Greek dishes with Chicago cityscape

Top Greek Restaurants in Chicago

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It’s a statement of a fact: Greek food is one of the best cuisines out there. From spanakopita to gyros and moussaka, it can be difficult to select which one of these Greek dishes to try first.

Greek immigrants first started arriving in Chicago in the 1840s, and many flocked to an ethnic enclave known as Greektown. A number of these immigrants began working in the food service industry, and over time, many came to own restaurants, including diners. The influence of Greek culture on the community, as well as in Chicago as a whole, has been cultivated in the region over hundreds of years. Now, there is a growing number restaurants in this area that are well-known for their classic and new-age Greek dishes. 

I compiled a list of some of the must-visit spots for Greek fare in Greektown and the greater Chicagoland area based on my own personal experience living in the city, as well as verified customer reviews. While some of these formal spots offer classic Greek dishes, others have a fun and unique spin on the food or ambiance that shouldn’t be missed.

Athenian Room

Athenian Room dish on plate

nicemarmo/Instagram

The Athenian Room, a staple of the Lincoln Park area, has been serving up food that gives all the feels since 1972. The outside is unassuming, and one could say the interior is as well, but it also offers that invaluable feeling of being home. The brick arches surrounding the walls that give off the feeling of another time. The Athenian Room does not accept reservations, so there could be a wait for a table, but it usually isn’t too long.

The chicken kalamata style is one of the restaurant’s most popular dishes. This simple meal, literally half a chicken on a bed of Greek fries, is so much more than that. The portion is large, so you are getting a lot for your money. Plus, the flavor of the chicken is delicious, and the fries soak in some of this flavor, which makes them even tastier. This meal also comes with a tossed salad, French bread, and butter — so you’ll surely leave happy and full. 

The chicken is only one of the great items on the menu. There are sandwiches, gyros, and pita — and don’t forget about baklava for dessert. Keep in mind, before you order the entire menu, that cash is the only accepted payment method. Don’t worry, though; there’s an ATM located at the bar next door in case you need it. 

athenianroom.net

(773) 348-5155

807 W Webster Ave, Chicago IL 60614

Taxim

Octopus on a plate

taximchicago/Instagram

Selecting where you want to go out to eat is easy. The harder part is narrowing down the menu to one option. At Taxim, restaurant-goers won’t run into this dilemma because it serves small, shareable plates. That way, you can sample a wide variety of menu options. Ok, yes, there are still many menu options to choose from, but the restaurant offers different categories like cured plates and soups, so customers can easily find something they like. From tzatziki and wood fire-roasted eggplant to stews and pastries, it’s difficult to not order all smaller plates before even trying the main courses, like braised lamb or sea bass. Don’t just pass by the sides, either. Order olives and pickles or some Greek-style pita to pair with the lentils, fried mussels, or duck.

While ordering for pick up or delivery is an option, the ambiance inside of this spot is worthy of note. The inside of the restaurant, complete with brick walls and exquisite chandeliers, will transport you to another time. Meanwhile, the rooftop seating, with its string lights and greenery, creates a romantic atmosphere where you can enjoy a glass of Grecian wine and soak up the city.

taximchicago.com

(773) 252-1558

1558 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

Aba

Plate at Aba restaurant

abarestaurant/Instagram

Aba is a vibe. It’s the easiest way to describe this spot — plus it intertwines imagery of the Mediterranean and California coast. Aba, which is open for dinner each night of the week and for brunch on the weekend, is a perfect spot for a date or girls’ night. Its summery, Mediterranean aura makes it one of the best spots to enjoy outdoor dining in Chicago. Not only does the space give an incredible view of the city, but the rooftop itself is covered in greenery that could fool one into thinking they did just travel all the way to Greece.

