Updated: May 1, 2021
Best 12 Greek Food Places Near Wembley Central – Whether your visit to Wembley includes a football game at Wembley Stadium, a concert at SSE Arena, or shopping at the London Designer Outlet, it’s a given that you are going to be hungry at some point.
Luckily for you, there are several excellent eating places from which to choose in the Borough of Brent, so why not consider going Greek on your next visit?
If eating Greek is, well, Greek to you, and you have no idea where to start, read on for a list of the 12 best Greek restaurants in the Wembley Central area. A few are close to the Stadium, but if you’re willing to venture out a bit, you’ll find more Greek dining spots within a seven-mile radius.
From street food to full-service restaurants, there is a Greek eatery available to suit everyone. Kalí órexi! (that’s bon appétit in Greek).
Also, if eating Greek cuisine has never appealed to you, below we’ll look into what it is about Greek food that you should consider.
But first, if you know nothing of Greek cuisine, there are several basic questions for which you may want answers.
Key Facts – Greek Cuisine
- Greek recipes influenced by their history
- Food eaten by Greeks form part of the Mediterranean cuisine
- Mediterranean cuisine favours olive and olive oil
- Olive oil is one of the healthiest oils you can ingest
- There are places in Wembley (listed below) that serve Greek food.
What Ingredients Can You Expect in Greek food?
Like all cuisines, Greek food incorporates elements from their distant past, their Roman and Ottoman history, their local produce, elements from neighbouring countries and influences from those neighbours and travellers.
Greek food also has much in common with other cuisines of Greece’s distinctively Mediterranean geography – Turkish, Cyprus, Spain, Italy, and all those countries that occupy the Mediterranean Basin.
Depending on where you eat it, like other cuisines, Greek food is a typical blend of, among other things, 1) how to satisfy the palettes of the local residents, 2) what produce is locally available and 3) how much that produce costs to obtain.
For example, if lamb meat is expensive to obtain don’t be surprised if the recipe changes to use pork, chicken or beef!
According to Wikipedia, wheat, olive oil, and wine form the basis of Greek food. But that’s not all; an emphasis gets placed on vegetables, grains, fish, port, poultry, veal, lamb, rabbit and goat.
But so is bread (made from wheat), cheese, lemon juice, pasta, herbs, olives and yoghurt.
But there’s more.
Combined with nuts, honey, fruits and filo pastries, these ingredients form a collection that is not predominately carbohydrate.
Unsurprisingly, the food has the usual food groups carbs, proteins and fats. A critical factor with Greek food seems to be on which ingredients the Greeks place great emphasis within those of their dishes.
In the West, our preferences tend towards a greater abundance of carbohydrates. This emphasis seems different from most Greek foods.
They tend to favour more vegetables or more combination of fats and vegetables. The overall point of this is that it plays well for those looking to maintain their weight. Remember, if you eat ready-energy (sugar is the most common example) and don’t need it you’re likely to store it.
Our bodies have evolved to handle carbohydrates (necessary for energy), but excess can lead to weight gain over time if not terribly active.
People in the different regions of Greece, as in other parts of the world, also place varying emphasis on the various food elements. For example, it is only recently that meat has become so abundant.
In earlier times, the natural emphasis would have been on the spread of grapes and olive trees (because of the country’s geography and climate), that in turn dictated the foods that people had to eat. Of course, being close to water, locally caught seafood has also always been integral to Greek cuisine.
But ask anyone about Mediterranean food, and the first thing they’d mention is olives and olive oil. Perhaps the next thing they’d remark upon is how healthy olives and olive oil are.
And this indeed has been bourne out by facts.
Popular vegetables tend to be peppers, onions, tomatoes, eggplant, green beans, potatoes and okras.
Just as geography, climate and terrain shape the people, it also shapes the kind of available foods and helps determine the types of livestock that can survive the hills, the weather and the rocks.
Hardy animals, like goats and sheep, became natural inhabitants alongside the people. Animals like these adapted to roam without needing much attention. Therefore, goats’ milk and feta cheese, (lower in calories and fat than regular cheese) made from sheep’s milk, form a natural part of Greek cuisine too.
