There is a fantastic choice when it comes to finding Greek food in New York. This is mainly due to the number of Greek immigrants that have moved to the city over many decades, bringing with them a slice of their rich culture and the delightful flavours of the mediterranean. There is an abundance of amazing Greek restaurants in Queens, particularly in Astoria, but the Greek influence has spread across the city to other areas too.
Many people are familiar with some traditional Greek foods, like feta salad, moussaka, and baklava. But there are so many exciting dishes to try. Greek seafood is second to none, especially when it is fresh, and the meats are always packed with flavour and cooked to perfection. The incredible variety of side dishes, dips, breads, and cheeses in authentic Greek restaurants will blow your mind, as will the Greek wines.
With so many amazing restaurants to choose from, it can be daunting to narrow it down and pick one to visit. We have made this easier for you by putting together a list of the best Greek restaurants in the city. There is a place to suit every budget, and we have given our recommendation of what to order to make the most out of each individual menu.
Taverna Kyclades is the best Greek restaurant in Astoria. The queue for a table will be long, but the food will make it worth the wait! The fish is incredibly fresh and the dishes are served family style, with huge portions. The prices are very reasonable considering how much food you get for your money.
To stop customers from giving up on the line for a table, the restaurant will often give out free wine and tasters of stuffed clams and grilled octopus. The decor makes you feel like you are stepping out of New York and right into a Greek Taverna. Guests have a view into the busy kitchen, adding to the lively atmosphere. We recommend trying the crispy calamari, flash fried sardines, and pan fried scallops – they taste so good you could be at a Mediterranean seaside restaurant.
There is also a range of traditional Greek appetizers on offer. For dessert, have a portion of the cinnamon dusted custard – galaktoboureko – which is on the house! The East Village location of this restaurant is less busy and has a more calm atmosphere, if you prefer a shorter wait for a table.
This Greek restaurant in Queens has a very large dining area which makes it feel spacious even when it is packed with diners. It is the perfect place to bring large groups for special occasions like birthdays and anniversaries.
There is a large refrigerator displaying the impressive range of fresh fish on offer, but our favorite dish on the menu is the lamb chops. The meat is delicious! They also have various Greek dips to try with cucumber, served beautifully in the shape of a wreath.
This small Greek restaurant in East Village is cosy, intimate, and serves up some incredible meals. With white washed walls, blue decor, and clay pots suspended from the ceiling, it feels very authentic whilst maintaining a touch of New York class.
The menu is packed with rustic home style Greek cooking – dishes bursting with the flavours of lemon, fresh cheese, grilled meats and extra virgin olive oil. With appetizers like zucchini, halloumi, Keftedakia – pan fried meatballs, and Saganaki Tou Merakli – a trio of melted cheeses – you could build a full feat without even looking at the main courses. But you must, or you will miss out on delights like artichoke moussaka, and a range of meat and seafood.
Zenon Taverna is a Greek Cypriot restaurant in Queens that offers an excellent fixed price menu. You get several salads with five different greek dips. This is followed by a selection of meats including sausage, meatballs, pork kebabs and quail.
This is accompanied by side dishes like halloumi and crispy calamari. The amount of food you get for your money is impressive, it feels like a feast fit for a King. You can also choose a vegetarian or pescatarian fixed price menu with just as much food to tuck into. This is a great place to catch up with friends over a sociable shared meal.
Agnanti Meze is another delicious Greek restaurant in Queens, opposite Astoria Park. It happens to serve the best grilled octopus, and offers a range of tasty dips made in house. The house wine is cheap but tastes amazing, the perfect accompaniment to their signature moussaka. We love their variety of puff pastry dishes, filled with all manner of scrumptious.
Despite the quality of the food, you can usually get a table at this restaurant, so it is perfect for a spontaneous date night or last minute plans with friends.
This business began as a small cafe in Soho with only 5 tables. It was so popular that they opened an elegant restaurant in the West Village. They have an excellent selection of Greek wines to suit every budget. Make a reservation to avoid a long wait for a table.
The menu combines french cooking techniques with traditional Greek cuisine, resulting in delightful, impressive food. We recommend the lamb meatballs, zucchini fritters, and the meatless moussaka layered with potatoes, eggplant and prunes. This is a great place to come for date night, so you can order a few dishes and share them between you.
Akrotiri is a more up market Greek restaurant in Queens with the prices to match. You can choose from a variety of traditional Greek dishes like sausage with fresh lemon juice, octopus with black eyed peas, and whole fish.
They also have some more contemporary options like lobster pasta, squid ink taramasalata with truffles, and tiger shrimp with quinoa. If you have the extra money to spend then this is the place to come!
This is the perfect spot for a Greek inspired brunch. Imagine starting off your weekend with a stack of baklava pancakes drizzled with honey and sprinkled with walnuts, or cheesy bacon and eggs on pita bread.
