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David Lissner
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Gear up for the Taste of Greektown



Greek Islands, Artopolis, Athena and the other restaurants of Greektown will be serving up their finest from noon to 11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 25 and 26, during the annual Taste of Greece. The fest takes place on Halsted Street from Monroe to Van Buren.

Expect gyros, lamb chops, souvlaki, grilled octopus, spinach pie, baklava and other delicacies. The free festival also offers live Greek music starting at 5 p.m., Greek dance performances and dancing lessons, kids’ activities, the Jesse White Tumblers and Greek wine tasting.

Greek presence in Chicago dates to the 1840s, when immigrants from Greece, largely seamen, began to settle in the neighborhood of Halsted, Harrison and Blue Island streets. That area, known as “the Delta,” was America’s largest Greek community until after World War II. The community shifted north to its current location in the 1960s, displaced by construction of the University of Illinois at Chicago and the Eisenhower Expressway.