Top Dishes To Try Your First Time In A Traditional Greek Restaurant

Posted on: 25 August 2022

Greek cuisine is delicious and approachable. Truly, you should be able to order anything on the menu and enjoy a great meal at a traditional Greek restaurant. But if you're dining at one for the very first time, you may not be sure which dishes to order. Here are some top ones to start with.

Avgolemono Soup

"Avgolemono" means "egg-lemon." This is one of the most popular Greek soups, and almost every traditional Greek restaurant offers it. Some restaurants even serve a cup automatically before each entree. If you see it on the menu, definitely order a cup. It's smooth, creamy, and has a lovely, light lemon flavor. The base is chicken stock, and most versions have some rice and chicken in them. This soup is not overly filling, so you should still have plenty of room for a meal after enjoying a cup of it.


Souvlaki is a marinated meat dish that is popular in Greek restaurants. In Greece, it is often made with lamb, but in the United States, you'll often see it made with beef. Some restaurants serve chicken souvlaki, too, but that's less traditional. The marinade for souvlaki contains a lot of lemon juice and garlic, which gives it a really strong but delicious flavor. Sometimes you'll see souvlaki served over a salad with feta cheese and olives. Other times, you'll see it in a pita pocket. Both are good options and are well worth ordering.


Spanakopita is a sort of fluffy, egg pie made with spinach and filo dough. It's quite satisfying and is a bit like Greek comfort food. Sometimes you'll see it on the menu as a light lunch option. Other times, it is served as a side dish alongside a dinner meal. In either case, it's worth ordering a slice. It may be the best way you've ever enjoyed spinach.


When the dessert menu comes — and at a Greek restaurant, it always does — don't even look down the list of options. You want the baklava. This delicious dessert is made from layers of flaky dough, honey, nuts, and cinnamon. The texture is light and the filling is so satisfying. If you don't have room for it, take it home.

If you order one or more of these dishes when you visit a traditional Greek restaurant, you'll be experiencing some of the best that Greek cuisine has to offer. Enjoy!