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Recommendations for Greek food in YVR

m
miss.foodie Nov 3, 2009 10:38 PM

I'm looking for recommendations of Greek restaurants in the Vancouver area. I'm not interested in "average" restaurants. I'm looking for the hidden gems... kind of like Phnom Penh for chicken wings, Long's for salty egg crispy rice and drunken chicken, Peaceful for the beef roll, etc. In terms of Greek food, I'm looking for outstanding calamari, saganaki, kleftiko and souvlaki, etc. I'm not necessarily looking for one particular restaurant to shine for all these items. I'm willing to go to different places to try their signature items/dishes.

Thanks in advance.

  1. fmed Nov 3, 2009 10:50 PM

    I'd love to hear some current info on Vancouver Greek. I haven't really had good Greek food since Le Grec moved to the West side (from literally next door from where I lived on Commercial Dr - now the Charlatan). Ultimately, it closed. We have a Greek place on Commercial Dr called Bouzyous that is somewhat above average.

    Piato Estofario had some promise of taking Greek food upscale - but opened to mixed reviews. I haven't been.

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    Piato Restaurant
    1835 west 4th avenue, Vancouver, BC V6J 1M4, CA

    1. i
      islandgirl Nov 4, 2009 07:41 AM

      The sweet basil spareribs and roasted lamb at Simpatico on West 4th are outstanding. The rest of their Greek dishes are average.

      2 Replies
      1. re: islandgirl
        Sam Salmon Nov 4, 2009 07:21 PM

        My all time fave is Maria's on 4th-not the one in the West End the 4th Ave location.

        Have heard good things about Kerkis further west on 4th http://www.kerkistaverna.com/

        1. re: Sam Salmon
          v
          vaneater Nov 4, 2009 07:44 PM

          I like Panos Greek Taverna on SE Marine Drive, the Calamari is above average and roast lamb, delicious

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          Panos Greek Taverna
          654 SE Marine Dr, Vancouver, BC V5X2T4, CA

      2. c
        ck1234 Nov 4, 2009 07:56 PM

        I like Kalamata Greek Taverna on W. Broadway. Generally everything is great, but the moussaka, calamari and kleftiko are the highlights for me.

        1 Reply
        1. re: ck1234
          grayelf Nov 5, 2009 05:44 AM

          Hey ck, glad to hear Kalamata is still putting out good food. We boycotted when they continued to allow smoking after the ban (there were a few places in town that did that and lost my business). It's the only place I thought of recommending as good Greek food is thin on the ground here I find. Apollonia gets raves for its lamb but the SO wasn't terribly impressed -- I'm not a lamb fan so my comments would not be useful.

        2. j
          J.J Nov 5, 2009 05:11 PM

          I love Kalamata and eat there every time I visit Vancouver. The beef and chicken souvlaki are delicious!

          1 Reply
          1. re: J.J
            fmed Nov 5, 2009 05:34 PM

            So that's 3 recs for Kalamata. I haven't been there in over 10 years. I should check it out soon.

          2. g
            gourmet wife Nov 6, 2009 10:01 AM

            Kalamata is one of my favs as well. I love their rice because they mix in carrots and fresh spinach, making it extra healthy =) My only qualm is it's pricey for what it's worth like many greek restaurants. Oh and their garlic prawn is uber garlicky for those who are garlicheads.

            1. j
              jmil Nov 6, 2009 10:22 AM

              I second Marias on 4th

              1. m
                miss.foodie Nov 24, 2009 02:18 PM

                Thanks for everyone's recs. I had my heart set on trying Kalamata due to the number of recs here but didn't end up as there as a local friend whom I was having dinner with had suggested going to Kypriaki in North Van instead.

                For appetizers, we shared the kalamari and the portabello mushrooms sauteed in garlic with a creamy port sauce. The kalamari was good... no complaints there (though I wouldn't say is the best kalamari i've ever had).. The star was the portabello mushrooms. Normally, I wouldn't think of ordering portabello mushrooms at a Greek restaurant but I stumbled across some rave reviews online about this dish at Kypriaki's. It was definitely a big hit amongst my dining companions. I thought it was quite delicious although it didn't "wow" me (ie. I wouldn't say it made it on the top 10 dishes I've ever tasted). But most certainly I would order it again next time I go to Kypriaki's. It would be a must-try dish there if you like cream sauces. The sauce was perfect for dipping with the pita. I think we sopped up every drop of it.

                For mains, we shared the roast lamb (kleftiko) and the prawn and scallops souvlaki. I couldn't believe the size of the portion for the roast lamb dish. I was so surprised that one order came with two large pieces. Normally, I would only expect one of those pieces in an order. As a foodie, I always go for quality and flavour over quantity. The large portion size is just an added bonus. The roast lamb was done well.. it was tender, flavourful and fell-off- the bone nicely as expected. The sides that accompanies the entrees - rice, greek salad and roasted lemon potatoes were tasty and cooked perfectly as well. The prawn and scallop souvlaki was tasty and came with the same sides as the lamb.

                While the meal didn't "wow" me, it was a very solid performance on all fronts. All the dishes we ordered were delicious and cooked to perfection. Between 3 of us, we shared 2 appetizers and 2 mains and there was more than enough food for us. If you happen to be in the neighbourhood and are craving Greek food, I would recommend it. I don't know how it compares to other good quality Greek restaurants in Vancouver as I have tried others recently, but I know the food that I had at Kypriaki is better than most places I've tried in Calgary.

                1 Reply
                1. re: miss.foodie
                  fmed Nov 24, 2009 04:05 PM

                  Thanks for the great and detailed report miss.foodie. I mentioned earlier that I had sort of given up on Greek food here....maybe it is time to re-assess.

                2. s
                  scout100 Apr 6, 2010 08:55 PM

                  Just got back from a great little place in Coquitlam, Kefi Greek Kouzina.

                  Excellent quality food all made from scratch, and the servings are very ample. Not only complimentary baskets of pita to share, but a huge greek salad as well. I had the seafood souvlaki and saganaki for my appy, both were excellent!

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                  Kefi Greek Kouzina
                  100 Schoolhouse St, Coquitlam, BC V3K6V9, CA

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: scout100
                    s
                    slugsunderfoot Apr 7, 2010 11:59 AM

                    - yes. somebody i know raved about that place as well. i believe many folks- ' first- timer's ' to greek cuisine- are ultimately put- off by the amount of olive oil employed in their meal- for everything. but that is how greek food is prepared and presented, traditionally. some of the greek restaurants in the lower mainland region lose points for their tendency to AVOID using liberal amounts of herbs ( fresh or otherwise ) and / or garlic as well- because there is this unfounded ( or only too well- founded ) fear of turning off customers. it is sad.

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