627 E. Green St., Champaign
Zorba’s is a Greek restaurant in the heart of Campustown near the University of Illinois. It’s been around since the early 1970s and has been owned locally by Matt Mortenson since 1997.
Their menu consists of traditional lamb gryos as well as chicken gyros, several sandwich options, Greek salad, and some vegetarian options including falafel, a black bean burger, and several other items. Sides include French fries, onion rings, and chili. They have fountain drinks and fresh-brewed tea, and if you’re in the mood for dessert they have baklava as well.
As many folks in Champaign-Urbana are aware, Zorba’s had a devastating fire a few years ago. They have rebuilt and are back and better than ever. The order counter and kitchen used to be located at the front of the store, which often caused some congestion around the entrance, but that has been alleviated as it is now located in the back of the building while there is seating up front.
My favorite day of the week to go to Zorba’s is “Groovy Tuesday” because they have $1.00 off gyros and half-priced French fries. I opt for the “giant classic” which is 8 ounces of gyro meat on a warmed pita with tomatoes, onions, and cucumber sauce. I’m not necessarily a fan of crinkle-cut fries (I don’t even like saying “crinkle-cut”…) but they are an adequate side dish, especially when half-price.
Betsy ordered a falafel sandwich on our last visit, and appreciated that they didn’t put tahini sauce on it, because tahini can sometimes be overwhelmingly bitter.
Overall I really enjoy gyros at Zorba’s and think they’re the best in town. My wife disagrees and likes Niro’s better, but we’ll get to them in a future review. Zorba’s is very clean, but while the new arrangement has alleviated some of the congestion, when they’re busy it is still difficult to get in and out of the restaurant.