The slow cooked lamb is really the best thing that I could order at Halepi. However, the course is quite massive and I would recommend it only if you're in for a gala dinner, with time to spare. The meat was cooked to perfection and I am not exaggerating as I know how hard it is to cook lamb properly.
All the food is presented in this authentic greet plates that I frankly, don't find very inviting but surely helped build a nice atmosphere. I really felt like I was not in London at all. My friend ordered the moussaka which seemed quite delicious and mouth-watering. On trying, it tasted even better, I liked the burst of flavours that intruded my mouth. All was good and the place for me is a solid 5-star restaurant.
Have to say, I was not impressed, especially given its reputation.
I had the lamb kebab. It was pretty blah and needed a sauce or something to spice it up. I ate it with my friend's tzatziki sauce and it improved the taste, but not by much. The pita wasn't very fresh tasting as well.
Service was weak, menu was overpriced. I wouldn't go back.
Solid spot, something of a local institution. It's a cramped restaurant where. Some of the staff is friendly, some is surly - that's just the way it is here, and people seem to love it. The food is good, nothing too spectacular but decent quality. Pretty average prices. A good local option.
Great atmosphere, small place was fully packed with people. Food was very nice and the service was good.
I have been there twice with my parents: first time in 2010 and last time 6 months ago. I must say I had a lovely time there. The place is not so spacious but you feel like you're escaping from London to a genuine Greek atmosphere. The food is just delicious and the staff very nice, speaking in our language when they found out we were French, which is always a nice mark of attention when you're abroad. If you feel like eating Greek in a prestigious district, do not hesitate!
Nice clean inviting atmosphere. They were clearly proud of their food. I am a fan of Greek food, but am no fan of their fare. We ordered with great expectations. My wife and I both ate a rank tasting lamb dish served up in a pita. Not good. I remain in the dog house. No, not at my wife's insistence, but under the curse and demands of several thousand very unhappy taste buds. We shall not return. The meat was either old before the "lamb" lost its life, or the meat was aged far too long after the lamb perished. Either one, it doesn't matter. The meat was terrible. I'd give them 1.5 stars because I think they tried (and will round up to 2 stars). Their intent notwithstanding, they failed. Tip for the owner: Get a new butcher, buy better meat, and/or use the meat before it goes bad.
I ordered the Klefticon and a side of spinach.
I have to say what impressed me the most is the service. The main server was very friendly to everyone. Had made sure my water is refilled.
I couldn't finish my Klefticon, when the server came to take it away, he asked "Was it too much food or was it bad food?"
The Klefticon was indeed fall-off-the bone lamb and had none of the gaminess or smell of lamb. But having a big slab of meat with dry rice wasn't appealing to me (that day).
Wish they had a side salad instead of having a "small" salad.
It doesn't get any more Greek than this...outside of Greece. From the guy doing the accounting near the kitchen, to the boss of the restaurant and the shepherd barn style wooden interior. It was packed when we arrived without a reservation, but the boss managed to squeeze us in.
Another review mentioned you needed to be hungry before coming to Halepi and she wasn't kidding. Serious portions. Go for the mixed appetizer (one portion for two will suffice) which is a mix of dips. And then for the shoulder of lamb. So soft and tender it falls off the bone. Didn't have any place left for dessert.
Yeah. So this is 5 stars in the local family-run ethnic food category. It's not fancy or fussy, but it is delicious.
You will come here for the Klefticon, the fall-off-the-bone, slow-cooked lamb that Greek food is famous for. You'll press lightly on the meat with the back of the fork and notice it squish softly onto the side of the plate. You'll cut a piece of roasted potato, and drive it around your plate into the meat drippings, picking up a few bits of roasted onion and fat. It will be delicious but so huge you can't even finish. You'll want to save the rest for breakfast.
Before that, you will have feasted on big and juicy olives, both black and green. You will have cleansed your palette with radishes, green onions, and peppers. You'll order a bottle of wine and ask, "What part of Greece is it from?" The answer: "I have no idea. The good part." After ordering it, you'll accept that, yes, wherever it was, it was from the good part.