Similar to Taxim, Aba is known for its small plates, so be sure to order at least a few for the table depending on the size of your party. The smoky garlic hummus is out of this world, especially with Aba’s house-made bread. I am a big fan of the fava bean hummus too, which features asparagus and brown butter. Other items on the menu that could catch diners’ eyes include the whipped feta spread, the chilled cucumber mezze, char-grilled lamb chops, crispy potatoes, and more. The grilled cauliflower kebab is a must for vegetarians, too. Be sure to save room for dessert and the amazing sticky date cake as well.

abarestaurants.com/chicago

(773) 645-1400

302 N Green St, Chicago, IL 60607

Greek Islands Restaurant

Plate at Greek Islands restaurant

mezzoquintero/Instagram

Greek Islands Restaurant, with locations in Greektown and in the Chicagoland suburb of Lombard, brings authentic Greek cuisine to Chicago. The restaurant imports its wine, cheeses, seafood, extra virgin olive oil, and more from Greece. Customers will have to visit multiple times to try all of its food, as the menu is quite large. It features appetizers, salads, family-style options, and traditional favorites. Oh, and dessert. The baklava is large and perfect for sharing.

Customer favorites include the grilled octopus, moussaka, and the saganaki, a cheesy Greek appetizer served flambéed. The restaurant has specials each day, too like lamb with spaghetti on Fridays, but keep in mind that the both locations are closed on Mondays. Greek Islands Restaurant also has party rooms at both locations for events of a variety of sizes — whether you’re serving 20 people or 200.

greekislands.net

Multiple locations

Kala Modern Greek

wrap with cheese on plate

kalamoderngreek/Instagram

Kala Modern Greek lives up to its name. This restaurant gives off fresh vibes with a different take on Greek food. It’s a more casual option among the restaurants on this list. The interior is bright and relaxed, and you order at a counter before finding your table. The fare is also reasonably priced, especially considering the portion size. There are also customization options to make your meal your own. 

I recommend ordering individual skewers so you can pick and choose what you’d like. Otherwise, select a type of skewer and choose to have it as part of a sandwich, rice bowl, or salad. There are great options for vegan or vegetarian diners at this spot, with plant-based keftedes, a type of meatball, and three additional veggie skewers to choose from.

If you consider yourself a coffee fan, be sure to grab one of Kala Modern Greek’s foamy frappes. You can select from three sweetness levels to find one that suits your palate.

kalachicago.com

(773) 560-6412

2523 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60614

Andros Taverna

Flatbreads on background

eatatandros/Instagram

Logan Square has some of the best restaurants in the city, and Andros Taverna is no exception. This spot is beautiful, with bright windows that bring in a ton of natural light. The plants placed throughout the restaurant seemingly transport you out of the city and somewhere far away. There is also a small amount of outdoor seating to enjoy if the weather is nice.

The restaurant opens at 4 p.m. during the week, but opens for lunch on Fridays starting at 11 a.m. The Friday lunch set special includes your choice of spread and meat, along with salad, pita, cucumber, yogurt, and fries. Yes please! I also recommend adding a side of lemon potatoes or spanakopita. You can also catch weekend brunch on Saturdays and Sundays starting at 2 p.m. Grab the baked feta and eggs, along with a glorious halva date shake, made from almond, banana, cinnamon, honey, and oat milk.

androstaverna.com

(773) 365-1900

2542 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago IL 60647

Psistaria Greek Taverna

Dessert on plate

psistariagreektaverna/Instagram

If you’re in the Lincolnwood area, do yourself a favor and stop by Psistaria Greek Taverna. The restaurant is closed on Mondays and open for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Sunday. If you plan on joining for lunch, you’ll find a special menu, which includes lunch specials like the sandwich, soup, and starch combo. There are nine different soups to choose from, so your options are seemingly endless. 

Aside from the lunch specials, the overall dine-in menu is full of all the classic Greek dishes. Each diner will be able to find the perfect meal for them. The restaurant does a great job at highlighting gluten-free selections and offers vegetarian dishes, too. Going with a group? There’s a family-style dinner, which includes an appetizer, soup or salad, entrées, sides, coffee, and dessert. 

