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Best greek in nyc?

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Greek food is my absolute favorite, yet i've had a hard time finding it in the city. Have been to Snack and Snack taverna and they're both good. But wondering where is that hidden jewel...


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  1. Onera
    What's the one with a P in the 20s that is amazing? I went there a few years ago with a sophisticated greek guy i was dating and it was amazing. Not Pylos, is it?

    Uncle Nick's

    try outerborough board.

    8 Replies
    1. re: chowgal

      Periyali? It's fantastic, great seafood and a romantic setting.

      1. re: hct

        Yes, that is it. Thank you! Loved it.

        1. re: chowgal

          When it comes to Periyali, I'm a dissenter. I found the food there quite ordinary. Considering the high prices they charge, it's hardly worth it when one can go to my favorite, Ethos, get excellent food and pay substantially less.

          1. re: RGR

            i feel similarly...i only went to Periyali once, and while it was fine, it didn't impress me all that much, esp. considering the prices...while i have nothing against it, i never returned...

            1. re: Simon
              Peter Cherches

              I agree with the Periyali dissenters, though from only one visit. I recently went for the first time to another "top" Greek restaurant, Molyvos, and was very happy with the food, and the service was spectacular. I had asked the waiter for a suggestion between lamb chops and roast lamb and he told me that the roast lamb was a house specialty. I asked him if I could get it medium-rare and he said that it was cooked through, but that he still recommended I go for it. It was indeed very good, but the icing on the cake was that on one side of the plate was a single lamb chop, medium-rare; I'm sure they did that as a special gesture.

              All the mezedes we had (7 or 8 for 4 of us) were excellent too.

              I believe Ruth Reichl was always particularly fond of Molyvos.

              For traditional Greek in the city I like Uncle Nick very much.

              Link: http://petercherches.blogspot.com

              1. re: Peter Cherches

                i haven't been yet but am most interested in trying kellari taverna on w 44th......periyali had its heyday and it was wonderful in those years. i still love the cookbook. molyvos is very good but pricey and all that, estatorios milos is so expensive and was very good when i was last there several years ago but i've no desire to return. i thought kyma was awful, haven't been to ethos and never was a fan of uncle nicks. kellari (hope i'm spelling it right) sounds quite promising from its pedigree and to all i've heard.

            2. re: RGR

              i don't know Ethos (although I now will), but I agree with you 100% re. Periyali.

              1. re: newsjoke

                Greek is one of my favorites... I've been to Ethos - its good, but I think the quality isn't as high as some of the others (I found the food to be a little oily & the fish not as fresh).

                My absolute favorite outside of Astoria is Periyali... the octopus is the best I've ever had - anywhere (and I get it everywhere its offered). Its that good... nothing can compare. For an entree, the simply grilled seafood is the way to go...

      2. Just went to Kyma this past week for lunch. Had a bunch of their appetizers (tzatziki, dolmades, spankopita) and the Greek salad - all was very good and fresh. However, my absolute favorite Greek restaurant is It's Greek to Me. There's a bunch of them in NJ, including one in Hoboken, just a short PATH train ride away. It's very cheap and BYOB, which is nice. I recommend trying a bunch of their appetizers, especially the Greek meatballs and tyropita.

        6 Replies
        1. re: LttlMichey

          Though posts on this board are supposed to be about Manhattan restaurants, I must respond to your comments about It's Greek to Me. We tried the one in Holmdel, and I can only think of one word to describe the food: horrible!!

          1. re: RGR

            There used to be a branch of It's Greek to Me in Manhattan, very close to the current location of Pylos. Pylos is in an entirely different and better category, in terms of quality, interest of their menu, decor, and just giving much more of a hoot. It costs more, but the value is so much better it's not even funny!

            By the way, I'm not making an argument for Pylos as the "best Greek" restaurant in New York, though I do like the place.

            1. re: Pan

              Pan, Are you absolutely sure that it was an It's Greek to Me near Pylos? As far as I know, it's a totally NJ-centric chain, and I've never heard about a branch in Manhattan. They even state right on the homepage of their website that their restaurants are in "Northern NJ," though most New Jerseyans would agree that a couple of their locations, specifically Holmdel and Long Branch, are in Central/South Central NJ.


              1. re: RGR

                Yes, I'm absolutely sure it was an It's Greek to Me. I ate there quite a number of times. It was just OK.

          2. re: LttlMichey

            I love It's Greek to Me!! If there was an Its Greek to Me in Manhattan it was either unrelated or more than five years ago. Because I've been looking for one in Manhattan for that long! I actually came to this page looking for a restaurant of similar nature because of my specific craving for It's Greek to Me, but w/ out having to go to NJ. I've never eaten anything bad at It's Greek to Me. so good. I hope I find a match in Manhattan!

