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Best of Toronto

The Best Greek Restaurants in Toronto

Posted by Robyn Urback / September 19, 2011

Best Greek Restaurants TorontoThe best Greek restaurants in Toronto are, unsurprisingly, mostly to be found on the Danforth. While the inherent Greek-ness of Greektown may arguably be eroding, it still remains the Toronto spot for plenty of authentic Greek eats. It also helps that you can start to hear the sidewalk chatter even before you hit Logan, making you feel as though you've left Toronto and landed somewhere in Athens. Okay, maybe not, but it's better than a strip mall in Don Mills.

The best Greek restaurants in Toronto offer great atmosphere along with chicken souvlaki, and hopelessly literal decor that, for some reason, seems to work at these places. So don't cover up that blue paint!

Here are the best Greek restaurants in Toronto.

Lead photo split by Jamie G. and Daniel Kuseta

See also:

Messini

Messini

Say you will about the fries in its Gyros, Messini certainly has no problem making its signature offering known. Whether it is indeed authentically Greek or not (the inevitable conversation that seems to spawn from a Messini Gyros mention) the Gyros, like the rest of Messini's menu, is filling and delicious, best enjoyed on its Danforth patio on a late summer night. More »

Volos

Volos

Volos makes Greek sleek (excuse the rhyme), which is a change from the blue-and-white Athens feel of many of the Greek restaurants you might find, say, on the Danforth. But the fare here at this new dining destination on Richmond Street is indeed faithfully Greek, from its Moussaka to its list of Greek wines. More »

Avli

Avli

Now Avli, on the other hand, is everything you'd expect from a Danforth Greek restaurant; aging decor, a cozy dining room, patrons at the next table who talk too loudly, and some truly fantastic homemade dips. The Kopanisti must have a little something extra, because it's impossible to leave even a remnant on the plate. The Avli-licious menu, despite its cringe-worthy name, offers good bang for your buck with $15 lunch and $25 dinner prix-fixe menus. More »

Square Boys

Square Boys

Square Boys has been around forever, and though it certainly looks it, its, uh, retro decor is all part of the Danforth restaurant's charm. When in the area, Square Boys is a solid choice for some of the best Souvlaki and Gyros around, at a price that can't be beat by its Greektown neighbours. More »

Pan on the Danforth

Pan on the Danforth

What would a charming Greek restaurant be without a lone woman gyrating next to your table as you dine? The lucky patrons of Pan of the Danforth can enjoy two such occasions each week with live belly dancing performances on Friday and Saturday nights. The lamb at Pan is certainly a customer favourite, and it can be enjoyed for the best value as part of the restaurant’s often offered prix-fixe menu. More »

Astoria

Astoria

It may be number six on this list, but Astoria is number one on mine, especially when I'm craving a hearty plate of chicken souvlaki. While I often surrender to my love of sweatpants and resign to order in, Astoria really is best experienced in its Danforth dining room. The Saganaki just isn't the same at home with an over mitt and old pack of lighters, alas. More »

Mezes

Mezes

Mezes is one Danforth restaurant where you can usually count on a wait. That's because the spot is often packed, buzzing with activity and chatter, as well as lots of authentic Greek dishes big enough to share. Mezes has a great wine list and roster of homemade desserts, which include Baklava and Chocolate Baklava, Galaktoboureko, and Yaourti Me Meli. More »

Folia Grill

Folia Grill

Folia Grill serves up snacking goodness in the form of its delectable zucchini fries. In my opinion, they totally blow the French variety out of the water. The mostly take-out spot is known for its hefty meals and fair prices, where $5.25 will get you a Chicken Gyro Pita and $12 for 8oz N.Y. Strip loin. More »

Karbouzi

Karbouzi

Lastly, a North Toronto spot to throw into the mix. Karbouzi has been on Avenue Road north of Lawrence (albeit, in various forms) for over four decades, now settled as a neighbourhood favourite family-owned Greek restaurant. Swathed, of course, in blue, Karbouzi offers all the favourites including Spanakotiropita, Souvlaki, and Moussaka, though few watermelon dishes, despite the English translation of its name. More »

Discussion

37 Comments

Rexdale / September 19, 2011 at 10:25 am
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Astoria and Messini are great. Astoria has a spot on Dundas in Mississauga as well.
Aydin / September 19, 2011 at 10:45 am
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Kinda glad that my favorite, Pantheon, isn't on the list. Confused, but glad. They don't need any more business! Pantheon is like the Lee Garden of Danforth restaurants - the constant 30+ minute lineups don't lie. It's all Greek people eating there - notice all the plates of dandelion greens! Fresh, Greek fish flown in daily, and some of the best grilled octopus and calamari I've ever had.

