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Restaurants, Entertainment, a Casino - All in Detroit's Greektown

Posted on Thursday, April 11 2013 in Culture

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Neighborhood Profile: Greektown

What do you get when you douse Kasseri cheese with brandy and light it on fire? Saganaki — the most popular appetizer in all of Greektown.  Waiters flambé the dish tableside and yell “OPA!” as a giant flame leaps to life from the small serving skillet. Watching the surprised reactions on the faces of diners unfamiliar with the custom never gets old.

That’s just one of the many reasons that Detroit’s Greektown remains a top destination for locals and visitors alike.

It’s All Greek to Me!

Historic Greek restaurants New Parthenon and Pegasus Taverna set the standard for the neighborhood, with delicious food, generous portions and reasonable prices.  Imagine a long list of menu options — including lamp chops, spinach pie, lemon rice soup and gyros — each with exotic Greek names, of course. Kitchens remain open until 3 a.m. or later — making these restaurants the final stop for many after downtown sporting events, theater performances, concerts or last call. Santorini Estiatorio, named for a Greek island, opened at the end of 2012. As the new Greek kid on the block, the restaurant has quickly lived up to the quality of its elder neighbors.

  Opa! Witnessed daily at Pegasus

Culinary Identity Crisis

While Greektown is an accurate name based on the history of the area, over the years, restaurants of various cuisines have made a home for themselves here. Try Fishbone’s  for its New Orleans Creole-inspired menu, Red Smoke for barbeque or PizzaPapalisfor gourmet deep dish pizza.


Feeling Lucky?

Of course, no visit to Greektown would be complete without a stop at Greektown Casino-Hotel to take Lady Luck for a whirl around the dance floor. One of Detroit’s three Vegas-style casinos, it offers slots, poker and table games. The 30-story contemporary hotel has 400 guest rooms and suites, many with views of the Detroit River and Canada.

Celebrate your win by dancing the night away at Flood’s Bar & Grille or Niki’s Lounge. If you didn’t pack your boogie shoes but still want to hang out and have fun, try Marilyn’s American Tavern, Pappy’s Sports Bar & Grill or the rooftop patio at Old Shillelagh Irish Pub (nothing Greek about this place!)


Things are Looking Up!

Guests at the Atheneum Suite Hotel & Conference Center won’t need reminding that they’re in Greektown. The hotel’s impressive marble atrium features soaring murals of Greek mythological figures. Wander into the adjacent International Banquet Center for a glimpse of the world’s tallest indoor waterfall — just one more reason to say OPA!


What is your favorite thing about Greektown?



Michelle Fusco has countless treasured Greektown memories, most revolving around food. Her top menu pick (dessert, naturally) is “bougata” — a flaky filo pastry filled with custard and served warm!