On your way out, as you gush to the owner about the lamb, he will proudly show you the dusty celebrity photos of London's famous who come here for a fantastic and fuss-free meal.
Gluten-free notes: Most Greek food is naturally gluten-free. You will eat very well with few restrictions. Beware the moussaka -- the traditional recipe calls for flour.
Go hungry! This will be the only meal you'll need or want for the day. The food from starters, mains and dessert are all incredibly flavorful and the portions generous, so you're going to want to be hungry enough to try a little of everything!
A couple of Greek friends recommended this restaurant and my husband and I were very excited to meet them for lunch yesterday as it's always a good idea to follow where the natives eat
After yesterday, I don't think I could eat Greek food anywhere else in London. This is THE place to go for an authentic Greek meal. The Kazolides family have been running the restaurant since 1966 and I can see why they have been so successful through the decades! They gained a new loyal fan - I'm hooked.
Food is simple, fresh and perfectly seasoned and prepared. We ordered a wide variety of starters and grilled meats - everything was top quality. Needless to say, we were all stuffed and were grateful to the server for wrapping up the kebabs we didn't quite finish to take home.
A few favorites that I highly recommend include:
- Greek Sausages (Loukanika): This was my first time trying these and loved the mix of spices and slightly smoky taste.
- Tzatziki: I've had this cool, creamy & tangy cucumber dish before, but this was the best version I've had. They nailed the balance of flavors. Very addicting and was especially good with the chicken kebabs later in the meal.
- Saganaki (Pan fried Greek cheese): It's hard to resist a fried cheese dish! No idea what kind of cheese they used, but its crispy pan fried outside and melty center was yum!
- Lamb on Spit: I ordered the Chicken Kebabs as they are my usual favorite and they were wonderful, but after a bite of this lamb cooked on the spit, I think it might be my new favorite (at least here anyway). Wow, no clue how they get the lamb so tender and the slight charred bites from the spit add an amazing meaty flavor.
- Galaktoboureko (Custard in Phyllo Dough): I was going to order the baklava but my friends encouraged me to try this one since I've never had it. Again, their recommendation was right on. Cool custard inside a flaky phyllo dough drizzled with a light honey syrup - dee-licious!
- Greek wine: Selected a Greek red, which was a nice pairing. I'll need to keep an eye out for Greek wines in the future.
Atmosphere is intimate and casual with closely placed tables and brightly colored table covers. It can be quite crowded and hard to move around, but I think it's part of the charm - it feels and tastes like a family owned and operated restaurant. Service was speedy and friendly. Overall a remarkable experience!
Note: Be sure to make a booking ahead to ensure you get a table. Or, they also have takeaway service if you can't get a spot :)
Pros: Wonderful ambiance, close to the Bayswater tube station, a 5-minute walk from Hyde Park, and great service. The owner is this adorable little Greek man that circulated the room and made us feel like we were eating in his home. We had the hummus and it was absolutely outstanding. They also brought out an array of olives, fresh radishes, peppers, and hot pita that you could make a meal out of on it's own. Lamb was pretty good, although not the best I've had in London. They brought out these unusual jelly desserts at the end that were very tasty. Some tasted like lemon, and another one tasted like rose water. Very interesting. My husband and I still talk about those little jellies!
Cons: house wine. Not the best I've ever had. Kinda disappointing in a Greek restaurant.
Basically, the pros far outweigh the cons. Give this place a try! We loved it.
For a great price, Halepi offers huge portions of very tasty food. In addition, it appears to be undiscovered by tourists, and thus has a wonderful, warm, neighborhood feel to it!
Four of us ordered:
- Hallumi (oh my goodness! I am still craving this! It's a very simple appetizer, but, as my cousin said, how can you go wrong with salty, grilled cheese? Would do multiple orders of this)
- Hummus with pita and vegetables (hot peppers, radishes, etc.)