Messini (get the lamb!) and Folia (get the zucchini fries) are also excellent for authentic fast food-style Greek.
I want to love Mezes (been there maybe 10 times), but they ALWAYS seem to overcook the seafood - especially the octopus. Astoria is "white people" Greek food. You never see real Greek people in there. It's like choosing Mandarin for best Chinese - sure it's tasty, but you know you're not having the REAL thing.

Honorable mention to Omonia and Zorba's.
Nixon / September 19, 2011 at 10:50 am
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Astoria is for people who don't know about Pantheon.
shlepster / September 19, 2011 at 10:52 am
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Who put this list together?? Messini's quality has gone downhill. Only tastes good if you are drunk at 2am. Astoria dont get me started, it is the McDonalds of Greek food. If you have never eaten great Greek food then I guess it tastes good. Pantheon is not on the list and ranks at the top with Mezes. Folia grill great call!!! Great bifteki gyros and zuccinni fries.
JEB / September 19, 2011 at 10:56 am
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Too bad Folia is always out of chicken gyros meat once the weekend rolls around. My friends and I used to love that place but stopped going because every time we got there, they would say they'd "had a busy week" and were out of meat because of that. They have a tiny menu so chicken gyros are a major part of their offerings. How many busy weeks can you have until you make the connection that you should probably start ordering more??
King&Portland / September 19, 2011 at 11:05 am
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Has anyone been to Volos yet? I've heard that it's legit!
indianguy / September 19, 2011 at 11:19 am
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Yes? Hi! We did the less lazy and went to the souvlaki express and they had the better than the danforth for the takeout. It was even better when we his the tzatziki in Vashis jacket and he found it the week later.
Daniel / September 19, 2011 at 11:22 am
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Who put this list together? Are you Serious? Pantheon is my favourite place for Greek food. I was in Greece a couple months back and as soon as I got back to Toronto I had some of Pantheon's seafood. Obviously food in Greece was better but Pantheon came in a close second. Every single Greek friend of mine has recommended this place to me.

If you don't mind the wait then please check it out. Grill Calamari is excellent. Grill Octopus is quite good too. Fish is the best.
Natalie / September 19, 2011 at 12:01 pm
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I'm shocked that restaurants who actually serve GYROS are not on this list...who voted for Astoria?? Grosss!
A|Layton / September 19, 2011 at 12:22 pm
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Congrats BlogTO on putting together a list of some of the WORST greek on the Danforth.

Maybe you should actually go and eat in some of these restaurants before creating a list.

Based on the restaurants chosen for this list, I have a tip for your 'Best Italian'....(whispers) East Side Marios...amazing!
Bill / September 19, 2011 at 12:43 pm
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Pantheon. and for great takeout: Zorbas. How'd you miss these 2, Blogto???
Anand / September 19, 2011 at 01:01 pm
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Palace Restaurant at Pape and Danforth should be on this list as well...
Greg replying to a comment from A|Layton / September 19, 2011 at 02:05 pm
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These lists are voted on by readers, so you just sound like an elitist goof spouting off like that. Here's a question: why not name some of these better restaurants? Oh, you can't.
dan / September 19, 2011 at 10:27 pm
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souvlaki is amazing. I'll have to try all of these places and spread the word.

http://www.wesisearch.com/blog/?p=102
mrsleny / September 20, 2011 at 12:45 am
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I only go to Astoria for their amazing tzatziki. It's the thickest, most garlicky I have ever had. I welcome all recommendations for tzatziki better than Astoria's.

