New York City is the capital of the world. The culture, entertainment, and of course, food, drive people to New York in hordes.
Maybe you’re a foodie-tourist who wants to try one restaurant in every genre of food the city has to offer (it has everything). Perhaps you’re an NYC local and a Greek food fanatic, and you want to find all of the best Greek restaurants in the city that you haven’t yet tracked down yourself. To maximize your time and taste buds, you’re going to need to narrow down your choices, and that’s where we come in. I ventured all across NYC to taste-test all of the Greek food I could find. It was a necessary and delicious outing, and I’m ready to share my knowledge with you. Check out my list of the best Greek food in NYC below!
871 7th Ave, New York, NY 10019
The midtown location of Molyvos is perfect for tourists, and the food is a delightful end to your day of sightseeing. After walking through New York’s Central Park, shopping at Columbus Circle, or a tour of MOMA, you can end your day by having dinner at this upscale Greek restaurant. I recommend the prix fixe dinner menu (they have a small prix fixe lunch option, too) so you can get a taste of apps, entree, and dessert. The seafood pilaf is included in this option, as is their excellent ravani for dessert. If you’re traveling with a picky eater, the entire menu has options like a burger or vegetarian dishes.
128 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009
Pylos is a moderately-priced Greek restaurant located in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. The cozy atmosphere and high-end food are the perfect start to your evening out in this neighborhood known for its lively atmosphere. You can’t go wrong with anything on this menu, but the grilled lamb chops are delicious. The grape leaves and the meatball appetizers were two incredibly flavorful standouts, and you can order a whole dinner of multiple appetizers. They also have a fairly sizable selection of Greek wines, and you can ask your server for a pairing. After dinner, you’ll be fueled up for bar-hop among the upscale speakeasies, live music venues, and neighborhood dive bars.
Named after Greece’s Cyclades islands, this family-owned restaurant is popular enough to warrant two NYC locations. Venture out to Queens to either the Bayside or Astoria locations and you’ll have some of the freshest Greek seafood you can find outside of Greece itself. I went to the Astoria location as it’s more convenient to get to by public transportation. Try anything on the menu, as there is no subpar food here. Everyone seems to think it’s excellent, so get there early as they do not take reservations. Everything is extremely fresh, tasty, and well portioned, and you won’t leave hungry like some other high-end restaurants.
35 W 20th St, New York, NY 10011
Open since 1987, Peryali has become one of the best-known Greek restaurants in the city. This very upscale locale offers beautifully displayed food served fresh in an airy space. The Spanakopita, Tiropita, and Kolokithokeftedes appetizers were very rich and the whole branzino entree was tasty and fresh. If price is a concern, you could plan to come here for a light lunch to get a taste of Periyali’s offerings before going about your day. The convenient location puts it a short walk from the shopping at Union Square, landmark Strand Bookstore, and Madison Square Park. You’re also a 15-20 minute walk (or short cab or bus ride) to the famed Highline Park and Whitney Museum.
Avra is a seafood-focused restaurant with two Manhattan locations. The Madison location is right by Central Park. The Midtown location is located near the United Nations building. You can go for lunch or dinner, although I highly recommend lunch since it has a prix fixe option for 31.50 – arguably one of the best deals in the city. You can, for example, get salmon tartare, arctic char, and karidopita for dessert. This special deal is available from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The regular menu is much bigger and you’ll also have access to the raw bar for oysters, clams, shrimp cocktails, as well as a sashimi bar.
Gregory’s 26 Corner Taverna
26-02 23rd Ave, Queens, NY 11105
Astoria has a slew of excellent Greek fare thanks to its large Greek population. Gregory’s 26 Corner Taverna is one of the best and shouldn’t be missed if you love authentic Greek food. You can head to Astoria Park for sweeping river views and live music in the summer. After dinner, Astoria has a bunch of active nightlife. Laidback bars with games or high-end cocktail lounges are all within walking distance of Gregory’s along 23rd Ave. Come hungry, as the portions are large and you’ll want to try everything. The octopus is especially good and you should order one of the appetizer spreads so you can try all of their fresh and delicious homemade dips. Gregory’s 26 Corner Taverna also offers daily specials, so be sure to ask your server what they are.
