Home & Living

Hello, Neighbor: Greektown

Get to know the Southeast Baltimore enclave that has maintained a strong Greek base since the 1930s, while also embracing an influx of young families and newcomers of all backgrounds.

The Southeast Baltimore enclave has maintained a strong Greek base since the 1930s, though today a broad range of residents proudly call this rowhouse community home. Amid a wave of recent change—Greektown’s population grew 31 percent during the 2010s alone—the neighborhood has embraced an influx of young families and newcomers from Latino and other non-Greek backgrounds while retaining a shared sense of safety and mutual community support.

Residents here enjoy unusually plentiful options for Baltimore. The main drag in the 4600-4700 blocks of Eastern Avenue includes corner stores and small grocers for basic household and kitchen items. Prima Foods around the corner in Bayview has endless wholesale-priced feta cheese, imported olive oil (and olives), and other Greek specialties for sale, and close-by shopping centers (Yard 56, Canton Crossing) provide the usual chains and big box stores.

While the characteristic white-and-azure flags and painted facades decorate the neighborhood year-round, major annual festivities include the lively Greek Independence Parade every March and the annual four-day St. Nicholas Greek Folk Festival in June.

Families enjoy the beloved playground and tot lot at Lehigh and Gough (named after the late, longtime neighborhood caretaker, Gloria Hertzfelt). A drive up to the eastern border of Hopkins Bayview brings you to ball fields, basketball courts, and a wading pool at Joseph Lee Park.

No surprise Greek cuisine is the star here. Mainstays like Ikaros (founded in 1969), Samos (1977), and Zorba’s (1989) have served up pastitsio, dolmades, kebab, and countless other favorites for decades. Estiatorio Plaka, owned by Greektown’s own John Zoulis, took over the former Acropolis space this summer and has already stirred up fresh buzz. Central and South American flavors add more range to the menu in Greektown, from Mexican (Charro Negro) and Salvadoran (Pupuseria Mama Tana) to Ecuadorian (La Taverna Ecuatoriana) and Colombian (Delicious Colombian Food).

Neighbor Spotlight
Lia Dimas, Lifelong Greektown Resident

“I’m born and raised here for 42 years. I live one block away from where I grew up. My parents live across the alley. They are creatures of habit, so every morning they go out in the backyard, and they have their Greek coffee, so we always wave to them as we head off on our day.

“Growing up, Greektown was more like a blue-collar type of neighborhood, but today it’s a mix. You still have the old-school generation of Greeks living here, and some younger, newer generation of Greeks like me and my husband. But now it’s a melting pot really, we have all kinds of people living here. I don’t think there’s anything else like Baltimore’s Greektown—you won’t see a Greektown in as many parts of the U.S. that’s as residential as it is here.”

Population: 4,757 Occupancy Rate: 89% Owner/Renter Split: 51% / 49% Median Home Purchase Price: $194,000 Estimated Monthly Mortgage: $1,323 Estimated Rent: $1,580 Walk Score: 88 Transit Score: 67
—Sources: Baltimore City Department of Planning, Live Baltimore