Greek food in Atlanta can seem both elusive and everywhere at once. Sure, gyros are found on seemingly every menu, but what about other specialties like spanakopita and grilled octopus?
Greece has a cuisine full of fresh and healthy fare that is abundant in the Mediterranean. It also offers indulgent fare that will satisfy your deep cravings. Here are a few places to feed that craving – whether it be fresh and light or decidedly not.
<<Learn how to make your own Greek-meets-Southern food here
Multiple locations, www.cafeagora.com
Many restaurants serving Greek fare, offer up an eclectic collection of dishes from the Mediterranean as a whole. Café Agora is one of those. However, do not think that that means the fare is generic or watered down in any way. Agora is a Greek term for a public gathering place, and it does feel like you are walking into a family gathering when you go.
The Greek staple of tzatziki is thick and flavorful. Find it mixed maza platter along with hummus, eggplant and other small bites. Or, have it slathered on a gyro stuffed with seasoned lamb, beef or chicken. For a sweet ending to the meal, try the creamy, and lightly sweetened rice pudding.
387 Main St, College Park, GA 30337; www.kafenio3387.com
In July 2015, College Park got its very own Greek restaurant when Johnny Gianoulidis opened up this “all day Greek café” on historic Main Street. The breakfast menu offers diner style fare with omelets stuffed with spinach and feta cheese and thick Greek yogurt drizzled with thick, sweet honey. The breakfast menu is available all day.
Lunch and dinner pivots in a more traditional direction. Try the Greek sample platter for a nibble of favorites. You’ll find a spanakopita made with delicate filo dough layered with spinach and feta, olives, creamy tzatziki specked with dill and stuffed grape leaves.
3085 Piedmont Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30305; www.buckheadrestaurants.com/kyma/
In Greece, a taverna is not a local watering hole, but instead a restaurant serving fresh seafood, roasted lamb and Greek wines. Buckhead’s Kyma takes pride in bringing an authentic taverna to Atlanta, and with it a light and healthy selection. Seafood is flown in from the Mediterranean daily, and grilled over wood. The tender octopus is a customer favorite.
For smaller bites, chef and owner Pano Karatassos offers up plenty to share. Zucchini fritters are prepared with feta cheese and served crisp with a delicate saffron yogurt. A collection of spreads served with Greek flatbread include options like roasted red pepper and delicate eggplant.
Nick’s Food To Go
240 M.L.K. Jr Dr SE, Atlanta, GA 30312; www.nicksfood.com
This Grant Park to-go spot has hit cult-like status, especially among Atlanta chefs. The lamb gyro is tender and dressed with onions, lettuce, tomato and a tzatziki sauce you will want to drink. Pair it with the Greek fries. The thick potato wedges are fried golden brown and tossed with lemon juice and fresh oregano.
If you are lucky, you will arrive on a day that they are serving a Greek lasagna, called pastitsio. It is made with seasoned ground beef, macaroni and a creamy béchamel sauce. Call ahead though, because they run out quickly.
White House Restaurant
3172 Peachtree Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30305; www.whitehousediner.com
Sadly, many of Atlanta’s storied restaurants are closing. Thankfully, White House Restaurant continues to feed us. Nearing 70 years in business, this Buckhead favorite is a unique combination of Greek and Southern. Gyros share the menu with patty melts, banana pudding with pastisio.
Among the Greek offerings, the moussaka is one of the best versions in Atlanta. The casserole is made with layers of eggplant, mashed potatoes and ground beef. For a lighter dish, try the Greek chicken, roasted with lemons and fresh herbs.