130 Division St, New York, NY 10002
With unbeatable prices, simple fare, and a great location, Kiki’s serves some fantastic NYC Greek food in a cozy space. Located on the edge of NYC’s Lower East Side, you’re also near Chinatown, Little Italy, and the small but intense Tenement Museum. After exploring the area, stop by Kiki’s for reasonably priced Greek food. The zucchini chips and spicy cheese dip are addictive, but you should try all of their dips. Their house wine is good and inexpensive and you can have a full meal of small bites and wine at the bar and go home very happy – though you shouldn’t skip entrees or dessert if you have the time. The cheesecake is a special standout on Kiki’s menu. After dinner, you can go out in the Lower East Side, where you’ll find yourself near Bar Belly, Lucky Jacks and The Back Room – a real speakeasy that operated during prohibition.
132 W 58th St, New York, NY 10019
Chef, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and owner of Loi Estiatorio, Maria Loi has cooked for U.S. Presidents and was named an Official Ambassador of Greek Gastronomy by the Chef’s Club of Greece. Here, you will find authentic Greek food that is bursting with flavor. Though the restaurant appears upscale, it’s far from stuffy. The staff is very warm and happy to answer questions. Head to this midtown location as the start to an elegant evening out. If you have tickets for a show at Lincoln Center, this is the ideal NYC Greek restaurant to head to. Chef Loi uses olive oil rather than butter in her cooking so you’ll find these dishes to be both flavorful and healthy. The seafood dishes are the standouts here, but the chicken and lamb are also incredible if you aren’t in the mood for fish.
63 Bedford St, New York, NY 10014
This tiny laidback Greek restaurant is situated in Manhattan’s famed West Village. Whether you’re heading to a comedy show, BlackBox theater production, or looking to bar hop all night long, you should fuel up at Snack Taverna. The food is a mix of ultra-traditional comforting Greek fare and modern takes on old classics. They also have a list of hard-to-find artisanal Greek wines, a small selection of Greek beers, and seasonally inspired cocktails. If you aren’t planning on enjoying the neighborhood nightlife, you should go for brunch. The oatmeal cappuccino and braised lamb and eggs are delicious brunch-only options. Pair your food with their happy hour brunch specials of $10 spicy bloody marys, mimosas, and wines and you have an excellent morning planned. Snack Taverna takes reservations and you should make one, since this cozy space only seats 45 guests.
Souvlaki GR Kouzina
Souvlaki GR Kouzina has three Manhattan locations making it easy to plan your visit. Whether you are heading to the sights and shopping in Midtown or going out on the Lower East Side, you can plan to visit Souvlaki GR Kouzina, which serves food all day (11 am-11 pm). The casual tavernas are small and have almost an upscale-fast food vibe. All of their Kalamakia (skewers) are fantastic and easy to eat on the go if you don’t want to pause your busy day for a long meal. My favorites were the shrimp and pork skewers. Though the locations are small they do have sit-down dining, so you can enjoy your meal in the quaint blue and white space. Whatever you get, add a side of their delicious Greek fries sprinkled with feta cheese and oregano.
1481 York Ave, New York, NY 10075
Executive Chef and owner of Yefsi Estiatorio Christos Christou was born and raised on a farm in Cyprus where he began cooking at the age of 13. The restaurant has a high-end design with a warm and lively ambiance. Located on 78th and York, the Upper East Side isn’t exactly a hub of activity, so this would be your main event if you visit. The food here is outstanding and well-presented. Everything from the bread to the main dishes is mouthwatering. If you’re in the mood for meat, the Soutzoukakia (greek meatballs) were wonderfully prepared, if you’d like seafood, then try the Thalassini Makaronada (seafood linguine). Or close your eyes and pick anything off the menu, because you won’t be disappointed.
