Kokkari Estiatorio

Restaurants, Greek Downtown
Kokkari Estiatorio
Photograph: Courtesy Kokkari Estiatorio

With its roaring fireplace, dark wood detailing, and uncommonly gracious service, this renowned Greek spot feels luxuriously old-school. Kokkari’s inventive brand of Hellenic cuisine hits the mark in their quest to create the “food of the gods.” Begin your meal with mezethes (small plates) like marithes tiganites (crispy smelt with garlic-potato skordalia and lemon, also affectionately referred to as “fries with eyes”) or some of the best grilled octopus in town. Once you’ve plowed through those, dig in to Kokkari’s traditional moussaka—a rich, creamy baked casserole of eggplant, lamb ragout and béchamel—or their famed lamb chops. For dessert? Various iterations of baklava and loukoumades, Greek donuts with honey, cinnamon and walnuts, round out the menu. The cavernous space is perfumed by the scent of wood smoke, thanks to the open-hearth grill and wood-fired oven where flatbreads, seafood, and game dishes are prepared.

By: Shoshi Parks

Posted:

Venue name: Kokkari Estiatorio
Contact:
Address: 200 Jackson St
San Francisco
94111
Cross street: at Front St
Opening hours: Mon-Thu 11:30am-2:30pm and 5:30pm-10pm, Fri 11:30am-2:30pm and 5:30pm-11pm, Sat 5pm-11pm, Sun 5pm-10pm
Transport: BART & Metro to Embarcadero/bus 2, 4, 8, 10, 12, 18, 24, 27, 38, 44, 54, 56, 58, 72, 72X, 74, 76, 97
Price: $$$
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Kokkari was my first foray into Greek fine-dining, and it was a great first experience. Before going to the restaurant, my friend raved about the lamb shank, so of course, I had to get the lamb. My friend ordered rabbit, which was a special that evening. I can’t remember which ones, but we also got an appetizer or two. Wow, the food was delicious. I love lamb, and this was drool-inducing lamb. The restaurants itself has a very homey feeling which made the experience that much more wonderful. I have to give a shoutout to their sister restaurant Evvia in Palo Alto which is equally tasty.