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.
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!