Erie's Most Iconic Eateries: New York Lunch
Finding an excellent greek dog here in Erie, PA doesn’t need to be a challenge. New York Lunch is an iconic greasy spoon in Erie known for their infamous Greek sauce and delicious food. There are two different “New York Lunch” restaurants with similar menus located in Erie, but the original New York Lunch was opened at 922 East Ave in Erie back in 1927. It was bought by the current owners, Stephen and Nina Paliouras in 1969. They are in the store almost every day making Nina’s famous soups and Stephen’s Greek sauce and chili. Nina and Stephen were also born and raised in Greece, which is where they found their love for cooking and making Greek foods.
New York Lunch is known for their delicious Greek sauce that can be served on a handful of menu items like hotdogs, fries, burgers or nachos. They also have some amazing gyros as well as a handful of signature sides. So what is Greek sauce you might ask? Greek sauce is a meaty red sauce made with ground beef, known in some parts of the country for making up a “Coney Dog” or “Texas Hot.” There is great debate about where this classic food was first introduced in the U.S., but one thing’s for sure: we have the Greeks to thank for this delicacy!
You can also buy containers of New York Lunch’s Greek sauce at the East Avenue location or at Gordon’s Meat Market (bonus: pick up a Gone Local gift box at Gordon’s, too!). New York Lunch location also uses Smith’s hot dogs, another staple in the diets of many Erieites.
Fun Fact! Did you know you can order Mr. Beast Burgers through Door Dash or the Mr. Beast app at the East Ave location? Mr. Beast is an award-winning creator and a popular YouTube personality who started a virtual restaurant brand with small business partners all over the United States. New York Lunch now offers these burgers for pickup or delivery.
The New York Lunch that we visited most recently was at 1525 Peninsula Drive, only a few blocks from Presque Isle State Park. This business has been registered with the state of PA by Constantine Paliouras since 1992 and still going strong today. The restaurant has retro vibes with their vintage signage, orange exterior, hot dog statue, and black and white checkerboard tables and counters. This location had both indoor and outdoor seating, and if you happen to visit when you’re in need of a quick bite, they also have a drive-through. When we visited we tried the Greek dog with mustard and onions, cheese fries, and their lamb gyro. Everything was so good!
Whether it’s the east or west side of Erie, you can find Greek-inspired comfort food made by revered members of our community. Stop by and support these amazing businesses that have been in Erie for the past 95 YEARS!