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Greek restaurants in the city

zovig123 May 20, 2011 07:59 AM

Hey, Dave in PA:

I loooooveee greek food, and am excited to hear what other people might recommend in Philly and its environs.

Here are a couple thoughts:
- Dmitris: not strictly greek, but mediterranean and very good. i've only been to the queen village location, but there are a couple others: http://www.yelp.com/biz/dmitris-phila...
- Effies: people rave about Effies, but the one time I went there the lamb was tough and stringy--a big no no for a Greek restaurant. http://www.yelp.com/biz/effies-philad...
- Kanella: this place is fantastic. Seriously, we had a great meal there and it's BYOB. The servers were so sweet, the food was amazing.. Definitely try it: http://www.yelp.com/biz/kanella-phila...

Finally, if you're looking for more lunchtime fare, Bitar's is pretty rocking, if more middle eastern than strictly greek. http://www.yelp.com/biz/bitars-philad... .

hope that helps!


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  1. b
    barryg RE: zovig123 May 20, 2011 08:07 AM

    For cheap homestyle Greek food, I like the restaurant part of South St Souvlaki. It's not modern and upscale by a long shot, but it's good and satisfying, especially for a hangover meal. The combo platters are great.

    1. m
      marakiishungry RE: zovig123 May 20, 2011 09:20 AM

      I agree that South Street Souvlaki is great for casual greek food. Also agree that Effie's is really not that great...I am Greek and I always thought that they should be considered "greek influenced Mediterranean".

      Two best in my opinion are Estia and Kanella (which is Cypriot, so it is slightly different). Zorba's in Fairmount can be strong, but I think they are in need of an update.

      Haven't been to Opa yet (I cringe every time I hear the name, it's so stereotypical, but I digress...). People like Kuzina by Sofia on Rt. 70 in Cherry Hill, but I wasn't very impressed.

      8 Replies
      1. re: marakiishungry
        cwdonald RE: marakiishungry May 20, 2011 12:14 PM

        It would be interesting to expand this thread to Mediteranean in addition to greek.. I would throw in Cedars off of South Street, as well as Divan for Turkish cooking (not trying to reignite any wars... ). Both offer wonderful food, somewhat in the same vain as some of the greek restaurants.

        +1 for Estia. Brilliant fresh fish there. And Kanella should get lots of praise for being a BYO.. yet being true to the flavors of the region,

        Konak does some nice turkish food as well. S&H kabob house does nice kabob, in the mediteranean vain. Konak is another restaurant to try for Turkish food.

        And Hamifgash offers glatt Turkish/Israeli cuisine. (closed Saturday.)

        1. re: cwdonald
          bluehensfan RE: cwdonald May 20, 2011 12:27 PM

          I love the fish at Estia. Also great grilled sardines and octopus.

          My one meal at Kanella featured great pita and dips but the rest was not all that hot, but this was just after they opened.

          South Street Souvlaki is mediocre if you ask me. Decent but nothing earth shattering.

          The gyros at Olympic in Reading Terminal are pretty good too.

          1. re: bluehensfan
            cwdonald RE: bluehensfan May 20, 2011 12:48 PM

            Bluehensfan.. have you ever been to Costa's in Wlmington? I like some of their food, especially their grilled fish. A folk group I belong to used to use the back room there for small concerts. Very nice space and reasonably priced food.

            1. re: cwdonald
              bluehensfan RE: cwdonald May 20, 2011 01:36 PM

              I never heard of the place. Is it downtown? And what else is good there? I am all ears about a new good place in Wilmington seeing that the good places there are few and far between.

          2. re: cwdonald
            barryg RE: cwdonald May 20, 2011 01:44 PM

            I like Alyan's off of South too. Just solid Mediterranean food, cheap filling platters. Very casual, BYOB-friendly. Some items are so-so but the hummus is good and the schwarma and kabobs are always satisfying.

            For falafel, nowhere is as good as Mama's. The veggie patties (they call them latkes), eggplant, and burekas are all good too. The salads are not always home runs but everything else is great.

            1. re: barryg
              zovig123 RE: barryg May 20, 2011 01:49 PM

              Where's Mama's?