- Greek Salad
- 3 orders of Baby Lamb (which literally came out as a beautiful piece of meat on the bone - a very large portion)
That feast + 2 bottles of fantastic wine (Boutari Grand Reserve, I think) + coffee / tea = 150GBP for four people (unheard of in London)! :)
I get the impression that reservations are strongly recommended :) - this place was bustling!
Would definitely return (perhaps for a second meal this week)!
** Hi Alison / Dan! :)
There is a good vibe to this place.
I was shocked at first when I walked in to the place (I was invited and thought it will look like all restaurants i have been to)... it was crowded and tables were have hardly any space between them. The table cloths are so colourful and there is barely room to move in, but you find people enjoying the time, staff that smile and accomodate you- and to my surprise many celebrities and officials from all over the world, choose this restaurant as the place to eat couple of times a week.
The service is immaculate and food is absolutely fresh and delicious.
in total I enjoyed my time there and will recommed it to everyone I know...
Halepi is without a doubt the most authentic Greek restaurant I've ever been to, but my experience was a bit of a unique one, so I'll go ahead and explain.
Primarily, other reviews had said that Halepi had a vegetarian menu, and as I was going out to eat with two vegetarians, I went as far as to call ahead to make sure that this was the case. However, even though I was assured over the phone that there was in fact a vegetarian menu, upon arriving I was told by two different waiters that there were only two vegetarian options available. This was disappointing to say the least.
That having been said, the food was absolutely excellent. While a bit on the pricey side (you're paying for the authentic atmosphere here), the pitas were the best I've ever had, and the portion sizes were acceptable and the service was truly sensational.
However, after having only been seated for a little over an hour, our party was confronted by a man who appeared to be the owner and was told that we had to leave in order to make room for another party. This truly put a stain on the evening, and I left Halepi with a bit of a sour taste in my mouth.
Overall, my experience may have been rare, and I must reinforce that Halepi is both authentic, friendly and tasty, but being told to leave was truly disappointing.
I still salivate when I remember the lamb. Yip, it fell off the bone and straight into my mouth. (These days I don't eat as much meat, but will make an exception for Halepi's lamb.)
The decor is trapped in a time warp - no updating done here. It's legendary amongst the locals and has been going for ages so that's always a good sign.
It can get very busy and so booking may be advised on traditionally busy nights. There's a friendly and exuberant vibe and staff greeted regulars warmly.
I liked the thick curtain in front of the door which kept the place cosy and the bowl of oranges near the door was a nice touch too.
This restaurant is tucked away in a quiet area and from the outside it looks warm, friendly, and cosy. Once inside, it is exactly that.
The staff are very friendly. They are mostly Greek which add to the authenticity of the restaurant and also means that they can recommend the best dishes.
The restaurant is small and slightly cramped, but once the food arrives, you forget about that as you savour the delicious Greek cuisine. They have a variety of dishes and there is guaranteed to be something for everyone.
The prices are reasonable as the food is of a very high quality.
This is a great lively place to go for a meal if you're after good food and a great atmosphere.
I have literally rolled out of this place everytime I've eaten here.
It's like something inside me can't stop ordering when the waiter comes because I know everything is amazing. The plates are to share, which I use as an excuse everytime to get as much Halepi on our table as I can.
This is the best Greek in London without question.
This is the place where your mouth and mind will disobey your tummy and just keep on going. Seriouslly excellent, the owners are jovial and love to watch it all go down, and the traditional decor makes it all even better.
We have been to this place for lunch on a Sunday and had Klefticon and Dolmades. The lamb was ok but nothing special and the Dolmades where watery and almost only rice very little meat over all not nice.
We love Greek food and have been to many greek restaurants but this is one we will not come again.
Not much for vegetarians that you can't find else where... sadly... but the good news is that the baklava is really lovely.
This place was awesome. The food was great and brought out efficiently. The only reason I didn't give it five stars was they forgot to bring out the sausage appetizer along with the spanakopita.
