Tampa Bay has a rich Greek history. The small coastal city of Tarpon Springs, located on the Gulf about 40 min from the city, is home to the highest percentage of Greek Americans in the country. Greek sponge divers settled the area back in the early 1900’s. Today, more than 25% of residents still claim Greek ancestry. In addition to numerous authentic restaurants, there are a number of annual Greek events. Visitors also stop by Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral to admire the beautiful stained glass.
The Tampa metro puts on a number of Greek festivals. The Greek Festival, going strong for almost 40 years, is one of the oldest cultural festivities in the city. There is no shortage of Greek dining options, with cities in every Bay county offering their own delicious assortment of Greek restaurants, so you can treat yourself to a fresh Greek salad, gyro, spanakopita, or baklava anywhere you go.
Obviously you will want to head out to Tarpon if you can to immerse yourself in the local history & ambiance. However, there are plenty of great options elsewhere, no matter where your adventures may take you.
Below are 6 great Greek restaurants to check out in various parts of Tampa
- Location: 11125 Park Blvd N #117, Seminole, FL 33772
- Highlight: Low-key ambiance, great combination specials
- What to try: Spinach and cheese pie combo plate
- Greek Village menu
If you are seeking an authentic low-key option, definitely consider Greek Village in Seminole. This local family-owned gem is tucked away in a strip mall, and thus, never overly crowded with tourists. The decor is very charming and the setting intimate and quiet. They serve all your classic Greek fare like Moussaka, Saganaki, Souvlaki, and Dolmades.
Lunch combinations include options such as Spinach and Cheese Pie, Falafel, and Gyro, all served with a mini Greek salad, and grilled open faced pita bread topped with feta. Most options are affordably priced at just 9-11 bucks, so really this is one of the better Greek deals in the metro. If you have any room left over, see if anything catches your eye in the decadent dessert display case, which is filled with homemade Greek pastry treats.
What to do in the vicinity: Take a nature walk at gorgeous Boca Ciega Millennium Park
- Location: Although the original Pappas Riverside is now closed, there are several Pappas throughout Tampa. Find a location
- Highlight: Chopped Greek salad
- What to try: Chopped Greek salad with the falafel appetizer
- Louis Pappas menu
This popular counter quick service style restaurant is a good choice for anyone seeking tasty affordable Greek food in a no fuss setting. Although the décor is pretty much non existent, the space is clean and the food is good. Also, at the Tampa cafe, there is a nice patio to enjoy your meal if the weather is tolerable.
This restaurant is now owned by 3rd generation members of the Pappas family. Louis Pappas arrived in Tarpon Springs in the 1920’s and opened Pappas Riverside Grill featuring the now famous Greek salad served with potato salad. Today, this Greek gem is most well known for their delicious chopped Greek salads. Fresh produce from local farms and high quality meats and cheeses are used for all dishes. Quick does not mean you lose quality! Do try the Greek salad chopped, along with their amazing falafel.
What to do in the vicinity (Tampa cafe): Take a stroll around Hyde Park Village, an outdoor shopping destination home to numerous cafes, coffeehouses, boutique shops, and a dine-in theater.
- Location: 785 Dodecanese Blvd, Tarpon Springs, FL 34689
- Highlight: Beautiful dining room
- What to try: Chicken souvlaki
- Hellas menu
Due to a convenient location in the sponge docks district of Tarpon
Springs right across from a popular cruise line, Hellas is the most popular Greek dining choice amongst tourists. The setting is really beautiful with colorful murals adorning the dining room, as well as a covered patio. The ambiance is great with the lively chatter of tourists enjoying a vacation meal. The food, while decent, is brought out rather quickly, thus making for a rather rushed meal.
The spanakopita and chicken souvlaki are both excellent choices here, although the Greek salad is a bit sparse on the toppings. What Hellas does best is dessert! As you walk in you will notice the most enormous bakery filled with every Greek dessert you could ever imagine. It’s hard to leave without trying one, although they all look so tempting. You really cannot go wrong with a slice of Baklava cheesecake! And do order a tasty Greek coffee to savor alongside your treat!
What to do in the vicinity: Take a dolphin adventure island cruise aboard Odyssey
- Location: 802 N Pinellas Ave, Tarpon Springs, FL 34689
- Highlight: Non touristy ambiance, affordable pricing
- What to try: Spanakopita, Greek salad
- Mr Souvlaki menu
Considered the local’s favorite in Tarpon Springs, Mr Souvlaki is a nice choice for the tourist seeking a quiet cozy Greek restaurant away from the crowds. This place has that homestyle vibe going for it for sure. The food is fresh and authentic and prices are reasonable. The decor is a bit limited, however, the dining room is clean and well-maintained. The crowd is mainly locals, and thus, the atmosphere is super casual.
Mr. Souvlaki is most famous for their Greek Chow Mein, an interesting dish which consists of rice pilaf, sauteed peppers and onion, shredded feta, and your choice of chicken, pork, veggies, shrimp, or gyro. Another highlight is their delicious spanakopita, listed as an app, but definitely filling enough to serve an an entree. Also be sure to split the Greek salad amongst your party – it’s huge and totally delicious. The rest of the menu consists of traditional and contemporary apps and entrees, all reasonably priced.
What to do in the vicinity: Explore the sponge docks region and pick up a natural bathing or cleaning sponge in one of the boutique shops.
The Hungry Greek
- Location: See locations list
- Highlight: Fast service & consistent quality at every location
- What to try: Greek salad topped with falafel
- The Hungry Greek menu
This popular Florida chain is cheap, convenient, while also serving delicious food – a rare find in the fast food world. There are 5 locations around the Tampa metro, so if you are craving quick Greek food that hits the spot, there is almost always a location within drivable distance. The food quality is consistent at all locations, so you cannot go wrong. The Wesley Chapel location features a nice outdoor patio and the food and service are always great.
The menu is simple and consists of Greek bowls, pitas, salads and soups, and entrees. The Greek salad topped with falafel is definitely the way to go. The huge salad includes the standard lettuce, cucumbers, onions, tomatoes, olivers, beets, pepperoncini, green peppers, and feta, plus potato salad, as well as pita. Choose falafel for your protein and request tzatziki on the side and you have a terrific meal! They also serve super tasty pitas (try the veggie) with french fries.
What to do in the vicinity: Head next door to Buttermilk Provisions for an excellent cup of artisan coffee.
Acropolis Greek Taverna
- Location: See locations list
- Highlight: Pretty outdoor patio
- What to try: Falafel appetizer
- Acropolis menu
Acropolis is a popular local Greek chain with numerous Tampa Bay locations. The highlight here is a clean modern setting. The dining room is very attractive, and so is the beautiful outdoor patio which surrounds a fountain. On the downside, service is very inattentive and unprofessional and the pricing is quite high compared to other Greek restaurants.
Acropolis serves the best appetizers. Some delicious items to try include spanakopita, stuffed mushrooms, and saganaki. Their falafel, topped with salsa and their special zesto sauce, is the must try here. The Greek salad is decent although a bit overpriced, and unfortunately does not include pita. Consider treating yourself to the Chicken Gyro Platter for lunch which includes a small Greek salad and French fries for 14 bucks.
Another great option is the falafel bowl, a healthy choice which includes mixed veggie slaw, diced tomato, pickled turnips, & roasted jalapeño – topped with zesto sauce over couscous.
What to do in the vicinity: Alligator watch at Lettuce Lake Park, a leafy local favorite for nature walks.