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psistaria.com

(847) 676-9400

4711 W Touhy Ave, Lincolnwood, IL 60712

Barba Yianni Grecian Taverna

Cutlet with lemon on plate

barbayianni/Instagram

Dining at Barba Yianni Grecian Taverna isn’t just about the food; it’s also about the experience you get. The restaurant, located in Lincoln Square, offers multi-level dining, a patio area, and a bar that features images of waves on the Grecian coast. The vibe and ambiance of this spot really depends on when you visit. Since it’s open from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. every day, it’s a great stop for lunch, dinner, or a late-night snack. 

To top it off, if you come during the evening hours, you may see a packed dance floor with live music and people dancing the tango. You may even get to watch a belly dancing show. As for the food, I recommend trying the chicken breast lemonati or one of the Greek pastas. If you’re coming in for a late bite, the gyros and Greek fries are where it’s at. 

barbayianni.us

(773) 878-6400

4761 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60625

Cross-Rhodes Greek Restaurant

Kebab and fries with sauce

crossrhodesevanston/Instagram

Now it’s time to venture to Evanston for a visit to Cross-Rhodes Greek Restaurant. This is one of those spots that you could walk by without noticing; but that would be a mistake. If you see that open sign in the window, be sure to stop in and try some of the delicious food that customers can’t get enough of. The menu is full of Greek classics to pick from, including gyros, fresh salads, and souvlaki. Yet, the customer favorites are items that make Cross-Rhodes special. The egg lemon soup, for example, is a comfort dish for many. And if you’re hungry, go for the Rhodes Burger, which features a half-pound burger covered in cheese and gyros slices.

This restaurant is cash only, but there is an ATM if you need to use it. Also, be sure to check the website to confirm how late Cross-Rhodes is open before visiting. Hours change a bit throughout the week, and it is only open until 8 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays. Delivery is also available starting at 4 p.m.

crossrhodesevanston.com

(847) 475-4475

913 Chicago Ave, Evanston, IL 60202

Athena Restaurant

Plate of Greek meatballs

athenachicago/Instagram

Athena is a Greektown staple known for its delicious food and beautiful scenery. It’s a great stop for those craving a gyros plate or chicken kabobs. Diners can order for themselves, but I recommend splitting a couple of options to sample all that Athena has to offer. Plus, it’s a good call to ask how large portions are, as some meals could feed upwards of three people, whereas some are more suitable for one person. I recommend trying the Athenian chicken or any one of the lamb dishes. The galaktoboureko is a must order for dessert, but it can sell out quickly. Lemon custard wrapped in phyllo dough and dipped in honey? Yes, please.

The inside of the restaurant is beautiful, but the outdoor patio is even more special. This is a great option, whether you’re visiting in summer or winter. In the summer, the patio is opened up so diners can enjoy the warm Chicago weather. The patio has a clear covering and heating during the winter, so it can still feel like being outside but without the shivering that comes with a Chicago winter. Although this spot is accessible via public transportation, the valet is complimentary. 

athenachicago.com

(312) 655-0000

212 S Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60661

Avli

Greek salad on table

avli/Instagram

Avli has multiple locations across the Chicago and one in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This 2023 Michelin Guide-featured spot is one dining experience you won’t want to miss. The classics are always offered, like saganaki and spanakopita, but be sure to try the other main dishes, like the lavraki, seafood orzo, or the lamb chops. Greek meatballs are always a good choice, and the restaurant offers a spread sampler, so you can try the hummus, tzatziki, and tirokafteri. Avli even has gluten-free pita, so the wheat-free peeps can join in on the fun. There is a full drinks menu, with a large selection of wines and enticing cocktails, like the Mykonos mule.

You should check the website before arriving, as hours differ for each of the locations. Also, most locations, aside from West Loop, have happy hour specials perfect to enjoy on an afternoon visit. And if this restaurant provides inspiration to make a trip to Greece, you’re in luck; Avli has guides on its website about things to do when you visit the country.

avli.us

Multiple locations

Lýra

Caviar with oyster in hand

lyragreek/Instagram

Lýra is cool. While it isn’t the most awe-inspiring or creative word to use, it really does sum up this restaurant. This is a cool restaurant. You feel cool when dining here. Okay, I’ll stop now.

