The Absolute Best Greek Restaurants In The US

With olive oil in the pantry and gyro carts on every street corner, it's easy to forget that Greek food has endured for thousands of years (per MasterClass). It's a diverse, multi-cultural cuisine whose influences span the globe. Moreover, the building blocks of Greek cooking have stayed consistent and reflect parts of the Mediterranean and Middle East.

Greek foods are often tangy and light on the stomach, but remain capable of exuding a sharp, savory quality unique to their fresh ingredients. Sheep and goat-based cheeses, raw and grilled vegetables, and leaner proteins like seafood define the nation's palate, with an emphasis on small portions called meze for groups to share (via Greek Reporter). 

Greek food that's prepared in the United States is notably different from the fare consumed in Greece. Even so, these Greek restaurants in the U.S. are honoring and challenging tradition to craft incredibly delicious results. Take note of the homey tavernas, family-run kouzinas, and upscale restaurants dishing up some of the absolute best Greek eats today. 

Taverna Agora Greek Kitchen & Bar - Raleigh

The bright white beaches of Mykonos couldn't be further out of reach in North Carolina, but that doesn't stop Taverna Agora Greek Kitchen & Bar from conjuring them anyway. The menu emphasizes traditional cooking that leans on richly-honed recipes with flavor that's only deepened over time. It's a delight in downtown Raleigh, one where the authenticity is unparalleled. Local news outlet WRAL-TV reports that a solid number of dishes come from founder Lou Moshako's family.

Dip into a variety of spreads like hummus and tzatziki before making your way toward the meze and entrees. These shareable portions, although on the smaller side, are packed with flavor and are poised to disappear from the table. Nibble on leaf-wrapped dolmades, dig into moist keftedes (meatballs), or grilled octopus stewed with capers and red onions. On Sundays, brunch specials take on a Greek tack that's deliciously inventive, including baklava sticky buns and eggs Benedict that trades the ham for finely-shaved gyro meat. 

Pair your meal with an authentic Greek wine or choose from craft beers and cocktails. Another selling point for this Greek pub? The fantastic prices. NC Triangle Dining Food Blog paid under $10 for a humungous pork pita with fries. 

Fattoush Cafe - Nashville

Flame-licked hot chicken will top most tourists' lists in Nashville, but don't sleep on this hidden Greek gem. Fattoush Cafe adopted its name from the lively Mediterranean salad (per Taste of Beirut) but the Music City staple cooks an abundance of taverna favorites long-adored on the mainland. Here, huge portions of charbroiled goodness, from chicken shawarma to lamb, can be tucked into a warm pita or heaped on top of rice and sauces. The atmosphere is casual yet friendly. Serene paintings of the landscape color the walls, so it's common to admire them up close while you wait for your food.

Fattoush Cafe is a counter-serve restaurant, letting visitors step right up to the front to order. Currently, the eatery's online menu is under construction, but its Yelp page shows a mix of Greek and Middle Eastern fare. Whet your appetite with spanakopita and the rich eggplant-based spread baba ghannouj, followed by a pita sandwich stuffed with tender chicken, smoked turkey, roasted mushrooms, or falafel. Saving room for something sweet? A flaky slice of baklava or nammoura, a honey cake crafted out of ground semolina, hits all the marks for a curtain dropper of a dessert. 

Besides the time-honored traditions behind the incredible cuisine, "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" also lauded the helpful staff who made everyone feel at home (per Diners, Drive-Ins, & Dives Locations).

Athenian Room - Chicago

For a celebrated Greek kouzina (that's "kitchen" in Greek) where feasting is mandatory, visit Chicago's Athenian Room. Cash-only, this long-standing hole-in-the-wall started by Greece native Alex Poulakis showcases cooking traditions from his homeland. Lincoln Park residents have been coming here since 1972 for hearty suppers that won't break the bank. The menu skews Mediterranean, but between tangy flourishes of feta and olive oil-soaked vinaigrettes lie working-class comforts attractive to the Windy City's unpretentious airs. 

In 2010, foot traffic skyrocketed after comedian Tina Fey name-dropped the restaurant during a TV segment. The must-have entree according to NBC Chicago was the Kalamata chicken. Featured under the menu's "Athenian Dinners," it's exactly half of a roast chicken doused in herbs and broiled atop a pile of sauce-smothered french fires. The jus, Chicago magazine writes, is composed of classic herbs, lemon, and red wine, and the luscious mixture is notable for marinating the spuds without reducing them to a pool of mush (via Grub Street). Although the meal was below $10 in 2010, the current $15 asking price remains as budget-friendly as ever, especially since a giant Greek salad and endless bread are part of the deal.

