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The Carry-Out Critic Gets a Taste of the Aegean Islands at Greek Deli


Greek Deli & Catering is a family-owned takeout spot in Northwest D.C. that serves authentic and homemade Greek dishes. Chef Kostas Fostieris lived in Andros, in the Aegean Islands, before moving to the states in the 1970s. He eventually opened his own restaurant, which has been operating for more than 30 years. 

The walls in the restaurant are decked with a few portraits of former U.S. presidents and first ladies, along with dozens of framed articles from the restaurant’s many features in local news outlets over the years. Soda machines are on one side of the counter, along with a refrigerated display case showing their cold menu items. On the other side is a large bookcase full of shelf-stable ingredients sourced from Greece, such as honey, couscous, beans, olive oil, and candy. A white printed menu is posted high above the ordering area, which allows you to peek into a tiny open kitchen. A couple of tables are set up on the patio if you choose to eat your food right away.

Greek Deli is a staple for those working in the area. With limited hours due to the pandemic, they get much of their business from nearby office workers. But the previously congested area around Dupont Circle has seen a lot less daytime foot traffic over the past two years, with many employees still working remotely. Despite the slower business, I saw many returning customers on my visit. 

Fostieris is very big on his connection with his regulars. His conversations are personable and knowledgeable, but he still keeps the line moving. Even on my first visit, I felt like a regular before even placing an order. As customers came in, the chef asked if they were getting their usual, or if they wanted to switch it up. One regular had worked in the area since 2007 before eventually moving out of state. Greek Deli was always part of her visits back home, stating “Kostas is the best owner EVER!” Another customer occasionally works in the area, having his team stay at a nearby hotel. After one visit, they returned every day of the week. 

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