AN ‘EXPERT’ GUIDE TO GREEK DINING IN CHICAGO
I love being Greek and living in Chicago. I come from a household where we eat home-cooked Greek food nearly every night of the week. I have also been to a ton of Greek restaurants in Chicago so I consider myself a bit of an ‘expert’ when it comes to Greek cuisine. There are some amazing restaurants in Greektown and in the surrounding areas that make me feel like I am actually dining in Greece! My list below provides a brief synopsis of a few of my favorite (and the best) places to dine in Greektown.
For Dinner- Greek Islands
Where the atmosphere is everything. The music is lively and crowd is energetic; the restaurant is loud and boisterous which makes dining fun. My family and I usually order about 10 different appetizers as opposed to actual meals since these are items that we do not make at home.
Eleni’s Picks: The village salad (fresh cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, green peppers, and feta cheese) and fried zucchini are my favorite. The saganaki (Greek cheese which the waiters light on fire), grilled octopus, and tirokafteri (feta cheese blended with red peppers) are also highly recommended.
In the Summer- Athena
Athena restaurant, in my opinion, has the best food in Greektown!! I love going to Athena during the summer. There is an outdoor garden with a flowing waterfall, which makes me feel like I’m actually sitting in Greece. The interior is elegantly decorated and when it’s cold the fireplace is always burning.
Artopolis is a nice change from the typical restaurants in Greektown. It is a great café to chill with a group of friends or go on a casual date. The crowd on Fridays and Saturdays is young and fun. When the weather is nice, the French doors on the ground level are opened and you feel as if you are sitting outdoors.
Eleni’s Picks: My friends and I always order the Loukoumades (they are a Greek pastry which resemble doughnut holes covered in honey and cinnamon). The loukoumades at Artopolis are the best that I have ever had the Fredos (double ices espressos) are delicious.
Late Night- 9 Muses
9 Muses is the hot, late-night spot in Greektown. On Fridays and Saturdays the place is always packed and the hottest European music is blaring. The crowd is young, swanky, and sophisticated. 9 Muses serves lunch and dinner, and becomes a lounge after hours.
Eleni’s Picks: The drinks are outstanding; I recommend the Cosmos. If you decide to go for dinner, they make the best Souvlakia in Greektown, and the Spanakopita is delish. You have to complete your meal with the Greek fries. They are seasoned French Fries that are good with any main dish.
I hope you get the chance to experience some Greek dining this summer!