There is still a long way to go before we start packing for a sunny Greek island but this should not be a reason not to taste some authentic Greek food. London is home to some great Greek restaurants. Here is a selection of some amazing Greek restaurants in which to patiently wait for a dose of Greek summer:
Hungry Donkey Greek Kitchen is a modern Greek restaurant in East London specializing in simple, authentic cuisine. The Hungry Donkey is inspired by classic street food, focusing on enticing dishes with an emphasis on responsibly sourced ingredients as well as seasonal specials. It also caters for vegetarians and vegans. Their all-Greek drinks menu includes a unique range of wines, beers and spirits from all over the country.
This Aegean fusion restaurant is located in Soho and presents a completely innovative menu fully pervaded by the Ottoman tastes that many Greek islands have adapted to their own tradition. At Hovarda, sardines, eel and crab come up as surprises among the rich list of starters. Traditional mains, like pastitsio, will also come in a completely different version including a variety of mushrooms. There are many international labels mixing with their list of Greek wines making their offers interesting and original.
Set in charming Notting Hill, a few steps from Portobello Market, Mazi comes up unexpectedly, surprising with a unique atmosphere and a minimalistic style. Mazi’s main goal is to show the rest of the world how innovative, tasty and refined Greek food can be. They reinterpret old-time classic recipes with a modern twist. Their name, which in Greek means “together”, invites visitors to experience the culinary tradition of every Greek region. Most of the ingredients come from Greece while they source fresh produce from local independent suppliers.
The Real Greek SoHo
As the restaurant likes to put it: Athens meets Soho at The Real Greek. Here they take pride in introducing Greece’s famed filoxenia (hospitality) to the heart of central London. The venue combines freshly-prepared food with a very friendly atmosphere so as to provide an authentic taste of Greece. A simple menu is made of mezes, souvlaki and plates to share, with a healthy touch of Mediterranean flavors. Kids’ menus are also available. The Real Greek SoHo offers music nights over the weekend, and venues in other areas of London.
OPSO is an ancient Greek word to describe a delectable morsel of food, a delicacy. The OPSO concept wants to reflect both traditional and contemporary Greek tastes through modern Greek tapas based on high-quality ingredients, most of which come directly from Greece. At OPSO curious varieties of bread, spreads and grilled meats are enjoyed in a laid-back, lively atmosphere. They also offer a good selection of modern Greek wines. At dinnertime, the bar turns into a unique cocktail spot in Marylebone with exciting drinks made with liqueurs and spirits imported from Greece.
Not strictly Greek, the name Peckham Bazaar already refers to the different cuisines this inviting restaurant caters for: Albanian, Turkish, Iranian and also Greek dishes, all of them cooked simply on an open fire charcoal grill, while surrounded by a no-frills setting; a taste of the Balkans in London. Dishes in the menu change daily, a healthy sign of freshness and seasonality.
Retsina is an award-winning restaurant located in Hampstead, north London. It’s a cozy place that never lost its characteristic familiar atmosphere. At Retsina, the menu focuses on both traditional Greek and modern Mediterranean cuisine. The restaurant’s pride remains the quality of its fresh ingredients and friendly service. Retsina’s list of starters is rich and varied while their main courses include some of the most beloved Greek classics, such as moussaka, gemista (roasted stuffed vegetables), and kleftiko (slow braised lamb).
Souvlaki Street claims to bring the authentic taste of Greece to the streets of London. They have a classic, a special, and a vegetarian menu as well as including skewers, lots of halloumi cheese and fresh signature salads. Pita and abundant tzatziki sauce are also part of the menu. Locations and markets where they park change according to the day of the week, so you better check their online weekly schedule.
Olives and Meze
Turkish influence on Greek dishes populate the menu of Olive and Meze, a cool Mediterranean grill near Clapham Park. The culinary experience here involves a wise use of herbs and spices to produce delicious grilled dishes. The vegetarian menu is as varied and interesting as the gluten-free menu. Proposals range from falafel, hummus, and traditional casseroles to grilled fish and different meat cuts.
The Grilling Greek
Right in the heart of Candem market, The Grilling Greek describe themselves as authentic Greek food on the streets of London. As they put it: “Growing up in my house was like a festival of food. It was integral in every part of life from holidays to daily meals and everything in between. Everything was fresh, local and prepared with love and detail.”
This spirit gave birth to The Grilling Greek and keeps it alive. Fresh products are local and where possible organic, while they import the highest quality Greek products like extra virgin olive oil, barrel-aged feta cheese and Kalamata olives. Everything is prepared and cooked fresh, on the day, for each market.