Greeks love to feed their guests, so put on those stretchy pants and get your fill of souvas, moussaka and saganaki. From fast to fancy, here are the best Greek eats in town.
Greek with a view
Come for the city views, stay for the gorgeous Greek fare at Melina on the Rooftop. While away the day or night over mezze like saganaki prawns, minty Cypriot pork sausages and Santorini salad. After a few wines, it might be a challenge to order the galaktombouriko for dessert!
The new Greek in town is by the owners of one of Melbourne’s oldest: the CBD institution that is Stalactites. At Hella Good, the name says it all. We’re talking fast-food essentials like chips, dips, baklava and, of course, souvlakis made with juicy meat fresh from the spit. Great news, party people: they’re open until 5am on Friday and Saturday!
George Calombaris’ The Press Club has long been the byword for sophisticated modern-Greek dining in Melbourne. Slip into one of the sleek, intimate booths and feast like the gods on Hellenic dishes made from quality local ingredients. How about taramosalata, ouzo Yarra Valley caviar and salt and vinegar loukoumades? Or Flinders Island lamb with beetroot and caramelised black olive? In other words, book now!
Under the same roof as The Press Club, but with a cruisier vibe, Gazi is named for George Calombaris’ favourite Athens neighbourhood. It’s open until midnight seven days a week, and offers smart, fun takes on Greek classics, like spanakopita gyoza and chocolate baklava. It’s food made for good times with friends, but if you’re in a hurry try the Bend Over Box express lunch.
Old school Greek
When it comes to eating Greek in Melbourne, it doesn’t get more old school than Stalactites Restaurant, which opened in 1978. At some point in most Melburnians’ lives, if not on a regular basis, a big night out has been capped off here. Whether it’s a bacon-and-egg breakfast souvlaki or the meaty classic, some tzatziki, moussaka, baklava or Greek coffee, they’ve got you covered 24/7.
Let them eat cake – and pastries and slices and halva and nougat! At International Diethnes Cakes, sweet Greek dreams come true from breakfast until late seven days a week. Fancy a coffee and a little treat? Want to sprinkle some Euro sugar on a family outing or night with friends? Need lots of goodies to go? This stayer in Melbourne’s former ‘Little Athens’ precinct has your heart’s desire.
If you’ve been trying to find that Greek doughnut truck, relax. Lukumades opened a permanent shop last year, opposite the Queen Victoria Market. Watch their hot little balls of joy being prepared before your eyes, then choose your toppings. Go the classic honey and cinnamon, or try new takes on an old favourite, like Nutella or crushed Twix bar. There’s even a vegan option with maple syrup.
A Lonsdale Street favourite for decades, Tsindos Greek Restaurant is all about tradition. The waiters speak Greek, the banquets are huge (remember those stretchy pants!) and the atmosphere is family friendly. There are even numerous Greek wines on offer, as well as ouzo, Commandaria dessert wine from Cyprus and, of course, Greek coffee. You’ll want to do the Zorba dance all the way home.