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Jul 11, 2013 10:13 AM

Greek Food in Columbia SC

Can't find any good Greek food here. What am I missing/ Huge Greek community but all recommended restaurants thus far have been very disappointing. Still have others to try but recall Constantine's and Parthenon (really a pizza joint but other good fare too) when I was a kid and I just can't find anything like that anymore. Lived in NYC for over 10 years and even there never got much better Greek food than Constantine's in Cola Town. Any recommendations? Unfortunately, I will not be going back to Devine Foods or Grecian Gardens. I hear Zorba's is good but is it really or is it just the best of the lot?

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  1. My husband and I just tried Tzaziki's and it was alright. However, I think that Devine Foods and Grecian Gardens are both pretty good so we might have different standards :)

    1 Reply
    1. re: elynbeth

      Hey - thank you for replying. I feel the same as you about Tzaziki's. Still on the search. Was told by another Chowhound to try Eli's so we will try to get there soon. We go to Mediterranean Tea Room and Al Amir and like them both although they are not 'strictly Greek". I'll keep everyone posted if I visit someplace new.

    2. Where are you located in Columbia?

      Give Mediterranean Tea Room a try. One @ 2600 Devine St, just up from 5 Points and another in Lexington. 2 brothers, Lebanese, family. Not strictly Greek, certainly, but closer than the others you've mentioned. Its my favorite place, very fresh.

      Also try Al Amir, 629 Main Street and Eli's ( 1058 St. Andrews Road).

      Aladdin (655 St. Andrews Rd. at the back of the Chef'Store shopping center) is a Med. grocery full of good products from the region, but best is the cold case with labna, olives, cheese, halal lamb etc. Mr. Aljani also makes hummis, tabbouli, little meat pies etc.

      All of these are Mediterranean focused, not Greek primarily, but they are all much better than the greek places you've mentioned.

      Keep track of activities at Holy Trinity Church, 1931 Sumter Street. The Greek festival in September and the pre-Easter festival (smaller) offer much better Greek food, baked bread and sweets, cheese, etc. Its worth buying in bulk and freezing.

      I'm not sure why we don't have a better Greek restaurant here. My guess is that most Columbia folks are satisfied with generally mediocre food, but want lots of it - focused more on mass quantities, especially of 'ethnic' varieties that they know less about (pizza, Italian, Greek, Chinese). There are good places in the area - but fewer in number, harder to find.

      Whats your experience? Are you new to town?
      good luck, let us know what you've found.

      1 Reply
      1. re: kariin

        Thank you for responding, Karin. We go to Med Tea Room on Devine quite a bit. I have only been to Al Amir twice and had better falafal there than most places so I will give them another try again soon. I do think the Greek festival is good fun and we have gotten some decent food and great sweets and cheeses there. I have heard of Eli's but not tried it yet and look forward to getting there soon. Alladdin is a great tip! I have not heard of it and really appreciate the heads up. Thanks again.

      2. There's a new one on Hwy 378 near Riverbanks Zoo botanical garden entrance. Sorry I can't think of the name off hand. By DeLucca's

        3 Replies
        1. re: SweetPea

          Thanks. I'll look that one up too.

          1. re: SweetPea

            Hey - is the the place you were talking about? Interesting menu. Can't wait to try it.

            1. re: psponsor06

              GO! We went a few days ago and the experience was excellent. The owner are a couple: husband is Turkish and wife is Greek. The food is the best I've had in Columbia and I am familiar with Turkish food, in Turkey. The menu includes dishes from around the Med., presented beautifully. Greek beer and some wines are available. Everything we ate was delicious, very fresh and prepared with attention and care. Many vegetarian options and more familiar things (gyro and souvlakia). Each of the 4 of us ordered different things (dumplings, hummus, a vegetarian sampler, Turkish pide (not pita) bread. One person's order included servings of both white and brown basmati rice. Next time I may just order an extra dish of the rice, it was that good.

              Please go and help these fine people make a success of this.
              It is on Hwy 378 (Sunset) in W> Columbia, on the right as you head away from the river, just past the Hess station and the turn for the Zoo, in the same little strip as DeLuccas.

              Tell us about your visit.