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Where to Feast on Greek Food in NYC

The city’s finest spanakopita, tzatziki, grilled octopus, and much more

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To satiate a serious Greek craving in New York City, Astoria is usually the move. While the Queens neighborhood has some of the city’s finest Grecian fare, be it for ultra-fresh whole grilled fish or juicy lamb prepared myriad ways, there’s also a smattering of excellent options around the city for dipping into creamy, garlicky spreads and digging into grilled octopus.

A number of great spots are situated in Midtown — mostly of the more upscale, business lunch-worthy variety — while others are clustered in the West Village and Lower East Side. Ahead, 18 of the city’s standout Greek restaurants to try.

Note: Restaurants are arranged geographically, north to south.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Agnanti Meze

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Sample the namesake specialty, rooster in tomato sauce served over pasta, along with an extensive range of Greek classics at Agnanti Meze. There’s a particularly wide selection of salads here, plus a “taste of Constantinople” section of dishes that nod to the ancient city, like fried baccalao croquettes with a garlic and pine nut sauce, and cheese-stuffed sigar bourek, commonly found on Turkish menus. The brick-walled space has expansive sidewalk seating in warmer months.

Gregory's 26 Corner Taverna

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This thoroughly welcoming and homey spot is filled with red-checked tablecloths and Greek flags, both on the large patio area and inside. The uniformly excellent, reasonably-priced menu includes whole grilled porgy, red snapper, and sea bass, plus crispy fried smelts; popular meat options are sausages, meatballs, and grilled lamb chops, plus weekend specials like lamb or baby goat. The staff is very friendly, and the crowd includes both the local Greek community and folks that have traveled to Astoria in pursuit of great saganaki and the like.

Gregory's Robert Sietsema

Taverna Kyclades

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This Astoria favorite excels at really fresh seafood, like the grilled calamari or any of the whole fish options. The crowds can be quite large, and the place is bustling even during weekday lunches. The brick-walled space includes a massive fish hung on the wall and cozy, if slightly cramped, seating indoors — ample outdoor seating is preferable in nicer weather. There’s also an East Village outpost, on 14th Street and 1st Avenue, for the same great Greek fare, as well as a Bayside location.

Taverna Kyclades Taverna Kyclades/Facebook

Yefsi Estiatorio

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This Yorkville spot is a solid choice for the far-East neighborhood, serving a lineup of Greek classics. Highlights include grilled whole fish, gigantes beans, grilled octopus, and Yefsi chips, made of eggplant and zucchini; skip the diced-up take on shrimp santorini. The wood-beamed space, with bottles of wine lining shelves, has a sort of generic, pleasantly suburban look.

Christos

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This lavish, fancy-occasion-warranting steakhouse procures its cuts from its own butcher shop, located next door to the restaurant. Some of the dry-aged steaks aren’t simply seared; they also get a distinctly Greek treatment of olive oil, dried oregano, and salt. Most of the appetizers and sides include a small handful of Grecian standards like a trio of spreads (caviar-spiked taramosalata, tzatziki, and roasted eggplant), with some creative creations like gyro tacos topped with avocado tzatziki.

Loi Estiatorio

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Chef Maria Loi, a celebrity chef of the Martha Stewart variety in Greece, opened up Loi Estiatorio in 2015 after shuttering her UWS restaurant, Loi, the previous year. Prices are slightly higher than most of the city’s Greek joints, with entrees ringing in around $40; don’t miss the strong selection of seafood dishes, like salt-baked fish for two, and of range of classic Greek spreads, and more. Loi also puts a Greek spin on dishes like ravioli (filled with mint- and dill-seasoned meatballs) and salmon tartare (with shredded phyllo in the mix). Many dishes use ingredients from Loi’s own line of products, including pasta and yogurt. The compact, white-walled space has a curved bar and dark wood throughout.

Loi Estiatorio Photographed by Daniel Krieger

Molyvos

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A busy lunch crowd pours into this popular, bustling Greek go-to decked in shades of white and blue, located in the upper stretches of Midtown near Central Park and Carnegie Hall. Lighter options include an array of fish served whole and charcoal-grilled, plus a trio of entree salads. Heartier choices include moussaka and a roasted leg of lamb sandwich. It can skew a bit pricey for the portion sizes when ordering a la carte, though the bill will be pretty standard for Midtown. However, there’s a three-course lunch prix fixe for $32 and a dinner prix fixe, available from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. or 9:30 p.m. onward, for $45 per person; just note that the options eschew ultra-traditional Greek dishes in favor of loosely Mediterranean creations. Molyvos also has the city’s best selection of Greek wines, many of which are natural — there are more than 50 choices served by the glass.