Lýra, located in the Fulton Market District, offers an incredible menu, with pastas and mains that will leave your mouth watering. Go for the charcoal-grilled lamb chops or the whole Mediterranean branzino. The main dishes may be more expensive than the spreads and appetizers, but it’s worth the cost. You can also save money by choosing from the salad options or the vegetarian moussaka. 

If you’re visiting on Friday or Saturday after 11 p.m., you’ll get to watch the restaurant transform into a party scene, complete with creative cocktails and a DJ to boot. Did I mention that is all pretty cool?

lyrarestaurant.com

(312) 660-7722

905 W Fulton Market, Chicago, IL 60607

Meze Table

Salad with colorful veggies

meze.table/Instagram

Meze Table is a unique spot on this list because it’s actually not a restaurant. I promise — this is not a trick. You can still enjoy the delicious food here, but you’ll have to keep an eye on Meze Table’s website and social media accounts to determine where the pop-up is going next. Pick-up or delivery are also options. 

So what does Meze have to offer? First, let’s define meze. Meze are stand-alone, small plates that can be served hot or cold and on their own or with other mezes. It is often used to complement the drink of the hour and contribute to a relaxed atmosphere.

Meze Table offers curated tasting boards, dips, spreads, and even frozen Greek favorites that you can bake at home. You can order these meze in advance on the website and pick them up at a farmers market location in the Chicago area. It’s the perfect solution for your next dinner party or event.

mezetable.catering

Spectrum Bar & Grill

Chops on plate with lemon

spectrumbarandgrill/Instagram

Spectrum Bar & Grill brings together two wonderful places: a Greek restaurant and a sports bar. It offers a more casual take on Greek fare than some of the other spots on this list. You’ll still find favorites like the gyros platter and Grecian chicken, but you’ll also see onion rings, a nacho platter, and pizza on the menu. The bar has many options for cocktails, in addition to beer, wine, and Champagne.

Spectrum’s laid-back atmosphere makes it just right for a visit on a weeknight or weekend. The bar opens at 5 p.m. every day and doesn’t close until 4 a.m. most nights, or 5 a.m. on Saturdays. Some nights you’ll spot live music at the bar too, including blues. This lively spot is a must-try and may indeed become your new regular spot for Greek fare and a fun social experience. 

spectrumbarandgrill.com

(312) 715-0770

233 S Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60661

Meli Café

Salad plate with chicken

melicafechicago/Instagram

Greek breakfast food is difficult to come by, and I would be remiss not to include Meli Café, which has locations in Greek Town, River North, and Printer’s Row. It’s the place to go when you want that Greek food and breakfast combo. Each location is open every day from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Standard breakfast and lunch items are included on its menu, like omelets, eggs Benedict, and wraps, but you’ll also see a Mediterranean-inspired shakshuka breakfast bowl and steak kebab brochettes. There’s also a perfect menu for kids, called the Little Bees menu. You may even want the kids-sized order of chocolate chip pancakes for yourself. 

But, it’s not just about the food here. Meli also has a full juice bar that features a variety of juice blend options, veggie shots, and smoothies. Don’t worry; coffee is on the menu as well.

melicafe.com

Multiple locations

Methodology

Greek salad

Sea Wave/Shutterstock

This list of the best Greek restaurants in Chicago is primarily based on my personal experience visiting these locations, along with verified reviews. I selected these spots based on the restaurant’s overall quality, as shared through customer reviews and local publications. I wanted to feature restaurants in Chicago’s famous Greektown, as well as other areas of the city that diners may not think to visit. 

The restaurants offer an array of customers, providing both more formal settings and casual, relaxed environments. Some spots offer more traditional Greek fare, while others offer unique, Greek-inspired dishes that are worth trying. 

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