clock menu more-arrow no yes
Grilled sea bream on a white plate, served with a scattering of parsley and a lemon at one of London’s best Greek restaurants, Tsiakkos and Charcoal
Grilled bream at Tsiakkos and Charcoal, one of London’s best Greek and Greek-Cypriot restaurants
Tsiakkos and Charcoal [Official Photo]

Where to Find Incredible Greek and Greek-Cypriot Cooking in London

Kleftiko that falls off the bone with a sigh, cult souvlaki, abundant platters of mezze, and more

View as Map
Grilled bream at Tsiakkos and Charcoal, one of London’s best Greek and Greek-Cypriot restaurants
| Tsiakkos and Charcoal [Official Photo]

There was a time when Greek, or Greek-Cypriot, cuisine was capturing Londoners’ imagination as the latest fare, the food to be seen eating. Since the early 20th century, family-run tavernas operated all over the capital, often doubling as popular grill takeaways. And during the eighties—and up until the mid-nineties—Greek dining was as fashionable as its Turkish neighbours are today.

So, what happened? The community began to disperse and integrate into tighter neighbourhoods. An influx of newer cuisines appeared and appealed to diners’ neophyte tendencies. And many businesses, like the sorely missed Spitiko, couldn’t keep up. Greek food is simple, and that went from being its biggest strength to its biggest weakness in quick time.

But diners simply need to look at the city from a wider perspective. Community enclaves in Palmers Green, Southgate, and Bexley offer a vast selection of long-established Greek bakeries and restaurants, serving dishes rarely made outside of Greece and Cyprus and full of local charm. Sit a little longer on the tube, and eat well.

London is subject to tier 2 coronavirus restrictions from Saturday 17 October, which restrict indoor dining to households and support bubbles. Outdoor dining is still subject to the “rule of six.” Diners can check with restaurants to confirm their Covid-secure measures before deciding to visit.

Read More
Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. The Blue Olive

Copy Link
12 Cockfosters Rd
Barnet EN4 0DW, UK

Cockfosters has a surprising amount of Greek businesses, marking a stop for the slowly-building trail of affluent north Londoners exiting the capital for Hertfordshire. The area now has outposts of familiar Greek-Cypriot businesses like Kiki’s butcher, but the two family-run tavernas that popularised the place are Blue Olive and Deserie. Blue Olive is more traditional, with a decent takeaway service at the front, a large seating area, and a mezze that starts at a reasonable £25 per person. Some in the community reckon the souvlaki is the very best. Deserie meanwhile is an upmarket, modern, white-tablecloth taverna — mezze at £33 per person — where diners can enjoy calamari, dolmades stuffed vine leaves, and a very popular grilled octopus. If looking for quality traditional cooking in a modern space, Deserie is the place, and the leafy, quiet environs of Cockfosters make both restaurants a satisfying respite from the city.

2. Wilton Patisserie

Copy Link
49-53 Chase Side, Osidge
London N14 5BU, UK

When Wilton arrived in Southgate in 2008, it almost immediately became the social epicentre of the area — where the community gossips over strong coffee and eats scrumptious wedges of syrup-drenched, nutty baklava and kataifi. The first Wilton opened in Cyprus in 1986, and it’s remained family-run ever since. For north Londoners especially, it’s certainly worth passing the time enjoying the Greek coffee, mingling with the locals outside, and sampling a selection of small, fried tyganita, especially the tahini-pie tahinopita and daktyla, made from crushed almonds and orange blossom water.

3. Alex's Cypriot Sandwiches and Soup

Copy Link
18 Chase Side, Osidge
London N14 5PA, UK
020 8886 9519

A real hole-in-the-wall spot gaining cult status with young members of north London’s Cypriot community. Alex’s is a simple affair, most notable for a staple of Cyprus street food: the beloved zestosandoutiz. Literally, a “hot sandwich,” it’s a toasted roll made with a Greek sesame-seed loaf and filled traditionally with the pick of smoked hams, sausages, eggs, and halloumi, of course. As for the soups, he sells a delicious avgolemono, the famed thick, creamy egg, rice, and lemon soup, but it’s worth trying the trahana, made with cracked wheat flour and goat milk curd, filled with generously cut chunks of halloumi. Whatever diners decide, they should grab a Kean — a popular Greek soft drink — from the fridge, take the spoils outside and watch a serious game of backgammon unfold on the tables.

