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best Greek in/near Boston?

have a Greek friend returning to Boston for a visit. he's been in California for quite a few years and his Greek parents/grandparents are no longer around.

looking for a Very Good Greek restaurant for Thursday night. he's staying in Burlington so we'd like to go someplace in Boston or just slightly north (Ithaki in Ipswich would be too far) and it must have a full liquor license. i would like the place to be fairly highway accessible, if possible.

i like someplace that features seafood but traditional Greek style lamb dishes would be welcome too.

TIA,
SS

p.s. there (used?) to be a place outside of Harvard Square called the Acropolis that we really liked back in the day but i can't find it online. if that place is still open (and Good) i'd like to go there or someplace like it.

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  1. I really like Greek Corner in Cambridge, but I don't have Greek family whose home cooking I might compare it to. That said, I think their food is great. Service and atmosphere are definitely no-frills though.

    2 Replies
    1. re: heathermb

      I also really like Greek Corner, and it is definitely run by a Greek family. They may only have beer/wine, but they do have retsina. Acropolis moved from its MassAve location to Lexington in the 80s or early 90s, and then last year it closed and is now a Mexican place.

      1. re: Bluebell

        I third Greek Corner...but definitely not high on atmosphere/ambiance. I know they've got beer and wine but I'm not sure about hard liquor.....

    2. I don't know about "best", but I had a very solid meal at the Greek Isles in The Fenway recently. It's a counter service place (at least at lunch): order, then they bring it to your table, which in my case was a pleasant patio seat. Beer/wine only. Big portions of nice-priced food. I had the vegetarian moussaka with a good Greek side salad and rice.

      2 Replies
      1. re: MC Slim JB

        thanks MC, i'll file this place but with the Sox in town @705p the Fenway area is not where we wanna be. plus, we want hard likker.

        1. re: MC Slim JB

          Been to the Greek Isles a few times...talked with the owner at length. Good family run operation that pride themselves on quality and service. I 2nd it.

        2. Athenian Corner in Lowell is an excellent Greek restaurant with a great menu, and on Thursday nights they have belly dancers.
          http://www.atheniancorner.com/menus.htm

          -----
          Athenian Corner
          207 Market St, Lowell, MA 01852

          3 Replies
          1. re: Infomaniac

            thanks Infomaniac. that place looks like it will fit the bill nicely. do you recommended anything particular?

            i'd still like to get an option closer to Boston in addition.

            1. re: ScubaSteve

              Most of the time I go with the lamb shish kebob or the octopus saute, but I don't think you can go wrong with any of the lamb dishes. The Greek meatballs are good, great fresh cut french fries, and the Avgolemono soup has always been awesome. I like the vegetable platter too.

            2. re: Infomaniac

              And, Lowell is not that far from Burlington. Just head up Route 3 N for about 20 minutes. There are a few other Greek places in Lowell. Check superpages.com. Sorry I can't think of some names. Have fun.

            3. This is a tough request. The greek restaurants in Boston area are mediocre. Greek Corner is just ok but no liquor. Ithaki is better and has liquor but you already said not. Haven't tried Greek Isles. Kouzina in Waban has two excellent Greek style dishes one lamb and one fish- the lamb gouvetsi with orzo and the baked bronzini on a bed of tomatoes and potatoes. Their other dishes are greek inspired but not really Greek. Again, no liquor- only wine and beer. The Aegean in Watertown (also in Framingham) is just ok but has a wide variety of Greek dishes, very good meze, and does serve liquor. Although it is not my favorite place, I think that it is the only place that has a varied menu and liquor that would satisfy your requirements. Good luck! By way of disclosure, I make my own Greek food with MIL recipes, have taught Greek cooking and have been to Greece many times so I am hard to please when it comes to Greek food.

              8 Replies
              1. re: emilief

                i've been to the Agean in Framingham years ago and liked it a bunch. right now the Athenian in Lowell is the leader.

                should Steve's on Newbury St be given any consideration?

                1. re: ScubaSteve

                  Sorry, I have never been to Steve's on Newbury Street. Would like to hear from anyone who has been there. Vlora sounds interesting although I believe that the owners are Albanian- similar but not exactly the same food.

                  1. re: ScubaSteve

                    Steve's was ok about 10 years ago. Nothing spectacular, but edible compared to other eats around Newbury. I tried them a couple of times recently and found them to have gone way downhill. Everything was heavily salted, almost to the point of being inedible.

                    1. re: Chrispy75

                      Agreed, Steve's is good for an informal lunch or for a take-out gyro, but definitely not a destination.

                  2. re: emilief

                    100% right on, Emlief. I'm Greek (and also hard to please with Greek food) and couldn't agree with you more. Though I would put Aegean in Watertown as pretty terrible.

                    If anyone ever asks me for "nice" Greek, I strongly recommend Kouzina and those dishes, the bronzini especially.

                    If atmosphere isn't important, Farm Grill gets my vote. It's pretty close to the real deal. I was there last weekend on a warm evening and they had a large table set outside under their trellis and it was a true taverna scene.

                    My hypercritical Athenian father also likes it as well.

                    1. re: Scruffy The Cat

                      Make that another vote for Kouzina and their brazino.

                      Greek Isle was pretty good too, although it's been several months since I've been.

                      1. re: Scruffy The Cat

                        Fram Grill is ok- some things are excellent like the avgolemono soup, gryo, salads and the desserts. The gigantes are not good. My hypercritical Athenian husband thinks it is just ok. There is a small storefront type place in Wellesley that is run by a greek family that has a few ok greek things- especially their souvlaki and Greek salad, and fried zucchini meze- called Maugus. I think Aegean is pretty awful but lots of non-Greek people think it is wonderful. Some things are very good and some things awful. If you stick with appetizers it is usually ok.

                        1. re: Scruffy The Cat

                          I wouldn't feed the chow at the Aegean to my cat ;-) no insult intended scruffy. The apps come out of large food grade buckets and are not terrible. It goes WAY downhill from there.

                      2. I was looking for the same in ne.food last December and was told
                        "A nice Greek restaurant called Aegean is located on
                        Rt. 30 in Framingham. The food is great and the interior design is
                        beautiful."

                        I never got out to try it but it is in the metrowest area. I used to love the Acropolis but it's long gone.