It’s no secret that we have world-famous cuisine that can transport you to just about anywhere on the globe. Outside of Europe, NYC is one of the best cities for Greek food, and there are so many fantastic restaurants in the city you need to stop by. From fresh seafood to baklava and everything in between, there’s nothing better than enjoying an authentic meal at a quality Greek restaurant. Whether you’re in the mood for a classic Greek diner or a Michelin-star restaurant, there’s a bit of something for everyone! Ready for a tasty Mediterranean experience? Here are our picks for best Greek restaurants in NYC!
1. Pylos, East Village
Pylos is an upscale East Village restaurant serving traditional Greek cuisine using the latest techniques in fine dining. The restaurant has been a trendy hangout spot since the ’70s and continues to be known as one of the best Greek restaurants in NYC. Their name translates to “made from clay,” and their interior design represents that, thanks to their ceiling which is lined with a layer of terra-cotta pots. The menu is full of classic Greek dishes made to perfection, such as the paidakia galaktos stin schara me iman kai mora patates, which is a marinated grilled baby lamb chop served with mini stuffed eggplants and fingerling potatoes.
Where: 128 E 7th St
2. Taverna Kyclades, Astoria
Taverna Kyclades is a premium Greek grill with a few locations throughout NYC. Its original flagship location is in the heart of Astoria and offers some of the freshest seafood you’ll find anywhere. They use an elevated and sophisticated twist on its classic diner food, serving traditional dishes like grilled octopus, souvlaki, and ortikia or gilled quails. They are famous for their delicious lamb chops, as well as their wide assortment of seafood dishes. They also have a spot in the East Village and Bayside Queens if you can’t make it to the Astoria location!
Where: 36-01 Ditmars Blvd, Queens
3. Souvlaki GR, LES & Midtown
Stepping into Souvlaki GR is truly like transporting into the heart of Greece. Between their stone-tiled floors, blue accent tables, and sizable menu, this Greek spot will give you the most authentic Mediterranean atmosphere in the entire city. This Greek eatery is laid-back, affordable, and tasty; all elements they tried to incorporate from their early food truck days. Their menu features a variety of traditional Greek options but we recommend you get one of their souvlaki variations. The chicken and pork options are our favorites, especially topped with their tzatziki sauce! Stop into one of their 3 NYC locations if you want an immersive and affordable Greek experience.
LES – 116 Stanton St
Midtown West – 162 W 56th St
Midtown East – 231 E 53rd St
4. Telly’s Taverna, Astoria
Telly’s Taverna is an Astoria mainstay that has been in the neighborhood for over 28 years. They are the epitome of a family-oriented restaurant, thanks to their recipes that come directly from family cookbooks. Their seafood is as fresh as it gets, and it’s on display in the dining room! They have everything from snapper to sea bass to spearings. You really can’t go wrong here. They also have outdoor dining in a backyard garden during warmer weather!
Where: 28-13 23 Ave, Astoria
5. Eléa, UWS
Eléa is a casual eatery on the Upper West Side serving classic Greek dishes with a speciality in seafood. This bi-level restaurant features exposed rafters, wood ceilings, and an impressive bar on the second floor, offering a sophisticated ambiance that adds to the restaurant’s appeal. Their menu includes crowd favorites like fried calamari with anthotiro cheese and rose petal reduction or the short rib youvetsi made with baked orzo and kefalograviera cheese.
Where: 217 W 85th St
6. Yefsi Estiatorio, UES
Yefsi Estiatorio is a quaint Athenian-style Greek restaurant on the Upper East Side specializing in small mezedes dishes meant to be shared by the whole table. Equal parts restaurant and social experience, Yefsi offers simple yet delectable dishes to give visitors a taste of Greece’s best flavors. From Greek meatballs with fresh herbs to grilled octopus with capers and red pepper, Yefsi gives a unique take on classic Greek dishes with farm-fresh ingredients, homemade cheeses, and fresh yogurt. This spot is hands down one our favorite options if you want to sample a little bit of everything.
Where: 1481 York Ave
7. Kiki’s, LES
Kiki’s is a no-frills Greek restaurant in the Lower East Side serving classic dishes in a welcoming environment. This popular eatery is usually booked solid during prime time, but if you stop by for lunch or call ahead, you can often get a table. Their menu is pretty straightforward and features traditional dishes like grilled octopus, moussaka, and Greek salad. Although it’s not the most innovative menu, the chefs at Kiki’s do what they best, serving home-style Greek cooking made to perfection.
Where: 130 Division St
8. Pi Bakerie, Soho
Pi Bakerie is a Greek café in Soho offering homemade pastries, pies, salads, yogurt, and more. The bakery is housed in a clean, loft-like building with high ceilings and street-facing glass windows that warmly welcomes all customers. Some of our favorite treats they offer include the spanakopita pi with spinach and feta cheese or the ham painerli pi, a Greek calzone with ham and kephalotiri cheese. If you’re looking for a slice of Greece to-go, this bakery is a must!