Excellent Greek food, super staff, exceedingly friendly and mediterranean atmosphere. My best choice for hearty food. The lamb is just delicious.
A must visit
this is our go-to greek restaurant. i think everyone's reviews hit it right on the nose. so aside from mentioning the kleftiko again (get it!), i'll just emphasize how cozy the place is...
my husband and i like to people watch and yes, we talk to each other, too, during dinner. we particularly like to watch people on dates, especially those who are still in the shy phase (date 1 or 2?). halepi's is not the place to take a first date because we would be the couple next to you, nearly sitting in your lap, listening to your conversation.
plus, who actually eats a ton on a first date? -you're going to want to eat everything at halepi's.
halepi's is a great place for families and folks who love yummo food...and who don't mind loosening the belt after dinner.
I'll have to differ with the most glowing of Halepi's reviewers, while still maintaining that it's a solid restaurant.
Our food (taramosalata, spanakopita, kleftikon) was prepared very quickly. The taramosalata was very good (but that's essentially just a dip); the spanakopita was somewhat lacking, tasting a bit rubbery and perhaps overfried. The kleftikon, however, was delicious and tender, definitely one of the culinary highlights of this trip to London.
Overall, I'd have to say that I'll make an effort to visit Halepi on future visits to the UK, but it doesn't especially stand out in comparison to Greek restaurants I patronise in the states, or any average restaurant you'd run across in Greece itself. In the bleak gastronomic scene of London, however, it's quite good.
The ambiance is great in this restaurant. Food is decent and the owner is such a great guy. Open late & you can get alcohol here AFTER the pubs close at 11.
Nice authentic little spot. I had the Greek sausage to start which I didn't enjoy at all. It was really hard and hurt my mouth. The lamb kleftico was fantastic. Huge portion that was cooked perfectly. They serve you a huge array of radishes, pita bread,olives, pickled peppers and fresh spring onions that could be a meal by itself. One thing I found strange was the £1 cover charge they add to the bill besides the tip. Go check it out.
This family run restaurant is unintentionally kitsch. The food is extremely fresh, you can see live lobsters in the display fridge greeting customers walking to a snug seat in this comfortably cramped environment. Ive never tasted better hummus and aubergine, and the grilled halloumi cheese with tomatoes is a must. Also, you can order practically any drink and theyll have the liquor, even three different types of irish coffee ( how greek is that??) .
Dont forget to leave space for Yiayia's baklava.
For me, Halepi is simply an 'institution' in London.
Obviously, my passion for both London and Greek islands may be playing a role in this judgment... but I know I am one of many estimators of this small (and always full) Greek restaurant in the Bayswater area.
The atmosphere is cozy and friendly, with rows of tables, set-up in 'old' Greek style, where both couples and groups of friends sit next to each other - and sometimes even socialize during dinner...
Coming to food, there is a wide selection of typical starters such as tzatziki, melizanosalata (sauce with aubergines), taramasalata (never understood what's exactly in it, but it's fish and it's very good...)
All to be shared, along with the typical 'pita' bread.
By the way, for those who don't know, Greek cuisine shares a lot with Middle Eastern food tradition.
But make sure you leave enough space for the main courses!
- Dolmades: typical wine leaves stuffed with rice and meat
- Souvla: 'best lamb on spit' - as defined in the Halepi menu :)
- Klefticon, a slow-cooked lamb served with spices: large enough to fill you up alone...
I am not passionate about Greek desserts, so I always rather conclude my dinner with a good ouzo...
Finally, the staff is super-friendly. A special mention for Ben the waiter, who always remembers me and my friends everytime we go back there, even after years!
Prices are on 'London average', i.e. 30 to 40 pounds for a full dinner.
But I never left Halepi hungry or unhappy about the quality, and often I skipped breakfast the morning after...
Five stars widely deserved!
Such a delightful experience I must say. Excellent food, atmosphere and service. Would highly recommend!!!
