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About Rafina

Rafina is a refined Greek restaurant located right downtown in New York City. Rafina has a fun yet refined quality the minute you step through the doors. Yes, there are white linens and candlelit centerpieces on each table, but there is also a disco ball and neon light machine in the corner dancing away on the weekends. The menu includes all the best things about Greek cuisine: hummus, pitas and kebabs with both chicken and lamb are here. On the weekends, diners can enjoy live music and sometimes even Rafina owner Dennis will get up and sing a few traditional Greek songs.

630 First Avenue
New York, NY 10016
View Larger Map

Dining Style:
Casual Elegant

Cuisines:
Greek, Mediterranean, Seafood

Hours of Operation:
Dinner:
Monday – Thursday & Sunday 5:00 PM - 11:00 PM
Friday & Saturday 5:00 PM - 4:00 AM

Cross Street:
37th Street

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(212) 532-2234

Website:
http://www.rafinanyc.com/

Entertainment:
Please come for live entertainment of traditional and contemporary Greek music at 10:00pm on Friday and Saturday nights. Dennis Spilios and his band will have you dancing in the aisles.

Parking Details:
Imperial Parking Garage, double access points on E 36th & E 37th Streets, between First Avenue and FDR.

Public Transit:
Take 4, 5, 6, N, R, and 7 to Grand Central and the M42, M15, M34 bus.

Private Party Facilities:
The professional staff of Estiatorio Rafina has a combined 30 years of experience and dedicated service for all your event planning needs. We can create a menu that will dazzle. Whether it be a birthday party, Bachelorette/Bachelor party, anniversary or rehearsal dinner - we've got you covered!

Private Party Contact:
Dennis Spilios: (212) 532-2234

Additional:
Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cafe, Dancing, Delivery, Entertainment, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Takeout, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Rafina Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.1

Overall Rating

based on all time ratingsThis restaurant has not received enough recent ratings to display a current ratings snapshot
food

4.1

service

4.1

ambience

4.0

value

4.1

Noise

Moderate

87% would recommend it to a friend

Neighborhood Gem (211)
Good for Groups (164)
Fit for Foodies (130)
See All
Special Occasion (105)
Romantic (95)
Great for Outdoor Dining (88)
Late-night Find (60)
Kid-friendly (32)
Scenic View (28)
Notable Wine List (20)
Great for Lunch (18)
Hot Spot (14)
Vibrant Bar Scene (9)
Great for Brunch (4)
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169 reviews
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vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on January 16, 2016

Just average, ok if in neighborhood but wouldn't make a special trip

Tags: Late-night Find
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food3
ambience4
service4
value2

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on December 9, 2015

The gods of the East River made sure that our party of 7 was the only party in the restaurant that evening. After chatting a bit with our server, I learned this was the only night where Rafina wasn't booked solidly with Holiday reservations and events. Normally being the only table in a restaurant would have been a sign of something awry, but this was further from the truth. The food and the service were on point. We felt catered to because we literally were. I would like to see how service would be on a busy night. Nevertheless, great appetizers, especially the fried Kalamarakia and grilled octopus. Paidakia (grilled lamb chops) were also popular at our table and delicious. Deserts were the traditional fair that any Greek table offers on special occasions. The loukoumades (fried dumplings in honey and nuts) were made to order and are a must with a greek coffee! I'm glad I listened to my mother's recommendation. Kales giortes!

Tags: Good for Groups, Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4

vip
 (Charlotte)·Dined on October 3, 2015

The food at Rafina continues to be outstanding. But the restaurant has been empty the past few saturday nights that we were there which makes it feel very uncomfortable.

Tags: Romantic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience2
service5

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on August 28, 2015

Food okay; service adequate. Place was empty at summer Friday dinner, but maybe it gets more action once people get back in town after the weekend or after the summer.

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food3
ambience3
service3

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on August 26, 2015

This place, which is tucked away on a rather obscure stretch of First Avenue, is worth a visit if you're looking for a pleasant place for dinner conversation with more-than-decent Greek food and wine. Standout apps include the grilled octopus salad and the portobello. Main dishes are pretty much standard fare, nicely prepared. Service is friendly and unobtrusive. And it's quiet!

Tags: Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience4
service3

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on August 17, 2015

Have known this restaurant since it was on the UES. Loved their food and hospitality then and still do.

Tags: Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining, Late-night Find, Neighborhood Gem, Romantic, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on August 14, 2015

I came with a dog and was seated on the outdoor patio. The waitstaff not only were great to me, they brought gratis biscuits and water for my dog, too! He is a huge fan now. The food was delicious and they also have live music some nights which is really neat. Definitely would recommend this place.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining, Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on July 4, 2015

We sat outside and had a great time. Delicious Greek food.

