HOUSTON – I’m Olivia Kolanek, Houston Life Associate Producer, and I miss traveling. Since lockdown, I’ve been ordering tons of takeout from restaurants all over the city, partly to support local businesses, but also to supplement my ever-growing wanderlust.
Houston Life Photographer Paul Shelton is also a lover of international food and travel, so we teamed up to help other Houstonians who might have the travel bug. If you’re looking to add some international flavor to your quarantine routine, we’ve got just the ticket! We’re showcasing local restaurants that highlight dishes and culture from countries all around the world in a mini-series we’ve dubbed “Travel Thru Takeout.”
For our first stop, we’re taking a trip to Greece with Niko Niko’s restaurant owner Dimitrios Fetokakis and Catering Director Kostas Veliadis.
When Houstonians think of Greek food, they think of Niko Niko’s. The local staple is a family owned business that was opened by Fetokakis’ father in 1977. Since then, the restaurant has expanded to three locations in the Houston area and developed a reputation as a go-to spot for authentic Greek food.
“I go to Greece every summer, so I spend my time there about one or two months, and I’m really immersed in the culture. It’s who I am,” said Fetokakis.
Aside from traditional Greek dishes like Dolmathes, Spanakopita and of course their famous gyros, Niko Niko’s prides itself on being a source for Greek knowledge. Veliadis explains why he enjoys sharing his Greek culture with guests.
“For many people, we are the only Greek connection they have,” said Veliadis. “Before they go to Greece, they come and ask us where to go, what to see, what to eat. It’s really something more than just the food.”
And we can honestly attest to that being true. In addition to walking out with way too much food, we had a long list of must-see spots in Greece, as well as travel advice like how many days we should spend in Athens.
So until the day that we can finally see Greece in person, I’ll be happily enjoying takeout from Niko Niko’s.
For the full interview, watch the video above. To connect with Dimitri Fetokakis and Kostas Veliadis, visit the Niko Niko’s website.