A small but excellent small Greek restaurant between Bayswater and Paddington. The place is almost always packed as people come here to get some of the best Greek and Mediterranean food one can find in London. The room is small and the atmosphere always very warm and buzzy. If you live around there you can also get some excellent take-away.
A great 'local' restaurant. Even when they are full, which seems to be most of the time, they can always squeeze you in. Great food and wine and really nice people. One of my favorites.
The best Greek restaurant in london. No doubt at all. And has been for decades. Heaving every night, very bustling, fantastic fresh food.
We came here for lunch, and had the entire place almost entirely to ourselves. I loved the Greek salad and the beets, served with olives and excellent, hot pita. Potatoes were also good, but we were underwhelmed by the chicken kebabs, which were bland. Pricey, but overall good food; I recommend assembling a vegetable-heavy meal from appetizers and vegetable sides.
Exactly what the previous comments have said.
The interior is small and intimate but homely and welcoming.
Halepi gave excellent and friendly service.
We were immediately greeted and made to feel at home.
Food was superb.
We were given olives once we were seated, and our basket of warmed pitta bread was topped up automatically once consumed.
I ordered the Special lamb kebab and my other half ordered the Baby lamb shanks both with rice. Food was cooked to absolute perfection- and generous portions at that! Tender and juicy on the shanks and rustic beautiful grilled flavours of the kebab.
For dessert we ordered the Greek coffee (which comes served in an espresso sized cup) and one slice of baklava to share (by this point we were far too full to have our own dessert each- generous portion again), but before we ordered our dessert, we were given a complimentary small dish of turkish delight. I don't normally like Turkish delight as I find it is perfume flavoured, but this particular one was scrumptious and not perfumed at all!
The bill came to £57 between the two of us. Service charge included.
Reasonably priced considering the quality of food and service!
All in all, a rare gem hidden away in Central London.
Will definitely go back since it's yards away from us!
(They do Takeaways too!!)
Nice atmosphere, ok food
Yelpers have really let me down on this one, and this is not the first time this has happened in London. But after this, I think I might stop trusting London Yelp altogether.
The food is NOT 4- or 5-star. Maybe it once was, but not anymore. My friend and I had some questions about the menu, because nothing has descriptions and we are not familiar with Greek food. After maybe our third inquiry, the waitress literally told us to come with her so she could show us the food in the display case because, quote "this is clearly your first time in a Greek restaurant." Really rude.
You're served olives, pita bread, and a plate of raw radishes, scallions, and jalapeno peppers. Not seasoned or anything, just as they are. I'm all for scallions, but raw? And I don't tend to eat jalapeno peppers whole either. Or radishes for that matter. So when our main meal came, the same waitress asked if she could take the plate away because, quote, "you barely touched it." Again, rude and unnecessary comment.
The eggplant and the tabouli dipping sauces were both good. But the mousaka (even I, in my DEEP ignorance, know that this is a Greek staple) was so, so lacking. Orange grease everywhere, not very flavorful, and unappealing texture. The veggies, also, were dredged in the orange grease. My friend's quail looked pretty dry, and the waitress got all defensive when she had simply commented on how tiny it was. I tried eating as much as I could, but, just as I had feared, no joke, the good ol' waitress returned and said "I must be honest with you ladies, you are really not good eaters! Was it ok?" I should not have to apologize for not finishing a mediocre meal, but I did apologize, and told her that it WAS mediocre. She didn't care. And then at the table next to us, I overheard a woman making a complaint about her meal, and the same waitress told her "this is the best dish on the menu." Nope, that's not how you take a customer's complaint.
Literally to prove to her that we could finish a dish, we ordered dessert. The pastry that wasn't baklava. It was really pretty bad. In sum, food and service definitely not worth the price.
Food was nice, but a very claustrophobic atmosphere.
Out of five days in London, we ended up eating at this cozy Greek restaurant three separate times. Consistently very good to excellent food, excellent service, the place was busy every time we went, at all times of night. Easy walk from the nearby Bayswater hotels.
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