Greek Dictionary

We all love Greek food, but some of those big Greek words can get a little bit tricky to wrap our mouths around (we would rather you do that with our food).

Here’s a list of Greek words that you might find popping up in our menus and at the dinner table…

Kali orexi [ka-li or-rex-i]
Means Bon Appetite, and no meal should start without kali orexi!

Opa! [oh-PAH]
A sound of exclaim, and sometimes for no apparent reason at all!

Gyros [YEE-roh].
Greek spit of vertically rotating meat emitting delicious, mouthwatering aromas.

Souvlakia [soov-la-ki-AH]
Skewered meat and/or vegetables that have been charcoal grilled and can be served wrapped in pita bread with salad (tylixto souvlakia).

Kalamaki [kah-lah-ma-KI]
Translates to “little reed” and is the synonym for souvlaki in Athens to differentiate from other forms of souvlaki found elsewhere in Greece. Kalamaki is traditionally made from 1 inch cubed meat that has been marinated overnight, skewered and grilled on charcoal. Exactly how you will find it here.

Stin Ygeia Sas [stin-yi-ass-ass]

Skara [ska-ra]
Directly translated, skara means barbecue. Which is pretty much what we are with our open charcoal grill slowly roasting succulent meats in an open grill for your viewing (and smelling pleasure).

Pikilia [pik-il-li-ya]
An assortment of Greek appetizers. Despite their irresistible more-ishness, a word of advice: refrain from filling up too many appetisers. Us Greeks are notorious for our generous portion sizes.

Mezedes [mez-ed-ez]
Small dishes designed to share that enhance the flavour and enjoyment of drink in social gatherings.

Kolokithokeftedes [ko-lo-ki-tho-kef-te-des]
Say that three times fast. Very yummy zucchini fritters, often served with tzatziki (see below). Oooooh yeah.

Tzatziki [tsuh-ZEE-keh]
If you don’t know what this is, shame on you.

Tiropeta [tee-RO-pee-tah]
Filo triangles stuffed with cheese and spices.

Loukoumades [loo-koo-MAH-thez]
Deep fried pastry balls soaked in a honey syrup. Yes, we do!


Houfta [HOOF-tah]
Means a handful and a common measurement in Greek cooking!

Moussaka [moo-sah-KAH]
A delicious casserole dish layering vegetables and meat, typically with eggplant slices, cheese, lamb sauce and thick bechamel.

Pastitsio [pahs-TEET-see-yoh]
A creamy, cheesey baked tubular pasta dish that is sometimes called a Greek lasagne. Serve with salad and some crusty bread for a heavenly meal!

Ouzeri [oo-zeh-REE]
An eating and drinking establishment that specialises in serving a wide range of small dishes (mezedes) to accompany wine, ouzo, and other spirits.

Phyllo [FEE-loh]
Literally means “leaf” and a perfect description of softly layered wafer-thin sheets of pastry, forming the signature of Greek pastries most notably baklava.

Stifatho [stee-Fah-thoh]
Greek style stovetop stew with the central ingredient being lots of onions, usually small whole onions. The stew can be made with red meat, poultry, seafood, game or other vegetables.

Tapsi [tahp-SEE]
An essential to the Greek cook, this is a traditional baking pan with sides around 1.5 inches high and can be used for baking, broiling and roasting. No Greek cook has just one.

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