Greek honey traditionally comes from fruit trees and citrus trees rather than bees as one might reasonably expect.
Please take a look across the range of foods and simplify the food in your mind’s eye.
It is not one big mass but organised as follows: –
- Salads, spreads, dips, sauces
- Various bread (pieces, loaves, slices)
- Pitas dishes
- Soups dishes
- Egg Dishes & Pasta
- Meat & Fish dishes,
- Vegetarian dishes,
- Desserts and sweets
Such a breakdown makes it easy to decide what you may want to try.
14 Traditional Greek Dishes Worth Trying
What Traditional Dishes Can You Expect In A Greek Restaurant?
So where might I begin with eating Greek food? Remember that dishes will often get changed to suit local palettes and to accommodate using local ingredients based on cost, preferences and availability.
As you examine the menus of the following eating places keep an eye out for this small selection of notable traditional Greek dishes.
01- Choriatiki (Greek Salad)
Greek Salad is made with tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, feta cheese, olives and, of course, olive oil.
Taramasalata is made from fish roe, breadcrumbs, olive oil and lemon juice
Mousakka is a creamy dish of spiced beef or lamb layer with eggplant and bechamel sauce.
04- Souvlaki (little skewers)
Souvlaki is the Greek version of the Middle Eastern kebab – Small pieces of meat and sometimes vegetables on a skewer eaten while still hot. Often served with pita bread, flatbread and fresh toppings.
05- Dolmades (Stuffed Grapevine Leaves)
Dolmades is a vegetarian dish stuffed with lemon-flavoured rise, herbs and spices rolled and boiled until tender.
06- Tomatokeftedes – (Tomato fritters)
Tomatokeftedes is made from diced tomatoes, onions, mint and feta cheese.
Tzatziki is a Greek dip made from strained yoghurt, garlic, cucumber, olive oil, fresh dill and lemon juice
Papoutsakia is stuffed eggplant baked then filled with tomato-based meat sauce topped with bechamel sauce and cheese.
Pastitsio is Greek lasagne made with layers of pasta, minced beef with bechamel and spiced tomato sauce, topped with melted cheese.
10- Kolokithokeftedes – (Fried Zucchini/Courgette Balls)
Kolokithokeftedes is an appetiser made from zucchini, fresh mint, feta cheese and extra virgin oil served with tzatziki or plain yoghurt.
11- Soutzoukakia (Greek Meatballs)
Soutzoukakia is made from ground pork and beef, cumin and olive oil cooked in a red wine sauce, usually served with rice.
Kleftiko is a Greek speciality of oven-cooked lamb, (originally in an earthen oven) infused with lemon juice, olive oil and garlic served with rice or salad.
13- Spanakopita (Greek Spinach Pie)
Spanakopita is crumbled feta cheese mixed with spinach, bound together with egg, dill, onions, wrapped in phyllo pastry and brushed with olive oil and baked until crispy.
This list above is by no means an exhaustive list of Greek dishes.
You may have noticed that olive oil plays a vital role in the dishes above. Apart from the sheer availability of olives to make olive, this is the next obvious question.
What Makes Olive Oil Special?
Without doubt, Olive Oil is incredibly healthy fat when compared with other kinds of oils that you may be applying to your foods in the forms of dressings. Olive oil represents fat in your diet, and eating healthy fats gets recommended by health officials.
The Greeks have benefited from these benefits for centuries.
Greek cuisine favours olive oil over other more common oils like palm oil, coconut oil, ghee, lard or butter. Olive oil has the edge over other healthy fats like groundnut oil, corn oil, sunflower oil and rapeseed oil.
From a calorie and heart perspective, olive oil is perhaps one of the healthiest fats we can ingest.
What Are The Vegetarian Options In Greek Food?
You may well have noticed that Greek food includes meat. This inclusion might be a cause for concern by those not wanting to eat meat or those wishing to eat less meat.
Luckily, Greek cuisine is broad enough to accommodate this vegetarian idea. Lettuce, boiled greens, spinach, cheese, beans, peppers, cucumber, grains, nuts, tomatoes, grapevine leaves, olives, eggplant, wild greens are all classic examples of typical Greek foods.