Zenon Taverna

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This homey space offers up the indecisive diner’s dream: Three different set meze menus are priced at $25.95 to $28.95 per person, for two or more diners. They include over a dozen dishes served family-style, equally split between cold spreads and salads and hot dishes, both grilled and fried, and constantly replenished baskets of pillowy, warm pita. The Cyprus option is a deeply satisfying meaty feast, replete with juicy lamb meatballs, herb-packed pork sausage, and more. The avgolemono is a broth-based take on the soothing lemon chicken soup, instead of the egg-thickened, creamier version served at most places, and it’s packed with large, flavorful hunks of roast chicken. Service is extremely friendly, too.

Zenon Robert Sietsema

Nerai offers modernized Greek cuisine, like a halloumi cheese and fig salad with fennel and hazelnuts or duck moussaka; more standard fare includes chicken with lemon potatoes, char-grilled octopus, and mini spinach pies. There’s also a small raw bar selection, plus raw apps like hamachi crudo and tuna tartare. The menu may seem fairly prices, and portions do run small, but keep in mind that tipping is included. The two-story space includes white brick walls and lantern-like lighting.

Nerai Nerai/Facebook

Periyali

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This Flatiron spot has been around for over three decades and is credited with paving the way in NYC for Greek fare served in a fine dining setting. Straightforward preparations of ultra-fresh fish are a highlight, served simply with lemon, olive oil, and herbs. Periyali was apparently the first New York restaurant to bring grilled octopus to the masses, and its charred tentacles are still a textbook take on the dish. The space has an airy feel thanks to a white tented ceiling.

Periyali Robert Sietsema

Village Taverna Greek Grill

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This large Union Square corner space is a reliable, tasty option on University Place that works for plenty of occasions (a mellow family birthday dinner; an impromptu post-workout meal with a friend). It’s got an extensive menu of classics, including a slew of spreads, with the option to try all six, plus a number of hearty entrees cooked in clay pots. The salads are served in small and large portions, ideal for splitting along with a bunch of starters. There’s a half-dozen cheese apps, from feta wrapped in phyllo dough to saganaki (and its breaded cousin, graviera kasteliani) and a full range of gyro and souvlaki options.

Snack Taverna

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Snack Taverna is a lowkey West Village brick-walled joint that serves up an edited, something-for-everyone array of Greek-leaning Mediterranean food. Most of the menu encourages sharing, with a range of spreads and plenty of small plates, divvied up equally into vegetarian and meat or seafood-centric choices, like veal meatballs and sautéed calamari. Lunch offers up more casual souvlaki and sandwiches, and brunch is served on weekends, too.

For 15 years, Pylos has been dishing up excellent Greek fare that favors small plates over entrees, like light meatballs and grilled sardines. Creative riffs on Grecian cuisine include a three-cheese fondue and an artichoke-layered, béchamel-covered moussaka. The ceiling of the East Village spot is covered with clay pots of various sizes as a nod to the restaurant’s name, a Greek word for “made of clay”; rows of Greek wines line the walls.

Pylos Robert Sietsema

Souvlaki GR

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White walls, bright blue furniture, lights strung from the ceiling, and faux-pebbled white flooring have a cheerful, almost transportive effect at this reliable, well-priced Lower East Side option. All the standards are here: spreads, salads, grilled skewers, and souvlaki sandwiches, each item priced under $10, with a handful of larger plates, like homemade loukaniko sausage, stuffed grilled peppers, and lamb chops. A second location is in Midtown, and is a standout option for an affordable meal in the vicinity.

A post shared by Souvlaki GR (@souvlakigr) on

A simple, satisfying Greek menu is served in a lowkey space at Kiki’s. It’s tucked behind signage written in Chinese and olive green doors, in that perpetually gentrifying, cool kid-filled pocket of the LES, in proximity to Dimes, Mission Chinese, and the East Broadway F stop. Highlights include a hefty block of lasagna-like pasticchio, thinly-sliced zucchini chips with feta, and grilled octopus; the tentacles come already sliced up for easy sharing. Reservations are only taken for parties of six or more, and the wait can be quite long at peak dinner time, so aim for an earlier or later meal (or try to nab bar seating).

Kiki’s Photo: Kiki’s/Yelp

Spartan Souvlaki

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This modest Greek place is on the border of Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights, serving stellar gyros and spanakopita, or spinach pie, the latter of which are often made to order. Portions are spill-off-the-plate massive for dishes like the gyro salad, and prices are great. The place’s owner, George Lykovrezos hails from Sparta, hence the name; the interiors are bizarrely decorated, but that’s part of the charm. Note that it’s closed on Sundays and Mondays.