4. Dionysus

Copy Link
44 High St
London N14 6EB, UK

Talk about a comeback. The Dionysus sign was a happy sight for partygoers in the West End hungry for kebabs from the 1960s until it abruptly closed in 2009. Then a few years ago, something strange happened. The sign had reappeared — this time spotted in a quiet corner of Southgate — once again serving the familiar souvlaki, fish, and hand-cut chips that had so captivated revellers. Dionysus is deeply woven into London’s Greek and Cypriot culinary history, and the food, particularly some now famous grilled loukaniko or pastourma and a mixed souvlaki, is a reminder of what the community nearly lost forever.

5. Babinondas

Copy Link
598 Green Lanes, Winchmore Hill
London N13 5RY, UK

Ask a member of North London’s Cypriot community where the most classic taverna is, and all ages are likely to shout: “Babinondas!” The mezze here is one of the most famous in the area, and starts at £25 per person. But there’s also do a midweek “mini” mezze of seven dishes and a main which costs a more-than-fair £14.95, if not exceedingly hungry. In some ways, Babinondas is more than a restaurant. Many people hold birthdays, or engagement parties, here when parties are allowed: Various Cypriot organisations have monthly get-togethers in the large dining room; and there’s a locally famous “Greek Night” with a special mezze menu, a band, and the inevitable dancing. One to look forward to in 2021. The Babinondas name has become so legendary, that they’ve even branched out into making their own wine.

6. Aroma Patisserie

Copy Link
424-426 Green Lanes, Palmers Green
London N13 5XG, UK

Perhaps the most legendary Greek Cypriot bakery in London. For decades, Aroma has been supplying the community with syrupy sweets, bread, and impressively decorated cakes for christenings, weddings, and birthdays. Led by Andreas Ioannou, this family-run patisserie is well known for koupes, a Cypriot street food made of crunchy cigar-shaped bulgur wheat and filled with spiced pork or mushrooms, often bought in bulk for family occasions. In summer, locals line up for the rose-flavoured ice cream, and throughout the year, a box of loukoumades, fried doughnuts sticky with syrup and infused with cinnamon, make an ideal souvenir if the cargo actually makes it home.

7. Lefteris Bakery

Copy Link
23 Green Lanes
London N13 4TN, UK
020 8881 7304

A long-standing institution in Palmers Green, once unexpectedly popular for fried chicken sandwiches. Run by Lefteris Gregoriou and his family for nearly three decades, the focus here is on freshly-baked bread and pastries rather than the sticky Cypriot sweets, like at Aroma or Wilton’s. Lefteris is as close as it gets to proper Greek bread without actually booking a flight, and the speciality here is the sesame-seeded loaf, sometimes encrusted with chunks of halloumi cheese — ask for halloumpita — or olives — eliopita — to be taken home and toasted as part of a classic Greek breakfast. There are also the cheesy flaouna rolls, eaten while celebrating Easter, and imported branded biscuits and sweets from Greece and Cyprus on the shelves.

8. Paneri Taverna

Copy Link
340 High Rd, Wood Green
London N22 8JW, UK
020 8888 3111

Of all London’s souvlatzidiko, Paneri is the one most resembling the experience in Cyprus — the inviting smell of grilled meat cooking slowly over coal, wafting through the streets; wicker chairs placed haphazardly outside; and chatty regulars surrounding the place. The thing to go for here is the “mix” kebab, which is a giant Cypriot pitta stuffed with salted pork souvlaki, thickly-cut tomatoes and cucumber, and the house specialty, sheftalies — pork and offal sausages wrapped in caul fat. There’s a homely seating area in the back where households can order mezze and other classic Greek dishes, too. Paneri is the go-to for most people seeking out souvlaki in the area. 