Kyma - Atlanta

Seeking out an upscale Greek spot where the cuisine dazzles like a Santorini sunset? Then book a table immediately at Kyma in Atlanta. Head chef Pano Karatassos is a renowned expert in Mediterranean cooking, and his lively dishes marry tradition with bold imagination. 

Crisp white tablecloths and bright pops of blue are a feast for the eyes, though the decor never distracts from the world-class flavors on the menu. Seafood is Kyma's primary strength — you'll see the day's catch laid out on a bed of ice — and while the selection rotates, the aromatic blend of lemon, capers, kale, and Crete-imported extra virgin olive oil remains deliciously consistent. Customers interviewed by Atlanta Eats expressed awe towards many of the starters, like charred octopus and lobster served with a silky honey mustard dip. 

Kyma shows a zest for experimentation, but the innovative streak running through the menu never feels intimidating for minimalist palates. For that reason, locals and tourists both adore the place for special occasions or low-key Friday nights, where all that's needed to keep the night going is a tzatziki spread and flowing ouzo. Karatassos' sublime eats have also gone the ghost kitchen route (per Restaurant News). 

Mykonos - Tarpon Springs, Florida

America's biggest Greek community is in a laidback seaside town called Tarpon Springs. At 25,000 residents, it's a surprising destination for top-tier Greek food. The town's sponge-diving industry peaked with the arrival of Greek immigrants in the 19th century, and a strong social bond lead to a federally-recognized Greektown that created a healthy tourist market (via Explore Tarpon Springs). 

Enter Mykonos, an eatery that's thrived for decades in North Pinellas County. This is not a contemporary taverna, but as local radio station WUSF reports, a tribute to the age-old recipes finely honed by the restaurant's patriarch Andreas Salivaras. Salivaras pursued the dishes foundational to his heritage following a stint dabbling in American cuisine and judging by the outpourings of love following Salivaras' death in 2021, it was the right move. Here, authenticity is the name of the game.

Twists of lemon and oregano burst from fresh-caught seafood. Mediterranean comforts like moussaka and pastitio are baked, bubbly pleasures layered with rich bechamel and cheese. The Greek potatoes are especially popular, being a crispy side entree whose oven-baked crunch implores seconds even when there's dessert. Try everything, because as the Tampa Bay Times confirms, it's all delicious. 

Esperia Grill - Boston

Epic-sized eats with a neighborhood feel is how we'd describe Esperia Grill, the mom-and-pop taverna awarded Best Greek Restaurant by Boston Magazine on multiple occasions (per Esperia Grill). The Athanasiadis family, whose heritage traverses the regions of Kalamata and Katrine according to The Boston Globe, proffers traditional Greek fare. This includes salads, wraps, platters, and a range of hot and cold appetizers. Inexpensive and fast-paced, the restaurant's proximity to Boston College doesn't hurt budget-conscious students craving a cheap feast. 

Boston Magazine touts the Avgolemeno as a heavenly bowl of deliciousness. It's a sunny-looking soup common to Greek cuisine with eggs and lemon juice. The velvety, aromatic stew is garnished with a colorful sprig of green and lemon slices that begs to be slurped to the bottom of the bowl. Another solid recommendation comes from Thomas Menino, the city's late mayor. He was a huge fan of the restaurant according to his Twitter, particularly the spinach pies with their crisp phyllo and delicate filling (per YouTube).

In a city where hearty chowders and baked beans thrive, the no-frills meals and casual vibes Esperia Grill dishes up make complete sense, and demand multiple visits whenever you're in Beantown. 

Omega Ouzeri - Seattle

Omega Ouzeri rises to the occasion for inspired Mediterranean cooking in the Pacific Northwest. Thomas Soukakos has led the charge in revitalizing the traditional elements of Hellenic cuisine in Seattle. Unlike many of the tavernas here, the restaurant's hours run later — doors are open between 5:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.

