The round-up: Brisbane’s best Greek restaurants
Opa! Greek food is – without a doubt – one of the most inventive and flavoursome cuisines in the world. Succulent souvlakis, delicious dolmades, crispy calamari, helpings of haloumi – these are some all-time favourites, but they are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Greek feasts. Brisbane boasts a mighty fine selection of Greek restaurants to choose from, so we figured we’d save you the hassle of looking and list our picks right here, right now.
Greca, Brisbane City: The arrival of the Howard Smith Wharves brought with it a host of new favourites to try, but the name on most lips was Greca. The incredible riverside venue comes from Jonathan Barthelmess, the mind behind quality establishments The Apollo and The Appollo Ginza, so you know his first Brisbane venue was going to be ace. Regardless, we were blown away by what was on offer. Dips and breads, plates of sizzling saganaki cheese, spanakopita, fried calamari with prawns and mussels, kritharaki pasta topped with braised oxtail, grilled octopus, charcoal chicken and baked lamb shoulder is enough for a veritable feast.
Hellenika, Fortitude Valley: The Calile Hotel was landmark opening for James Street when it burst onto the strip in 2018, but it’s not just the luxe accommodation options that people were excited for. Acclaimed Nobby Beach restaurant Hellenika opened a new location as the The Calile’s signature restaurant, bringing the likes of seared scallops with ouzo and butter, veal dolmades and Hellenika’s baked lamb house special along with it.
Opa Bar + Mezze, Brisbane City: The group behind George’s Paragon, Rico Bar & Dining and Fatcow Steak & Lobster expanded its portfolio in 2021 with Opa Bar + Mezze, which set up shop along Eagle Street Pier in the site once home to Jellyfish. This Santorini-inspired locale is plating up a host of traditional and contemporary Greek eats, think ouzo-soaked saganaki, flash-fried calamari, moussaka drenched in béchamel, airy taramasalata and lamb souvla fresh from the spit. The bar specialises in mezze-style plates such as sheftalia, grilled lamb ribs with a sprinkling of grilled oregano and a dollop of tyrokafteri, grilled htapodi, and lahanodolmades – plenty to create a sizeable Greek feast!
Nostimo Restaurant & Bar, West End: The Greek Club underwent a significiant overhaul in the first half of 2018, updating its on-site eatery into brand-new signature restaurant and bar Nostimo. Now spearheaded by acclaimed chef Alex Xinis, Nostimo plates up contemporary Greek cuisine including bouyiourdi (spicy baked feta with peppers, onion and tomato), arni (half or whole lamb shoulder), htapodi (octopus cooked in wine), xifias (grilled swordfish with ladolemono), traditional spanakopita and, of course, loukoumades (honey puffs).
Santorini Restaurant Grill Bar, Newstead: This multifaceted eatery boasts menu that embodies the best elements of Greek cuisine – home-style dishes that channel memories, warmth and authenticity. From zucchini chips, dolmadakia and grilled-to-order souvlaki to six-hour slow-cooked lamb, galaktobouriko and a 70-strong list of Greek wines, Santorini is a top-notch spot for Greek nosh and hospitality.
Little Greek Taverna, West End: One of the most popular spots for a Greek feed is Little Greek Taverna in West End. The corner location offers up a mind-boggling selection of goods such as lamb souvlaki, kefteds, chargrilled calamari, haloumi salads and platters.
The Lamb Shop, Bowen Hills: King Street’s recent foodie boom yielded a prize for fans of the iconic souvlaki. Broadbeach concept The Lamb Shop opened up on the strip and immediately set about filling the street with the scent of meat cooking over the coal grill. In addition to the scrumptious souvlaki, The Lamb Shop also serves up flash-fried southern calamari, house-made pork sausage, char-grilled lamb ribs and grilled sheep’s milk cheese.
Kafenio, West End: Vulture Street eatery Kafenio specialises in mouth-watering char-grilled meats, fresh seafood and marvellous mezze dishes. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Kafenio is equipped to handle you big fat Greek cravings any time of the day, but take note – on Friday and Saturday night plus Sunday day, Kafenio serves up lamb on the spit, while on Friday nights, diners can savour wood-fired lamb shoulder that has been lovingly slow cooked to perfection.
The Yiros Shop, various locations: After starting from humble beginnings in small spot on James Street, The Yiros Shop has blossomed into a multi-eatery powerhouse with a plethora of spots around town. Fluffy pita bread stuffed to bursting point with chicken, pork or lamb, salad, tzatziki and chips is a sure-fire winner, but you can also order plenty more Greek delicacies at the South Bank location.
Lefkas Taverna, West End: This eatery has operated across three generations, serving authentic Greek meals from a takeaway nook and adjoining restaurant. If the bustling ambience on a Friday night is any indication, Lefkas is one of the best of the bunch.
George’s Paragon Seafood Restaurant, Brisbane City: George Tassis has opened a string of Paragon restaurants across Queensland, but his Eagle Street Pier location is one of the best spots in Brisbane to sample great seafood and Greek fare. The choicest dish for those after some Mediterranean is the Greek hor’s d’oeuvres with calamari, octopus, souvlaki, taramasalata, fetta and olives.
Zeus Street Greek, various locations: This establishment caused a stir of excitement when it announced its first Brisbane location in South Bank, bringing with it a election of eight pita varieties, filled with a different meats from the souvla. Partner your pita with traditional Greek dips, or sides such as spanakopita, corn cobs, salads and fetta and oregano chips. Zeus Street Greek now boasts a location in Brisbane City and Chermside.
Icarus, Jindalee: Out near Jindalee’s DFO complex is a Greek eatery that says true to tradition. Icarus sticks to its authentic recipes, plating up hearty and well-priced fare, including its collection of dips, lamb moussaka, gemistes piperies (stuffed capsicum and zucchini), mixed souvlaki plates and Greek-style rice pudding.
Kafe Meze, Graceville and Stones Corner: This duo of neighbourhood eateries prides itself on creating authentic atmosphere in addition to serving up cracking Greek cuisine. As its namesake hints, mezze is a huge part of the offering, with the likes of pastourma, fried kolokythi, keftedes and dolmades perfect for sharing amongst friends. Specialties like grilled cuttlefish, Athenian scallops, prawn saganaki and an assortment of souvlaki will also cater nicely to Olympus-sized hunger levels.
Lemoni Greek Cuzina, Tingalpa: Greek cuisine boasts a storied history and Tingalpa cuzina Lemoni loves to weave these stories throughout its menu. Traditional home-style recipes – including classic souvlaki (filled with slow-cooked rotisserie meats), saganaki, lemon-and-herb potatoes, gemista, lamb cutlets and grilled octopus – are brought to life in the Lemoni kitchen, cementing it as a go-to spot for those seeking authentic Greek cuisine honed over generations.
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