This fun fact might surprise you, but Melbourne is the largest Greek-speaking city in the world – outside of Greece itself! No where in Europe, Canada, or the US do authentically-made souvlaki fall off the spit like they do in the Outback. Greek restaurants in Northcote are some of the true delights we share coming from a multicultural culinary culture. Many Grecian-Aussies picked the suburb as their place to start a family and business, so we are very grateful for their culinary contributions and the happy Aussie bellies they filled.
Riding the wave of massive Post-WWII European migration to Australia, many Greek restaurants in Northcote trace their lineage to somewhere around the 1940s-1970s. However, Grecian immigration to the Outback has remained steady potentially for a deep culinary connection: the climate of Melbourne is ideal growing conditions for many Mediterranean ingredients, including zesty lemon, rich olive oil and fragrant rosemary. A New York Times Aussie made a good remark about Grecians coming to Australia.
The Greek restaurants in Northcote represent some of the best in the city, in part due to the tens of thousands of Grecian-Aussies that call the suburb their home. Home-cooked is always the best and gets a taste of the main ingredients for Greek dishes.
With some base ingredients, Greek restaurants in Northcote marinate their meats with a beautiful harmony of flavor: raw garlic, aromatics like oregano, rosemary, and paprika, all soaked in a blend of olive oil, lemon juice, and white wine vinegar. When you throw those pieces onto the spit, they develop an irresistible flavoring that roasts the outside while maintaining tenderness inside the cut.
Here are a few of our favorite local specialties, right off the menus of several Greek restaurants in Northcote. This part helps give you a good idea of what plates you can expect when searching out the multiple high-quality Hellenic establishments.
Pitas Gyros Lamb Wrap
The Greek restaurants in Northcote make some of the best pita gyros in the entire city. Fluffy, buttery pita bread is melded with tomato, onion, paprika, and tzatziki sauce. The lamb is spit-roasted to perfection. An absolute pleasure for your taste buds.
This is truly a dish unique to the local Greek restaurants in Northcote! Bekri Meze is called “drunken meat stew,” so the owners are proudly telling you this is the meal after a few pints! Even when sober, the flavor of this is so juicy and delicious, it cannot be topped by many other Greek dishes. Definitely check it out, a QIKI Cuisine favorite right here.
A very authentic homage to the Greek homeland, this dish of souvlaki comes with finely-textured, perfectly marinated meats splashed with tzatziki sauce, and topped with lettuce, tomato, and onion – plus a squeeze of lemon zest. We’d say go with the “mixed meat” option to get some lamb, chicken, and potentially even prawn or pork!
We had to include a falafel dish! It is central to the menus of Greek restaurants in Northcote. These wraps use a homemade pita bread base with falafel, hummus, lettuce, tomato, and onion on top. Falafel is a delicious mash of cooked chickpeas, delivering a rich texture that can really help reset the taste buds. Definitely check this out when you are sick of burgers and sandwiches – this one is a Grecian specialty!
Many Grecian-Aussies call Melbourne home, and created our special Greek restaurants in Northcote. Coming from a culture that created the notion of “democracy” itself, many Greek-Aussies have a profound respect for the opportunities here in Melbourne that their ancestors may not have enjoyed – especially following WWII.
Another fun fact – Melbourne is actually a sister city to Thessaloniki! We are both port cities, we share similar tastes, and so this Grecian metropolis reflects well on us Aussies. Make sure to remember when you visit the Greek restaurants in Northcote that their ancestry may run deep to Hellenic culture – consider them kin! They might tell you the secret to a perfect souvlaki.
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