Casual greek food at cheap prices. Always a line up down the block. Nothing on the menu over $12.
When we went into the restaurant, we were approached by a very rude hostess who didn't give us any clear directions. They thought we were regulars and we knew the procedures for waiting. The food took a very long time to come, the appetizers came last after the main course arrived. I understand they are very busy due to their low prices. They need to do some renovations to the restaurant, everything looks very old and cluttered. If I come again, it would be definitely be take out. Food is good with large portions, they really need to train their hostesses.
I had a meal there today (March 31st 2010) at 2:00 pm.
I was seated right by the kitchen so I could see all the activity of the servers/kitchen etc...
I ordered a Lamb Soulvaki, small and asked the waitress who looked unhappy and completely bored out of her mind, if the cook could serve the lamb taken off the skewer stick. I think this is fair, or someone please tell me whether this dish is supposed to be strictly served on a skewer?!
Don't think so..anyways, she told me that the cook would not be able to take the lamb off the skewer..She looked at me and said she would only do that if I were disabled!?? I was shocked.
Erm..how do you know I am not disabled?
Anyways bad start...and a real blow..who says disabled people can't take lamb meat off skewer sticks!? haha...
Then I realised ALL the servers looked stressed and annoyed...and then I saw two of the servers get into an argument and exchanged verbal spats at one another.
The food wasn't that great...salad was not fresh..tasted like grandma's old pants.
Oh and to boot, I don't feel well right now...food is kinda sitting in my stomach...I won't go back there again until I find some other dinky little restaurant to rant and rave about.
After reading all the positive reviews about this restaurant, I decided to take my mom there for lunch.
My first impression of the restaurant was not great. It was 2:30 pm and the restaurant was not incredibly busy, yet there was no one to greet us upon our entry. There were a couple of waitresses who passed us by, but no one offered us a table. Anyways, we decided to seat ourselves a table close by the door.
Once we were seated, the service was much better. A friendly waitress prompty provided us with menus and took our order.
The wait for the food was lengthy (around 20 minutes) but well worth it. I was quite impressed with the portions and the taste of the food. At 9.95, my platter consisted of a large piece of roast lamb (larger than the size of a clenched adult fist), roast potatoes, greek salad, rice, stewed beef, and a piece of flatbread/pitabread. The lamb was cooked almost to perfection - it was crunchy on the outside and juicy and tender on the inside. I went into the restauarant quite hungry, and still had to pack half of my platter home.
Overall, Stepho's is an excellent restaurant for those looking for value!
I wanted to go to Stepho's because of friend's comments that it was inexpensive and good. I also wanted to go because I ALWAYS see people lining up to get in.
I'm not a patient person at all and so I thought a quiet night like a Monday might help my chances of getting in pretty quickly. There was still about 14 people in line when we arrived - so perhaps an indication Stepho's does not have a quite night. We waited about 15-20 minutes.
Once seated we had our drinks orders taken quite promptly (within 10 minutes) with our food orders taken soon after. We observed the HUGE portions that were served and the many doggy bags that were being taken so we decided against a starter.
It is a good thing we did not order a starter as neither my friend nor I finished our mains of roast lamb and lamb chops. Usually I would expect 2 lamb chops but here I got 4 piled on top of a whole lot of sides - including roast potatoes, salad, vegetables, pilaf and with pita on a side plate. Both mains were cooked how we ordered them - medium to well done and were juicy and tender.
The service was the right amount of attentiveness - I had my reservations that perhaps they hovered to quickly turn over the diners but this did not seem to be the case with us or anyone else - and we received our drinks and food orders promptly.
Ambience - partly it is what you pay for. If you want to pay more then you might expect more by way of design. It has a homely, Greek family esq feel to it. I did find it slightly too dark though my friend found it pleasant.
Overall a good experience. It doesn't hit the ball out of the park, but then with what we paid I wasn't expecting that. (We paid $40 for lamb roast, lamb chops, half krafe of wine and tip)
After much anticipation (and worry from some ill reviews here) we went to the famous Stephos. A Saturday evening about 6pm.
There was the expected line-up, appeared daunting, but we weren't in it for more than 30minutes.
