Opa! Your guide to Greek Food + the best Greek restaurants in Dubai
When I think of Greece, images of sunshine, pristine beaches, and rich history come flooding into my mind. Greece is lauded as the land of the Gods of Olympus and the cradle of Western civilization, so just like everything else, there’s nothing boring about the cuisine.
Greek Cuisine 101
Simple, flavorful, and nutritious, Greek cuisine continues traditions from Ancient Greece and Rome, also incorporating Ottoman, Balkan, Italian, and Middle Eastern influences. Cooking has always been significant in Greek cuisine, with recipes dating back to literally thousands of years.
Fun fact – The first cookbook was written in Greece around 350 B.C
Being a nation with rich soil and a pleasant climate, Greece produces a vast array of organically produced grains, vegetables, legumes, cheeses, nuts, herbs, and oils. Staple to the Greek diet is the triad of wheat, olive oil, and wine.
Also making up an extensive part of the cuisine are the dishes of the hundreds of islands that also make up about 20% of the country. Lamb, poultry, beef, and veal are all extensively used during holiday seasons, and seafood is especially popular around the coastal regions.
If you’re like me and are absolutely in love with food, one thing you’ll never tire of is Greek hospitality. When a guest visits, the Greek host showers them with food and drink, showing how happy they are to receive them. Refusing this offer is a huge no-no, so don’t ever go to Greece and say no to food (who in their right mind would ever do that?).
Glyko, a sweet preserve made of fruits or vegetables, is the first thing served to the guest and is sometimes given as a present. Lunch is traditionally the main meal of the day, and a long lunch break with sweets and coffee follows.
Now when you’re finished with that, stopping by a taverna is the next thing on the agenda, because Meze awaits you there.
Consisting of a selection of sweet and savory, and hot and cold, Meze can also be small portions of the main dish, like feta cheese, fried octopus, or vegetables in sauces, bread, and dips.
Dinner is usually a late affair and can go on till midnight if it’s a formal event. It could be light, especially if you’ve had a heavy lunch or meze, consisting of a salad. But those who sit down to dinner as their main meal of the day start off with soups, meze, salads, meat or fish, veggies, rice or pasta, and dessert.
Now, if you’re suddenly overcome by a strong urge to fly to Greece to eat everything, there’s good news for you! You can find it all right here in Dubai
Location: Armada Bluebay Hotel, Jumeirah Lakes Towers
Must-try dishes: Saganaki, Marinated Grilled Octopus, Lamb Keftedes, Gemista, Feta dip
Timings: 12:30 PM-5 PM, 7:00 PM-11:30 PM
Location: Gate Village 11, DIFC
Must-try dishes: Cheese and Truffle Pie, Feta Saganaki, Grilled Meats, Salads
Timings: Sun to Thu, 12:00 PM-1 AM; Fri-Sat, 12:30 PM-1:00 AM
Location: Fairmont Dubai
Must-try dishes: Salads, Grills, Greek Pizza, Mixed hot and cold starters
Watch out for – Zorba dancing and plate smashing.
Timings: Sat-Wed, 7:00 PM-1:00 AM, Thu-Fri, 7:00 PM-2:00 AM
Location: Majestic City Retreat Hotel, Al Mankhool
Must-try dishes: Moussaka, Tomato Kefka, Spicy Peppers and dip, Gemista
Timings: 12:30 PM-3:00 PM, 8:00 PM-11:30 PM, Daily.
04 501 2690
5. Avli by Tashas
Location: Gate Village 9, DIFC
Must-try dishes: Saganaki, Mini Lamb Gyros, Meze
Timings: Sat-Wed, 12:00 PM-1:00 AM, Thursday-Friday 12:00 PM-1:30 AM
Location: Four Seasons Resort, Jumeirah Beach
Must-try dishes: Aubergine Mille-Feuille with Feta, Burrata, Spaghetti with Shrimp, Scallops, and Basil Pesto
Timings: 12:30 AM to 12:30 PM, Daily.
Location: Rixos Premium Dubai, Jumeirah Beach Residence
Must-try dishes: Meze Tray, Kalamaraki, Ammos Mousakas, Lobster Pasta
Timings: 12:00 PM-12:00 AM, Daily