Salt Lake City has many Greek fast food restaurants, but not many Greek full-service restaurants. The best Greek restaurant in Salt Lake City is probably Aristo's, located at 241 S. 1300 E. near the University of Utah.
The food at Aristo's is generally simple and well executed, with carefully selected and balanced, not complicated, flavor combinations. Aristo's serves a selection of Greek restaurant staples, plus some more unusual choices.
The atmosphere at Aristo's is lively and inviting, and the restaurant has a large patio perfect for summer dining. Service is generally courteous and prompt.
On a recent visit to Aristo's, my companion and I started our meal with the kafteri, a dip made with pureed roasted peppers, feta cheese, olive oil and cayenne served with pita wedges. It was wonderful - rich, tangy and peppery. We also had the lentil soup, which was lighter and fresher tasting than most lentil soups I've tried, with a not-too-strong vegetable and herbal flavor.
Our entrees were two vegetarian options, the boureki, layers of zuchinni and potatoes mixed with ricotta and feta and baked in a clay pot, and the yemista, tomato, bell pepper and zuchinni stuffed with rice, potatoes and crushed tomatoes and baked in a clay pot. The boureki was rich and cheesy, but not too heavy, and the yemista presented a wonderful blend of roasted vegetable flavors, mostly tomato but with the zuchinni and bell pepper flavors coming through. Both dishes were flavored strongly with mint, something we enjoyed, but it could be off-putting for some people.
Other dishes I've enjoyed at Aristo's in the past include the excellent Greek salad, the spanikopita (spinach pie), mousaka (layers of eggplant, potato, ground lamb and ground beef baked under a layer of bechamel sauce, pastitisio (similar to mousaka but made with pasta instead of the eggplant and potatoes), and the rich, sweet and nutty baklava, some of the best in the city.
Aristo's has a colorful, inviting interior with Greek-themed murals painted on the walls and large windows in the front good for people watching. The restaurant's large patio is popular in good weather. Aristo's is very near Kingsbury Hall and Pioneer Memorial Theater, so it's perfect for a pre-show dinner. The service at Aristo's is, in my experience, generally prompt, courteous and unobtrusive. Aristo's has wine by the glass or bottle, including some interesting Greek selections.
Aristo's Greek Restaurant
224 S. 1300 E.
Reservations by phone or online