Greek

Sometimes, the urge to have Greek food strikes, and nothing satisfies until you get it. When that happens, count on 10Best to point you in the direction of Chicago's best Greek restaurants. We understand the desire to have a great meal, and we work hard to bring you the top places to eat in Chicago. We vet restaurants carefully for quality, and when we recommend popular eateries like Greek Islands or tell you that Roditys gets good reader feedback, you can believe it. We'll make sure you get - and eat - what's best.

9 Greek Islands
Greek Islands separates itself from the pack with festive atmosphere and a professional waitstaff. Start with Avgolemono soup and saganaki, also known as cheese on fire, and then dig in to some traditional dishes like dolmades (grape leaves stuffed with meat and rice), moussaka (baked eggplant, ground meat and potato casserole topped with béchamel sauce which can also be prepared vegetarian) and lamb kokkinisto (Lamb braised in their special tomato sauce), which are among local favorites. If seafood is more your style, fresh lavraki is flown in daily and broiled octopus is ideal for adventurous palates. The décor is cheery, in the traditional white and blue colors of many Greek restaurants. Greek Islands is conveniently located in Greektown and offers free valet parking. (312-782-9855)

8 Santorini
Santorini prepares fresh seafood to order, and while red snapper has everyone talking, black bass and shrimp are also delicious. Typical Greek favorites like vegetable moussaka and saganaki (slabs of flaming cheese) also make appearances. The cozy interior boasts a wood-burning fireplace that sets an especially accommodating mood during cooler months. Outdoor dining and complimentary valet parking are available. (312-829-8820)

7 Artopolis Bakery & Cafe
Artopolis prides itself on producing fresh-baked goods in its own kitchen. The place's name comes from a combination of the words "artos" and "polis" (bread and town, respectively), and the menu features a variety of breads, pizzas, sandwiches, salads, and classic Greek dishes. The dessert menu includes specialty coffees and organic teas. A selection of Greek beers and wines is also available. (312-559-9000, 877-502-7867)

6 Parthenon
This restaurant stays open late, feeding hungry patrons after other restaurants have shut their doors. The menu includes a host of traditional mezes — try a platter of sausages, liver, sweetbreads, and meatballs, or sample spinach cheese pie. Main selections encompass a delectable roster of lamb, vegetable, potato, and chicken dishes. Try chicken karama, chicken simmered with tomatoes and herbs and served with rice pilafi or okra. The interior features Greek landscapes. (312-726-2407)

5 Pegasus Restaurant and Taverna
This casual eatery offers a mix of traditional Greek and Mediterranean eats. The dining room features many large windows, and the rooftop area draws rave reviews. Boasting over 150 seats and a full bar, the outdoor venue is perfect for warm summer evenings and offers great views of the city's skyline. Standout entrees include jumbo Gulf shrimp kebobs with vegetables and rice pilaf, and seared sea scallops with fresh spinach and rice. The large, well-selected wine list features Mediterranean and American varieties. (312-226-3377, 888-558-2637)

4 Athena
An excellent summer patio sets this Greek restaurant apart from the rest. The outdoor space is a three-tiered affair that features brick walkways, 30-foot trees, colorful flowers, and a waterfall. The menu features classic Greek dishes, including braised lamb, dolmades, and moussaka. Warm pita bread, seafood kabobs, and eggplant dishes are solid choices as well. (312-655-0000)

3 Cross-Rhodes
Great Greek eats on the cheap define this notable establishment; for a song, you can have pork tenderloin shish kabobs and beef and lamb gyros. Try moussaka with chicken or vegetarian-style. It's loaded with potatoes, eggplant, zucchini, and cheese and topped with an egg custard. Greek salads are fresh and tasty, studded with plump olives and feta cheese. (847-475-4475)

2 Roditys
Since 1973, this local standout has prepared traditional Greek dishes. Great fare includes braised lamb, homemade Greek sausages, fried squid, roast lamb loin, dolmades, and orange roughy. The restaurant's casual ambiance features Greek music playing in the background and quaint knickknacks adorning the blue and coral-hued interior. (312-454-0800)

1 Venus Greek-Cypriot Cuisine
Greece's island neighbor to the east, Cyprus, provides the bounty of luscious cuisine found at this restaurant. Mezes, the Mediterranean version of tapas, are undoubtedly the star of the menu and include temptations like grilled baby octopus with balsamic vinegar, pork meatballs with yogurt, and swordfish kebobs. If you're not in the mood to share, choose something from the entree list. Pastitsio and mousaka are here, as well as a host of scrumptious but less familiar dishes. Live Greek music on weekends is an added bonus. (312-714-1001)


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Maps and Directions

1
Greek Islands 10Best List Arrow
Dining Options: Catering, Disabled Accessible, Family Friendly, Parties / Private Rooms
Cuisine: European, Greek, Mediterranean
COST: $
2
Santorini 10Best List Arrow
Dining Options: Disabled Accessible
Cuisine: European, Greek, Mediterranean
COST: $$
3
Artopolis Bakery & Cafe 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: Bakery, European, Greek, Mediterranean
Dining Options: Catering, Delivery, Disabled Accessible, Non-Smoking, Take Out
COST: $
4
Parthenon 10Best List Arrow
Dining Options: Catering, Cigar Friendly, Disabled Accessible, Family Friendly, Parties / Private Rooms, Smoking (bar only), Take Out
Cuisine: European, Greek
COST: $$
5
Pegasus Restaurant and Taverna 10Best List Arrow
Dining Options: Catering, Disabled Accessible, Family Friendly, Live Music, Parties / Private Rooms, Smoking (bar only), Take Out
Cuisine: European, Greek, Mediterranean
COST: $
6
Athena 10Best List Arrow
Dining Options: Disabled Accessible
Cuisine: European, Greek, Mediterranean, Vegetarian
COST: $
7
Cross-Rhodes 10Best List Arrow
Dining Options: Disabled Accessible, Family Friendly, Take Out
Cuisine: European, Greek, Mediterranean
COST: $
8
Roditys 10Best List Arrow
Dining Options: Counter Seating, Disabled Accessible, Family Friendly, Parties / Private Rooms, Take Out
Cuisine: European, Greek, Mediterranean
COST: $
9
Venus Greek-Cypriot Cuisine 10Best List Arrow
Dining Options: Bar / Lounge, Delivery, Disabled Accessible, Family Friendly, Group Friendly, Live Music, Non-Smoking, Parties / Private Rooms, Take Out
Cuisine: European, Greek, Mediterranean
Neighborhood: GREEKTOWN
COST: $$