Of all the many restaurants and cuisines on offer in London, Greek food isn't necessarily the first thing you think of when it comes to looking for somewhere to eat in the capital. On the other hand classic Greek imports like halloumi and feta are available all over the city and you’ll struggle to find a restaurant that doesn’t have at least one of these ingredients on the menu.
So why not go straight to the source (in London, although a trip to Greece doesn’t sound like a bad idea either) and go to an authentic Greek restaurant next time you head out to eat? You’ll be surprised by how many Greek restaurants are in the city, and with it being such a rich and varied cuisine you won’t be disappointed either, whatever kind of meal you fancy.
We’ve put together a list of the best Greek restaurants you can find in the city, from the super traditional to the more contemporary. London has it all when it comes to Greek cuisine.
Why: From the team behind Mazi, below, Suzi Tros is a welcome recent addition to the Notting Hill dining scene. Its more casual, laid-back bistro-like atmosphere makes it feel like the perfect place to gather with friends. The menu spans a raw bar, a large vegetable section and fish and meat dishes cooked over charcoal. Expect to enjoy things like wild sea bass carpaccio with yuzu followed by traditional chicken thigh gyro tacos. Make sure you leave room for dessert too, the Greek armenovil ice cream iteration is one of the best things we've eaten this year, mixed through with meringue pieces and caramelized nuts, before being topped with generous amounts of hot chocolate sauce.
Where: 18 Hillgate Street, W8 7SR
Why: Translating to the word ‘together’, Mazi has re-interpreted classic Greek cuisine with a contemporary twist. All the plates are made for sharing, as per Greek traditions, and you’ll find other cuisines interweaved through the menu to create exciting and unique dishes. Pork belly gyro tacos, feta tempura and grilled octopus with a herb potato salad and olive tapenade all feature, among other things.
Where: 12-14 Hillgate Street, W8 7SR
Why: Residing in the heart of Fitzrovia, and created by the masterminds behind Zuma and Roka, Meraki is the place to visit if you’re after Greek fine dining. Sourcing only the finest ingredients from certain regions of Greece, not only are the dishes authentic, but so is the produce. On the menu you’ll find taramosalata, octopus carpaccio and keftedes grilled meatballs.
Where: 80-82 Great Titchfield Street, W1W 7QT
Why: Opso literally translates from Greek to ‘a delectable morsel of food’, the perfect name for this Greek tapas restaurant. Putting a focus on laid back and social dining, everything is made for sharing. On the menu you’ll find the likes of sea bream sashimi, mousakas and fava bean spread. Don’t forget to head to the bar for a Paloma or dessert cocktail either.
Where: 10 Paddington Street, W1U 5QL
Why: Combining both Greek and Turkish cuisine, Hovarda’s glamorous and trendy dining room isn’t just home to a great menu, but every night it has live music or a resident DJ playing for guests to enjoy while they eat or relax at the bar. If you are headed to Hovarda for some Greek food expect dishes like the wood fired roasted chicken, red mullet and king crab legs with lemon oil, sumac and parsley.
Where: 36-40 Rupert Street, W1D 6DW
Why: Priding itself on the simplicity of Greek food and its cooking, The Real Greek serves up casual street food-esque dishes. Everyone’s favourites feature on the menu, like halloumi fries, falafel and souvlaki wraps with chips, tzatziki and a choice of fillings. All of these dishes are served in a stylish and trendy restaurant, making it the perfect spot if you want a quick Greek food fix. It has an extensive vegan menu too so no one is left out here.
Where: 60-62 Long acre, WC2E 9JE
Why: Bringing the taste of Cyprus to London, Aphrodite Taverna uses traditional family recipes to give you the most authentic taste. This homely restaurant serves up the likes of keftedes with rice, mousakka, dover sole and of course some halloumi and feta thrown in for good measure. Set up by head chef Pantelis in 1988, he still heads up the kitchen today keeping the quality and recipes the same while managing to keep things fresh and exciting.
Where: 15 Hereford Road, W2 4AB
Why: With its aim to bring Greek cuisine served outside of the country into a positive light, the team behind the Athenian spent time in Greece learning traditional cooking methods before bringing back what they’d learnt to the UK and adding a modern twist. On the menu you’ll find souvlaki with a choice of meats and sauces.
Where: Unit 4 Wharf Kitchen, E14 5NY
Why: Inspired by Greek Street food, the Hungry Donkey offers up a menu of sharing plates, souvlaki and meze using sustainable and ethically sourced ingredients. On the menu you’ll find the likes of kleftiko slow-cooked lamb shank, gemista oven roasted peppers and a selection of souvlaki wraps with a filling of your choice. The sleek and modern interiors and house soundtrack also add to the atmosphere.
Where: 56 Wentworth Street, E1 7AL
Why: Claiming to serve the best Greek food in London, owner of Peckham Bazaar John Gionleka now serves up a range of dishes from all over the Mediterranean with a focus on Greek cuisine of course. The menu changes daily but you can expect dishes such as courgette fritters, grilled leg of lamb and grilled octopus with tarama, capers and herbs. This restaurant is worth venturing down to Peckham for.
Where: 119 Consort Road, SE15 3RU
Why: Although probably considered more of a deli than a restaurant, The Life Goddess is passionate about bringing Greek food and ingredients to the streets of London. When you pay its deli a visit you’ll be able to find a plethora of traditional ingredients that it uses in its small café/restaurant area to cook up authentic dishes. If you fancy trying your hand at Greek cooking at home stock up in the deli before you head off.
Where: Carnaby Street, W1B 5PW
Why: Still run by the original family who established the restaurant in 1979, Lemonia has a loyal customer base who have been visiting the Greek restaurant from day one. For those visiting for the first time, the décor will make you feel as if you’ve stepped into a vintage Greek villa and the menu features the likes of hummus, spinach and feta filo pastry, lamb souvlaki and fish shashlik grilled over charcoal.
Where: 89 Regent’s Park Road, NW1 8UY
Fancy trying Middle Eastern food next? Take a look at our list of the best Lebanese resaturants in London.