55 E 54th St, New York, NY 10022
Near the Midtown tourist attractions of Rockefeller Center and Radio City Music Hall you’ll be fighting the crowds to get into this chic Greek restaurant. This is a fancy space that is decorated to feel somewhat private with its booths and dark wood interiors. The smaller portions at Nerai are delectable, but you may still leave hungry. It’s worth going to sample their many excellent dishes. If possible, I recommend going for their Santorini Sundays, which is when they have a prix fixe menu of $48 per person (served from 4 pm to 9 pm). The prix fixe includes the succulent short rib yiouvetsi, which I think is great. Nerai also has an extensive wine list of wines from Greece and the rest of the world, so be sure to get a recommendation so you can try something special.
217 W 85th St, New York, NY 10024
This two-story Mediterranean restaurant located on Manhattan’s trendy Upper West Side allows for either casual drop-in bar dining or an intimate dinner experience. The 85th and Broadway location means you can walk here after spending a day at the Museum of Natural History, Central Park, or Riverside Park. Eléa has a very popular brunch menu and an enticing dinner menu. For dinner, try a combo of Greek spreads (hummus, tzatziki, and fava were great) followed by any of their seafood dishes, though I’d like to specifically point out the pepper-crusted yellowfin tuna. Finish with the chocolate cake if you aren’t too full. If you choose to go for brunch, the Greek style shakshuka is amazing, and it goes well with the 90-minute bottomless brunch cocktails for $25. They also have excellent versions of NYC brunch staples like avocado toast and eggs benedict.
Estiatorio Milos has two NYC locations, and the newest just opened at Hudson Yards (333rd and 10th Ave) and features some amazing views. The original midtown location (55th and 6th Ave) is still open two blocks from Central Park. Both have extremely upscale fish-centric Greek food. If your plans don’t tie you to a location, I recommend the new Hudson Yards spot for the views alone. The extensive fish menu is what you should focus on, although they do have some tasty meat and vegetarian options if you prefer. You can pop in for wine and oysters or a full meal. Their cured fishes are unique on this list and are worth a try if you haven’t had it before. The whole fish and seafood are priced by the pound and your server can walk you through any catch of the day specials.
15 W 18th St, New York, NY 10011
The centrally located Flatiron (W18th and 5th Ave) setting of Kyma is perfect if you’ve been on the go. Head over here any time, whether it’s during your lunch break if you work nearby (they serve lunch on weekdays), Sunday brunch, or dinner any night. The trendy interior has a modern Mediterranean vibe, although you won’t be out of place if you didn’t dress up. This upscale Greek restaurant often has live jazz music in the evenings, so I recommend visiting Kyma for dinner. If you want to be sure you’ll hear music, I’d call ahead since things have changed during the pandemic. Start with the refreshing and light watermelon salad so you can have room for the delicious and creamy lobster pasta.
The Greek Tribeca
452 Washington St, New York, NY 10013
The Greek Tribeca is NYC’s first vegetarian Greek restaurant. Located at the intersection of Washington and Watts streets, you are steps away from Hudson River Park with its gorgeous river walkway and outdoor events. This cozy neighborhood spot has a casual vibe with superb food. You can stop in for coffee and muffins or dine-in for a full, savory, vegetarian meal. The small menu packs a lot of flavors. They have a variety of tastes, from fresh fruit and vegetable platters to traditional Greek spreads. The artichoke mousaká is especially flavorful and filling. The Greek’s bakery offers gluten-free cookies and brownies, as well as vegan baklava. Ask about their specialty cocktails and wine pairings for a truly special dinner.
34-10 31st Ave, Astoria, NY 11106
Located in the middle of Astoria just a mile east of The Noguchi Museum and a couple blocks north of the Museum of the Moving Image, this unassuming Greek and Cypriot eatery has a casual ambiance with outstanding food. It’s called Zenon Taverna and you should definitely check them out. The huge menu has daily specials Wednesday to Sunday, so be sure to ask about those. Seriously, the menu spans a lot of food: lasagna, grape leaves, vegetarian platters, lamb, pork, squid, octopus, and pita sandwiches, just to name a few. You can go in for an inexpensive lunch under $12, while some of the dinner entrees go up to $33. You’re going to have to (and very much want to) go back multiple times.