Sydney’s Greek ex-pat community has a long and storied tradition amongst our sandy shores. From the salty coastlines of the Eastern Beaches right out to the foot of the mountains, you’ll find Greeks having settled down and started doing what they do best: cook.
Actually, it’s not just cooking that is an icon of Greek culture. Food is more than simply sustenance, it’s a celebration, a time to be together amongst friends and family, and a way of paying homage to tradition and history. There’s a reason that stereotypes like mountains of dolmades and smashing plates exist. This is the food of the Gods and ought to be treated as such, Dionysian indulgence and all.
The Hellenic community knows how to have a good time and they’ve been sharing that good time with the rest of us for over a century. While Melbourne is widely considered the Greek capital of Australia, Sydney puts on a seriously strong showing too.
From the special dining spots to superb street food and easy-going, accessible wraps and salads, here’s our round-up of 10 of the best Greek places Sydney has to offer.
This place is the kind of low-key Greek joint you go to when the party is winding down. The ouzo flows until 2am on Fridays and Saturdays, making it the perfect nightcap after an Inner West session. A seriously underrated and genuinely hidden gem, STEKI Taverna hosts endless live music great for dancing off their BBQ octopus, lamb, or snapper. Everyone should visit at least once.
One of the jewels in the Greek crown of Sydney, The Apollo is high-end Greek finery served in warm, atmospheric surroundings. It’s all dim lighting and moody music and a great place to enjoy an intimate date night. Kicked off by chef Jonathan Barthelmess and restauranteur Sam Christie back in 2012, it packs all the Greek specialities you would expect like oven-baked lamb and charcoal chicken with yoghurt but in a more refined, occasional fashion. The saganaki cheese with honey and oregano—a hot frying pan of melting cheese and honey—has become one of Sydney's most beloved dishes.
This place is better than it has any right to be. Away from the main action of Enmore Road, Barzaari crafts this instantly Greek experience with mindblowing dishes packed full of flavour and succulent as hell. It’s simple, unassuming food that just pops when you bite down and draws inspiration from the Cypriot history of the family who own it as well as broad Eastern Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine. Baklava is always great but their walnut, pistachio, and almond take is seriously exceptional.
Zeus Street Greek
Somewhat of a left-field entry, but what is the point of good food if it’s not accessible? Zeus Street has about 11 outlets across the Sydney region and is owned by the Greek-heritage directors of Crust Pizza and Pony Dining. It’s exactly what you want when looking for fresh, zesty lunch-time fillers and they specialise in delicious wraps and bowls. The Spartan bowls draw inspo from the diet of the legendary warriors and their Keto bowls are perfect for cutting out the carbs. It’s quick, easy, and satisfying.
Medusa Greek Taverna
For many of you, this iconic restaurant will already be your go-to Greek spot. Owner Peter Koutsopoulos is a legend in the Sydney Greek food scene, with over 35 years in the game and five restaurants under his belt. It’s the one-stop-shop for fancy post-work dining and long business lunches—but don’t let that stop you as Medusa is still very well priced and has something for everyone. The prawns sautéed in thick tomato sauce and served with charred pita are a major vibe.
Gyros definitely deserve an article on their own but if you’re looking for a quick bit of incredible Greek street food, Mega Gyros is your place. Much like their cousin the doner kebab, the gyros here are slow-cooked on a rotating spit and come in pork, chicken, or lamb (with the chicken being a firm fave). The meat is freshly cut into a warm pita with chips, tomato, onion, and tzatziki. It’s nothing fancy but it's damn good eating.
Stix and Pita
Slow-cooked meats turning over charcoal, handmade pitas, and quality local ingredients make Stix and Pita on Enmore Road a must-try. Owners Jim and Elvis put their heart and soul into recreating the food of their homeland and it shows. Even the chips come heaped with herbs and spices and feta or kefalograviera cheese. It’s restaurant-quality food at takeaway prices and will have you coming back again and again.
Earlwood and Ramsgate
Nieo’s blends the hallowed Greek charcoal chicken shop and the American diner to create something more than the sum of its parts. Founders Theo Georgoulopoulos and Nick Xenofos are hospo veterans with years of experience working the rotisseries. It’s very much an upmarket takeaway but like, way, way upmarket. The big black-tiled and bare-lightbulb space they have in Earlwood fills up quickly as diners flock in for the supremely well-regarded half flat chicken. Seriously, it’s up there with the best in the city.
Koutouki is an old-school Greek taverna that highlights the best of the Greek dining experience. These guys are like a culinary embassy dealing exclusively in good times that will instantly transport you to memories of holidays past. The food is traditional, authentic Greek with tasty morsels like the lahanodolmades stuffed with spicy onions, beef mince, parsley, and dill, and the home-cooked veggie mousaka oozing with bechamel sauce. Friday night is the time to go as it’s a full-on celebration with live music until late.
Sophie’s Greek Restaurant
Possibly the winner for the most hidden restaurant, Sophie’s is right on Darling Street above a hair salon. This tiny taverna is another lively affair showing off exactly how the Greek get down, with smashed plates lining the walls to prove it. Run by Greek husband and wife duo, they specialise in mezze platters, share plates, and slow-dining in a welcoming space where Sophie herself will often greet diners. Come for the slow-roasted lamb shoulder, stay for the hot doughnut balls in nutty honey syrup.
Image credit: The Apollo