We sat for almost 10minutes before our drink orders were taken but it wasn't a big deal. I have to admit our waiters lack of knowledge about the wines was a slight drawback. Luckily my guess got us a great bottle.
The food was wonderful. Tasty, Garlicky (I wouldn't expect Greek cuisine any other way), Fresh and Inexspensive. I had the Roast Lamb which was fork tender and a ridiculously huge portion!
Some comments here have suggested this food to be "cheap" and of lesser quality. I dissagree.
Let's be honest. If you love Stepho's, it's not because you love the food. It's because you're cheap.
First time I came here, I did so because I kept seeing a big lineup out front. I figured they must be doing something right. Since then, I'll come here only if a friend strongly insists. Which happens.
Let's start with the lineup. I've waited anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours. I eat here with friends though, so it's a good chance to talk if the weather is nice. However, most people in the world are not as patient as I am, and you'll see others in the line getting visually frustrated. And it makes for a consistently uncomfortable atmosphere.
But sometimes it even tries my patience. Consider this scenario: you've been waiting outside for an hour, and you're at the front of the line. The hostess comes out, and asks you "how many?" and you reply "2." The people behind you are a group of 2, and behind them a group of 2. She finds a group of 3 about 20 people back in the line, and brings them in immediately and seats them. I'm assuming the justification is that she has a table for 4, and doesn't want to "waste" it on a group of 2. But for f@#$ 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.
I am sorry and with all due respect, but I really do not get it. First time I went there, waited in the lineup, got sick after (don't think I should start describing). Decided to try it again, waited in a lineup, got sick again even though I ordered a completely different dish! Third time I got persuaded by a friend to go, did not get sick but was not impressed with my meal.
I honestly think quality of food they serve is not that great. Large poritons, good priced or not, I will not go there again.
i used to frequent this place occasionally as i used to work near by and im sorry to say but it's not as good as it used to be. i know my rating for stephos is "solid" across the board but it used to be excellent. now the portions are smaller and now charge you if you want to sub out the greek salad for the Caesar... and the Caesar tasted like something that came from a fast food joint. i had the roast lamb, which was fine but the portion was definiatly smaller then what im used to seeing. before i couldn't finish a roast lamb from Stephos but this time i polished it off and wasn't full as expected to be. maybe it's the recession but stephos is no longer a good bang for it's buck
wow ordered two roast lambs to go one was the a tiny piece and the other was one was bigger but had a huge bone and was 50% fat
there was next no flavour you really cant complain about the price but you sure can if you getting food that you cant even feed to your dog. Now I know why the line ups dont seem to be there anymore.
I had dinner here last night. Poor me !!!! I have been to Stepho's many times for years, and I have never been so dissapointed in the Service, but most of all the quality of food. My guest and I both ordered the Calimari dinner and it was really gross. Hard, chewy, dry... ugh ! Watching the staff pig out on their dinner from our table is also really gross. We sent our Calamari back and had to wait about 15mins. for our Beef Souvlaki. It was tasty, but we couldnt believe our eyes at how small the portion was. We actually had to order another side of Greek Salad !!!! The server wasnt friendly, helpful or accomodating. It will be the last, very last time we eat here again !!!!
I recently moved to Vancouver (West end) and wondered why there were always lineups outside this place -- so I thought I'd try it out. Man was I impressed. I had the absolute best lamb I've ever had - I mean it was unbelievable, so moist and tasty. I also ordered the starter meatballs, and they are a meal in themselves, and also very, very good. The servings were huge. It's interesting to see this kind of situation in today's 'make as much as you can' climate. This restaurant could easily raise it's prices quite a bit and still have the place full. But for some reason they keep prices reasonable, servings huge, and the food incredible. I'm not sure why they haven't bumped up the prices - they see the lineups and know they could. I salute them for providing the community with this fabulists restaurant at reasonable prices... way to go! Thank you, and I hope you don't change a thing for as long as you are able.
After dining at Taki's the night before because there was a huge line outside of Stepho's, I was disappointed.
I mean it is not a bad place to eat, I ordered the BBQ chicken breast for like $10 and it came with 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts and the usual Greek accompaniments. It was okay for the price, but I was alone and only ate one of the breasts.