            1. re: delg23

              It's long gone. An Italian wine bar is there now; I forget its name at the moment. A couple of doors down, though, is Pylos, which is much better than It's Greek to Me ever was, even though I prefer the cheaper Kefi, on the Upper West Side. Most hounds prefer Pylos to Kefi and think I'm crazy or something, however. :-)

          3. gotta echo rgr's feelings: i love ethos. service may be a little gruff, but the food is top-notch and not too expensive. i love the grape leaves, the grilled squid, the hummus, and the fried zucchini appetizers. their greek salad is fantastic. and they have an amazing selection of fresh fish that they will bring to your table and you pick how they prepare it. they also have great moussaka and other dishes in clay pots.

            1. I feel you really need to go to Astoria for AMAZING Greek food. My ultimate favorite is STAMATIS. So reasonable, too. A few blocks away is a Greek specialty store where you can buy feta, olives, bread, pasteries, etc.

              In the city I also like PHYLOS, it's in Alphabet City. Milos is truely memorable, but very $$$$$$. I also like AVRA.

              Good luck! I love Greek food, too!

              (I would'nt call It's Greek to Me "horrible"..its just a generic version of Greek food. That's all :)

              1. When I'm paying I like Pylos on east 7th, when a company is paying, I like Periyali on West 20th Street.

                I may not be a good judge of Greek since I'm a vegetarian, but I can tell you that the skordalia at Periyali is the best I've had here or in Greece. I particularly like the Tzatziki and the Saganaki at Pylos.

                1 Reply
                1. re: David Lerner

                  I went to the most wonderful Greek place in Astoria, right on Astoria Park. Sorry, I don't remember the name, but if you're up for the trip, it's not hard to find. It's a family run place and is warm and delicious and unpretentious. The real deal. If you go to the park, there's a street that runs along it. The restaurant is on what I believe is the north corner...The river is on your left and you're walking forward to the edge of the park...

                2. The restaurant on the park is called Agnanti. It is very good. They alos opened up in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.

                  I love Greek food. For me, Onera and Avra are the best Greek restaurants in town, followed by Pylos.

                  Someone mentioned Kellari. I do not recommend it all! I organize a lot of dinners for VIP's. We were organizing an event there and we were appalled by the incompetence and rudeness. We tried to give it another chance and found the food to be so so.

                  1. Milos is by far the best greek in manhattan. The best fish too.

                    1. Greek is my absolute favorite as well!
                      This is my take Greek in NYC:

                      OVERALL BEST:
                      Hands down. Everything on the menu is authentic and excellent,
                      with the fish being the highlight. The vibe is a bit Midtown,
                      but you get over that quickly once the food arrives. The $ is
                      acceptable for the quality and freshness.

                      Milos, Molyvos & Phylos.
                      Milos is as good as Avra, except that it is much more expensive.
                      I like to eat Greek food often, so I always choose Avra over Milos.
                      Phylos is very good as well, and I prefer its location. But Avra's
                      Mezedes and fish are significantly better. Molyvos is very close
                      to Avra in most regards, I just find that some of my favorites
                      (Octapodi, fava, tarama, lavraki) are better at Avra.

                      ALSO EXCELLENT
                      Really good, the $ is the best on this list, the vibe is not ideal, but an excellent
                      restaurant. But it's in Astoria. I make it to Queens, like, 4 times a year.
                      And that's usually for Thai! :)

                      Onera, Kellari, Greek to Me, Periyali
                      In my personal experiance, you can do better (see above)


                      2 Replies
                      1. re: kvn

                        fyi there's also an agnanti in bay ridge, brooklyn.

                        1. re: kvn

                          I agree....AVRA is the BEST...YUM! Been over 15 times and love it every time. Milos is also wonderful.

                          Ethos is for a quick fix and much less expensive.

                        2. Sorry but the best Greek rstarant, and i've been to all of those cited above is AMMOS estatoria! try it and i'm CERTAIN you hounds will all agree everything on the menu is great-

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: the save

                            Ammos is good. i ate at both, the one near yale club is very good less casual than the other in astoria which is also cheaper!

                            1. re: the save

                              The Cypriot (sp?) Cheese sandwich is one of the tastiest things in all of Manhattan. The pita is so fresh and the cheese is a tastier version of mozz.

                              Start with the Spinakopita (sp?) and it's a perfect meal.

                              Avoid the lousy desserts, though.

                            2. Astoria. Astoria. Astoria. (Queens)

                              1. Try the Delphi on West Broadway and Reade. It's an old school Greek restaurant with little pretention but great homemade, authentic food.

                                1. I like Jim Botsacos' style at Molyvos. It reminds me of places in the Plaka district of Athens, i.e., upscale Greek cuisine with quality ingredients and preparations. Especially like the way he does scallops

                                  1. Ammos is good, modern style Greek cuisine served in Manhattan.

                                    Looking for a "Hidden Jewel"? Sorry, let US know when you stumble on one.

                                    ONERA is by far our favorite. Upper West Side. Modern. not Old School. Tasty. Very Very Good to Excellent.

                                    Snack and Snack Taverna, good for a bite.

                                    Periyali got some stars in the NYTimes, but it was written for NOSTAGIA, not food.

                                    Lots of Molyvos hounds out there. I never understood the place and never cared for the attempts at food there either. They pay a LOT of money (or did for a while) for publicity. Publicity paid for, not necessarily earned, as per thoughts on these boards through the years...

