If you find yourself walking along Davie Street around dinnertime, chances are you will see a rather long lineup on one side of the street, eager patrons waiting patiently to get inside one of the most popular restaurants in the area. The restaurant in question is Stepho’s, and while the reason for its popularity is still hotly debated, it certainly offers some excellent Greek food.
About the restaurant: Stepho’s is located near Burrard and Davie, an area known for its quirky alternative roots and “best kept secret” restaurants. There are several other great restaurants nearby – such as Samurai and Kadoya – but something about this place keeps the lineups out the door. Not that the interior is particularly small! The restaurant itself is of a decent size, with several slightly segregated areas for seating. The décor is a sort of chintzy knockoff of stereotypical Greek island architecture; white walls, tiled roofs, and Greco-Roman clay accoutrements. The servers are friendly, but be prepared to have to listen carefully; the restaurant is often noisy and bustling with people.
Note that, if you want to reduce line-up time or even avoid the line altogether, your best bet is to call ahead for take-out.
The food: All right, confession time, I’ve only been here once in order to review it for this blog, so I sadly cannot offer a comprehensive review. Having said that, I actually am not a fan of Greek food so the fact that I came away really enjoying the meal I had says volumes! While there are plenty of dishes for Greek fans, items like the roast lamb dinner and the calamari are appetizing to everyone.
I suspect that part of the reason this place is so popular is due to the portion sizes. They are absolutely enormous. One of my friends who goes to Stepho’s regularly says he has yet to try their desserts because their entrees are always so filling. It certainly helps that the food itself is extremely tasty and well-cooked. The flavors are incredibly rich and stay with you a long time. The roast lamb especially was moist and tender, with the meat and fat falling off the bone. The rice was a great counterpoint. The calamari was also excellent, with jut the right amount of batter. If I had to level a complaint, I’d say that some of the dishes were a tiny bit more fatty than some people might like, but I enjoyed it thoroughly.
My favourites: Roast lamb dinner, calamari.
Cost: Extremely reasonable for the amount you get. The roast lamb dinner was under $10, as are most of the entrees on the menu, and it was more than enough to fill me up.
Location(s): Stepho’s is on Davie Street, near the Burrard intersection. Link to Google Maps.
Website and menu: No official website, but menu available here.
Summary: If you have a yearning for Greek food and want to go to the place all the locals go, Stepho’s should be your number one destination. It’s cheap, filling, and good, and even though the lineups can be a bit annoying, it’s good to know a restaurant is popular enough to have Vancouver beating a path to its door.