The Citiblog

My Big Fat Greek Dinner – NYC Style
September 6, 2023, 12:52.31 am ET


Photo: Kellari Taverna

With My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3 hitting theaters, we thought we'd showcase restaurants celebrating Greek culture every day in the city.

Kellari Taverna
19 W 44th St, NYC

Kellari Taverna, now celebrating 15 years in Midtown, is known for its impeccable service and mouthwatering seafood. The restaurant is owned by the Aktipis family led by Stavros Aktipis and his son Andreas. Executive Chef Vasiliki Vouriotaki honed her skills at several restaurants in Athens before moving to New York City where she worked at Oceana. Vouriotaki is known for adding modern touches to classic Greek flavors.

Executive Chef Vasiliki Vouriotaki

The meal begins with Seafood Platter of lobster, jumbo shrimp, clams and oysters. Other options include Octopodi, charcoal grilled sustainable octopus with hummus; Fileto Tonos, marinated seared tuna with citrus sauce; and “Pikilia” Spreads, an assortment of five traditional dips.

Photo: Kellari Taverna

Whole fish are brought in fresh daily from the Mediterranean as well as local markets with names like Lavrakim, Tsipoura and Barbounia among others. Chef’s selections include Aegean Surf & Turf with grilled prawns and filet mignon, pan-seared Faroe Island salmon, grilled pasture-raised lamb chops and roasted free-range chicken.

Photo: The Avra Group

Avra Rockefeller Center
1271 6th Ave, NYC

Avra Rockefeller Center is a magnificent multi-story restaurant from The Avra Group. The space is light and airy with towering ceilings, an elegant marble bar with lush greenery, and ample outdoor seating when the weather permits.

Visitors will also discover a large seafood display featuring Mediterranean specialties like Barbounia, Lithrini and Fagri, along with giant tiger prawns. Specialties include Carpaccio of Octopus, Spanakopita with spinach, feta and leeks baked in filo dough, along with assorted spreads. Freshly caught fish are flown in daily from Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal - all charcoal grilled simply with olive oil, lemon and sea salt. For meat lovers there are grilled lamb chops, and a prime New York strip, among others.

Photo: Molyvos/

402 W 43rd St,

Molyvos is named after the Livanos family’s ancestral hometown of Molyvos. Located at its new perch in Hell’s Kitchen, in the former Esca space, Molyvos is all about the flavors of Greece, including Greek wines and spirits. The restaurant is run by John Livanos who emigrated to the U.S. in 1957 and began his career in Manhattan as a dishwasher. Today he operates Molyvos with his children, Nick, Bill and Corin, who also own the critically-acclaimed Oceana.

The menu brings traditional Greek dips like Melitzanosalata made with roasted eggplant, tomato, yogurt, garlic, and herb; and Tzatziki, sheep’s milk yogurt with cucumber, garlic, mint, and dill. Larger plates include Stuffed Red Peppers with basmati rice, eggplant, zucchini, tomato, toasted bread crumbs and manouri cheese; Molyvos moussaka with spiced lamb & beef, potato, eggplant, peppers, and yogurt béchamel; along with an assortment whole fish. For dessert there is baklava made with walnuts and pistachios.

Photo: Eléa/Alex Staniloff

217 W 85th St

Eléa evokes the Greek islands at its Upper West Side location. The sister of Kyma, in Flatiron, Eléa offers a modern take on Greek cuisine. An oval-shape concrete bar serves as the centerpiece of the restaurant, a meeting place for a quick bite and cocktail. The dining room is brightened by white-washed walls, reclaimed wood and teal tapestry.

Artifacts also fill the space, including a 200-year-old olive press. The menu includes Mediterranean salads, assorted whole fish, char-grilled lamb chops, braised short ribs, and Greek classics like Pastitsio; baked pasta with seasonal mushrooms and béchamel.

Photo: Anassa Taverna Astoria

Anassa Taverna Astoria
28-10 Astoria Blvd, Queens

Named after the ancient Greek queen of the Mediterranean, Anassa Taverna in Astoria is a jewel of a restaurant. Setting the mood, an elegant space with towering chandeliers, exposed wooden beams and floor-to-ceiling windows. The sleek bar with natural wood top and aqua blue seating offers the perfect spot for drinks and a bite.

The menu also brings a splash of the Mediterranean with fresh whole fish flown in daily, including pink snapper, black sea bass, dorado and branzino. Dips and small plates are also offered, like grilled Octopus with fava and capers; Spanakopita with spinach, leeks and feta in phyllo; and grilled traditional Greek sausage. Larger plates include swordfish kebabs, marinated lamb chops, grilled organic chicken and lobster spaghetti for two with a signature tomato sauce topped with myzithra cheese. Anassa

For a full list of Greek restaurants in the city, click here