If you dream of the Mediterranean and its fresh coastal food but can’t catch a flight to Santorini, why not go to a great Greek restaurant in town? Narcity spoke with Greek cuisine specialist Thanos Tripi about the best Greek restaurants in 6ix.
Tripi is a renowned restaurateur and owner of Mamakas Taverna. Tripi – also known as Mr. Mamakas – runs Koukla Bar, Agora and SOUVLA by Mamakas, a Greek street food restaurant.
Tripi has shared some of his favorite Greek restaurants and bakeries in Toronto, and here are six to check out when you’re craving Mediterranean flavors.
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Address: 522 King Street West, Toronto, ON
Why you need to go: Tripi says myths are the newcomers to modern Greek cuisine.
“[Their] a carefully designed interior takes you straight to the Greek islands, âTripi told Narcity, adding that it really lends itself to aâ Mykonos-style night on the town â.
Myth is full of fresh seafood dishes like their TÃ³nos Steak, which is a yellow fin tuna topped with sea salt and gremolata on a mashed cauliflower. They also offer classic appetizers like a flaky Spanakopita and a Flaming Saganaki.
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Address: 5 Queens Quay W., Toronto, ON
Why you have to go: Tripi told us that Alexandros Gyros has been a staple of Greek cuisine for the past 20 years.
“This is the real deal,” he added. “Exactly as it is prepared on the streets of Athens.”
You can have a classic chicken or pork pita (or even go for a totally vegetarian dish as well.) And, if you don’t feel coated for your meal, you can opt to serve it on a bed of rice, fries or salad.
Alexandros Gyros also offers a dinner combo designed for two to share, which includes your pita gyros of your choice, a large Greek salad, large Greek fries or their poutine, and two bottled sodas.
Athens pastry shops
Address: 509 Danforth Ave., 825 Coxwell Ave., Toronto, ON, and 2567 Victoria Park Ave., Scarborough ON
Why you have to go: “It’s been around forever,” Tripi told Narcity. “[It] it was my father’s meeting place for coffee on the Danforth. [They] still use family recipes to make their own phyllo dough for Greek pies and pastries. “
Sip a piping hot espresso or Greek coffee while you sample some of their sweet treats like their Loukoumathes (which are their honey puffs.) If you don’t have a sweet tooth, they also have delicious savory options.
“[It’s] about as close as you can get to a traditional pie shop in Greece, âTripi added.
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Address: 830, avenue Pape, Toronto, ON
Why you have to go: “My parents always bought family birthday cakes from here,” Tripi told Narcity.
From mini baklava filled with pistachios to traditional cookies and cakes, there is a wide variety of Greek baked goods to choose from. There’s even a food market full of imported groceries.
Don’t know what to try? Tripi recommends their bougatsa, which is a flaky phyllo dough.
Address: 707 Danforth Ave., Toronto, ON
Why you need to go: Tripi said that Athens restaurant on Danforth is famous for its magirefta, which means home-style baked meals in Greek.
âRustic and always well executed,â Tripi said, adding that they serve honest Greek cuisine.
Some of their house specials include mousaka, which consists of layers of baked minced meat, eggplant, zucchini, and a creamy potato bechamel sauce (and it’s even gluten-free!). Vegans can try their gemista, which is their version of stuffed peppers.
If you’re not sure what to try, Tripi recommends that you keep an eye out for daily specials.
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Address: 405 Donlands Avenue, Toronto, ON
Why you need to go: Select Bakery is a traditional Greek family run forno, and Tripi is a close family friend of the owner, Kostas Katsamakis.
âHis father, Manolis, moved from Athens to Toronto in the 1970s and quickly rose to fame for his traditional Greek classics like baklava and loukoumades,â Tripi said.
Loukoumades are mini donuts soaked in honey and garnished with nuts and cinnamon. Select Bakery has a full menu of Greek baked goods and even offers holiday classics at Christmas and Easter.