Best Greek restaurants in Boston
Forget about the chain restaurant openings of yore: the Seaport dining scene has gotten interesting again. Exhibit A: Committee, which plays with Mediterranean spices and techniques to produce a contemporary meze menu complete with artichoke moussaka, fried smelts, salt roasted beets and a wild green pie (don’t fret: standard bearers like tzatziki and hummus are there too). The conviviality doesn’t stop with the food, either: cocktails boast outré ingredients like candied bacon chips, and the wine list boasts bottles from Greece, Spain and Lebanon (enjoy at least one drink on the massive patio for the full restaurant experience). The weekend brunch is a singular surprise: Nowhere else in town can you pair a breakfast gyro with champagne tray service.
With lines out the door every night, it’s clear Kava Neo-Taverna bears investigating. As it turns out, the hype is more than warranted. The mezedes revelation from the trio of George Axiotis, Irakli Gogitidze and Shahrokh Reza proves the value of simple, superior ingredients. The owners import most of their fare from the Mediterranean (wines included); simple small plates like horiatiki (the Greek country salad), spanakopita, grilled octopus and souvlaki are executed so sublimely you might have to return a second time to venture onto the entrée side of the menu (although the grilled sea bass and mixed grill are well worth your first visit). Finish the evening with a glass of Retsina and a square of baklava as you gaze at the wall mural of an old Greek fisherman and mentally transport yourself to Santorini
Back Bay is not typically considered a bastion of authentic Greek cuisine, but Michael Schlow has long been tricky that way. After closing his longtime Italian treasure Via Matta, Schlow debuted Doretta in the same space, calling it a celebration of his wife’s Mediterranean roots. Doretta’s small plates menu may be simple, but it’s simply delicious: fried calamari with roasted red pepper sauce, crispy Greek cheese, lamb meatballs and spicy homemade sausage. Those wanting to go big before going home should spring for the monstrous spit roasted lamb shoulder, best preluded with oysters and yellowtail from the raw bar.
It’s New England meets Mediterranean via one of the city’s great chefs. Jody Adams (Trade, the late Rialto) has debuted a seafood-centric, Greek-inspired menu that favors simple preparation so as to let the ingredients themselves sing. Hamachi tartare gives way to steamed clams and grilled sardines; entrées include striped bass a la plancha and whole roasted lobster. Meat eaters will be assuaged by the skirt steak and roast chicken, as well as the lamb burger slathered with garlic yogurt at lunch. On nights when a full sit-down meal seems too much, slip into the bar for some fried oysters and a Greek negroni.
It’s the little details that makes Effie’s so addictive: The pita bread is thick and freshly griddled; the Greek salad comes with plenty of feta and grilled chicken; the gyros are overflowing with piping hot meat and French fries; and the tzatziki is just glorious. Prices skew lower than most Greek takeout places, which leaves you with just enough change to splurge on the divine baklava.
Greek street food made with regional ingredients? It’s the best of both worlds. Gyros are the headliners at this fast-casual spot, especially classics like loukaniko (pork and leek sausage with mustard sauce) and bifteki (ground beef with spicy whipped feta). You can also choose your protein and mix-and-match with toppings like tzatziki, charred eggplant and yogurt sauce. Then there are the loukoumades: homemade Greek honey donuts that are basically a far superior take on the Dunkin’ Donuts munchkin.
Locally sourced vegetables, sustainably raised meats, freshly crushed spices—Dates and Olives wants to elevate casual Greek food. This is mix-and-match dining: select your base (rice bowl, salad bowl, pita pocket); choose between chicken, beef, falafel and grilled veggies; and then go to town with the healthful toppings, including hummus, feta, pickled turnips, tahini, eggplant dip and more. You can keep it strictly wholesome with a millet tabbouleh and cold pressed beet juice, but no one ever said a little rice pudding would hurt you.
Greeks have been doing farm-to-table for centuries, they just don’t make a big deal of it. Saloniki takes a similar approach: the takeout spot calls itself a “scratch kitchen,” meaning it’s committed to the freshest ingredients sourced from reputable small farms so as to elevate its straightforward fare. You can build your own rice plate or go with a classic pita. We suggest ordering the lemon-oregano chicken with tzatziki, zucchini-feta fritters with garlic yogurt and herb salad. Even desserts are mere minor-league indulging—baklava chips and honey loukoumades—which means you can better justify a glass of Greek wine with your meal
Even Greek expats are impressed with this takeaway spot. There’s no reinvention of the wheel, just perfectly rendered versions of the classics (the gyro meat is tender and generously doled out), plus an extensive menu of cold and hot appetizers, from eggplant salad to grape leaves to spinach pie. The bargain of the restaurant, though, might well be its rotisserie chickens: half a moist, crispy skinned bird with a choice of two sides and a Greek salad for just $11. Oh, and whatever the secret, the Greek dressing here is a step above—so ask for extra.
Everyone in Boston has a favorite falafel place, but South End Pita’s fan base is unusually loyal. There are few surprises here, only delicious stalwarts: veggie and shawarma-centric roll-ups and plates, spinach pie and an addictive hummus salad (as the menu announces, South End Pita takes its hummus seriously). The burgers are the only unforeseen menu items here, offered (deliciously, as it turns out) with topping choices like tahini and babaganoush.
Downtown workers have plenty of take-out lunch choices these days, and yet they keep coming back to Zo. Loyalists swear the rotisserie gyros are the most authentic in town, owing to the freshness of every ingredient, from the warm pita to the zippy tzatziki. The other draw is the homemade soup selection, which changes daily and includes plenty of vegetarian options like spicy yam and gazpacho. While lines regularly stretch out the door, the staff moves so quickly that wait times are minimal.
Yep, there are fries inside the gyros, but that’s not the only reason this longtime Fenway spot stays packed. All the rotisserie meats are flavorful and tender, and the creamy honey mustard sauce (served on the chicken gyros) is a revelation. Big portions and decent prices seal the deal for regulars, which include lots of Red Sox fans looking to avoid Fenway Park’s ever-rising food prices.