Taste of Greece – Chicago’s Greektown

Greece is my favorite country I’ve visited with its breathtaking islands, whitewashed housing, amazingly friendly people, and great food.  I always try to recreate my experience in Greece whenever I can and one of the perks of living in Chicago is that it has its very own Greektown on Halsted Street. I try to head over there a few times a year to go to dinner and get myself a fix of its gyros, spanakopita, saganaki, wine and music. Greektown also hosts an annual Taste of Greece festival in August which I like to attend.

Unlike many of the festivals in downtown Chicago, this two block event is free and more family friendly than I have experienced in others.  Last year they offered camel rides, this year amusement games and slides for the kids.  Although you can make your way through the festival in a good 15 minutes or so, I like to sit down by the band and really take it all in –  the music, food, families, and other attendees experiencing Greek culture for what may be their first time.

Taste of Greece 2014

Taste of Greece 2013 Camel Greektown Chicago

I am a sucker for a solid Greek gyro and spanakopita which you can get plenty of at the festival and its participating restaurants.  

Greek Gyros Greektown Chicago

Spanakopita Greektown Chicago

Outside of the festival, I’d say I had my best experience at Rodity’s, as the staff was so friendly and tried to make the best evening for my friend, who was celebrating her birthday that night.  I also have been to Greek Islands and Athena, also friendly, attentive staff.  Athena has a great open, greenery-filled room to look out into the city and Greek Islands’ ambiance gives you the feel for what it would be like if you actually were eating at a restaurant on one of its islands.  However, if you are in a time crunch or don’t want to leave the comfort of your own home, I am a repeat customer of Gyro-Mena, which is Greek food fast,  delivers and has a Greektown and Lincoln Park location.  They definitely have the best gyros I’ve had in Chicago.

I’ll leave you with a little gem from my trip to Santorini, Greece, back in 2008. Opa!

Santorini Greece

 

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