The Best Greek Goes Way Beyond Gyros
St. Louis, MO/July 23, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) – When we think of Greek food, many of us zero in on that famous Greek sandwich, gyros, or that famous Greek dessert, baklava. Both are classically Greek cuisine, relying on quality ingredients precisely layered together to form a unique and delicious treat. But Greek cooking goes way beyond these two familiar dishes, and St. Louis is fortunate to have a robust Greek-American community, meaning scores of terrific Greek restaurants and delis offering classic dishes and contemporary cooking too. Greek cuisine is one of the classic Mediterranean cuisines—think olives, wine, fish, vegetables, grains, and meat (including lamb, poultry, and pork, as well as rabbit and beef).
We wanted to know where to get the best Greek food in St. Louis. So, we turned to customer reviews to find out which restaurants are rated the highest by the people who matter most, diners! What we found was a delicious variety of Greek restaurants all across the metro area. There were chef-driven Greek-Mediterranean restaurants, mom-and-pop gyro stands, and loads of comfortable, casual dining options in between. Topping the list is The Greek Kitchen at 15939 Manchester Road in Ellisville. It just opened last November (in the former Café Kebab space), and has quickly become a local favorite.
The Greek Kitchen has a bright, cheerful, casual dining space that seats about 30 inside, and another dozen or so on the small patio out front. It offers Greek classics that are prepared fresh in the semi-open kitchen. Here you will find traditional dishes like dolmathes (stuffed grape leaves filled with beef and rice), Spanakopita (flaky spinach and cheese pie), and one of my personal favorites, Saganaki (fried Greek cheese). At The Greek Kitchen, it’s prepared tableside. They coat Kasseri (a semi-hard, salty, sharp cheese) with brandy, light it on fire, and then douse the flames with a squeeze of lemon juice. It is a truly special dish. On select nights, they also offer Moussakas (layered with potatoes, eggplant, and meat sauce, then topped with creamy béchamel). And yes, they make excellent gyros and souvlaki (chicken kebabs), as well as fresh hummus, falafel, and tzatziki. The one menu surprise is Buffalo-style chicken wings, which aren’t Greek, but are spicy and delicious. Don’t skip the display case near the register. There you’ll find a variety of Greek pastries, including baklava. Owners Chef Lisa Nicholas and Joe Kandel previously sold these pastries wholesale under the name Sinful Creations. They still offer catering under the Sinful Creations name.
As we said, there is great Greek food to be found all over the metro area. Here are the top 10 Greek restaurants in St. Louis:
1. The Greek Kitchen (4.87 stars/82 reviews) Ellisville, 15939 Manchester Road, Ellisville, MO 63021, (636) 686-7200.
2. Spiro’s Restaurant (4.77 stars/143 reviews) St Charles, 2275 Bluestone Drive, Saint Charles, MO 63303, (636) 916-1454.
3. Vinnie’s Italian Beef and Gyros (4.60 stars/161 reviews) Lindenwood Park, 3208 Ivanhoe Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63139, (314) 644-7007.
4. Cafe Nova (4.59 stars/128 reviews) Princeton Heights, 5611 South Kingshighway Blvd, Saint Louis, MO 63109, (314) 351-7443.
5. The Little Greek Corner (4.47 stars/70 reviews) Fenton, 1914 Bowles Ave, Fenton, MO 63026, (636) 600-0603.
6. Lilly’s Gyros (4.43 stars/110 reviews) Metro East, 10600 Lincoln Trail, Fairview Heights, IL 62208, (618) 398-5455
7. Ambrosia Restaurant & Bar (4.40 stars/52 reviews) Affton, 9416 Gravois Road, Affton, MO 63123, (314) 631-1375.
8. Spiro’s Restaurant (4.37 stars/71 reviews) Lindenwood Park, 3122 Watson Road, Saint Louis, MO 63139, (314) 645-8383.
9. Anthonino’s Taverna (4.37 stars/980 reviews) The Hill, 2225 Macklind Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63110, (314) 773-4455.
10. Tazé Mediterranean Street Food (4.32 stars/192 reviews) Downtown, 626 Washington Ave, Ste. 103, Saint Louis, MO 63101, (314) 254-7953.
Honorable Mentions are our way of sending a shout out to some terrific restaurants, sometimes personal favorites, sometimes up-and-comers who didn’t have enough reviews (minimum 50) to make the top 10 list. These dining options are worth your attention if you’re looking for great Greek food. So, Honorable Mentions go to:
Assumption Greek Orthodox Church Luncheons (4.28 stars/29 reviews) Town and Country, 1755 Des Peres Road, Saint Louis, MO 63131, (314) 966-6720. Every Friday they do an authentic Greek lunch from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The menu varies week to week, but it’s always homemade, high quality, and sells out quickly. Hint: The gym/dining hall entrance is around back. You can place a carryout order if you call ahead.
Apollo Cafe (4.89 stars/9 reviews) Concord, 5450 Southfield Center, Saint Louis, MO 63123, (314) 270-4001. Fast, casual, friendly cafe serving Greek and Mediterranean fare. Gyros, hummus, falafel, salads. This place just opened in June, and already diners are raving about the great service and deliciously fresh food.
Dado’s Cafe (4.26 stars/66 reviews) St. Louis Hills, 5425 Hampton Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63109, (314) 224-5588. Dado’s combines classic Greek fare with casual American cuisine in a comfortable space. The menu offers a nice mix: Greek meatballs, saganaki, gyros, burgers, fresh hummus, gourmet pizza, pastitchio, salt cod, prime rib, even toasted ravioli—you get the idea, a little something for everyone. They also have a full bar and they do brunch on Sundays.