It’s the middle of the day and you’re walking through the vibrant streets of Chicago as your stomach begins to grumble. Sure, you can go to the same reliable restaurants you’ve always been content with, but deep down you question “Isn’t there more out there?” The answer, my dear friend is yes, yes indeed. Chicago is a city full of new experiences, and Greektown offers an ethnic food immersion never to be forgotten. Greektown’s critically acclaimed restaurants bring the colorful, dynamic flavors of Greece right to your plate—and this article is your guide. Here in alphabetical order are the best places in Greektown to head to for lunch.
Artopolis goes far beyond the call of duty and doubles as a bakery and cafe. The Greek word “Artos” means bread and “Polis” means town, and for centuries, the ancient Greeks believed that bread was the beginning of all great meals. Warning: The delicious aromas of fresh Grecian bread will draw you in, and many are not able to make it to the café after completely filling up on the delectable treats from the bakery. If you fall victim to this regular fate, do not worry. Artopolis understands this difficult situation and allows you to bring your lunch home with you (or back to the office). Artopolis is an incredible location to enjoy a beautiful lunch alongside handmade pastries.
Athena was first established in 1997, and became known for blending ancient Greek traditions with flavors from the modern western world. Whether you are looking for lunch or dinner, Athena has a beautiful outdoor patio, which has continuously been rated as some of Chicago’s best outdoor dining, according to Zagat. Decorated with fountains and columns derived from ancient architecture, their patio was created to provide customers with an experience similar to the ancient city of Athens, Greece. With Chicago’s skyline on the horizon, you will leave Athena feeling as though you stepped out of Greece itself.
Greek Islands has been a classic in Chicago’s Greektown since 1971. They proudly import their own extra virgin olive oil, wine, cheeses, seafood, olives, herbs and spices directly from Greece—and only use healthy, natural and fresh ingredients. With a wide-ranging menu of authentic Greek dishes, you will surely find something new and delicious at Greek Islands.
A gem in Greektown, Meli Cafe has a menu to die for. Serving everything from breakfast omelettes, pancakes, crèpes, and waffles, to salads, burgers, sandwiches and wraps, there is something for everyone, any time of day. Meli Cafe also offers delicious and refreshing hand-crafted juice blends, as well as smoothies, coffee, espresso, and more.
Far and wide, the Parthenon is highly regarded as one of Chicago’s finest Greek restaurants. This restaurant is named after the awe inspiring Parthenon—one of Greece’s highest achievements, and perfectly represents this restaurant’s aspirations: “to reach higher and higher every day.” They do this by using fresh ingredients and always keeping the menu up to date. Be prepared for the cry of “Opa!” anytime somebody orders their famous flaming Saganaki. The Parthenon always provides an incredible, fun-loving atmosphere.
Pegasus brings a traditional Greek home-cooked meal straight to your plate and creates the ambiance to match. The entire menu is comprised of true Mediterranean cooking that the founding families grew up eating, and they make it their mission to bring these dishes to the rest of the world. Pegasus takes pride in making their guests feel as if they were visiting a Greek home, providing the genuine hospitality only Mediterranean’s can understand. Pegasus’ staff goes beyond the call of duty to bring a memorable dining experience to all their customers.
Rodity’s is one of Greektown’s classic restaurants, serving flavorful Greek meals sure to make you believe you are in Greece itself. This traditional Greek food is served in a casual environment for everyone to enjoy. Rodity’s has been part of Greektown for 39 years, still under the same owner. This hidden gem is a must visit on any Chicago visitor’s list!
With great food, excellent service, and a wonderful atmosphere, Santorini is an obvious choice for all. They are widely regarded for their critically acclaimed seafood. The red snapper and sea bass are local favorites, and both are filleted before your eyes next to the table. Santorini provides a truly unique experience with food for everyone to savor and provides unparalleled mediterranean hospitality.
Determined to create a sports bar that provides customers somewhere to relax and have fun, Spectrum excels at creating an environment for all to enjoy. The unique cuisine has American, Greek, and Cypriot influences, and the bar is always stocked with drinks for the bartenders to whip up creative combinations. Over the years, Spectrum Bar and Grill has become a fun and friendly neighborhood spot that both Greektown locals and other Chicagoans frequent.
Throughout Chicago, Zeus is revered as having the best Gyros in the entire city. Frequently offering creative specials, Zeus offers delicious food at an even more delicious price. If you’re looking for a quick bite, or you want that deep inner satisfaction only an authentic Greek Gyro can bring you, Zeus is the place to satisfy your Gyro craving.
In traditional Greek Mythology, the 9 Muses are children of Zeus who were believed to inspire all artists, poets, philosophers, and musicians. Nestled in the heart of Greektown, 9 Muses proves to do exactly that. The restaurant and bar is a laid back, welcoming establishment with a diverse menu of authentic Greek food. Their approach includes the use of the finest quality ingredients, emphasizing prime cut meats, pure virgin olive oil, Kalamata olives, fresh hand rubbed oregano, imported cheeses, and Mediterranean sea salt. Lunch couldn’t be more fulfilling.