9. Vrisaki

Copy Link
73 Myddleton Rd, Bowes Park
London N22 8LZ, UK

Myddleton Road is the last distinctly Greek pocket in Wood Green. But some things never change. For decades, the blue Vrisakis sign has been inviting hungry Greeks and non-Greeks alike to experience the city’s most famous souvlaki. Photographs of nineties and early-noughties celebrities fight for space on the wall, from when the restaurant was once a trendy, secret gem. It’s no longer much of a secret, but it’s still a gem. As well as the grill, it does a respectable mezze offering, known for gargantuan portions, and everything from the food decor reflects the character of a classic London-Greek establishment. But: the souvlaki is not the move here. Instead go for the doner kebab, which is made daily on the premises and filled with freshly chopped onion and parsley, a new addition to late-night memories of the slowly rotating elephant’s foot.

10. Retsina

Copy Link
48-50 Belsize Ln, Belsize Park
London NW3 5AR, UK

When Gordon Ramsay aired Retsina on The F Word a few years back, he confirmed what Belsize Park locals already knew about owner and chef, Zita Mina: She makes arguably the best kleftiko in the whole city. For over three decades, this taverna has been a constant in the community, with the family working both kitchen and front-of-house, adding a personal warmth to the incredible mezze. That includes a popular tabouli/tabbouleh, and calamari prepared in various ways. But it’s always about that slow-braised lamb shoulder; cooked for hours by Zita herself, and falling from the bone with a sigh. The place is so familial, the chef sometimes pops out of the kitchen to greet the satisfied guests, sharing stories and suggesting pairings from the impressive list of Greek wines.

11. Tsiakkos & Charcoal

Copy Link
5 Marylands Rd
London W9 2DU, UK

Located in W9, for the longest time it might have seemed that the team at Tsiakkos didn’t want anybody to notice. The windows, extending over to the door, are covered over with broad, garishly red curtains. But inside lies one of of the city’s best-kept secrets. The taverna is a long-established family spot, where everything is cooked over a charcoal flame, but in recent years it has grown incredibly popular for its £25 mezze offering. Over five courses, the highlight here is the delicious grilled sea bream dressed in olive oil and lemon, or the kleftiko, marinated, as is par for the course, to a closely guarded house recipe; there’s a pretty expansive vegetarian mezze option, too. The taverna has become slightly hip in the last few years, with a new, upscaled interior and a cosy outside seating area.

12. Aphrodite Taverna

Copy Link
15 Hereford Rd, Bayswater
London W2 4AB, UK

In 1988, Pantelis and his late wife Rosanna opened Aphrodite to bring a little corner of Cyprus to Bayswater. Ever since, the restaurant has attracted both locals and celebrities through its doors, greeted by the jovial and charming Pantelis. Today, it is one of London’s most beloved Greek tavernas. The decor is bright and intimate — like stepping into someone’s living room — and many of the dishes follow Pantelis’ own recipe. The creamy, homemade smoked taramasalata is a must, as is the moussaka and chicken souvlaki. But Pantelis is most proud of is his tender oven-baked kleftiko, made using closely-guarded family secrets.

13. Retsina & Mousaka

Copy Link
7-8, Culmington Parade, Uxbridge Rd, West Ealing
London W13 9BD, UK

The charmingly slapdash decor, with walls covered by pots, pans, family photographs, and flags is always a good sign for a Greek restaurant. Chef Angelo runs the kitchen, while his wife Maria greets and serves diners, and the restaurant has a reputation for both the quality of service and the homely, flavourful cooking. Retsina and Mousaka serve dishes like Yayya (that’s grandma) makes them — no picture perfect plates here, just large, overflowing portions of comfort food. The meat mezze is amongst the most affordable on this list, at £22, but there’s also a fish mezze for £25, which includes the popular butterfly king prawns, marinated in olive oil, oregano, and lemon juice, and cooked slowly over a charcoal grill.

14. Sophocles Bakery

Copy Link
24 Camberwell Church St, Camberwell
London SE5 8QU, UK
020 7252 6316

If south of the river, it’s easy to feel starved of good Hellenic spots to eat in. While south London’s Greek and Greek-Cypriot communities have moved on, mostly to Kent, bakeries like Sophocles are still thriving from the clientele that never left, who still arrive each morning for a cup of coffee, a chin-wag, and a fairly-priced selection of Greek sweets. The sandwiches at Sophocles are especially popular, using Cypriot special ingredients like smoky lountza and halloumi, as well as typical cafe fillings, It’s worth a visit to experience a long-established and beloved tribute to a sadly fading community.

