Greek Cuisine

Quick Lunch: The Gyro Sandwich at Papa Cristo’s in Pico-Union

Gyro Sandwich from Papa Cristo's
Photo by Farley Elliott

Just east of Mid-City, itself a much-beloved neighborhood, you’ll find Pico-Union. Closer to downtown, this middle-space ‘hood takes slices of Koreatown, Guatemala and Mexico and patches them all together, with a not-insignificant Greek influence as well. This is where L.A.’s annual Greek Festival is held, surrounding a large orthodox church on the southeast corner of Pico and Normandie. And right across the street, look for the big blue awning to find Papa Cristo’s.

The Greek taverna / bakery has long been a home for hungry locals and quick-service lunchers needing a bite before moving on to points elsewhere. After 65 years it’s almost become part of the city dining zeitgeist, a favored place that is so reliable, so comforting, it’s rarely discussed. Not that anyone is trying to keep the sprawling corner eatery a secret; Papa Cristo’s just always has been, and always will be there.

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