However, if your preference is less red meat, then there are seafood options. For example: – oysters, shrimps, prawns, red mullet, octopus, seabass, red mullet, grouper, sea-bream, cuttlefish, calamari and squid all dependent on local availability.
People watching their weight will want to pay attention to the carbohydrates on offer like pasta, bread, rice, potatoes. But remember gaining weight, if that is a primary concern, is more tied to eating in excess than merely eating.
And similarly, eating is not just about weight loss or weight gain. It goes way beyond mere “nourishment of body”.
Ideally, you should seek to enjoy all kinds of foods, and there is no shortage of options within Greek cuisine. Do pay attention to how much of everything you eat overall, over time. This advice applies regardless of cuisine.
So with everything that has been said so far, one other question remains, and it is this.
What Are the Best 12 Greek Food Places Near Wembley Central?
And to answer that, we have listed below several eating places for you to consider.
Note: The distance given below is the distance from Wembley Stadium to the restaurant. Restaurants and eating places are listed from closest to farthest from the Stadium.
Located just a few blocks from Wembley Stadium and the SSE Arena, the Arena Restaurant and Meze Bar is a family-run restaurant that has served authentic Greek food since 1984. The staff has a reputation for friendly and quick service, which is a plus when you’re trying to get to a football game or concert.
In addition to the ala carte menu of authentic Greek dishes like souvlaki and moussaka, Arena offers a two-course, prix fixe event menu that allows the diner to choose a starter and a main course from a list of six options in each category.
On event days, the set menu is the only choice available, so keep that in mind if an event has brought you to Wembley.
The Athenian prides itself on serving delicious Greek street food at its various locations around London. The Wembley Athenian is located in the Boxpark, a multi-vendor food mall near the SSE arena and within walking distance from Wembley stadium.
Souvlaki is their go-to dish with options for meat or plant-based fillings to tickle the taste buds. Gyros, Greek fries, and salads round out the menu. Souvlakis and gyros can come as a pita wrap, in a box, or “naked” without carbs.
Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Opa! offers authentic Greek pastries, bread, and sandwiches made in-house daily. Depending on your preference, choose from either sweet or savoury items and wash it all down with a cup of their branded signature coffee.
Just under a kilometre from the Stadium, Opa! is a great stop for a quick bite when you need a break from all your rack browsing at the London Designer Outlet. Refuelling at Opa! is sure to get you through the rest of your shopping list.
Atlantis may be a short distance outside the central Wembley area, but, in this case, going the extra distance (or 2 ½) from the stadium district is worth it. Head over to Pitshanger Lane in Ealing for an authentic Greek experience.
Try the weekend special (£11.95 for two courses) or sample a variety of classic Greek dishes with a meze for £16.50 each. There’s always the ala carte menu if you’re longing for your favourite Greek entree.
“There is a place like home”, and it’s Ithaki Greek Kitchen. Just under 5km (3.1 miles) from Wembley stadium in Hangar Hill, Ithaki serves up food in the tradition of old Greece. In addition to the usual souvlaki fare, menu options include Greek burgers, pastitsio, moussaka, and kleftiko.
This gem joins the crowd in offering a prix fixe menu for meat-eaters and vegetarians. Diners can finish off a delicious meal with one of seven Greek desserts.
Wembley Stadium is 8km (five miles) away, but you might as well be in Greece when dining at Wine and Mousaka. It’s that authentic! The restaurant earned TripAdvisor’s 2015 Certificate of Excellence rating and continues to rack up positive reviews with its outstanding food and service.
Billing itself as “traditional Greek Cypriot food at its best,” Wine and Mousaka offers a traditional meze (£25 per person) along with an impressive ala carte menu. Lamb, hummus, tzatziki, souvlaki—whatever you choose, you’ll be glad you booked a table at this family-run restaurant.
Tsiakkos and Charcoal is a cosy, family-run restaurant with full-service dining. The owners offer a house-made meze at £25 per person. The a la carte menu is somewhat limited, with only seven main dishes, but the quality and freshness of the food are outstanding.
Described in many reviews as “amazing” and “incredibly good,” Tsiakkos & Charcoal is worth the 9km (5 ½ miles) drive from Wembley Central.
