General manager Khan Ly (second from left) and his staff have made sure that The Hungry Greek is not only the best Greek restaurant around, but one of the best overall.

1. Hungry Greek
2653 Bruce B. Downs Blvd.
(813) 345-8526

The Hungry Greek may be known as that fast and casual  Greek place right across the street from AdventHealth Wesley Chapel, but it wasn’t that way when franchise creator George Constantinou originally opened the doors to this first link of his now-10-location mini-chain on Bruce B. Downs Blvd. in Wesley Chapel on Oct. 5, 2008.

“It was two lanes and there were cows across the street,” Constantinou says. “It was in the middle of the housing recession, and everyone pulled out and it was just us and a balloon store. My dad looked at me and said ‘I hope this was a good move.’”

As it turns out, it was. It just required some patience.

Now, the Hungry Greek is smack dab in the middle of a booming area with two malls, countless homes, businesses and restaurants, across from one hospital with a second being built a mile or so away. And, as it pretty much always has been, The Hungry Greek is once again the most popular Mediterranean restaurant in Wesley Chapel, according to our readers.

Something of a spinoff of his father’s former Happy Greek restaurant in Dunedin, the Hungry Greek — in 2015 and 2016, it was the No. 2 overall favorite restaurant with our readers — serves up food made from his family’s recipes.

While they did at one time also serve food like burgers, it was a change to a more traditional Greek menu and an emphasis on the things they did best — Greek salads, gyros (gyro platter shown below), chicken souvlaki and tzatziki sauce, to name a few — made with the best ingredients.

The steady hand of local owner Khan Ly has the BBD location humming along as one of the mini-chain’s best, and the local Greek favorite year after year. — JCC

2. Yamato
28347 Paseo Dr., #150
(813) 907-8701

As Wesley Chapel’s only teppanyaki (hibachi) table Japanese restaurant, Yamato Japanese Steak House & Sushi Bar’s location in the Shops at Wiregrass mall helped guarantee that people would at least try it, but it is Yamato’s excellent fare and reasonable prices (especially when compared with other Japanese steakhouses) have continued to keep it high on our readers’ list of favorite restaurants year after year.

While Yamato has never finished higher than fifth overall in the Favorite Restaurant in Wesley Chapel (it finished tied for 29th this year), it has always been in the top five favorite Asian restaurants and had we not combined Mediterranean and Asian cuisines in the same category this year, it would have been #1 this year, losing to Hungry Greek by only four votes and finishing a dozen ahead of 3rd place Zukku-San. — GN

3. Zukku-San
25916 Sierra Center Blvd.
(813) 419-1351

When it opened in 2020, we were excited by the possibilities of a new and unique sushi restaurant with predominantly Japanese (and some Korean) specialties in what is surely the most beautiful Asian restaurant in Wesley Chapel. 

Zukku-San, owned and operated by Ferdian Jap and his family, also has less formal locations in Charlotte, NC, at Tampa’s Armature Works and coming soon is Ato, which will feature sushi bowls and “burritos” in the KRATE container park at The Grove in Wesley Chapel.

Although many locals choose Zukku-San for the sushi, if you haven’t tried the gyoza dumplings, the super-crispy spring rolls, the chicken and steak yakitori (below), the Japanese fried rice or full-liquor bar, you’ve been missing something special. — GN

The rest of the 2021 Asian/Mediterranean Top 10:
(4) China Wok
(5) Bonsai
(6) Umu
(7) Hibachi Express
(T8) Asian Buffet
(T8) Arroy Thai
(10) Gonna China.

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