Here Is The Most Expensive Restaurant In Chicago, Illinois


The Varka Estiatorio restaurant is the most expensive restaurant located in the heart of Chicago’s Greektown neighborhood. It was founded in 1998 by Greek-born restaurateur, Vassilis Xanthopoulos.

Varka Estiatorio: History

Vassilis Xanthopoulos, a Greek-born restaurateur, developed the award-winning Varka Estiatorio in 1998. The restaurant, which is located in Chicago’s Greektown area, has swiftly become one of the city’s most popular eating locations.

Xanthopoulos was born and reared in Greece, where he spent his summers as a boy working at his family’s restaurant. He moved to Chicago for college in 1990 and fell in love with the city. Varka was born because he wanted to create his restaurant after graduating.

Varka is well-known for its genuine Greek food made with fresh, seasonal ingredients. The menu includes a wide range of foods such as moussaka, lamb chops, and souvlaki. There is also a large assortment of Greek wines and beers in the restaurant.

Xanthopoulos has received accolades for his dedication to quality and authenticity. He has appeared in a variety of periodicals, including The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, and Food & Wine. Varka has also received several accolades, including the Michelin Bib Gourmand.

Varka Estiatorio: Menu

The Varka Estiatorio menu features a wide variety of authentic Greek dishes, prepared using fresh, seasonal ingredients. The menu is divided into the following sections:

Appetizers: This section features a variety of small plates, perfect for sharing. Popular options include saganaki (pan-seared cheese), tzatziki (yogurt dip with cucumber), and moussaka (eggplant and lamb casserole).

Salads: Varka offers a variety of salads, including traditional Greek salads, as well as more creative options. Popular options include the Greek salad (tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, olives, feta cheese, and oregano), the Cobb salad (chicken, bacon, avocado, egg, and blue cheese), and the seafood nicoise (grilled vegetables, scallops, shrimp, tuna, and olives).

Soups and stews: Varka offers a variety of soups and stews, including the Greek fisherman’s chowder (seafood and vegetables in a tomato broth), the lentil soup (lentils, onions, carrots, and celery), and the moussaka soup (eggplant and lamb in a tomato broth).

Main courses: This section features a variety of main courses, including grilled meats, seafood, and vegetarian options. Popular options include the lamb chops (grilled lamb chops with lemon and herbs), the grilled octopus (charcoal-grilled octopus with roasted peppers), and the shrimp Santorini (shrimp in a white wine and tomato broth with feta cheese).

Side dishes: Varka offers a variety of side dishes, including roasted vegetables, potatoes, and rice. Popular options include the lemon roasted potatoes (potatoes roasted in a lemon and olive oil dressing), the asparagus (asparagus roasted in a garlic and olive oil dressing), and the Gigantes (giant beans cooked in tomato sauce).

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Desserts: Varka offers a variety of desserts, including baklava (phyllo dough filled with nuts and honey), galaktoboureko (custard pie), and loukoumades (fried dough balls in honey syrup). Popular options include the baklava (phyllo dough filled with nuts and honey), the galaktoboureko (custard pie), and the loukoumades (fried dough balls in honey syrup).

Varka Estiatorio: Experience

Ah, dining at Varka Estiatorio! It’s a truly special experience, from the moment you step into the warm and inviting atmosphere to the last bite of their delectable Greek cuisine. Here’s a glimpse of what you can expect:


  • Warm and inviting: Exposed brick walls, soft lighting, and traditional Greek décor create a cozy and inviting atmosphere. You’ll feel transported to a taverna in the heart of the Aegean.
  • Lively and bustling: Especially on weekends, Varka buzzes with energy. The clinking of glasses, animated conversations, and the aroma of grilling meats fill the air, creating a vibrant and festive atmosphere.
  • Summertime patio: Soak up the Chicago sun on their charming patio, adorned with greenery and string lights. It’s the perfect spot for a leisurely lunch or a balmy evening dinner.


  • Authentic Greek flavors: Varka’s menu is a celebration of Greek cuisine, featuring fresh, seasonal ingredients and traditional recipes passed down through generations.
  • Something for everyone: From succulent grilled octopus and spanakopita to melt-in-your-mouth moussaka and flavorful lamb chops, there’s something to tantalize every taste bud.
  • Don’t forget the seafood: Being in the heart of Chicago, Varka also excels with its fresh seafood dishes. Try the grilled branzino or the fragrant seafood stew for a taste of the Mediterranean.
  • Pair it with a Greek wine: Varka boasts an extensive selection of Greek wines, from crisp Assyrtiko to robust Agiorgitiko. Their knowledgeable staff can help you find the perfect pairing for your meal.


  • Warm and welcoming: The staff at Varka are friendly and attentive, making you feel like a valued guest. They’re passionate about Greek cuisine and love sharing their knowledge with diners.
  • Personalized recommendations: Don’t hesitate to ask for recommendations! The staff is always happy to guide you through the menu and suggest dishes based on your preferences.
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