Casual greek food at cheap prices. Always a line up down the block. Nothing on the menu over $12.
Let's be honest. If you love Stepho's, it's not because you love the food. It's because you're cheap.
First time I came here, I did so because I kept seeing a big lineup out front. I figured they must be doing something right. Since then, I'll come here only if a friend strongly insists. Which happens.
Let's start with the lineup. I've waited anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours. I eat here with friends though, so it's a good chance to talk if the weather is nice. However, most people in the world are not as patient as I am, and you'll see others in the line getting visually frustrated. And it makes for a consistently uncomfortable atmosphere.
But sometimes it even tries my patience. Consider this scenario: you've been waiting outside for an hour, and you're at the front of the line. The hostess comes out, and asks you "how many?" and you reply "2." The people behind you are a group of 2, and behind them a group of 2. She finds a group of 3 about 20 people back in the line, and brings them in immediately and seats them. I'm assuming the justification is that she has a table for 4, and doesn't want to "waste" it on a group of 2. But for f@#$ sakes, we've been waiting an hour. The group of 3 at the back just arrived. And there's no chance that getting that 1 extra person through is going to make or break the efficiency of the restaurant. It just pisses off the 20 people standing in front of them.
Furthermore, it's not uncommon to see an empty table inside for extended periods. During my 2 hour wait, the table by the window was vacant for about 45 minutes. There's just no excuse for this.
Food & Value:
Once seated, everything moves quickly. You'll get your drinks and food shortly after ordering, which makes me wonder if they actually prepared it prior to my ordering it.
I order the chicken souvlaki. $8. The meat is consistently overcooked to the point where I struggle to get it off the skewer. "Roast" potatoes are so god damn chewy I don't even bother touching them anymore. The greek salad may or may not come with any dressing on it. At least one piece of the pita bread will be scorched to the point of being inedible. I think the rice is my favorite part of the dish. And the greek salad when they remember to dress it.
People rave about the "huge" portions. I dunno. It's about the same as any greek place I've been to. And I've been to quite a few.
For a chicken souvlaki dish, your average greek restaurant is typically $11, so you're saving $3.
Drinks (pop/iced tea) are *not* refillable, and come in tiny glasses. $2 for a half a can of coke? No thanks. Stick to the water like everyone else. I'll give them credit. My water glass is never empty.
Ambiance: Not worth mentioning.
So the question comes. Is it worth it? My vote is: no. Long waits, subpar food, and all you're going to save is about $3. Which means you can have dinner paid for with tip for $10. But for what you get, I think that's too much.
We live in Kits now for 3 years and have been to a lot of Greek places in the neighborhood as well as in Point Grey and other parts of the city. Yesterday we tried out Stepho's for the first time (we rarely go downtown for dinner).
It was just as good as everybody was telling us.
On a busy Friday night we waited outside for about 25 minutes, another 3 minutes inside and got a nice table at the front (we did not mind other people watching us as we had been looking at others before ;-).
Food was delivered incredibly fast - Stepho's has the advantage of a small menu and a restaurant that is always full + lots of pick-up, so they do not have to wait for orders to start preparing the meals.
The food was very good, just what you expect from a good Greek place. Mousaka was excellent (just as good as on Samos, where we had the best one in Greece so far) and the roasted lamb was very good as well. As starters we had tsatsiki and very good cheese balls (primarily for our 3 year old). With it came fresh and hot bread. All in all as good as you can get with the limited range of Greek food. The retsina could have been a little stronger in taste - we prefer Tsantali here in Canada - but nevertheless we enjoyed half a liter of it with our dinner. A greek dinner without retsina is just not complete.
Ambiance is very nice, too. Just a authentic Greek tavern with all the smells, Greek music, noise and loads of people that you get in Greece as well.
And the best part of it all: The bill came out significantly below $50 for the 3 of us. And the portions are big enough to have another small meal the next day at home. The fact that we had to ask our friendly waiter to take off three glasses of pop that we did not order or drink is our only little complaint about service. (Of course there was no problem getting the $5 off the bill)
We will definitely go back! Best Greek place in town so far!