cheers :)
David / September 20, 2011 at 12:58 am
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Omonia... named
Steph / September 20, 2011 at 10:37 pm
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My best piece of advice, when searching for a great ethnic resto - follow the people of that ethnicity! I am of Greek decent. We greeks love to eat. Yes...large consumption. BUT we eat QUALITY in large amounts. I hear Volos is great but have yet eaten there. In regards to the danforth - I, along with many other fellow Greeks all admit that a good greek dish can bbe found at very FEW restaurants. Pantheon is well known as the top Greek resto. Avli is up there as well. BUT sometimes quantity and quality. Kalyvia, is offers quality AND quantity. Lol. Visit them on a thurs/fri/sat/sun and ask the waiter for their daily specials. They cook it THE DAY OF! They have an amazing pizza, gyros, beef stew amongst other delic homeade items. Pantheon and Avli are known for this as well! Megas has great appetizers, dips and a large patio. My list stops there. Omonia is not even worth mentioning!!!!!! The Greek Grill has some "Nutritional Options" : non-fried items (but u may request them elsewhere as it is the newer trend amongst greeks to order grilled rather than fried). As for take out: my mouth salivates at the thought of a Square Boys or Zorbas chicken souvlaki on a bun with extra sauce , hummus dips or lemon soup! Delicious!!!!
Joe replying to a comment from David / September 21, 2011 at 10:32 am
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Omonia...seconded! Service suffers when they are busy but the food is always incredible!
Dee / September 22, 2011 at 01:43 pm
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Pavilion Pastries at Main and Danforth is great for baked good as well. Best loukoumades in the city! Zorba's is great too.
a.demarco / September 27, 2011 at 03:18 pm
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Athens restaurant is the most authentic food in Toronto!!!!
Cameron / September 29, 2011 at 03:18 pm
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I lika da Greek food!
Andrew replying to a comment from Nixon / October 7, 2011 at 10:37 am
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Dude the Pantheon's in Rome, I think you mean Parthenon
Keziah P / October 21, 2011 at 09:44 pm
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I'm surprised they don't have Zorba's in the list!
erwin model manager / November 12, 2011 at 03:23 am
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crackerssouth replying to a comment from erwin model manager / February 6, 2012 at 07:10 am
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?????
Dr. Shrinker replying to a comment from erwin model manager / February 6, 2012 at 01:48 pm
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What are the frack are you doing here?
60CARLTON / February 19, 2012 at 08:18 am
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Alexandro's has the tastiest pork souvlaki in the city!!!
and to the comment about the whole fries in the gyro thing - that's how they serve 'em up in Greece...and it's awesome.
carmen / April 21, 2012 at 08:39 pm
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I am new to toronto i came from New York city but i dont know which greek restaurant to go to i want somewhere really yummy where i can keep going. so anyone wana help me plz?
kostatin polizos / May 3, 2012 at 09:32 pm
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Super blog replying to a comment from erwin model manager / June 14, 2012 at 12:24 am
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I understand every word. So true!
David / July 13, 2012 at 10:43 pm
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Just ate at Omonia. I really don't know what all the fuss is about.

I had a Caesar salad with artificial bacon bits and boxed croutons. Store-bought bread with some tapenade from a jar.

The gyros were dry, the calamari looked like it came from a Highliner box. Also, how can you charge $20 an entree and serve water out of a plastic jug?.

I must say that the service was excellent. Very friendly, attentive staff and the restaurant and washrooms were very clean.
Crack Shoot! replying to a comment from erwin model manager / July 19, 2012 at 08:58 am
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COSPLAY / September 26, 2012 at 10:45 pm
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I'm surprised they don't have Zorba's in the list!
Peter / October 31, 2012 at 02:07 am
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Great list. Some greats missing are Pantheon (for best seafood) & Zorba's for traditional.
Greek Gateway / October 31, 2012 at 02:20 am
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This list is a great start BlogTO. However, needs to be updated as it's missing a few great places like Zorba's for traditional, Pantheon for seafood, Ouzeri (tapas and grilled), Maras
(another new authentic gyros). Not better than Messini gyros though. Which deserves the 1st spot above. Pan is included but should be amongst first places not 6th.
Amanda A / March 2, 2013 at 02:43 pm
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Just ate at Pantheon and it was hands down the best Greek restaurant around. Staff were extreamely polite and very attentitive. Food was delicious, especially the calimari and spanakopitas. Will definitely go back
turko / December 13, 2013 at 04:36 am
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Pantheon is the best.

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