Greek cuisine is one of my favorite styles of cooking. Reminiscent of the French and Italian food I grew up eating, this cuisine combines fresh fish and meat, olive oil, spices, and all sorts of vegetables to create fresh, healthy dishes. My favorite place for Greek cuisine in Salt Lake City is Aristo’s.
Aristo’s is located on 1300 East and 224 South. Parking is a bit sparse on busy nights but spots do eventually open up if you are patient. This restaurant has a really festive, uplifting atmosphere. In warm weather, you can sit outside on the patio in the shade of various fragrant plants. A lot of grilling is done on the patio as well which is a sure-fire way to lure in passersby. The inside of the restaurant is really neat too. It’s bright and modern and is well decorated. The servers at Aristo’s are professional and informed which is very helpful for people who are not familiar with Greek cuisine. The menu can be a bit daunting for a first-timer, so don’t hesitate to ask questions.
Aristo’s is open for lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday and for dinner only on Sunday. The lunch menu is a little bit smaller than the dinner menu, but there are still a lot of good choices available. A neat feature at Aristo’s is the rather diverse selection of dishes. One can choose from salads, small plates, sandwiches, wraps, skewers, and many other types of food. A large menu can sometimes be a risky endeavor but Aristo’s chefs have always lived up to my expectations and prepared satisfying meals. Prices range from $5 to $25 for certain dinner entrees but are usually comfortably located on the lower end of that range.
For a beginner in the world of Greek cuisine, I recommend starting with Dolmathes (stuffed grape leaves) or the Hummus then moving on to either the gyro (definitely the best in town) or chicken gyro. These are all rather common gateway-foods that are sure to get you hooked to Greek cuisine. Once you realize how tasty the food is here, I recommend branching out and trying new dishes. Aristo’s is a safe place to experiment without the risk of being disappointed by poorly made food. My favorites include the Xifias (swordfish) Kabobs, fennel salad and Chicken Souvlaki.
I should note that Aristo’s has several decadent desserts such as Baklava and Halva. Also available are Greek beers, wines, and liquors, my favorite being the anise-flavored Ouzo aperitif.
In a world where many people’s experiences of Greek food take place at fast-food joints, it’s refreshing to find a restaurant that cooks up such diverse and delicious dishes. Aristo’s accepts to-go orders, a feature that has saved me several times when I needed to refuel after a long day on the bike.