The Souvlaki Lady: 28 Years and Counting in Astoria

June 19, 2018

ASTORIA – Elpida Vasiliadis is best known as the Souvlaki Lady but she never chose the name, she told the New York Times, “I never named my business. Everybody has always called me the Souvlaki Lady, and it stuck.”

For 28 years and counting, at the corner of 33rd Street and Ditmars Boulevard, Vasiliadis has been operating the food truck that draws long lines of customers each day to enjoy the authentic Greek flavors.

When she purchased the food truck from the previous owner, it was the only food truck in the area. Living just a block away, Vasiliadis could work and check in on her children as well, the Times reported.

Among the regular customers, Anthony Graciolett lines up and orders a hot dog with sauerkraut, eats it, then lines up again to order another hot dog, this time with mustard and onions, followed by another trip to the back of the line to order a pork souvlaki on the stick, and then back on the line for a chicken souvlaki on the stick to conclude his meal. He repeats the routine twice a week.

“I like a routine,” he told the Times, “I always order the same thing in the same order.”

The Greek recipes have been passed down to Vasiliadis from her parents who had a restaurant called Psilokastro in Thessaloniki. The pork souvlaki is “authentic Greek, the best in Astoria,” Stratos Efstathiadis from Thessaloniki told the Times.

Despite the fact that the line was so long that Vasiliadis never took a break, she told the Times that it was a relatively quiet day compared to days when the line stretches halfway down the block.

For many neighborhood families, visiting the Souvlaki Lady is a family tradition. In short, Nicole Szarka arrived at the food truck with her newborn daughter, Brailey, and her mother, Marie Galanos.

“The Souvlaki Lady is part of the neighborhood,” Szarka told the Times, adding that “it is the only food cart I trust with the meat.”

The Souvlaki Lady food truck is open daily, except Sundays, from 11:30 AM-7:30 PM and on Fridays, Vasiliadis’ daughter, Eleni, works the food truck, the Times reported.


ATHENS - A regulation in an omnibus bill will allow repatriated Greeks from Albania and the former Soviet Union to receive full national pensions, Labor and Social Protection Minister Kostis Hatzidakis said during a discussion in Greek Parliament on Tuesday.

Top Stories


A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

FALMOUTH, MA – The police in Falmouth have identified the victim in an accident involving a car plunging into the ocean on February 20, NBC10 Boston reported.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.


Mitsotakis: Today’s Bill Comes to Define a New Field in Which Everyone Should Move

ATHENS - At the end of August 2022, I announced a legislative initative for the upgrading and modernisation of the protection, the operation of the security agencies and the operation of the communications and after the change in National Intelligence Service's (EYP) leadership and the establishment of double check to the legal intrusions," stated Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis addressing the parliament on Thursday during the debate on Justice Minstry's bill on the lifting of the communications confidentiality, cybersecurity and protection of the citizens' personal data.

The holiday season is swiftly upon us: gingerbread houses, eggnog, and festive parties with our nearest and dearest.

PERTH AMBOY — People are asking questions about a storm protection proposal for New York and New Jersey that would be among the most massive and costly flood control projects ever done in America.

NEW YORK. A delegation of the Diaspora Sector of Greece’s ruling New Democracy party visited New York City December 1-4.

WASHINGTON — The House gave final approval Thursday to legislation protecting same-sex marriages, a monumental step in a decadeslong battle for nationwide recognition of such unions that reflects a stunning turnaround in societal attitudes.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.