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The Language of Greek Restaurant Menus

It's all Greek?

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Dining out at a Greek Restaurant

Dining out at a Greek Restaurant

Photo © N. Gaifyllia, licensed to About.com, Inc.

Adding to an air of authenticity, many Greek restaurants use the English spellings for Greek words on their menus. What do they mean? Here are the most commonly used words for the types of foods, dishes, and drinks you might find.

Let's start with the word for "menu." It's katalogos, in Greek: κατάλογος, pronounced kah-TAH-loh-ghohs.

Now, onto the menu!

The listing is ordered like this:

Greek Alliteration
English
Pronunciation
In Greek

Psomia
Breads
psohm-YAH
ψωμιά

Orektika
Appetizers
oh-rek-tee-KAH
ορεκτικά

Mezethes, mezedes
Little plates of tasty tidbits
meh-ZEH-thess
μεζέδες

Pikilia (or Poikilia)
Assortment (usually of appetizers or mezethes)
pee-kee-LEE-yah
ποικιλία

Salates
Salads
sah-LAH-tess
σαλάτες

Soupes
Soups
SOO-pes
σούπες

Hortarika
Vegetables (generally leafy)
hor-tah-ree-KAH
χορταρικά

Lahanika
Vegetables
lah-hah-nee-KAH
λαχανικά

Prota Piata
First Courses
PROH-tah pee-YAH-tah
πρώτα πιάτα

Kyria Piata
Main Courses, Entrees
KEE-ree-yah pee-YAH-tah
κύρια πιάτα

Kreatika
Meat dishes
kray-ah-tee-KAH
κρεατικά

Poulerika
Poultry dishes
poo-leh-ree-KAH
πουλερικά

Kynigia
Game
kee-NEEGH-yah
κυνήγια

Lathera, ladera
Cooked in oil (often vegetarian)
lah-theh-RAH
λαδερά

Psaria
Fish
PSAHR-yah
ψάρια

Thalassina
Seafood
thah-lah-see-NAH
θαλασσινά

Zymarika
Pastas
zee-mah-ree-KAH
ζυμαρικά

Makaronathes, makaronades
Spaghetti dishes
mah-kah-roh-NAH-thess
μακαρονάδες

Epithorpia, epidorpia
Desserts
eh-pee-THOR-pee-yah
επιδόρπια

Glyka
Sweets
ghlee-KAH
γλυκά

Pastes
Pastries
PAHS-tess
πάστες

Pagota
Ice cream
pah-gho-TAH
παγωτά

Frouta
Fruit
FROO-tah
φρούτα

Pota
Drinks (alcoholic)
poh-TAH
πωτά

Liker
Liqueurs
lee-KAIR
λικέρ

Krasia
Wines
krahs-YAH
κρασιά

Rofimata
Drinks (non-alcoholic)
roh-FEE-mah-tah
ροφήματα

Anapsyktika
Soft drinks
ah-nahp-seek-tee-KAH
αναψυκτικά

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