Spartan Souvlaki Spartan Souvlaki/Yelp

A number of Greek-owned diners cropped up around NYC in the 1940s, slinging American classics alongside great gyros, spinach pies, and more. Plaka is one such place: The Bay Ridge old-timer has all sorts of solidly executed Greek standards, including saganaki, lamb and pork shish kebabs, and moussaka. The unfussy space is filled with cheery, white- and blue-checked tablecloth-covered tables.

Plaka Robert Sietsema

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Agnanti Meze

Sample the namesake specialty, rooster in tomato sauce served over pasta, along with an extensive range of Greek classics at Agnanti Meze. There’s a particularly wide selection of salads here, plus a “taste of Constantinople” section of dishes that nod to the ancient city, like fried baccalao croquettes with a garlic and pine nut sauce, and cheese-stuffed sigar bourek, commonly found on Turkish menus. The brick-walled space has expansive sidewalk seating in warmer months.

Gregory's 26 Corner Taverna

Gregory's Robert Sietsema

This thoroughly welcoming and homey spot is filled with red-checked tablecloths and Greek flags, both on the large patio area and inside. The uniformly excellent, reasonably-priced menu includes whole grilled porgy, red snapper, and sea bass, plus crispy fried smelts; popular meat options are sausages, meatballs, and grilled lamb chops, plus weekend specials like lamb or baby goat. The staff is very friendly, and the crowd includes both the local Greek community and folks that have traveled to Astoria in pursuit of great saganaki and the like.

Gregory's Robert Sietsema

Taverna Kyclades

Taverna Kyclades Taverna Kyclades/Facebook

This Astoria favorite excels at really fresh seafood, like the grilled calamari or any of the whole fish options. The crowds can be quite large, and the place is bustling even during weekday lunches. The brick-walled space includes a massive fish hung on the wall and cozy, if slightly cramped, seating indoors — ample outdoor seating is preferable in nicer weather. There’s also an East Village outpost, on 14th Street and 1st Avenue, for the same great Greek fare, as well as a Bayside location.

Taverna Kyclades Taverna Kyclades/Facebook

Yefsi Estiatorio

This Yorkville spot is a solid choice for the far-East neighborhood, serving a lineup of Greek classics. Highlights include grilled whole fish, gigantes beans, grilled octopus, and Yefsi chips, made of eggplant and zucchini; skip the diced-up take on shrimp santorini. The wood-beamed space, with bottles of wine lining shelves, has a sort of generic, pleasantly suburban look.

Christos

This lavish, fancy-occasion-warranting steakhouse procures its cuts from its own butcher shop, located next door to the restaurant. Some of the dry-aged steaks aren’t simply seared; they also get a distinctly Greek treatment of olive oil, dried oregano, and salt. Most of the appetizers and sides include a small handful of Grecian standards like a trio of spreads (caviar-spiked taramosalata, tzatziki, and roasted eggplant), with some creative creations like gyro tacos topped with avocado tzatziki.

Loi Estiatorio

Loi Estiatorio Photographed by Daniel Krieger

Chef Maria Loi, a celebrity chef of the Martha Stewart variety in Greece, opened up Loi Estiatorio in 2015 after shuttering her UWS restaurant, Loi, the previous year. Prices are slightly higher than most of the city’s Greek joints, with entrees ringing in around $40; don’t miss the strong selection of seafood dishes, like salt-baked fish for two, and of range of classic Greek spreads, and more. Loi also puts a Greek spin on dishes like ravioli (filled with mint- and dill-seasoned meatballs) and salmon tartare (with shredded phyllo in the mix). Many dishes use ingredients from Loi’s own line of products, including pasta and yogurt. The compact, white-walled space has a curved bar and dark wood throughout.

Loi Estiatorio Photographed by Daniel Krieger

Molyvos

A busy lunch crowd pours into this popular, bustling Greek go-to decked in shades of white and blue, located in the upper stretches of Midtown near Central Park and Carnegie Hall. Lighter options include an array of fish served whole and charcoal-grilled, plus a trio of entree salads. Heartier choices include moussaka and a roasted leg of lamb sandwich. It can skew a bit pricey for the portion sizes when ordering a la carte, though the bill will be pretty standard for Midtown. However, there’s a three-course lunch prix fixe for $32 and a dinner prix fixe, available from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. or 9:30 p.m. onward, for $45 per person; just note that the options eschew ultra-traditional Greek dishes in favor of loosely Mediterranean creations. Molyvos also has the city’s best selection of Greek wines, many of which are natural — there are more than 50 choices served by the glass.

