This is a deep and honest confession- I have never been a fan of Greek food, ever. The yogurts were slightly foreign for my taste buds {I was never a Danables kid!}, spices just a tad too aromatic and robust for my palate and the desserts failed to live up to the much praised “baklava moment” – the after-tasting-it-you-never-look-at-desserts-the-same, moment. But before you put me through the fire, I’m also here to tell you the San Francisco neighborhood Hayes Valley’s new Greek hot spot, Souvla has me running to my fat Greek seat at the table!

Chef Charles Bililies souvlaki gem is the new go-to lunch, dinner or dessert spot any day of the week!


What made me ever step into a Greek restaurant in the first place? I discovered the joint while shopping on Hayes and literally being stopped dead in my tracks. The clean white inside, shiny grey stools outside and olive trees flanking the doors sung a sweet song from the exterior. And when you walk in, you’re greeted by copper mugs, {just like in Greece as Erin’s trip to Mykonos proved!}, a gorgeous tiled bar and dried olive branches mixed with vintage kitchen utensils hanging from the walls.


And the food is just as beautiful as the space it’s cooked in. Salads are served in big blue-rimmed enamel bowls. Sandwiches are wrapped in cute paper packaging and the wine is served in traditional copper mugs. You can even watch the chickens crisp up in the rotisserie. And for a non-greek goer, like myself, the menu is easy- you pick a meat and decide if you want it in a salad or sandwich. Furthermore, if you’re like me, you’ll order both! Because everything looks so yummy. Let’s not forget about dessert: Greek frozen yogurt with your choice of toppings like Greek olive oil and flaky sea salt {yes!}, baklava crumbles {double yes!} , sour cherry syrup or wildflower honey. Seriously- mind-blowing. It’s no surprise as Chef Bililies comes with a pedigree a mile long including working for culinary greats like Thomas Keller and Michael Mina!


And while the food is sincerely the best part of the experience, I’ve since come back to both eat and stare at the Nikos Economopoulos photograph on the wall {and plot a plan of how to walk out of the restaurant, unseen, with an 8ft art piece under my arm!}. Obsessed.

Hayes Valley is a fast changing neighborhood and the addition of Souvla is just what the popular couple of blocks needed- a casual, affordable, fast and delicious dining experience leaving you dreaming of spit roasted pork and what? Harissa yogurt! Greek food lovers, I get it now. —Bianca

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original photography for apartment 34 by Aubrie Pick

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  1. I’m not much of a Greek food kind of gal, but this place looks so sweet, makes me want to give it another go!

  2. Very well put. Charles is doing a hell of a job. However, I don’t understand your opening comment about not being a fan of Greek food. That’s barbaric. Just sayin’.