NEW YORK (Hoodline) – Interested in trying some new Greek places in New York City, or just want to see if anything has opened up near you? You’re in luck: we’ve found the freshest Greek tavernas to sate your cravings. Here are the newest places to check out the next time you’re in the mood for dolma, gyros or baklava.
Yia Yia’s Taverna
1035 Flushing Ave., Williamsburg
Yia Yia’s Taverna is a Greek eatery located at 1035 Flushing Ave. in Williamsburg. It focuses on healthy dishes and has plenty of plant-based options for vegetarians and vegans.
On the menu, vegans will find plant-only dishes like the fried eggplant and zucchini with skordalia, plus the imam, or stuffed baby eggplant with sautéed onions, fresh tomatoes and Parmesan cheese.
For heartier fare, check out the lamb and beef doner, served as a sandwich or on a platter with Greek salad, pita bread, and a choice of fries or rice. (You can take a look at the full menu here.)
Yia Yia’s current Yelp rating of 4.5 stars out of 14 reviews indicates that the new arrival is a welcome addition to the neighborhood.
“The best Greek food I’ve had in a long time!” said Yelper Jessica C. “The pita was perfectly made and drizzled with the yummiest olive oil on top. … The chicken was so moist and tender. I’ve never enjoyed souvlaki quite like this before.”
And Yelper Flo W. added, “Like your Greek grandma would make, if only you had a Greek grandma. Food is fresh and delicious and portions are huge. Prices are so reasonable.”
Yia Yia’s Taverna is open from 11 a.m.–11 p.m. daily.
231 E. 53rd St., Midtown
Souvlaki GR is a Greek spot whose Midtown East location at 231 E. 53rd St. joins two other brick-and-mortar branches and its original food truck in New York. The project of Abby Sierros, Pavlos Sierros and Kostas Plagos, it bills itself as a “little taste of Mykonos in the heart of NYC.”
The spot’s signature dish, souvlaki, is a charcoal-grilled pork or chicken pita sandwich served with tomato, red onions, fries and tzatziki. Shrimp, sausage, lamb, and veggie versions are also available.
For hungrier diners, there’s a two-person grilled meat platter, a meaty combination of lamb chops, Greek sausage, chicken, pork, and beef skewers, accompanied by pita and tzatziki. (The bistro delivers through Grubhub, Seamless and Delivery.com; you can check out the full menu here.)
Souvlaki GR’s current rating of 4.5 stars out of 23 reviews on Yelp indicates positive attention from users.
“[My] personal favorite is the chicken pita with the spicy feta, but really can’t go wrong with anything,” wrote Yelper Mike N., who was one of the first users to visit Souvlaki GR on August 29. “Their octopus is absolutely the best I’ve ever had. Cooked perfectly in an olive oil based sauce.”
And Nicholas G. added, “The tyrokafteri was delicious. The tzatziki was fantastic too. Not too garlicky but a perfect compliment. For lunch we had the gyros. A true sign of an authentic gyro is if they put a couple french fries inside of the gyro. Sure enough, that is how it came here.”
Souvlaki GR is open from 11 a.m.–11 p.m. Monday-Saturday. (It’s closed on Sunday.)
Via Dei Greci
33-18 Broadway, Astoria
Via Dei Greci is an all-day Italian-Greek café located at 33-18 Broadway in Astoria. It has plenty of breakfast fare, but also serves sandwiches, salads, and its signature Pitza with a Greek flair.
As the name suggests, the pitzas are pita flatbreads cooked pizza-style, with toppings like the mushroom sauce, mozzarella, and Manouri cheese of the eponymous Via Dei Greci. The menu also offers a Breakfast Pitza topped with Nutella and fruit.
For a more traditional sweet bite, the pastries and desserts include house-made profiteroles. The cream puffs come with a choice of dark chocolate, white chocolate or caramel. Customers on the go can grab a hot or frozen drink like a pistachio milkshake or caramel latte. (You can check out the full menu here.)
Via Dei Greci’s current rating of 4.5 stars out of six reviews on Yelp indicates a positive reception in its early days.
“Delicious — their desserts are so fresh. Nice relaxed atmosphere,” said Yelper Keirina C., who reviewed Via Dei Greci on August 26. “Homemade chocolate for the frozen yogurt is really good.”
And Yelper Ed L., who was the very first to review the new spot, called its pita-based pepperoni Traditional Pitza “out of this world.”
Via Dei Greci is open from 10 a.m.–10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 10 a.m.–11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
222 W. 79th St., Upper West Side
Kefi is a Greek spot that recently reopened in its original space at 222 W. 79th St. on the Upper West Side, after a stint at Columbus Ave.
On the menu, look for the sheep’s milk dumplings with tomato, pine nuts, spicy lamb sausage, spinach and feta, as well as meatballs served two ways: either with roasted garlic, olives and tomato or with tzatziki, lemon and pita bread.
You can check out the full menu and order online through the restaurant’s Yelp page.
Yelp users are generally positive about Kefi, which currently holds four stars out of 63 reviews on the site. However, reviews from after the revamping are noticeably less enthusiastic than older reviews.
Yelper Kim D., who reviewed Kefi on August 5, wrote, “The meatball appetizer is simply out of this world. They are tender and flavorful, in a light tomato and olive sauce that perfectly complements the dish. On the flip side, the chicken souvlaki platter barely qualified as edible.”
And Yelper Scott F. complained of changes to the food, service and prices following the reopen, and warned, “Don’t be fooled by the Yelp rating, as so many are old reviews of the place when it was really good, and well run. Look at reviews over the past month and the trend is definitely not your friend.”
Kefi is open from 5 p.m.–10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 5 p.m.–11 p.m. on Friday, 11 a.m.–11 p.m. on Saturday, and 11 a.m.–10 p.m. on Sunday.