You can also come here for a lovely evening meal, when the menu becomes more traditional. You can expect large appetizers, dips, salads, plenty of feta, and mouth watering ground meat kebabs.
Yefsi is a fancy Greek restaurant on the Upper East Side, with elegant furniture and stylish decor. Despite the refined ambience of the restaurant, the food is very much home style.
Their speciality is octopus, and it shows up in many menu items like the Stifado and Octapodi. We recommend trying the lamb souvlaki with zucchini fries. They also do amazing lemon potatoes.
This bright, vibrant restaurant on the Upper East side serves up rustic Greek food that never disappoints. We can’t get enough of the Htipiti- feta with roasted chilli peppers – followed by the lamb chops with fries.
The crudo and hummus is also very popular, along with the taramasalata with cured ikura and pickled capers. Round off the meal with creme custard infused with Mountain-Tea, and topped with crumbled pistachio. The dining space is large and spacious, ideal for big groups and parties.
This classic Greek restaurant has been open since the 80s and has become a firm favourite with many New Yorkers, who have been visiting Periyali for several generations. The interior is stylish but the atmosphere is quite relaxed.
The grilled octopus is marinated in red wine for 2 days before being grilled and finished off with olive oil and fresh parsley. We also love the rabbit stew and the traditional greek salad.
Molyvos is one of the best Greek restaurants in Manhattan with a loyal following of regular customers. Their shredded lamb shank pie is a firm favourite, with cheesy sauce and flaky pastry.
We recommend finishing off your meal with some greek custard pie, made with semolina custard. The wine list is another great selling point for this restaurant, as it is the most extensive Greek wine list in the US featuring some all Greek vintages.
This Greek restaurant in Chelsea has some deliciously hearty dishes on their menu that are sure to blow you away. The four cheese calamari served in a bed of Nafpaktos tomato sauce is delightful, as is the spinach and cheese stuffed flaky pastry.
There are plenty of seafood options on the menu, as well as tender meat like short rib youvetsi.
This sleek, stylish restaurant in Westchester offers up a modern take on Greek cuisine. We recommend the grilled octopus and eggplant dip to start, followed by ricotta dumplings with spicy lamb sausage and sun dried tomatoes.
For dessert, order the chocolate halva brownie or apple baklava Napoleon. This restaurant is appealing both inside and out, with tasteful decor and high ceilings.
This bakery and cafe/restaurant in Soho is a great place to pick up some tasty Greek treats. If you fancy something savoury to eat on the go then try a fricassee minced meat pie.
For a sweet snack, choose from a variety of baklava or homemade yoghurt with a swirl of cherry. And of course they do a fantastic moussaka. If you are lucky enough to call this your local bakery then make the most of it and sample all of their delicious menu items.
Kefi was originally a small restaurant on the Upper West side, but had to move to a bigger premises a few blocks away to accommodate the crowds of eager customers trying to get a table.
Their meatballs have been voted some of the best in New York, but we recommend trying the pulled pasta with braised rabbit and graviera cheese. Even with the larger restaurant, you might have to wait for a table or book ahead as it is always busy.
There are so many wonderful Greek restaurants in New York that it was tricky to narrow it down. There are few that didn’t quite make the list but still deserve a mention. Kiki’s on the Lower East Side is a casual Greek restaurant that serves delicious grilled octopus and grilled lamb chops, with housemade mustard and fries.
Alidada Restaurant in Queens has a friendly, relaxed atmosphere which is perfect for family gatherings. You will love the octopus flavoured with citrus and served with tomatoes, onions and caper berries. If you fancy something sweet, the sweet Sagankai triangles are a real hit. Loukoumi Taverna in Queens makes excellent lamb dishes and sweetbreads, along with traditional dishes like souvlaki.
When you eat at Gregory’s 26 Corner Taverna it feels like eating at a Greek kitchen table. This humble restaurant in Queens makes delicious shawarma with lemon potatoes, or simply cooked octopus. If you are in Midtown then keep an eye out for Avra, they serve excellent greek seafood and make a particularly nice garlic and almond dip.
Alternatively, you can head for Estiatorio Milos, they also specialize in fresh seafood, but they happen to make the best greek yoghurt in New York. It is made with goat’s milk and flavoured with thyme honey. The karidopita- walnut cake served with ice cream- is another highlight.
Whether you are looking for a fancy restaurant with modern Greek food for a date night, rustic dishes that will leave you satisfied, or giant sharing banquets for family gatherings, this list has it all. There is also a restaurant on this list to suit every budget, so whether you have cash to burn or are keeping an eye on the pennies, you can still enjoy mouthwatering authentic Greek Food in New York.
We hope you get the chance to visit all of these restaurants and sample all of our recommendations, but whichever one you pick we are confident that you will love it. Greek food is made to be shared, especially with family, so gather up your nearest and dearest, order a range of tasty dishes, and tuck in!