PS.: I found it incredible that our car was parked second row behind other cars in the back of the restaurant without any problem. I guess the cars in first row belong to employees. So if you spot a space in second row, just go for it, register at the cash inside and enjoy your lunch or dinner.
Sorry guys.... I just don't get it. The wait is WAY too long for food that I think is "decent".
It's over rated and I think partially because of Stepho's location. The fact that he throws a handful of fries on the plate is (I think) deplorable. I think Stepho's appeals to the young hip crowd that hangs around the west side of the city. If You want authentic, great tasting, everything on the menu is perfect food. Try Kalamata's you won't be disappointed. I highly recommend making reservations. I tried Stepho's once (only because we were in the neighborhood) and really didn't like it at all, have not been back since and will only go to Kalamata's. I don't have to wait in the rain, I don't get served fast food and I walk out of there happy very satisfied and usually so full that there is enough to take home for a midnight snack.
Honestly people..... Stepho's is not everything it's cracked out to be.... please.. try Kalamata's.
We arrived at 6:45PM on a Saturday and found the wait to be of a reasonable duration i.e. 10-12 mins. However arrive after 7PM and you're in for a long wait, esp. if you've got a party of friends. Waitresses/waiters came to take our order witin 5 mins of being seated which was good, because we knew what we wanted from the menu displayed in the window whilst we were waiting in line. A tasty Dip/Pita appetiser arrived almost immediately, and the main course (chicken pita and lamb souvlaki) was almost instantaneous. We like a quick n easy meal, but I'm sure others like to take their time dining. Service was average to good. Not brilliant, but I could see it's because it was extremely busy. I would definitely return.
It has been a while since I have dined at Stepho's, probably close to two years now. But when ever I drive by the restaurant, I can't help but think about there tender juicy lamb; just barley hanging on to the bone. The price is incredible for it's taste and portion. My friend who never eats lamb was even extremely tempted to give it a taste. The line ups are just ridiculously long, I think the owner should really expand or open another location as this join is way too small for such a crowded part of town. During the summer on a nice warm day with some friends I wouldn't mind waiting over half an hour outside but we only see a limited number of those days here in Vancouver. Note, they do have lamp heaters outside for those who are waiting.
The lineups are too long to wait for the kind of food they serve. The food is fresh and cooked well, but not really worth the wait. Some of the side dishes which come with the entree's are not too good, but makes the plate of food look bigger. Service is friendly, our waiter gave us free dip and pita after we ordered because he could see we looked really hungry and tired. Amazing value for Greek food.
This place is not as good as it was five or 8 years ago.. but that may because they haven't raised their prices since then...
The only thing I would order is the roast lamb or the vegetarian lasagna... the wine is never very good - and the calamari is too dry... Despite the big portions and tasty lamb/lasagna dish, I think I would rather go to Taki's...But for the price, you won't feel disappointed or ripped off :-)
MY MOTTO FOR THE RESTAURANT: If you want to pay cheap and each cheap food( $10 instead of $14 for a Calamari dinner), by all means go to Stephos.
THE FOOD: Most people get excited by the large portions. Guess what? You will get a large heap of rice, which cost the restaurant 25c extra. Your plate will look very big as a result. I dine mostly at Greek restaurants, all over the Lower Mainland. I have never tasted such dry, hard to chew squid. The Greek salad had unripened tomatoes, and cucumber. I felt as though the veggies were plastic. No taste in them.
THE AMBIANCE: My eyes got tired very fast. The restaurant has dimmed lights so you cannot see that it needs to be renovated.
THE SERVICE: Nice, but if you stop ordering, they want you out and the waiter will keep bugging you if you want anything else, until yo ask for the bill.
We had reservations for a B-day party. Could not put the tables together, as it is very tight in there. Also half of the guests had to stand around the other guests' table and wait until a second reserved table was freed..for 20 minutes. When you make reservations, it does not mean you will have your table right away.
I would rather pay $3-4 extra per plate, and eat at another Greek restaurant. This was a bit like a fast food experience. Nothing hip about this place at all.
