Opa! minded: Standout Greek food across HRM

Greek food is a beautiful example of the vegetable-forward Mediterranean diet, which is full of bold flavours and healthy ingredients. You'll find Greek restaurants all over the Metro area, ranging from quick and simple takeouts to elegant sit-down venues. Here are a few worthy places to satisfy your big fat Greek craving.

Ela Restaurant

215 Chain Lake Dr, Halifax, NS B3S 1C9

Ela! was a longtime fixture on Argyle Street under its original name of Opa! before it set up at Bayer's Lake (and Dartmouth Crossing, if you're on that side of the harbour). The menu uses locally sourced ingredients in classically Greek ways. Try the house-made loukaniko, a sausage that literally dates from the classical era. The seafood and rotisserie lamb are also standouts and well worth a trek out into big-box shopping country. This is upscale Greek, with enough wood-and-stone gravitas to overcome its warehouse-style location.

Athens Restaurant

6273 Quinpool Rd, Halifax, NS B3L 1A4

Athens is a relaxed and low-key place, with popular Greek specialties complemented by mainstream Canadian breakfasts. It's family-run, and it shows. Regular customers are fiercely loyal and return year after year, because even standard items such as souvlaki and moussaka are reliably superior here. Prices are moderate and portions are "hungry-student" large, especially at breakfast. Athens has its own off-street parking, always a bonus when dining on Quinpool.

Tom's Family Restaurant

585 Sackville Dr, Lower Sackville, NS B4C 2S4

If you live in Lower Sackville or go to Downsview for the shopping, Tom's is the place to get your Greek on. The kleftiko ("bandit-style") lamb is excellent, cooked tender and moist inside a foil wrapper. Pick a booth or table, whichever suits your seating and leg-room needs. The menu has plenty of kid-friendly options of the burgers-and-fries variety, a definite bonus in a community containing so many young families.

Palladium Family Restaurant

942 Cole Harbour Rd, Dartmouth, NS B2V 1E6

The Palladium is more "Greek and ..." than a straightforward Greek restaurant, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. It means you can enjoy your horiatiki salad and moussaka, while less-adventurous members of your family tuck into a steak or clubhouse sandwich. The two-person Greek platter here is a great value, while the Palladium nachos – made with pita chips – are a purist's nightmare, but they're very tasty. A stone's throw from Superstore, the vibe is family-restaurant comfortable, with checked tablecloths in the mandatory Greek blue and white.

Island Greek

2150 Gottingen St, Halifax, NS B3K 3B4

You knew there had to be a straight-up takeout place on this list, right? Island Greek is it. Technically you can eat in, but the tiny seating area and sketchy-at-night location mean it's better to order out. There aren't many late-night offerings in Metro to match their authentic gyro on freshly house-made pita bread. Vegetarians can order the same bread but bursting with Greek salad. They also do pretty fair pizza, donairs, burgers and hand-cut fries for those who want mainstream takeout.

Bluenose II Restaurant

1824 Hollis St, Halifax, NS B3J 1W4

The Bluenose II is just steps from the waterfront, so it's an ideal place if you're overcome by a souvlaki craving while showing family around town. The spanakopita and moussaka are workmanlike and the grilled lamb surprisingly good. The remainder of the menu offers something for just about anyone. Service here is brisk, despite the volume of customers, so you'll usually get in and out in good time if that's your priority.

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