                                    Milos is a simple grill, although they have added a few minor "modern" things to the menu in recent years (WHOOHOO!)

                                    Some of our group prefers old school Greek food and steam tables and heat lamps for that "comfort food" nostagia of Astoria in Queens. Not dwelling in the Outer Boros too long Taverna Kyklathes is a simple grill and Stamatis for the "old school Greek food and steam tables and heat lamps for that "comfort food" nostagia of Astoria".

                                    8 Replies
                                    1. re: Gastronomos

                                      So Kellari is not among the top 5 or even 10?

                                      1. re: kel

                                        I found Kellari excellent on the several occasions I have been there. They have a beautiful collection of fresh seafood on ice, and if you order that or a lamb dish you cannot go wrong. They also have a fantastic bar. Overall, Kellari has a great stylish atmosphere and expertly prepared Greek food that goes from the basic and delicious to modern Greek.

                                        My all time favorite however, and my vote for best Greek in Manhattan, is Molyvos. The Livanos family who run it are peerless - any one of their restaurants you pick is excellent (I have also been to City Limits and Cafe Meze (now closed) in Westchester, both of which are top notch.) Molyvos has superb traditional Greek (try the grilled Octopus, spreads, Moussaka, Lamb stews, or a grilled fish - all superbly prepared.) Desserts also play on Greek cues and are amazing. I have always left delighted.

                                        For a more wallet friendly and delicious option Uncle Nicks on 9th Avenue is very good, although the service is pretty so-so.

                                        I have heard Anthos is good and hope to try some time.


                                        1. re: SamuelAt

                                          I've dined at Molyvos a number of times and love their moussaka. But uinfortunately, we haven't always had good service there. Sometimes I've been there with a big group and miraculously, the service is attentive, but when on my own or with one or two other people, we've had to flag down other servers. So although I'll agree that Molyvos' food is good and it has a pleasant atmosphere, considering the service issue and the price I've been looking for a better alternative. Greek friends have suggested Pylos and Anthos, with Pylos being given a slight edge.

                                          1. re: Gigi007

                                            Interesting - I have always had good service. Once o twice I have had to flag the waiter for the check, but I don't mind that too much.

                                          2. re: SamuelAt

                                            I went to Anthos for prix fixe lunch once and found it at best no better than my meals at Kefi, which were a lot cheaper. So from then on, I have just gone back to Kefi. Perhaps if you're willing to pay loads of money for a tasting menu or something, it would be a lot better, but if I'm paying that kind of money, I'd rather go somewhere else.

                                          3. re: kel

                                            Sorry, kel, Kellari doesn't do it for me. Simple grilled or fried protein, a few dips and a salad doesn't impress me in the least. There isn't anything on the menu that needs a chef/cook to prepare. Nothing really "Greek" here either.

                                            1. re: Gastronomos

                                              IMO Kellari is as authentic as they come. Good, upscale places in Greece focus on the freshest fish -- usually on display so you can pick out your own -- simply prepared with few ingredients beyond spices and good olive oil. True, Kellari doesn't serve souvlaki and moussaka, but it's not that sort of place.

                                              1. re: City Kid

                                                Edit: Kellari does serve a vegetable moussaka as an entree for lunch and more traditional appetizers such as spanakopita for lunch and dinner...though the focus is on the freshest seafood.

                                        2. wow. I have to disagree on some of these, particularly Ammos and Avra. I used to go to Avra pretty frequently and feel that the quality has declined noticeably. I only tried Ammos once (the one on Vanderbilt) and thought it was average. I think you have to make a distinction between "traditional" and "modern/interpretive" Greek food. for the former, I will heartily agree with everyone who mentioned Agnanti, and also Molyvos and Kefi. and for the latter, I love Pylos, Milos, and Anthos (sounds like the Three Greek Musketeers).

                                          1. Here's a question: which Greek restaurant (preferably in Manhattan, but feel free to mention other areas like Astoria too) has the best moussaka? I ask because as I said before, although I love Molyvos' moussaka some recent visits weren't that great. A wonderful Greek hairdresser I went to in the Village loves Pylos, but I forgot to ask her about the moussaka. Thanks much.

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: Gigi007

                                              I haven't been to Pylos recently, but I have liked their pastitsio more than their moussaka, though the moussaka is also good. I had some moussaka at Uncle Nick's recently that really pleased me as perfect comfort food. And if you don't love it, at least it's fairly cheap ($14.95 for a big portion for dinner).

                                              1. re: Gigi007

                                                Thought moussaka at Pylos was the best l ever had, Small portion in a timbale, but so wonderful. Reason l think it is my favorite Greek here. Was a fan of Periyali before it's rehab, never understood Anthos or Kefi. Wanted the lamb burger at Anthos but on the two times there was for dinner and no burger.

                                                1. re: Gigi007

                                                  The Greek Corner
                                                  322 7th Ave
                                                  New York, NY 10001-5008
                                                  (212) 239-0760

                                                  Call for the lunch specials made fresh daily.