Souvla Opens a Second Location on Divisadero

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Our taste buds are tingling just thinking about the gorgeous salads, meaty gyros, and divine frozen Greek yogurt (#4 on The Big Eat 2016) served at Charles Bililies' Hayes Valley restaurant, Souvla.



In anticipation of Souvla's upcoming expansion—a second location opens on Divisadero this weekend!—we sat down with the mastermind behind the drool-worthy Greek food. Get your knife and fork ready for this delicious Q&A!


1. What inspired you to open a second location?

We're literally bursting at the seams on Hayes Street, and we wanted to provide more space for our guests to enjoy the restaurant. I've always wanted to have multiple locations of Souvla, and we couldn't be happier with the location of our second restaurant. NoPa/Divisadero corridor is such a vibrant, awesome spot. We're really excited to be a part of it.


2. Why did you choose 531 Divisadero?

I fell in love with 531 Divisadero when I saw the tall ceilings and the tree-lined patio in the back. We probably saw more than 50 spaces in San Francisco over the past 9 months. We're very particular not only about the qualities of a physical space, but also the neighborhood where it is.


3. Will there be any differences in the two menus?

We plan to keep the menus nearly identical to start. You know what they say... if ain't broke, don't fix it.


4. What are you most looking forward to?

We've learned an awful lot in the two years we've been open in Hayes Valley. We're looking forward to taking everything that we've learned here and applying it up the hill!


5. What about San Francisco inspires your food?

Access to incredible product, and the ability and freedom to think outside the box. Though Souvla is firmly rooted in classic Greek street food and the foods of my upbringing, we certainly exercise some creative liberties from time to time.


6. What do you love most about Greek food?

How simple and clean it is. People speak a lot lately about "clean" food; I believe, like so many other things, it originated with the Greeks!


7. What's your signature dish?

I would normally point to our pork sandwich, which is our homage to the classic Greek souvlaki/gyro sandwich, but our chicken salad is now our best selling item. It's rotisserie-roasted chicken over kale with pickled red onion, orange, pea shoots, Mizithra cheese, and "Granch" dressing — our spin on Ranch dressing with Greek yogurt. That, and our frozen Greek yogurt.


8. Where is your favorite place to eat in San Francisco?

Generally a toss-up between Bar Tartine, Zuni and NOPA. I like the classics. We also have an awesome traditional of dining out at The House of Prime Rib on the eve of Souvla's anniversary.


9. What do you usually cook at home?

Ha! I leave that mostly to my fiancée ... she's the better cook between us. I do tend to handle the weekend/day-off breakfasts though. I'm referred to as "Chef de Breakfast" at times. I think I'm pretty great with eggs.


10. What's an indulgence that you would never give up?

Champagne. Hands down.


11. Which items off 7x7's Big Eat 2016 have you eaten?

Well, it looks like I've done okay here:

1. Pickled French fries, Al's Place

3. Trout tostada, Cala

4. Greek yogurt with baklava crumbles and syrup, Souvla

5. Shigoku Oysters with preserved Meyer lemon,P etit Crenn

7. Fried onioncakes, House of Nanking

9. Chilled squid ink pasta, Octavia

11. Rabbit pappardelle, Flour + Water

14. Jane bread with butter, Huxley

15. Beyond ramen, Orenchi Beyond

16. Sicilian-style pizza, Tony's Pizza Napoletana

18. Super carnitas dorado burrito, La Taqueria

22. Fresh baked cookies, Spruce

23. Brisket, 4505 Burgers & BBQ

24. Pad kee mao, Kin Khao

28. Blue Bottle Vietnamese coffee, Humphry Slocombe

29. Xiao long bao, Kingdom of Dumpling

31. Chips and salsa, Papalote

35. Pretzel, Biergarten

36. El de la Foto, Los Shucos

41. Garlic quail, Lers Ros

45. Tea leaf salad, Burma Superstar

47. Okonomiyaki, Namu Gaji

50. Pintxo flight, Aatxe

51. Smoked deviled eggs, Park Tavern

64. Zucchini cakes, Kokkari

67. Lemon ricotta pancakes, Plow

68. Sweetbreads, Monsieur Benjamin

75. Blistered green beans, Hawker Fare

77. The Rebel Within, Craftsman and Wolves

79. Any yakitori, Rintaro

82. Loaf of bread, Tartine Bakery

84. Lumberjack cake, Frances

85. Crispy imperial rolls, The Slanted Door

88. C.A. state bird with provisions, State Bird Provisions

89. $35 prix fixe + pasta, Trestle

90. Dried porcini doughnuts, Rich Table

93. Charcuterie board, Trou Normand

96. Toast, The Mill

99. Tasting Menu, Coi

....so 39% I guess.