The restaurant explains that its name references the "ouzeri" watering holes popular among Greek laborers, which is why you'll see that most of the menu skews lighter. Dip toasted pita in a spicy feta or tour the possibilities with a trio including cooling hummus and tzatziki. For a heftier meal, artful takes on the region's sauciest, oil-drenched delights claim top billing, like braised rabbit stifado with sweet pearl onions and a piquant red wine jus. There's also a few twists to old favorites, including a vegan moussaka filled with grilled vegetables and a hearty bechamel rendered out of celery. 

As Seattle Magazine urges, don't miss out on the loukoumades for dessert. These puffy temptations resemble doughnut holes, except they're coated in a slick honey glaze as sweet as candy. 

Kokkari Estiatorio - San Francisco

At this Bay Area establishment, Californians savor fine Greek cuisine harmoniously balanced with broader Mediterranean traditions. Kokkari Estiatorio's name pays tribute to the provincial town celebrated for its natural beauty and abundant agricultural blessings (via Samos Guide). 

Kokkari Estiatorio's menu doesn't shy from embracing the region's diversity of ingredients and seasonings, further enhancing an elevated culinary experience. Wine and dine with lamb meatballs stewed in zesty tomato sauce and chicken kabobs steeped in yogurt, or add some greenery with a refreshing salad. Kokkari's house salad brims with peppery arugula and tomatoes bathed in a sherry dressing poised to compliment any plate. The makaronia, a dazzling ravioli dish filled with feta and artichoke, will redefine pasta as you know it. 

Even amongst the first-class restaurants of San Francisco, Kokkari Estiatorio is a landmark akin to the Acropolis. A robust selection of appetizers and entrees makes it possible to savor a decadent meal or light lunch, and the warm glow of candles adds a romantic allure for date night. 

Taverna Kyclades - New York City

Fresh fish and recipes from antiquity have helped Taverna Kyclades endure as one of the Big Apple's finest Greek establishments. With the eatery residing in the Greek enclave of Astoria, Queens, locals have come to expect nothing but the best, with New York Magazine and Michelin granting high scores to its authentic food and immersive atmosphere. Hellenic delicacies are also served in Bayside and Manhattan's East Village in addition to the esteemed flagship on Ditmars Boulevard. 

Mains range from surf to turf, with plentiful grains and vegetables, too. Basic tzatziki and hummus plates are present, but the artisanal and carefully-curated ingredients beg for a shake-up that's unrivaled at other establishments. You'll want to try a seafood dish, as the restaurant hand-selects its catches daily (via Taverna Kyclades). The grilled octopus, currently topping 500 reviews on Yelp, is a tantalizing starter that combines classic seafood with crisp cucumber wedges and a rich swirl of olive oil. 

There's always an occasion to stop by this bistro, and according to The Infatuation, the ample serving sizes are welcoming to larger gatherings.

Yamas Greek Rotisserie - Santa Fe

Yamas Greek Rotisserie has become a trusted source for authentic Athenian eats in the American Southwest. The Razatos family opened the roadside spot and are also behind Cafe Sonder and Plaza Cafe, which have been Santa Fe landmarks for close to a century (via Santa Fe New Mexican). Although the fledgling eatery experienced a rocky start from the pandemic, locals quickly warmed to its plentiful amounts of food made with care. 

The Mediterranean salad is a Yamas classic according to the Santa Fe Reporter. Bright, leafy kale and earthy quinoa create the bedrock for colorful toppings to take flight, both creamy and crunchy. Bell pepper, tomatoes, scallions, and tangy Kalamata olives mingle with almonds and feta in a citrusy, herby dressing. Its falafel sandwich also came up for acclaim. For a few dollars extra, you can bump it up to a combo that offers a house salad and French fries on the side. 

Jalapeño hummus, zucchini fritters, shrimp pitas, and more make it clear that Yamas Greek Rotisserie is a must-stop destination. Gyros even act as a blank canvas for the array of sauces at your disposal, from spicy tzatziki to garlic yogurt. 

Zaytinya - Washington, D.C.

This multi-cultural vision of Greek cooking from Spanish restauranteur Jose Andrés has cemented Zaytinya as a culinary gem in the nation's capital. The menu borrows broadly from the Mediterranean according to The Infatuation, and its website states that the menu proffers flourishes of Turkey and Lebanon within distinctly Grecian-inspired plates.

