuming mural and graffiti-covered brick building quietly churns out some of the finest food in the city. There are no white tablecloths (actually there is zero inside seating and just a handful of picnic tables outside), no elegant décor (just a few laminated photos and maps of Greece stapled to the walls) and no fine China (only Styrofoam and plastic utensils).
With all that, one taste of the pitch-perfect lamb gyros and housemade Greek potatoes from Nick’s Food To Go and you will feel instantly transported to an idyllic tavern in Athens, Greece. Greek salads, spanakopita, lamb and Greek-style pork made to order—it’s difficult to argue that anyone in the ATL does Greek food better than Nick’s.
Since 1994 it’s worked like this: throngs arrive around lunch, queue up in the closet-sized waiting room, step up to the counter and give orders to Poulos. If you speak clearly, are efficient with your order and (heaven forbid) do not attempt to use a credit card, your order goes back to Poulos’ wife, Eleni, and daughter, Evie, who cook up artisan-caliber gyros and other items on the simple menu. Then you wait. With every morsel made to order, build in a few minutes to get your food.
But once you do, you will understand the buzz. Most gravitate to the lamb—tender, salty and flavorful meat sliced thin off of the vertical spit and heaped onto a white, fresh, pillow-y pita with Nick’s own Tzatziki sauce, iceberg lettuce and tomatoes. The Greek fries or the Greek-style potatoes act as a perfect side to this classic order. The Greek salads are made with hyper-fresh ingredients, the apotheosis of feta cheese and super-salty Kalamata olives. The pork souvlaki served on skewers and the spanakopita, baked spinach with feta surrounded by a flaky crust are beautiful homages to Greek cuisine.
Besides the traditional Greek fare, Nick goes beyond the mainland with burgers, Philly-style cheese steak, Greek-style lasagna and a fried chicken gyro that any true southerner could easily embrace.
Put simply, Nick’s defines a culinary gem hiding in plain sight just down the street from downtown, a truly unique dining experience in our dining tapestry. And while Nick, himself, publicly declared retirement last year, he can still be seen manning the counter many days or making the sure the operation runs smoothly. Just stay on his good side and discover why Nick’s is worthy of designation of an Atlanta Eats Hidden Gem.