Zenon Taverna

Zenon Robert Sietsema

This homey space offers up the indecisive diner’s dream: Three different set meze menus are priced at $25.95 to $28.95 per person, for two or more diners. They include over a dozen dishes served family-style, equally split between cold spreads and salads and hot dishes, both grilled and fried, and constantly replenished baskets of pillowy, warm pita. The Cyprus option is a deeply satisfying meaty feast, replete with juicy lamb meatballs, herb-packed pork sausage, and more. The avgolemono is a broth-based take on the soothing lemon chicken soup, instead of the egg-thickened, creamier version served at most places, and it’s packed with large, flavorful hunks of roast chicken. Service is extremely friendly, too.

Zenon Robert Sietsema

Nerai

Nerai Nerai/Facebook

Nerai offers modernized Greek cuisine, like a halloumi cheese and fig salad with fennel and hazelnuts or duck moussaka; more standard fare includes chicken with lemon potatoes, char-grilled octopus, and mini spinach pies. There’s also a small raw bar selection, plus raw apps like hamachi crudo and tuna tartare. The menu may seem fairly prices, and portions do run small, but keep in mind that tipping is included. The two-story space includes white brick walls and lantern-like lighting.

Nerai Nerai/Facebook

Periyali

Periyali Robert Sietsema

This Flatiron spot has been around for over three decades and is credited with paving the way in NYC for Greek fare served in a fine dining setting. Straightforward preparations of ultra-fresh fish are a highlight, served simply with lemon, olive oil, and herbs. Periyali was apparently the first New York restaurant to bring grilled octopus to the masses, and its charred tentacles are still a textbook take on the dish. The space has an airy feel thanks to a white tented ceiling.

Periyali Robert Sietsema

Village Taverna Greek Grill

This large Union Square corner space is a reliable, tasty option on University Place that works for plenty of occasions (a mellow family birthday dinner; an impromptu post-workout meal with a friend). It’s got an extensive menu of classics, including a slew of spreads, with the option to try all six, plus a number of hearty entrees cooked in clay pots. The salads are served in small and large portions, ideal for splitting along with a bunch of starters. There’s a half-dozen cheese apps, from feta wrapped in phyllo dough to saganaki (and its breaded cousin, graviera kasteliani) and a full range of gyro and souvlaki options.

Snack Taverna

Snack Taverna is a lowkey West Village brick-walled joint that serves up an edited, something-for-everyone array of Greek-leaning Mediterranean food. Most of the menu encourages sharing, with a range of spreads and plenty of small plates, divvied up equally into vegetarian and meat or seafood-centric choices, like veal meatballs and sautéed calamari. Lunch offers up more casual souvlaki and sandwiches, and brunch is served on weekends, too.

Pylos

Pylos Robert Sietsema

For 15 years, Pylos has been dishing up excellent Greek fare that favors small plates over entrees, like light meatballs and grilled sardines. Creative riffs on Grecian cuisine include a three-cheese fondue and an artichoke-layered, béchamel-covered moussaka. The ceiling of the East Village spot is covered with clay pots of various sizes as a nod to the restaurant’s name, a Greek word for “made of clay”; rows of Greek wines line the walls.

Pylos Robert Sietsema

Souvlaki GR

White walls, bright blue furniture, lights strung from the ceiling, and faux-pebbled white flooring have a cheerful, almost transportive effect at this reliable, well-priced Lower East Side option. All the standards are here: spreads, salads, grilled skewers, and souvlaki sandwiches, each item priced under $10, with a handful of larger plates, like homemade loukaniko sausage, stuffed grilled peppers, and lamb chops. A second location is in Midtown, and is a standout option for an affordable meal in the vicinity.

A post shared by Souvlaki GR (@souvlakigr) on

Kiki's

Kiki’s Photo: Kiki’s/Yelp

A simple, satisfying Greek menu is served in a lowkey space at Kiki’s. It’s tucked behind signage written in Chinese and olive green doors, in that perpetually gentrifying, cool kid-filled pocket of the LES, in proximity to Dimes, Mission Chinese, and the East Broadway F stop. Highlights include a hefty block of lasagna-like pasticchio, thinly-sliced zucchini chips with feta, and grilled octopus; the tentacles come already sliced up for easy sharing. Reservations are only taken for parties of six or more, and the wait can be quite long at peak dinner time, so aim for an earlier or later meal (or try to nab bar seating).

Kiki’s Photo: Kiki’s/Yelp

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Spartan Souvlaki

Spartan Souvlaki Spartan Souvlaki/Yelp

This modest Greek place is on the border of Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights, serving stellar gyros and spanakopita, or spinach pie, the latter of which are often made to order. Portions are spill-off-the-plate massive for dishes like the gyro salad, and prices are great. The place’s owner, George Lykovrezos hails from Sparta, hence the name; the interiors are bizarrely decorated, but that’s part of the charm. Note that it’s closed on Sundays and Mondays.

Spartan Souvlaki Spartan Souvlaki/Yelp

Plaka