Cuisine expert Aglaia Kremezi, who collaborated with Andrés on the restaurant's recently-launched New York location, says the region's history lends itself towards the plethora of tastes contained within these miniature feasts (per Forbes). Take one look at the selection, and you'll witness the fusion in action with halloumi-topped flatbreads, seared octopus glazed in split peas and capers, and sea scallops festooned in a light dill yogurt sauce perked up with radishes and apples. A vast wine list promises endless pairings, while ornate interiors showcase the grandiosity tucked into each plate that arrives at your table. 

The majestic quality offered at fair prices has led to rave write-ups from The Washington Post and a Michelin Bib Gourmand honor to boot (via Thrillist). No meze fanatic should skip out on the RoZAY Brunch, a weekend exclusive featuring a four-course spread and rose wine at under $100.

George's Kitchen - Phoenix

Coveting Greek food with an American spin? George's Kitchen, operating in Phoenix, Arizona, serves tried-and-true Mediterranean bites with dishes made on-site by the passionate Deligiannis family (via North Central News). Steaming-hot pita bread, chargrilled souvlaki, gyro wraps, and tzatziki plates rotate alongside pizza topped with crumbly feta and roasted spinach. The laidback setting makes it a solid neighborhood spot, but busy diners will also appreciate the speedy takeout service, too. It's also dog-friendly!

Locals have long known patriarch Jim Deligiannis for his first taverna, Crazy Jim's, but it's easy to see how George's Kitchen has dominated the area. Many menu items incorporate locally-sourced ingredients, while items like its pita are made from scratch. Go for authentic picks such as saganaki (fried cheese) and calamari, or intrigue the tastebuds with heat-heavy concoctions like the restaurant's spicy jalapeño feta spread. Taste a slice of Athens in one of the signature pizzas — the Greek Pizza offers the works with spit-roasted meat and Kalamata olives — and order the dessert North Central News claims to be a must: the creamy baklava sundae dusted in cinnamon and drizzled in honey. 

Unexpected, affordable, and oh-so-delicious, George's Kitchen claims 4.5-stars out of 300+ reviews on Yelp. Pro tip: grab the mouthwatering chicken and potatoes meal. But be sure to move fast, as it's currently a Thursday special (via Instagram). 

Pylos Restaurant - New York City

Carving out a little corner of Athens in the Big Apple, Pylos has received glowing endorsements since hitting the East Village in the early aughts. Founder Christos Valtzoglou's classy abode for Greek cuisine has received ample praise (via Pylos). Yet it's never too stuffy for casual meet-ups over the delicate finger foods that are the establishment's strong suit. 

Savory soups, tangy salads, and entrees braised and charbroiled to excellence — these are signatures of the Pylos experience. That's if, as Michelin mentions, the breathtaking wall of orange clay pots doesn't steal the show first. Diners will find that the selection is endlessly inviting, but restaurant staff is more than happy to offer suggestions should the plethora of options prove to be overwhelming (per Yelp). There are baby lamb chops bathed in a rich marinade with fingerling potatoes and creamy eggplant, or Greek village salads dotted with creamy feta and vegetables tossed in a zingy wine-kissed vinaigrette. Brunch, available on weekends at a fixed price, features herby omelets and frittatas with sides including pasturma, a salty cured meat of the Mediterranean very similar to deli pastrami. 

While on the fancier side in terms of preparation and atmosphere, anyone who appreciates Greek cuisine in all of its complexity will have to make visiting Pylos a priority. The stunning backdrop for its flavorful menu is only part of the charm. 

Katerina's Taverna & Grill - Tarpon Springs, Florida

Within two years, Katerina's Taverna & Grill has taken the Gulf Coast by storm with its homespun bistro favorites. The culinary mastery practiced by co-founders Katerina and Nicolas Tsilicis exudes ancient Greece in all of its culinary splendor. The whole family contributes to the bounty with house-made specialties like moussaka and chicken souvlaki, plus a generous selection of wine and beer to wash it all down (per Tampa Bay Times). 

Beautiful days call for sitting on the restaurant's outdoor patio, where diners regularly soak in live dancing and murals depicting Santorini's iconic architecture. No palate is left behind with dishes like deep-fried calamari, herby meatballs, and juicy lamb chops that have been seared on a bed of coals. Customers won't stop raving about the tzatziki dressing and fresh-baked bread, either.

An aromatic slice of baklava (baked from scratch, of course) caps the meal off with a bang, as will the friendly service that invites you to come back and taste more. Many on Tripadvisor, including this reviewer, also attest to the authenticity of the dishes and the majority Greek clientele in this Florida enclave.