Following waves of immigration in the sixties and seventies, Greek food and culture has become a huge part of Melbourne’s culinary identity. We’ve got the largest Greek population outside of Athens, so it’s no surprise the city is brimming with Greek taverns and family-owned restaurants to suit all occasions and budgets. It’s a tough task, but we’ve pulled together the fifteen best Greek restaurants in Melbourne, with plenty of options for the souv-fans, seafood lovers, dairy queens and vegetarians out there.
If you haven’t been to Stalactites yet, are you even a Melburnian? This iconic family-owned restaurant in the CBD is definitely one of the best Greek restaurants Melbourne has going for it, from the literal stalactite-covered ceiling to the fast-paced service, it’s one-of-a-kind. There’s usually a line for a table in the evenings, but it’s so worth the wait. Start off with the pita and dips before gorging on souvs and gyros. They also have a pretty great kids’ menu with far more options than your standard selection of burgers and chips.
Jim’s Greek Tavern
Generations of Melbourne diners have spent a night at Jim’s Greek Tavern—it’s like a rite of passage we all must go through. But once you’ve been, you’ll understand why. Jim’s is one of the most authentic Greek taverns in Melbourne, known for their traditional service with no menu, no prices, and generous serves. It’s bustling and noisy and a bit confusing at times, but the food has kept people coming back for decades. Add it to your to-do list if you haven’t already made the trip.
It’s Greek food by a Greek guy, as advertised. This place is a casual eatery and bar known for their tapas-style menu and their love of ouzo and the Richmond Football Club. But footy aside, Dimitri’s is a cosy place to stop by for a few drinks or settle in for a Greek feast. Try the grilled calamari and marinated grilled chicken skewers, you can thank us later.
One of Melbourne’s newest Greek restaurants, Gracie Greco is a family-owned and run tavern serving up traditional recipes in Camberwell. The grandparents are in the kitchen cooking up a storm, while the two sons run the beautiful bar and front of house. As for the food, the grilled halloumi is legit drool-worthy—it’s lathered in honey and toasted sesame seeds and is oh so gooey. The gemista (stuffed peppers) are amazing too, with both a vegetarian and beef variety available, no one will go home hungry. And you absolutely have to try the loukoumades (Greek doughnuts) for dessert.
Since 2014, Masterchef alumnus Philip Vakos has been sharing his take on Hellenic food in his Swan St haunt, Bahari. What started as a restaurant has grown into so much more—they now offer at-home feasts, picnic hampers, catering services, masterclasses and grazing boxes alongside their in-house service in the restaurant, cocktail bar and upstairs dining room. The menu is designed for sharing, with Vakos’ signature ‘Gringlish’ style filtered across the menu. We’d recommend the saganaki sliders and moussaka toastie—you can’t go wrong.
Venus and Co
Bayside Greek doesn’t get much better than Venus and Co. The Albert Park restaurant offers both dine in and takeaway, with a semi à la carte, banquet-style menu taking centre stage. The dips are the place to start, before working your way through from the small plates to the larger share plates and mains. Save room for dessert though, because the kataifi and baklava ice cream sandwich is every bit as good as it sounds.
Tsindos Greek Kitchen
Established in 1975, the family-owned and run Tsindos is one of the best Greek restaurants in Melbourne’s CBD. Three generations into operation, they continue to serve up traditional favourites from dolmades and moussaka to gemista and souvlakis. Their salads are equally worthy of praise, with plenty of options for vegetarians and meat-lovers alike. They also offer Greek wines and spirits to pair with your meal if you want to have an authentically Greek evening.
Southbank can be a bit hit and miss with tourist traps aplenty, but Yassas is one of the good ones. They’ve since opened up two more venues in Docklands and Eastland, spreading the Greek goodness to the burbs. Their calamari is seriously good, and the yemista deserves a chef’s kiss. If you’re on the hungry side, we’d suggest going in for a feast. They offer two feast options, plus a feast for kids and platters for sharing (including a dessert plate).
High tea anyone? We don’t normally associate Greek cuisine with high tea, but Salona in Richmond is ready to change your mind. Book in for either the regular or the bottomless Athenian High Tea—you can guess which one we’re keen for—and indulge on a Mediterranean plate-stand of treats. Besides the high tea, they also offer a concise but tasty menu for lunch and dinner, or you can have a flight of cocktails with a mixed meze board. Salona is definitely the place to go if you like your dinner with a side of decadence.
Melina on the Rooftop
When we think of Greece, we often picture the pristine views across the Mediterranean. While the views at Melina on the Rooftop aren’t quite Santorini-level stunning, they offer a pretty spectacular view of Melbourne’s CBD. Named after the Greek actress-turned-politician Melina Mercouri, this rooftop bar and restaurant shares her passion for culture and style. They offer some pretty spectacular meze-inspired grazing boards along with some delicious cocktails. Perfect for a date night or long lunch.
Eleni’s Kitchen and Bar
If it’s family cooking you’re after, then head to Eleni’s Kitchen and Bar in Yarraville. Marking 50 years of family hospitality businesses in Yarraville this year, Eleni’s is the best Greek restaurant in Melbourne for authentic home-style food. Named after the family matriarch, the space offers a gorgeous outdoor terrace with regular plate-smashing and live music on the weekends. The desserts are a sight to behold too, with their in-house pastry chef churning out stunning made-to-order treats.
If you’re in the mood for some charcoal grill, then head to Ambrosia. Technically the menu is ‘Mediterranean’ rather than strictly Greek, but their charcoal skewers and steaks are a treat for any carnivore. If you’re not a meat-fan, then their starter menu is generous enough to be a feast in itself with plenty of vegetarian options. The wine list is just as generous, with a range of Italian and French wines alongside local drops.
Mediterranean Greek Tavern
Freshness is the keyword at John and Angelo’s Mediterranean Greek Tavern. Everything is handpicked and selected from the market each morning to be served on your plate that night, so you know you’re getting the freshest meal possible. The menu slants to the seafood side of things, with fish, calamari, prawns and oysters on offer each day, along with plenty of entree options, Greek wines and platters for sharing. It’s a wonderful local gem that’s worth every cent.
A regular feature in the Good Food Guide, Philhellene celebrates provincial Greek cuisine and culture with a strong Cretan influence. Eating at Philhellene is like eating in a Greek home, with family recipes dominating the menu and owners Susie and John’s mothers preparing everything in the kitchen. It’s all about the love for Greek cuisine and culture here, and you can taste it in the food from the dips to the souvlakis.
Olive Oil and Butter
Technically Olive Oil and Butter is a cafe, but we had to include it. This local brunch spot is the place to go for Med-style pastries and cakes. Their range of filo pastries is made in-house from scratch—along with everything else on the menu. They also have a range of gourmet food products for sale instore, and a cabinet full of pastries that are pretty hard to resist. Perfect for brunch or a coffee date.
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