Vine Leaves is a vegetarian-friendly, Greek and Mediterranean restaurant that has been offering delicious meals since 1990. Entrees include all your Greek favourites with a mix of seafood, lamb, beef, and chicken choices and Greek-style burgers round out the menu.
For the traditional Greek meze, Vine Leaves invites you to slow down and savour all the different elements of the fish or mixed meze.
Fancy a satisfying cup of coffee or to fuel up for a busy day? If so, try Kanenas in Ealing. They are open for breakfast and lunch. They serve homemade pastries and yummy Greek-inspired egg dishes, soups, sandwiches, and pitas.
Kanenas is that quintessential community cafe, cosy and friendly, and only a five-minute walk from the Ealing Broadway tube station after a 30-minute subway ride from Wembley.
Owner, Pantelis, and his late wife Rosana have both been serving authentic Greek cuisine at their Aphrodite Taverna for years. Their hard work paid off with a TripAdvisor 2020 Certificate of Excellence. Using family recipes, the Taverna offers diners homemade dishes like kleftiko, moussaka, and souvlaki.
With an extensive menu of starters and main dishes and various meze options, everyone in your party is sure to find something delicious to eat. The 9.5km drive to Aphrodite is a bit further afield from Wembley but definitely worth the time.
Only 20 minutes by car from Wembley Stadium, Uncle Tony’s Taverna is awash in that beautiful blue and white palette reminiscent of the Greek islands. Customers rave about this hidden gem serving tender souvlaki, gyros, and even octopus.
The traditional meze is made of the Taverna’s house specialities, giving diners a chance to sample the kitchen’s best. Uncle Tony’s Taverna serves lunch and dinner with take-out and dine-in options.
Retsina is a family-run establishment in business for over 30 years. Winners of a 2020 Traveller’s Choice award from TripAdvisor, Retsina is proud of its heritage and its classic Greek and Mediterranean food.
The dining room is classic as well, with its elegant and understated decor. Generously portioned meat and fish entrees, salads, and three different mezes (meat, fish, and vegetarian) accompany an impressive starters menu. Retsina offers excellent value for the money.
Hop on the Tube in Wembley and get to Retsina in about 30 minutes.
Before closing off this topic, there is one more aspect of Greek foods to consider embodied within the following next question.
What Greek Foods Are Most Suitable for People with Diabetes?
People with diabetes already understand the issue. Remember, though that there are many people with diabetes that are unaware of their disorder.
Diabetes is not called the Silent Killer for no reason! Therefore, this aspect is eating of interest to almost everyone concerned with eating healthily.
The issue is that certain foods affect their blood sugar levels. Therefore, people with type 2 diabetes would be seeking to eat foods that do not cause an elevation in their blood sugar levels by minimising or avoiding foods with sugar.
Such an event leads to an insulin event where insulin needs to get produced to sweep away the excess sugar from their bloodstream into their cells. People with diabetes struggle with this aspect of being as their bodies have, over time, become resistant to insulin.
Sugar can sometimes be a challenge to discern considering that sugar exists in various forms; for example – cakes, pastries, bread, biscuits. If possible, pay attention also to these simple forms of sugar – glucose, fructose and galactose.
They often get combined into – sucrose (table sugar), lactose (glucose + galactose) and maltose.
Even so, not all sugars get processed within the body in the same way, making some sugars healthier than others. Honey, and fruit, for example, get processed by your liver rather than the usual way.
But while sugar is number one on the list of carbohydrates, other healthier foods contain carbohydrates too – fruit and vegetables, pulses, dairy foods and whole grains.
The good news is that refined sugars play no vital role in Greek cuisine. And equipped with what you’ve learned above, you can protect yourself if you come across a local Greek restaurant that has gone against the age-old tradition.
If you want to go Greek when dining out in the Wembley Central area, there are plenty of restaurants from which to choose, even if they fall somewhat outside Wembley.
You’ve seen the food choices and the ingredients that dominate Greek food. You’ve seen the main elements of the cuisine and are now better informed hopefully than before.
You also now have what you need to enjoy a taste of Greece and can perhaps imagine enjoying a sunset over the Mediterranean Sea!