If the 2004 summer Olympics inspired dreams of traveling to the land of Zeus and Aphrodite, but you’re lacking money or time, Detroit’s Greektown might be the next best thing. Greek restaurants, gift shops and a casino make up this lively corner of Detroit.
Follow the blue signs with white Parthenon symbols through the maze of downtown Detroit and eventually you will find yourself on the main drag. Be warned that parking in a lot is not cheap. Private lots have on-site attendants collecting a flat $10 rate parking fee and even a nearby church charges the same price for parking, so it is advised to find a spot within walking distance.
Once out of the car, strains of music slowly become audible. Part outdoor mall, part Athens, the central block of Monroe Street is filled with Greek tunes projected from hidden speakers. Artificial marble statues adorn windows of restaurants, and flashing neon signs reading “Pegasus” or “Pizza Popoulus” decorate restaurant exteriors. It is easy to forget you are in Detroit, but it is harder to determine if you stumbled upon a bit of Greece in Michigan or if you took a wrong turn and wandered into Disneyland. The American sized Sports Utilities Vehicles that would never fit on European streets line the sidewalk and the authenticity of Greektown is marred by the presence of Alley Grill and several other steak restaurants.
Nevertheless, if one ignores its ostentatious qualities, Greektown has a lot to offer. More than 20 restaurants, bakeries and bars line the street. At one end is the Grapevine Caf