POSTED Fri. May 22, 2015


How to Go Greek in New Orleans
Adam Karlin
Written by ADAM KARLIN

This weekend marks the beginning of Greek Fest, which is the city’s excuse to hang out some blue and white, drink a little retsina, enjoy some lamb and shout opa a lot.

Of course, Greek Fest is the above but also much more: it’s a fundraiser for the Holy Trinity Cathedral, a day to appreciate the beauty of Bayou St John and a celebration of the city’s Greek heritage.

We hope to see you at Greek Fest, but in the meantime, here’s four other ways of connecting to Hellas in the city of New Orleans.

There aren’t a ton of straight up Greek restaurants in New Orleans – most are ambiguously Mediterranean or Middle Eastern, featuring a few stuffed grape leaves or gyros here and there. There are, however, a ton of Greek owned restaurants in the area.

In fact, not only are these restaurants Greek owned, they’re owned by immigrants and their descendants who all hail from the same small island in the Aegean Sea: Chios. Our publishing partners at WWNO have put together a wonderful story about this phenomenon – read more here.

Besides possessing a neoclassical facade that brings to mind a Greek temple, The New Orleans Museum of Art possesses a brilliant collection that includes ancient Greek amphorae and other forms of pottery. Eat it up, archaeology aficionados.

Built in 1907, this neoclassical pavilion, pictured above, overlooks Bayou Metairie and is one of the most photographed landmarks in City Park. The open air colonnade could be a set piece from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and inevitably, whenever I go here, I feel like I should be seeing people in togas eating grapes.

Gallier Hall
Yet another example of New Orleans neoclassicism, the former site of City Hall is a lynchpin of the CBD. Gallier Hall serves as an events space and general landmark these days, and its position as an icon of the New Orleans streetscape was cemented last wine, when the hall became the backdrop for the incredible LUNA Fete lightshow.

New School Greek
To be fair, the excellent restaurant Kebab isn’t tied to any one nationality anymore than its signature dish is. That being said, the kebab and its variations – gyros, souvlaki, etc – is clearly a cornerstone of Greek cuisine, and this little spot on St Claude Ave is churning out some truly quality charred meat.

The chicken doner is out of this world, as is the lamb special when it’s available, and while the following isn’t really traditional Greek fare, make sure to order the ridiculously tasty French fries accompanied by the house made coconut-habanero sauce.

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    The Arts Council of New Orleans

    The Arts Council of New Orleans is a private, non-profit organization designated as the City’s official arts agency. The Arts Council serves as one of eight regional distributing agencies for state arts funds and administers available municipal arts grants and the Percent For Art program for the City of New Orleans. The Arts Council works in partnership with the City of New Orleans, community groups, local, state, and national governmental agencies, and other nonprofit arts organizations to meet the arts and cultural needs of the New Orleans community through a diversity of initiatives and services.


    WWNO, the NPR member station for New Orleans, serves southeast Louisiana and parts of southwest Mississippi by broadcasting balanced news, thought provoking analysis, classical music, jazz and other musical styles, intelligent entertainment, and unique local content. We broadcast on 89.9 FM, and KTLN 90.5 FM in the Houma-Thibodaux area as a public service of the University of New Orleans. All of WWNO’s programs, including its growing local news coverage, are available online at


    WWOZ 90.7 FM is the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Station offering listener-supported, volunteer-programmed community radio. WWOZ covers many events live in and around the city and across the United States, and broadcasts live from the famed New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival annually. WWOZ’s mission is to be the worldwide voice, archive, and flag-bearer of New Orleans culture and musical heritage.


    Preservation Resource Center (PRC) has been preserving, restoring, and revitalizing New Orleans’ historic architecture and neighborhoods since 1974. Throughout its history, PRC has acted as an advocacy agent on a local, regional, and national scale, spreading the word about the city’s rich architectural heritage and the economic importance of preserving this heritage. PRC also takes a hands-on approach to preservation, with a history of successfully restoring over 1,400 properties. The center strengthens and revitalizes New Orleans in a way that is forward-looking and sustainable, yet sensitive to the city’s past and its heritage.


    As a nexus for the arts in New Orleans, NOMA is committed to preserving, interpreting, and enriching its collections and renowned sculpture garden; offering innovative experiences for learning and interpretation; and uniting, inspiring, and engaging diverse communities and cultures.

    The Historic New Orleans Collection

    The Historic New Orleans Collection (THNOC) is a museum, research center, and publisher dedicated to preserving the history and culture of New Orleans and the Gulf South. Its holdings comprise more than one million items from more than three centuries, documenting moments both major and minor. Its four exhibition spaces–the Williams Gallery, the Louisiana History Galleries, the Boyd Cruise Gallery, and the Laura Simon Nelson Galleries for Louisiana Art–faithfully depict the multicultural stories of the region, from permanent displays exploring the evolution of Louisiana to rotating exhibitions showcasing history and fine art.

    Southern Food

    The Southern Food and Beverage Museum is a nonprofit living history organization dedicated to the discovery, understanding and celebration of the food, drink and the related culture of the South. While based in New Orleans, the Museum examines and celebrates all the cultures that have come together through the centuries to create the South’s unique culinary heritage. The Museum is also home to the collections of the Museum of the American Cocktail, the Galerie d’Absinthe, and a demonstration kitchen.

    Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities

    The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing educational opportunities to all Louisianans.

    The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities’ mission is to provide all Louisianans with access to and an appreciation of their own rich, shared and diverse historical, literary and cultural heritage through grant-supported outreach programs, family literacy and adult reading initiatives, teacher professional development institutes, publications, film and radio documentaries, museum exhibitions, cultural tourism, public lectures, library projects, and other public humanities programming.



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