Friends of ours, a Canadian couple who were visiting from Singapore, were craving Greek food because it’s hard to come by in South East Asia. Since we had all previously eaten early dinners, we weren’t overly famished. So, we decided to share a few dishes between the four of us at Olympia Pizza.
The restaurant has been serving pizzas and traditional Greek food in Kitsilano since 1967. Olympia Pizza was founded by six brothers originally from the island of Evia in Greece. Their diverse menu offers selections such as steak and pasta, and even many vegetarian options to choose from. Located on right on the corner of West Broadway and Trutch, the restaurant itself incorporates exposed structural brick, rich timber beams and high ceilings, and evening dining offers soft lighting and a warm and cozy atmosphere.
We started with a couple appetizers (pictured above): Dolmathes ($8.50) – Rolled vine leaves stuffed with rice, spinach, spiced ground beef and topped with avgolemono sauce. Our friends ordered this dish, but I did have a taste. Dolmathes aren’t my favourite food to begin with so I’m a little bias. However, if you enjoy dolmathes, then you will probably quite like these. Calamari ($8.95) – Marinated deep-fried squid served with tzatziki and lemon. Don’t you hate it when you order calamari and you received rubber, chewy, flavourless squid? Not the case with this calamari. It was a large portion, and arrived to our table freshly deep-fried. It had a perfectly soft, melt-in-your mouth texture and their house-made creamy tzatziki paired well with the calamari.
Chicken Souvlaki (Small $11.95/ Large $17.25) – Marinated skinless, boneless, breast meat, skewered and grilled over an open flame. Served with roast potatoes, rice pilaf, greek salad, tzatziki, lemon, and pita. This dish was a generous sized portion, and the chicken was cooked perfectly – remaining juicy inside. Potatoes were tender, and were bursting with citrus flavour. The Greek salad was fresh, but we would have liked a few more olives, and probably a tad less dried oregano sprinkled on top. But overall, it was a really great chicken souvlaki platter.
Vegetarian Moussaka ($15.75) – Layers of spinach, onions, herbs, feta and kefalotiri cheese. Topped with béchamel sauce, and served with Greek salad and rice. Our friend, a vegetarian, ordered this dish and was very pleased with the meal. She often finds that many restaurants aren’t very vegetarian (or vegan) friendly. But thankfully, Olympia Pizza offered lots of great veggie options. Firstly, this dish was also a very generous portion. You will never leave hungry after dining at Olympia. Again, we would have liked more olives (we’re olive fiends). However, I can understand how most Greek restaurants in Vancouver hold back on olives for fear (and price) that a lot of people dislike them.
Service was laid-back and our meals were a little slow to come out of the kitchen, but we weren’t in a rush, and appreciated our unhurried dining experience – offering us time to catch up. Overall, Olympia Pizza is a pleasant restaurant providing generous portions and nicely flavoured Greek food.