photo credit: Yefsi

Yefsi image



Upper East Side

$$$$Perfect For:Dinner with the ParentsKids

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We found another restaurant that we like on York Avenue, which puts the tally at exactly two. Between Tanoshi Sushi and now Yefsi, we're gonna start lobbying the MTA for a York Avenue subway soon. It will run the entire 30 block stretch of York, cost roughly 17 billion dollars, and will be useful to only a very small percentage of the population, two decades from now. And that's exactly why it will probably get approved.

Until that day comes, you'll have to take a taxi all the way to the east side of the island to eat at Yefsi, but we think that's something you should do. At least, that is, assuming you get down with Greek food. We certainly do, and so do our Greek friends who introduced us to this place recently.

Yefsi is one of those Upper East Side restaurants that you usually walk by and wonder who eats there, assuming you notice it at all. It's a non-descript room that looks like it came out of the "So You Want to Open an Upscale Restaurant" handbook from ten years ago, meaning there are lots of wood finishes and halogen lights, and I'm pretty sure the host checked in my reservation on a Gateway. But what Yefsi lacks in aesthetic personality, it makes up for with excellent food. For all of the disappointing modern Greek restaurants that we've been to, Yefsi is one of the few to get it right. The food is predictably simple but still highly flavorful, the people are nice, and the prices are reasonable. Could you get more authentic Greek eats in Astoria? Absolutely. But we're betting there's a better chance you'll like your meal at Yefsi than you will at some of the more well known spots in Queens, and you'll certainly like it a lot more than most of the other restaurants in this neighborhood. That is, until the new York Avenue subway changes everything. Mark my words.

Food Rundown


In case you're unfamiliar, halloumi is a broiled cheese from Cyprus. It's got a firm texture and a salty taste, and it's fcking delicious. Yefsi's halloumi is some of the best we've had. A must order.

Yefsi Chips

Lightly fried zuchhini and eggplant chips that we could eat all day long. A perfect way to trick a child/your frighteningly unhealthy friend into eating veggies.


Baked lima beans in tomato sauce. These are so simple but so good. Get some on your table.

Grilled Octopus

Obviously. As good as octopus at a Greek restaurant gets.


An excellent sausage flavored with orange zest and served with black eyed peas.


That's what the Greek's call a Greek salad, and this one is solid. I wish we Americans had better names for food. How is "grilled cheese" the best we could come up with?


Greek meatballs. Yes, you want them. And you have to say the Greek name, or they won't bring them to you. Ok, that's not true, but it should be.

Arni Souvlaki

Simple, delicious lamb kebabs. These are probably hard to screw up, but still, we'll give Yefsi some points for doing the basic stuff right.

Whole Fish

Eating a whole fish right out of the oven is never a bad idea at a Greek restaurant. Yefsi definitely isn't Milos, but their fish will get the job done. Ask what the fish of the day is and order one for the table.

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Suggested Reading

Periyali image


A classic Greek restaurant that's been around since the 80's, and still holds up today.

Tanoshi Sushi image

Tanoshi Sushi is a reasonably-priced, BYOB omakase spot on the Upper East Side that offers interesting add-on nigiri.

Anassa Taverna image

Anassa Taverna is a big Greek restaurant that’s useful for a last-minute dinner in the East 60s.

Taverna Kyclades image

Taverna Kyclades is a classic spot in Astoria for family-style Greek food. Order whatever whole fish sounds best, and get a side of melt-in-your-mouth lemon potatoes.

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