Stepho's is a great restaurant to eat in, you definetly get your money's worth! The roast lamb is my absolute favourite! If you are planning on going, expect to wait in line for a long time, especially during the summer. At times it seems as if they are under staffed so service is not that great but the food is worth it!
im not sure if its me or the light in the restaurant is alittle too dark that i'd ask the waiter to turn the light on brighter because one i cannot see my food, two for my own opinion i think when im eating i deserve to have a better view of what im eat other than that the food was incrdible the service was only well respectful and friendly
The calamari dinner is to die for, the portion size is amazing, I usually eat it for dinner and lunch the next day. In the calamari dinner you get so much calamari, so much rice, potatos, bread and tatziki, now the one thing you want to make sure you do is ask for extra tatzziki sauce!!!! I wouldn't wait in line at this place, either go when they not busy or do like me take the food home and eat in your pj's! Their sluvaki is also super good! And you can't beat thier prices!!! Sorry for any spelling errors :-)
Listen, I'm Greek. Many, many generations of Greek in me and when I went to this place I didn't see any of my ancestors at this restaurant.
The lamb was all sinew and gristle. The lasagna contained the ends of carrotts (the root end). I went with four employees from my firm and we all didn't want to finish our meals. The price was great, but you get a lot of big, wet rice for the price. If the meal contained actual content I'd say "well, at least you're getting good sized portions" but you don't. You get over-cooked rice, piled high with cheap cuts of meat thrown on top.
I don't know why people line up for this place, unless they're really on a budget and want the experience of "dining out" but for my money I'd prefer a place like Characters where at least you get food. Stepho's is not worth the price.
I'm really not sure what the allure of this place is. I could understand it 10 years ago when you got a whole plate of food for $5, but now I'm just baffled as to why people are willing to wait in the cold/rain for a long time for mediocre food.
I had one chicken souvlaki take out with pink juice running out of it (they forgot about it so they rushed it), and getting sicker than a rabid monkey the next time I went there (who knows if it was a virus or the food, but after the pink juice chicken, I'm not doubtful) I don't think I can stomach going back there.
If you want good Greek without the wait, the noise, and the harried meal as they try to rush you out the door, go to Kalamata on W. Broadway and Yukon. Probably cheaper than Stepho's now, too.
great value for the serving size, but when i went on a wednesday night, the food came out semi warm. it feels like they make a whole batch in the kitchen at once and serve it a la cafeteria style. this would be okay if they kept the food warm at least, semi solid cold cheeseballs are not very appetizing. the service is non existent, servers don't really give a crap about you and only force a smile when giving you the bill.
No line-ups at lunch; line-ups nearing dinnertime. This is a great place to fill up as the portions are generous. I always order the spanakopita as it gets me in a Greek-eating mood! The servers seem to be trying their best to work with what they've got there - it becomes up to coincidence whether or not better seats are available to be given to you, &c. Some servers are more friendly than others.
I've been to Stepho's more times than I can count, and it's almost always great if you don't mind waiting in the lineup. However, the last time I was there for lunch, it was mediocre because of the appetizers. The calamari was truly awful, hard and overcooked, which was surprising as it's normally great. The cheese balls were not as good as usual, either, but the roast lamb was delicious. I regret not sending the calamari back and tiraboukes back.
Since coming to Vancouver we have heard alot of suggestions about where to eat out. Stepho's was one of them, and I'm glad we went. The food was not high-end by any means but neither were the prices. For the money this place is a deal. The service was excellent, with the food arriving only moments after we ordered it! There is alot to be said about food that arrives piping hot. Our waiter was also quite attentive. What more can you ask for @ $7.99 for an entree! A thumbs up for Stepho's!
I would say this is one of the best known place for Greek food in the Greater Vancouver area, and it's not hard to understand why.
I had a roast lamb, the meat was tender and tasty, portion was huge. Considering how busy it was, specially on the weekend, the service was quite good. There were some delay for my pita to come that I thought they forgot, but it turned out that my server did remember but he was just too busy.
The bad sides are this place is a bit cramped inside and the long line up.
Overall, you get more than you paid for at this place.
I like Stephos. It is good solid cheap and cheerful Greek food. If you go in expecting a fine dining experience you will be disappointed.
Just remember that 2 can leave completely full for $40 or less
Thhis restaurant has great food, reasonably priced, big dishes, awesome ambience. Highly recommended. Careful of the lines for dinner especially during weekends. Lamb and Chicken is good so are the tavernas.
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