Amongst the many contributions in the world invented by Greece – democracy, philosophy, coin money, tragedies, the odd custom of spitting at somebody to ward off evil spirits – their cuisine has to be the best.
From traditional taverns to places that have mixed it up with their modern take, here are the best Greek restaurants in Vienna where you’ll eat like Zeus yourself:
Kafeneon // Καφενείο – Greek Vienna
Where: Payergasse 7, 1160
Kafeneon won us over as soon as we walked in the door and were warmly welcomed by the friends and family outfit that run the place. Jula, the head cook will greet you herself in their intimate, rustic looking restaurant. She radiates that motherly vibe. This place comes recommended often by Greeks themselves, and there’s no doubt that at Kafeneon you’ll get a dose of the Greek kitchen, how yia-yia makes it. Actually, a lot of the dishes here are made from old recipes passed down from generation to generation, like the fresh octopus, marinated (in some special way they wouldn’t reveal) and laid on a bed of split pea puree – which may not sound like much, but it’s damn amazing. The tzatziki is garlicky and flavoursome, while the plate of deep fried sardines taste as fresh as you can get in this landlocked country. And there’s a reason for that – they are! Jula’s husband gets up early every morning to head to the fish markets and get the best there is. Be sure to eat the sardines whole, otherwise Jula will get upset – there’s plenty of good stuff in the bones of the fish too, hence why the Greeks eat them without any messing about. There is a substantial selection of Raki, Ouzo and Tsikouda and a stellar Greek-dominated wine list (try any of the wines out of Santorini – they’re delightful!).
Oh yeah, and we bet you you’ll end up having a conversation about their olive oil. They proud of it, and rightfully so. And the Greek music playing lightly in the background is a nice touch to bring the Greek isles even closer to this 16th district spot.
We love.. the staff here – they’re all very friendly!
We also recommend… trying the Gigantes, which are giant white beans typically found on any Greek dinner table
Lamb cutlets with oregano out of Crete = 21.50€
Deep-fried sardines with a side of salad = 15.80€
Irodion – Best Greek in Vienna
Where: Landstraßer Hauptstraße 71, 1030
This delightful family-run place has expanded big time since it opened its doors in 2017, now including a winter garden, and a huge dining area along with a al fresco garden out front. And it’s no wonder why they’ve grown, and continue to fill this massive space adorned with Greek God statues. Irodion is a favourite amongst many who seek out authentic Greek cuisine.
Their dishes – all made with fresh ingredients, a lot of them imported from Greece (like their delicious olive oil, for example) – range from tzatziki to fresh fish plates, to dishes that show off the Greek’s way with the grill. The moussaka is a richly layered dish of ground beef, eggplant, zucchini and a variation of béchamel, while the popular Gyros spezial dish is served up in a claypot, filled with perfectly spiced Gyros meat which is hidden under a Metaxa-based sauce and baked cheese topping – all of it earns the title, ‘food for the Gods.’ The seafood dishes are fresh, and the tenderly grilled and spiced calamari is definitely worth a mention. And the Pikilia (a variety mix of grilled or fried mezedakia (appetisers)) comes in a cold or warm option. The waiters sport kind smiles and also dish out with the dishes that warm Mediterranean charm. This is half of the reason you’ll feel at home as soon as you take a seat at Irodion. The other half might have something to do with the shot of Ouzo they’ll give you on the house. There’s also plenty for vegetarians to choose from.
We also recommend… having one of their Greek coffees
We love… the figs and ice cream for desert
Also good to know… they offer a daily lunch menu which ranges from 8.90€ to 13.50€ and includes seafood options
Moussaka = 13,90€
Smoking / Non-smoking
Akropolis – Best Greek in Vienna
Where: Stadlauer Straße 26, 1220
Daily: 11:30am–2:30pm & 5:30pm–11pm
Located a bit further from where we are used to for our daily dose of food, this 30-year-old tribute to Greek cuisine is the work of three hard working generations of Greek cooks. Opened in 2005, Akropolis offers locals something in between an old school menu of traditional fare from the homeland and other modern take on other specialties. While it can be overwhelming to look at the almost 6-page-menu, you don’t have to worry. Their staff (all hailing from the land of Zeus) will help you find your way.
Amongst the things that we sampled, the big winners of the “I licked the plate while the waiter was taking it away,” award are the homemade tzatziki and their Galaktobureko – a delicious dessert, which is basically pastry that comes with a berry sauce and vanilla ice cream garnish and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Apart from this, the restaurant’s vast interior offers a lot of space. Akropolis is fine dining experience, with a hearty Greek soul at the center of it.
We also recommend… you try out the chicken with their homemade “Metaxa Sauce” – its something definitely different from other Greek places.
Plus: they also have a second restaurant in the 21st district (Prager Straße 14, 1210)
Odysseus – Best Greek in Vienna
Where: Penzinger Straße 57, 1140
Having opened 30 years ago by the father of the current managers, Odysseus slowly became one of the referents of the Vienna Greek scene. As a traditional Greek restaurant, they established their own concept by combining the typical tavern atmosphere with a classy vibe, which means you can enjoy a nice shot of ouzo while waiting for your food. The best way to start your meal, however, is to order some of their home brand of olive oil and have some bread with it. Seriously, the olive oil alone is a good reason to go all the way to the 14th district! Their menu is a combination of Greek classics, as well as some experiments they show in monthly (like their Greek burger dish). Our advice though – go straight to the grill section! Their charcoal grill gives their dishes a unique flavour, which in turn arrives to your table in a victorious sword like skewer. What makes Odysseus a full dinning out treat is their summer concerts, in which they invite Greek singers to entertain the diners. They also occassionally bring in critically-acclaimed Greek cooks as guest chefs for a night.
We also recommend… to not pass up on dessert! Their lava cake will make you want to order seconds, and then thirds…