Where: 512 Broome Street or 35 Cedar St (two locations)
9. Avra Estiatorio, Midtown
Looking to get a bit fancier? Avra Estiatorio is a high-end Greek restaurant with three locations scattered around Midtown. They have one spot right near the Eastern corner of Central Park, another near the UN in Midtown East, and a brand new location near Rockefeller Center. Their menu is inspired by co-founder Nick Tsoulos’ childhood in the Greek Village of Nafpaktos and features popular entrees like Youvetsi with shrimp, scallops, and mussels or Bronzino sashimi. Their 48th Street location is also famous for its outdoor patio, which transports patrons to a peaceful Greek village complete with fresh flowers. It’s the perfect date spot!
Where: 141 E 48th Street or 14 E 60th St or 1271 Avenue of the Americas (three locations)
10. Snack Taverna, West Village
We all know how the West Village has its own little vibe, and Snack Taverna fits right in, bringing their Greek influences into the neighborhood effortlessly. With their high ceilings, exposed brick walls, and massive windows, their atmosphere is nearly as good as their food. Their menu is a flavorful mix of Greek cuisine, both traditional and modern, filled with signature dishes. What separates them from the pack though is their vast list of Greek wines that pair with any meal. For the full experience, we suggest ordering many smaller dishes to share with the table along with some wine.
Where: 63 Bedford St
11. Nerai, Midtown
Nerai is an upscale Greek restaurant in Midtown, offering sophisticated Greek dishes in a posh setting. The restaurant’s interior is tastefully decorated with modern décor, exposed rafters, and flowered vines lacing the walls and ceilings. Popular dishes include their lemon gnocchi with chantarelle mushrooms and feta cheese or papia moussaka, a crescent duck leg, and breast served with beluga lentils and fig jus.
Where: 55 E 54th St
12. Stamatis, Astoria
Stamatis is one of of the oldest Greek restaurants in Astoria, and this family-run taverna is a favorite among many NYC Greek-Americans. Lead chef and owner Stamatis Bililis and his wife Ioanna have been serving up classics for years, cementing their establishment as a staple in the Queens community. As for our favorites, check out the lamb chops, octopus, saganaki (pan-seared cheese) and horiatiki (traditional Greek salad with tomato, cucumber, onion, feta and olives).
Where: 29-09 23rd Avenue, Queens
13. Periyali, Flatiron
Periyali is one of the oldest Greek restaurants in Manhattan and that tradition and charm is felt right when you walk in. Their interior and restaurant name is inspired specifically by the Greek Islands, and their food surely doesn’t disappoint either. Although their menu is very small, every meal is packed with flavor and will leave you full. We suggest going with any lamb entree here, but there are other options to choose from. This place is definitely worth seeing why it’s so historical!
Where: 35 W 20th St
14. Lola Taverna, Greenwich Village
If you’re looking for a downtown Greek spot, Lola Taverna offers Greek food that is out of the ordinary. You won’t find cliche Greek meals here, but instead Greek-inspired meals that use ingredients and elements of the culture to make something unique. Their lobster pasta and spring rolls are some of our favorites, but there’s a bunch of options to pick from, including seafood. We particularly like their atmosphere as well thanks to their sleek interior. We prefer sitting outside though in their flower-filled patio!
Where: 210 6th Ave
15. Astoria Seafood, Astoria
Astoria Seafood truly lives up to their motto of “taking seafood to the next level.” What started as a wholesale fish market many years ago, they’ve since added a restaurant component, where customers can eat fresh seafood prepared in a Greek fashion. From octopus to prawns, the beauty of this market/restaurant duo is how the meals are prepared. Instead of a traditional restaurant, visitors are invited to browse for their frozen seafood of choice, bag it up, and bring it to the cook with instructions of how they want it served! From there, sit back and relax while they prepare it to your liking! It’s affordable, fun to do the shopping, and is excellently prepared!
Where: 37-10 33rd St, Queens
16. SVL Souvlaki Bar, Astoria
The last stop on our Greek tour is SVL Souvlaki Bar, an almost fast-food version of a Greek eatery. In true hot bar fashion, you’re able to walk up to the cooks, ask for your speciality fix-ins, and have it in minutes. The feel of the atmosphere and food mirrors that of street food and a food truck, all with a relaxing indoor atmosphere! We suggest building your own gyro to your own desire, or if you’re in the mood for a bigger feast, try ordering their “mixed plates” which are massive trays full of meats, pita, rice, and veggies.
Where: 30-18B Astoria Blvd & 34-01 Steinway St, Queens (two locations)