15. Avenida

Copy Link
83-85 Bellegrove Rd
Welling DA16 3PG, UK

Avenida is old-school in all the best ways. It’s from an era when going to a restaurant was an event, with a rustic taverna setting and a menu that not only includes mezze, but prawn cocktail and veal Milanese, too. This is the antithesis to the hip Hellenic eateries opening throughout the capital. Part of Avenida’s charm is that it hasn’t moved past the eighties: the souvlaki is still called “Kebab à la Grecque,” a memento of a time when Londoners weren’t sure what kleftiko was yet and Greek restaurateurs had to make a few compromises. There aren’t many places like Avenida left anymore, and even though the exceptional cooking somehow only comes in at two courses at £14.50, customers still dress up as though they’re going to a Michelin-starred establishment in Mayfair. Order that side of prawn cocktail with the “chicken kebab,” and don’t feel bad about it.

16. George's Bar and Grill

Copy Link
22-24 Bellegrove Rd
Welling DA16 3PU, UK

George was the original founder of the Old Bexley Greek Taverna, and although that restaurant is still family-run, still a great spot, what George took with him was irreplaceable. Unlike most of the addresses on this list, George is from Greece, not Cyprus, and accordingly Mythos, not Keo, is the house beer. When he opened up in Welling, locals were glad to reunite with a beloved local legend, who’d been feeding them for decades. Unlike Bexley Village, George’s is a far more relaxed and intimate affair, offering a souvlaki takeaway and a menu of classic dishes prepared with rice, potatoes, and an inviting horiatiko salad. Diners that want something more casual but no less delicious are in very good hands with George.

17. Old Bexley Greek Taverna

Copy Link
82 Bexley High St
Bexley DA5 1LB, UK

As with New Malden and its Korean community, the distant borough of Bexley at first seems an unlikely place for a large Greek community. Why Bexley? The Orthodox Church in nearby Welling might go some way in explaining. But this means that anyone in or around south east London or Kent can eat exceptional mezze at long-standing and lively family-run restaurants like the Old Bexley Greek Taverna. The menu here is filled with rarer dishes from Grecian home-cooking like afelia, pork slowly-cooked in red wine and crushed coriander seeds, as well as mezze classics. For starters, try the decadent saganaki, deep fried goat’s cheese, and spetzofai, Greek-style sausages cooked slowly with aubergines and wine. This is also perhaps the most vegetarian-friendly option on the list.

1. The Blue Olive

12 Cockfosters Rd, Barnet EN4 0DW, UK

Cockfosters has a surprising amount of Greek businesses, marking a stop for the slowly-building trail of affluent north Londoners exiting the capital for Hertfordshire. The area now has outposts of familiar Greek-Cypriot businesses like Kiki’s butcher, but the two family-run tavernas that popularised the place are Blue Olive and Deserie. Blue Olive is more traditional, with a decent takeaway service at the front, a large seating area, and a mezze that starts at a reasonable £25 per person. Some in the community reckon the souvlaki is the very best. Deserie meanwhile is an upmarket, modern, white-tablecloth taverna — mezze at £33 per person — where diners can enjoy calamari, dolmades stuffed vine leaves, and a very popular grilled octopus. If looking for quality traditional cooking in a modern space, Deserie is the place, and the leafy, quiet environs of Cockfosters make both restaurants a satisfying respite from the city.

12 Cockfosters Rd
Barnet EN4 0DW, UK

2. Wilton Patisserie

49-53 Chase Side, Osidge, London N14 5BU, UK

When Wilton arrived in Southgate in 2008, it almost immediately became the social epicentre of the area — where the community gossips over strong coffee and eats scrumptious wedges of syrup-drenched, nutty baklava and kataifi. The first Wilton opened in Cyprus in 1986, and it’s remained family-run ever since. For north Londoners especially, it’s certainly worth passing the time enjoying the Greek coffee, mingling with the locals outside, and sampling a selection of small, fried tyganita, especially the tahini-pie tahinopita and daktyla, made from crushed almonds and orange blossom water.

