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Lonsdale Street Greek Festival

words by niall roeder

Melbourne’s historic Greek precinct is throwing a party. The Lonsdale St Greek Festival turns 30 this year and what better way to celebrate than with yiros, souvlaki and Zorba dancing. Arguably Australia’s biggest Greek street party brings a weekend of Greek culture, food and live entertainment to Lonsdale Street.

What springs to mind when you think of Greece? Maybe it’s the white houses on the cliffs of Santorini or Gerard Butler as King Leonidas screaming “THIS IS SPARTA!” The answer for many will be food. Greek food is off the hook. It’s evident the festival organisers are aware of this because they have gone all out on the food side of things. The comprehensive grub line up includes the Liquid Nitrogen ice cream, chips on a stick and Goody’s burgers, which are all solid options. But we’re not here to taste flavours from around the globe, we’re here to eat Greek, so here are the best Greek food options.

The Cypriot Kitchen
Fried halloumi chips… need we say more? They also do delicious Cypriot chicken souvla.

Cypriot Street Grill
These guys do meat on the spit extremely well. They base everything they sell around their grandma’s (yia yias) Greek soul food recipes, so you know it’s cooking from the heart.

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Ilias The Greek
This guy is the Spanakopita king. Grab a spinach and feta spiral pies and you’ll realise that Zeus put Ilias on earth to make these tasty morsels.

The festival also includes performances by Glykeria and the Stratakis Brothers, who if you’re not down with your south-eastern European musicians, have been described as the Greek Celine Dion and Mumford & Sons… by me, for the first time, just then.

In addition to Glykeria and the Stratakis Brothers owning the stage, there’ll be a Zorba ‘Til You Drop dance-off and a Magic Mic singing contest. The competition is open to amateurs of all ages and contestants must sing a song in Greek or by a Greek composer.

Lonsdale Street Greek Festival is on February 25 and 26.


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