              Just for the purpose of venting, on New Year's Day, 2010 I was craving a gyro and went to a place on South St., called Chickpea (I think, it's no longer there, thankfully) before realizing that they only sold chicken gyro. Chicken gyro! It's an abomination, for real. One of the more disappointing ways to start off the year. :)

              1. re: zovig123
                barryg RE: zovig123 May 20, 2011 01:52 PM

                Mama's Vegetarian, 20th & Ranstead in Center City. It's Kosher so closed Saturdays.

          3. re: marakiishungry
            Cpmullie RE: marakiishungry May 26, 2011 07:13 AM

            I can't think about Greek food in Philadelphia without thinking about Kanella. Like mentioned it is technically Cypriot but its also technically AMAZING. And if you are into some of the offal or outside the box type foods, the chef isn't afraid to throw specials in that fit that bill. I had the best lambs tounge I've ever had in my life there and during a recent visit they had a special of whole roasted lambs head.

            Not for everyone, but awesome if you're into that type of thing. But if you aren't into a lambs head on a plate they have plenty of more 'normal' choices and constantly changing specials to choose from.

            Special shout out to their bunch too.

          4. d
            Dave_in_PA RE: zovig123 May 24, 2011 05:14 AM

            thanks... and look at all the interest you generated....

            1. m
              mnikas RE: zovig123 Jun 8, 2014 04:34 PM

              If you want *real* authentic Greek food, you have to go to a Greek church festival like St. Sophia (Valley Forge), Evangelismos in Bustleton, Annunciation in Elkins Park, St. George in Media, St. Demetrios in Upper Darby, or St. Luke in Broomall.

              2 Replies
              1. re: mnikas
                Bacchus101 RE: mnikas Jun 9, 2014 03:24 PM

                So there is no authentic Greek food except at a Greek church festival? With all the culinary expertise and talent with cuisine only a group of women at a church can do it right? Wow, interesting perspective.

                1. re: Bacchus101
                  Hansel RE: Bacchus101 Jul 2, 2014 04:11 PM

                  Philadelphia has its own Greek church festival, at St. George Orthodox Cathedral, at 256 South 8th Street, but it's at the end of May-beginning of June thereabouts.

                  I love Greek food, too. Effie's was a real disappointment, though I haven't been in years, and I was never all that partial to South Street Souvlaki, but also haven't been in years. For Mediterranean (Lebanese), Cedars is a reliable favorite - actually the first restaurant I went to when I moved to Phila. 20+ years ago, and still get food from there on a monthly basis.

              2. s
                sylviag RE: zovig123 Jun 9, 2014 07:07 AM

                One place I would skip is Opa. We thought the food was mediocre, and not even served warm/hot. Long wait, too, though our server tried hard.

                1. t
                  truman RE: zovig123 Jun 9, 2014 09:21 AM

                  For those out in the western 'burbs, Mythos on Rt 3 in West Chester is great. Seems a bit under the radar, but everything we've had has been tasty and service is friendly.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: truman
                    arepo RE: truman Jun 9, 2014 07:49 PM

                    Estia goes without saying -- a fine Greek dining experience.
                    But where is there anything to compare with it in the Western suburbs?
                    I know Estia Taverna is coming to Radnor but when???

                    1. re: truman
                      truman RE: truman Jun 30, 2014 09:26 AM

                      Sadly, Mythos has closed. We tried to go there on Friday night and there was a sign on the door that they'd sold the place to an Italian restaurant. :(

                    2. f
                      Fancied RE: zovig123 Jul 8, 2014 09:06 PM

                      +1 for South Street Souvlaki. everything's house made and you really can't beat the price for the food. Definitely more casual. My dad's been going there since he was in college (he's 53 now) and nothing has changed. Sometimes you'll spot the owner, which is pretty cool. He goes back to Greece to visit home two or three times a year for about 4 weeks, so you definitely want to check if it's open before you go. I recommend taramosalata (or the taster plate.. amazing), greek salad, lamb shishkabob platter, gyro wrap, and baklava. Huge menu.

                      I've been to Estia once and it was great. Definitely more higher end, if that's what you're looking for. Would go back, if I wasn't always lured into ss souvlaki ;)

                      Went to dmitri's once, it was pretty good, but if I remember correctly the menu was pretty limited.

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