49-53 Chase Side, Osidge
London N14 5BU, UK

3. Alex's Cypriot Sandwiches and Soup

18 Chase Side, Osidge, London N14 5PA, UK

A real hole-in-the-wall spot gaining cult status with young members of north London’s Cypriot community. Alex’s is a simple affair, most notable for a staple of Cyprus street food: the beloved zestosandoutiz. Literally, a “hot sandwich,” it’s a toasted roll made with a Greek sesame-seed loaf and filled traditionally with the pick of smoked hams, sausages, eggs, and halloumi, of course. As for the soups, he sells a delicious avgolemono, the famed thick, creamy egg, rice, and lemon soup, but it’s worth trying the trahana, made with cracked wheat flour and goat milk curd, filled with generously cut chunks of halloumi. Whatever diners decide, they should grab a Kean — a popular Greek soft drink — from the fridge, take the spoils outside and watch a serious game of backgammon unfold on the tables.

18 Chase Side, Osidge
London N14 5PA, UK

4. Dionysus

44 High St, London N14 6EB, UK

Talk about a comeback. The Dionysus sign was a happy sight for partygoers in the West End hungry for kebabs from the 1960s until it abruptly closed in 2009. Then a few years ago, something strange happened. The sign had reappeared — this time spotted in a quiet corner of Southgate — once again serving the familiar souvlaki, fish, and hand-cut chips that had so captivated revellers. Dionysus is deeply woven into London’s Greek and Cypriot culinary history, and the food, particularly some now famous grilled loukaniko or pastourma and a mixed souvlaki, is a reminder of what the community nearly lost forever.

44 High St
London N14 6EB, UK

5. Babinondas

598 Green Lanes, Winchmore Hill, London N13 5RY, UK

Ask a member of North London’s Cypriot community where the most classic taverna is, and all ages are likely to shout: “Babinondas!” The mezze here is one of the most famous in the area, and starts at £25 per person. But there’s also do a midweek “mini” mezze of seven dishes and a main which costs a more-than-fair £14.95, if not exceedingly hungry. In some ways, Babinondas is more than a restaurant. Many people hold birthdays, or engagement parties, here when parties are allowed: Various Cypriot organisations have monthly get-togethers in the large dining room; and there’s a locally famous “Greek Night” with a special mezze menu, a band, and the inevitable dancing. One to look forward to in 2021. The Babinondas name has become so legendary, that they’ve even branched out into making their own wine.

598 Green Lanes, Winchmore Hill
London N13 5RY, UK

6. Aroma Patisserie

424-426 Green Lanes, Palmers Green, London N13 5XG, UK

Perhaps the most legendary Greek Cypriot bakery in London. For decades, Aroma has been supplying the community with syrupy sweets, bread, and impressively decorated cakes for christenings, weddings, and birthdays. Led by Andreas Ioannou, this family-run patisserie is well known for koupes, a Cypriot street food made of crunchy cigar-shaped bulgur wheat and filled with spiced pork or mushrooms, often bought in bulk for family occasions. In summer, locals line up for the rose-flavoured ice cream, and throughout the year, a box of loukoumades, fried doughnuts sticky with syrup and infused with cinnamon, make an ideal souvenir if the cargo actually makes it home.

424-426 Green Lanes, Palmers Green
London N13 5XG, UK

7. Lefteris Bakery

23 Green Lanes, London N13 4TN, UK

A long-standing institution in Palmers Green, once unexpectedly popular for fried chicken sandwiches. Run by Lefteris Gregoriou and his family for nearly three decades, the focus here is on freshly-baked bread and pastries rather than the sticky Cypriot sweets, like at Aroma or Wilton’s. Lefteris is as close as it gets to proper Greek bread without actually booking a flight, and the speciality here is the sesame-seeded loaf, sometimes encrusted with chunks of halloumi cheese — ask for halloumpita — or olives — eliopita — to be taken home and toasted as part of a classic Greek breakfast. There are also the cheesy flaouna rolls, eaten while celebrating Easter, and imported branded biscuits and sweets from Greece and Cyprus on the shelves.

