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May 20, 2011 07:59 AM

Greek restaurants in the city

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:
- 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.
- 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:

Finally, if you're looking for more lunchtime fare, Bitar's is pretty rocking, if more middle eastern than strictly greek. .

hope that helps!


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  1. 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. 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

        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

          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

            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

              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

            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

              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

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

          3. re: marakiishungry

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

            1. 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

                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

                  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. 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.