This is the second time we’ve been to the Greek Food Festival at the Hellenic Community of Vancouver. This is something they hold every year around mid-October. This year marks the 31st anniversary and it’s held from Oct 17-19.
There’s really not much to see inside, we’re here for the food obviously. The east side of the hall houses the bakery and a small assortment of Greek jewelry, books, fragrances, etc.
The west side is the Taverna, Bar, and dining area.
Upstairs houses the Kafenion, which translates to “Cafe”. Here they serve the same assortment of sweets from the bakery downstairs, plus Greek or regular coffee, pop, and here’s where you get the ticket for the scrumptious Loukoumades. I will tell you more about that later.
All of their baked goods are homemade. This year, as we’re “experienced”, we opted for 3 savory items to share.
First we purchased a SPANAKOPITA to share. It is a spinach & cheese pie wrapped in phyllo. It is widely available in any Greek restaurant. However, I have to say this one tasted much much better than the one I had before at Mad Greek restaurant in Richmond. It had just the right amount of flavor and wasn’t too overwhelming with the cheese. I would’ve had more if I didn’t have my eyes (and stomach!) set on other things…
Next we went downstairs and ordered a Gyro…
and Pork Souvlaki to share. They cost $4.50 and $4.00 respectively.
Their gyro is always good. There’s always a large amount of meat in it, unlike food court ones which cost more and only has like 2 slices of meat in it. Let me show you a picture from last year:
The Pork Souvlaki was equally yummy. The meat was very flavorful and tender. It came off the skewer in big chunks but you can still chew down the meat with no problem, so, very tender!
Next was dessert time. Last year we tried 3 items from their selection. As anyone who has tried Greek desserts know, these are extremely sweet. It seems they use the same ingredients in their desserts: cinnamon, milk, sugar, honey, phyllo, almonds, cloves, walnuts, etc. Needless to say, we needed copius amounts of water after eating these. They were interesting to try but I think once is enough for us.
We visited the bakery again this year to see what they have. It’s always the same thing every year. This time we only ordered 2 sweets. Boyfriend wanted the Diple again, so we ordered that, and the Loukoumades.
The Diple was sweet and flaky. This was one of the less sweet desserts. I would compare this with the Chinese dan san.
This is Loukoumades. They translate it roughly to Honey Balls. It is a wonderful donut-like treat that’s deep-fried and then drizzled with honey, cinnamon and sesame seeds. This year it was breadier and less crispy than last year’s. They were bigger in size too. Perhaps a different person is making it this year. Nevertheless, it still did not disappoint me as I’ve been longing for it since last year.
All-in-all we had a great time. It was great food and we can’t wait to go again next year (Or tomorrow!)
Hellenic Community of Vancouver
4500 Arbutus Street
(Corner of Arbutus and Valley Drive)
Vancouver, B.C. V6J 4A2