23 Green Lanes
London N13 4TN, UK

8. Paneri Taverna

340 High Rd, Wood Green, London N22 8JW, UK

Of all London’s souvlatzidiko, Paneri is the one most resembling the experience in Cyprus — the inviting smell of grilled meat cooking slowly over coal, wafting through the streets; wicker chairs placed haphazardly outside; and chatty regulars surrounding the place. The thing to go for here is the “mix” kebab, which is a giant Cypriot pitta stuffed with salted pork souvlaki, thickly-cut tomatoes and cucumber, and the house specialty, sheftalies — pork and offal sausages wrapped in caul fat. There’s a homely seating area in the back where households can order mezze and other classic Greek dishes, too. Paneri is the go-to for most people seeking out souvlaki in the area. 

340 High Rd, Wood Green
London N22 8JW, UK

9. Vrisaki

73 Myddleton Rd, Bowes Park, London N22 8LZ, UK

Myddleton Road is the last distinctly Greek pocket in Wood Green. But some things never change. For decades, the blue Vrisakis sign has been inviting hungry Greeks and non-Greeks alike to experience the city’s most famous souvlaki. Photographs of nineties and early-noughties celebrities fight for space on the wall, from when the restaurant was once a trendy, secret gem. It’s no longer much of a secret, but it’s still a gem. As well as the grill, it does a respectable mezze offering, known for gargantuan portions, and everything from the food decor reflects the character of a classic London-Greek establishment. But: the souvlaki is not the move here. Instead go for the doner kebab, which is made daily on the premises and filled with freshly chopped onion and parsley, a new addition to late-night memories of the slowly rotating elephant’s foot.

73 Myddleton Rd, Bowes Park
London N22 8LZ, UK

10. Retsina

48-50 Belsize Ln, Belsize Park, London NW3 5AR, UK

When Gordon Ramsay aired Retsina on The F Word a few years back, he confirmed what Belsize Park locals already knew about owner and chef, Zita Mina: She makes arguably the best kleftiko in the whole city. For over three decades, this taverna has been a constant in the community, with the family working both kitchen and front-of-house, adding a personal warmth to the incredible mezze. That includes a popular tabouli/tabbouleh, and calamari prepared in various ways. But it’s always about that slow-braised lamb shoulder; cooked for hours by Zita herself, and falling from the bone with a sigh. The place is so familial, the chef sometimes pops out of the kitchen to greet the satisfied guests, sharing stories and suggesting pairings from the impressive list of Greek wines.

48-50 Belsize Ln, Belsize Park
London NW3 5AR, UK

11. Tsiakkos & Charcoal

5 Marylands Rd, London W9 2DU, UK

Located in W9, for the longest time it might have seemed that the team at Tsiakkos didn’t want anybody to notice. The windows, extending over to the door, are covered over with broad, garishly red curtains. But inside lies one of of the city’s best-kept secrets. The taverna is a long-established family spot, where everything is cooked over a charcoal flame, but in recent years it has grown incredibly popular for its £25 mezze offering. Over five courses, the highlight here is the delicious grilled sea bream dressed in olive oil and lemon, or the kleftiko, marinated, as is par for the course, to a closely guarded house recipe; there’s a pretty expansive vegetarian mezze option, too. The taverna has become slightly hip in the last few years, with a new, upscaled interior and a cosy outside seating area.

5 Marylands Rd
London W9 2DU, UK

12. Aphrodite Taverna

15 Hereford Rd, Bayswater, London W2 4AB, UK

In 1988, Pantelis and his late wife Rosanna opened Aphrodite to bring a little corner of Cyprus to Bayswater. Ever since, the restaurant has attracted both locals and celebrities through its doors, greeted by the jovial and charming Pantelis. Today, it is one of London’s most beloved Greek tavernas. The decor is bright and intimate — like stepping into someone’s living room — and many of the dishes follow Pantelis’ own recipe. The creamy, homemade smoked taramasalata is a must, as is the moussaka and chicken souvlaki. But Pantelis is most proud of is his tender oven-baked kleftiko, made using closely-guarded family secrets.

