A West End legend and Vancouver staple, Stepho’s Souvlaki Greek Taverna is one of the most famous restaurants in the city, and has been for over two decades.
Why is Stepho’s still so popular after all these years? Why do customers battle lineups even in the worst weather? Well, there are a few explanations. First and foremost, Stepho’s prices are very reasonable and portion sizes are gigantic – so large in fact, couples often share their generous entrees. Decent, consistently tasty food at low prices, large portions, and quick service – why don’t more restaurants follow this model? Seems like a no-brainer to me to ensure patrons return time and time again.
We’ve eaten at Stepho’s a few times, but thankfully never had to wait in their legendary lineups. On the first occasion, we arrived at around 3:30 or 4:30 in the afternoon for a late lunch/early dinner, and as excepted, the restaurant was packed. Our most recent experience, we decided to order take-out to again bypass their lengthy queues. We also placed our telephone order at around 4:00pm on a weekday afternoon, so our food was ready to be picked up approximately 15-20 minutes later.
Previously, we enjoyed their Kalamari ($7.95) – Lightly-battered and deep-fried to a lovely crispiness, the squid was tender and adequately seasoned. And of course, the dish was ginormous! For take-out, we ordered a couple of their most popular dishes, Chicken Souvlaki ($7.95 small/ $10.95 large) – Served on a bed of rice pilaf, roasted lemon potatoes, Greek salad (with lots of feta cheese, olives, and a hot pepper), and plenty of tzatziki sauce. The plates also come with thick pita, and the bread was soft and fluffy especially when it was still warm. The chicken was flavourful and juicy, and the dish was such a large portion that I had leftovers for lunch the next day.
Would I ever wait in line to dine at Stepho’s? No, but only because I’m just as content placing a pick-up order or eating at the famous restaurant at an odd hour. Check it out the next time you’re craving Greek food – your wallet with thank you.