The atmosphere was very busy, the decor could use updating and a little bit of a clean up. Otherwise, if you are looking for a really goo bargain and not too concerned about quality go here... Oh ya and wait in a huge line...
Not going to go on and on about Stepho's, but one thing I have to say is that the portion size just blew me away! Considering where it's located, the prices are very very reasonable for the amount of food you get, and the service is prompt and friendly. Sure the food isn't 5 star gourmet, but I enjoyed it enough to pack what I couldn't finish and that should say a lot. The location is central and now I know why people line up out the door and down the block to get in on the weekend evenings!
I have never had a good meal here. Dry chicken long waits and really so-so in all ways. There are so many really great restaurants in Vancouver it always amazes me to see Stepho's ranked so highly when the food is so inferior. I have visited several times and have friends who have had the same really mediocre experience.
Nobody in Vancouver and I mean NOBODY can beat the price and quantity and taste of the lamb dinner from Stepho's... the briami is delish...
My recommendation: call ahead and order for take-out... then go home and enjoy it in peace without the long lineups and the noisy tourists...
There's enough food to have dinner and save leftovers for both the next day's lunch and dinner... seriously... two to three meals for each lamb dinner you order...
And it's all under $10!!!
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
Food: The rice is always oily but overall the food is delicious!
Ambiance: The restaurant is quite small and stuffy. Every time you come out of the restaurant, you smell =p
*** As most people already know there are always long line ups outside of the restaurant. It is the most popular Greek restaurant in Vancouver! The prices are cheap and they offer huge portions.
My friend and I waited outside for about 30 minutes - though it was to be expected. They had heaters outside the restaurant, since this is how it usually goes. I had the Spanakopita first. The phyllo was extremely tough, I had a hard time picking it apart. It was tasty though. They served two huge pieces, which I had the mistake of finishing before my Calamari dinner arrived. The dinner was HUGE, and I had to take 2/3 of it home in a baggie... unfortunately, the grease leaked out of the styrofoam box and soaked the brown bag in grease.. I am a huge calamari fanatic, and here, it was average. I've had better at Olympia on Broadway (where service is spotty).
Lining up at Stepho's is a rite of passage for Vancouverites - it's something that everyone has to do at least once.
I remember my first time - I was so famished that I just stared at the couple at the front window savouring their lamb plate. It's like a cruel show and the anticipation just makes your hunger multiply by the second.
Stepho's is great - good solid food, the best rice and potatoes, fresh Greek salad and their Lamb plate is one of the most tenderest meats I've ever eaten - it just fell off the bone and melted in your mouth - agh! Mouth watering yumminess!!!
On the downside - i have experienced some inconsistencies throughout my 8-10 trips to Stephos. The skewers are sometimes dry and the food comes out semi-warm - they definitely have their on days and off days. One thing for sure is that the quantity never changes and for the amount of food they give you, the value is hard to beat!
Food: Awesome! Inconsistencies are there but still better than your average Greek place.
Service: Fast and furious - it feels like they don't get a break and some of them forget to smile at times.
Ambiance: Love it! It has the buzz of a busy eatery.
I've been living in Vancouver for about a year, and have been hearing about Stepho. I only got around to eat there about two weeks ago. It was awesome that three days later, we went back.
We ordered the Lamb Chop, the Lamb Souvlaki, the Greek Lasagna, and the Pita Bread. Everything was great, even the rice was so good. The Lamb Chop is my favorite, it was soft, but did not feel overcooked. The second time around, we ordered the Lamb Chop again, and while it tasted as soft, the portion was somehow a bit smaller, perhaps cause the bone was bigger. But either way, both times, we were really happy with the food.
The service was fair. I understand because there were a lot of people, it was hard to be really attentive. But the servers were as attentive as they could be. We weren't waiting too long for the food or for any other thing we asked. The restaurant, both times we went there, was packed! It was a bit noisy, but that was to be expected, given the little space and the fact that they also play music. The music's really nice, I must say. The other slightly negative I find is that the lighting is too dim.
All in all, Stepho is absolutely recommended.