15 Hereford Rd, Bayswater
London W2 4AB, UK

13. Retsina & Mousaka

7-8, Culmington Parade, Uxbridge Rd, West Ealing, London W13 9BD, UK

The charmingly slapdash decor, with walls covered by pots, pans, family photographs, and flags is always a good sign for a Greek restaurant. Chef Angelo runs the kitchen, while his wife Maria greets and serves diners, and the restaurant has a reputation for both the quality of service and the homely, flavourful cooking. Retsina and Mousaka serve dishes like Yayya (that’s grandma) makes them — no picture perfect plates here, just large, overflowing portions of comfort food. The meat mezze is amongst the most affordable on this list, at £22, but there’s also a fish mezze for £25, which includes the popular butterfly king prawns, marinated in olive oil, oregano, and lemon juice, and cooked slowly over a charcoal grill.

7-8, Culmington Parade, Uxbridge Rd, West Ealing
London W13 9BD, UK

14. Sophocles Bakery

24 Camberwell Church St, Camberwell, London SE5 8QU, UK

If south of the river, it’s easy to feel starved of good Hellenic spots to eat in. While south London’s Greek and Greek-Cypriot communities have moved on, mostly to Kent, bakeries like Sophocles are still thriving from the clientele that never left, who still arrive each morning for a cup of coffee, a chin-wag, and a fairly-priced selection of Greek sweets. The sandwiches at Sophocles are especially popular, using Cypriot special ingredients like smoky lountza and halloumi, as well as typical cafe fillings, It’s worth a visit to experience a long-established and beloved tribute to a sadly fading community.

24 Camberwell Church St, Camberwell
London SE5 8QU, UK

15. Avenida

83-85 Bellegrove Rd, Welling DA16 3PG, UK

Avenida is old-school in all the best ways. It’s from an era when going to a restaurant was an event, with a rustic taverna setting and a menu that not only includes mezze, but prawn cocktail and veal Milanese, too. This is the antithesis to the hip Hellenic eateries opening throughout the capital. Part of Avenida’s charm is that it hasn’t moved past the eighties: the souvlaki is still called “Kebab à la Grecque,” a memento of a time when Londoners weren’t sure what kleftiko was yet and Greek restaurateurs had to make a few compromises. There aren’t many places like Avenida left anymore, and even though the exceptional cooking somehow only comes in at two courses at £14.50, customers still dress up as though they’re going to a Michelin-starred establishment in Mayfair. Order that side of prawn cocktail with the “chicken kebab,” and don’t feel bad about it.

83-85 Bellegrove Rd
Welling DA16 3PG, UK

Related Maps

16. George's Bar and Grill

22-24 Bellegrove Rd, Welling DA16 3PU, UK

George was the original founder of the Old Bexley Greek Taverna, and although that restaurant is still family-run, still a great spot, what George took with him was irreplaceable. Unlike most of the addresses on this list, George is from Greece, not Cyprus, and accordingly Mythos, not Keo, is the house beer. When he opened up in Welling, locals were glad to reunite with a beloved local legend, who’d been feeding them for decades. Unlike Bexley Village, George’s is a far more relaxed and intimate affair, offering a souvlaki takeaway and a menu of classic dishes prepared with rice, potatoes, and an inviting horiatiko salad. Diners that want something more casual but no less delicious are in very good hands with George.

22-24 Bellegrove Rd
Welling DA16 3PU, UK

17. Old Bexley Greek Taverna

82 Bexley High St, Bexley DA5 1LB, UK

As with New Malden and its Korean community, the distant borough of Bexley at first seems an unlikely place for a large Greek community. Why Bexley? The Orthodox Church in nearby Welling might go some way in explaining. But this means that anyone in or around south east London or Kent can eat exceptional mezze at long-standing and lively family-run restaurants like the Old Bexley Greek Taverna. The menu here is filled with rarer dishes from Grecian home-cooking like afelia, pork slowly-cooked in red wine and crushed coriander seeds, as well as mezze classics. For starters, try the decadent saganaki, deep fried goat’s cheese, and spetzofai, Greek-style sausages cooked slowly with aubergines and wine. This is also perhaps the most vegetarian-friendly option on the list.

82 Bexley High St
Bexley DA5 1LB, UK

Related Maps