Tags: Great for Lunch, Great for Outdoor Dining, Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4

 
 (Miami)·Dined on June 15, 2015

Its really quite and nice place. Service is great. Food is good. They gave us free baklava, which tasted good.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Great for Lunch, Kid-friendly
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on June 10, 2015

Rafina never disappoints. The fish is fresh and perfectly prepared as are the rest of their dishes. The service is excellent and friendly. 1st Ave and 37 th St isn't the most convenient spot but Rafina is worth the trip.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on May 18, 2015

All the food was very flavorful and well prepared. Service was excellent. The staff was very friendly, and brought us a dessert on the house. We sat outside, which was a bit noisy given traffic on 1st Ave. However, still a very enjoyable experience, and we will return.

Tags: Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining, Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on May 17, 2015

Excellent dining experience at an interesting restaurant with an attentive staff, superior Greek preparation of the meats and surprisingly full bodied and refined upper end but fairly priced Greek reds.

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food5
ambience4
service5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on April 8, 2015

Food is wonderful, and staff always goes above & beyond.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Neighborhood Gem, Romantic, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on December 11, 2014

We have been to Rafina several times and it is consistently excellent. The service and food are wonderful. The room is attractive and you can have a conversation with someone across the table. That is not a frequent occurence in Manhattan. This is our favorite Greek restaurant.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on November 25, 2014

Good for a quiet meal during the week or a festive meal on friday or saturday nights!

Tags: Good for Groups, Kid-friendly, Neighborhood Gem, Romantic, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on November 22, 2014

Went for a birthday celebration. Everything was fantastic, from the friendly service, fantastic food and delicious drinks. Will go back for sure!

Tags: Good for Groups, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List
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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on November 7, 2014

Rafina was chosen at the lasr minute when reservations didn't work out elsewhere. I work in midtown east so the 15 minute walk from Grand Central to 37th & 1st was a welcome break from being cooped up in am office all day. Under an apartment building, this Greek place is a hiddent gemn in the hustle and bustle of Manhattan. Large wimdows show off the ESB, the tables are linened and spacious; you aren't on top of anyone else. The greek decor is traditional without going over the top. And the food was delicious. The filet and lamb kebabs were served Med Rare as requested, the octopus cooked perfectly, not a chewy piece on the plate, & the atmosphere was great. I beleive they have music & dancing later at night but we weren't there for that.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Neighborhood Gem, Romantic, Scenic View
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service4

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on October 30, 2014

good food, friendly service, convenient access to the east river ferry terminal. perfect meeting place

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups
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food4
ambience4
service5

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on September 11, 2014

1 st time to the restaurant with high hopes since it's just a short walk from our apartment. We were a bit disappointed. The service and hot Pita bread were very good, but the calamari appetizer was only fair and the octopus was not cleaned well.The main dishes were only fair.
The baklava was delicious... Actually the best part of dinner!

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food3
ambience3
service4

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on September 10, 2014

wonderful food, owner is also a GEM!
a great addition to Murray Hill.
Great service , food and ambiance!

Tags: Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on September 6, 2014

This is a place where you can have great authentic Greek food and enjoy the very good Greek music that is being played.
Fun for either small or big groups of people, it is highly recommended for a fun night with full of dancing and great food tasting.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining, Hot Spot, Late-night Find, Romantic, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on September 3, 2014

Excellent food! Food was very fresh, very well prepared AND the martini was filled to the top! We hadn't been to this place for a few years but recently stated going again. My wife and I have been here four times this month and EACH time, the food and service was perfect!

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Romantic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on August 2, 2014

My friend and I have dined here before and always enjoyed our dinner...last night was very
disappointing... the baby octopus couldn't be any larger, and the grilled shrimp could not be
any more tasteless. So could it be the chef is on vacation?

Tags: Good for Groups, Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food2
ambience5
service4

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on July 25, 2014

Dining at Rafina is so wonderful. All entrees are delicious. We enjoyed octopus, calamari and shrimp casserole. Wine selection was excellent. Service was excellent. Gladly recommend Rafina to all!

Tags: Romantic, Special Occasion, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on July 19, 2014

My friends and I tried Rafina for the first time and it was fabulous!! The food was delicious and the service was excellent! I highly recommend Rafina for special occasions or just a great dinner out.

Tags: Great for Brunch, Fit for Foodies, Great for Outdoor Dining, Special Occasion, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on July 12, 2014

We have been here many times and everything is always excellent.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service4

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on June 14, 2014

Although a bit pricey, the food and service were both excellent. The room is pretty too

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service4

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on May 4, 2014

Sun. 5PM for 5; Rafina was empty. It’s located near the UN, NYU, & ferry transport to downtown. Staff very friendly, immediately seated & tended our needs. Very nice setting; very clean. Server was attentive to 1 guest’s allergy needs. Grape leaf wrapped rice, sautéed spinach and hummus apps all delicious. Main courses included various kabobs & marinated chicken breast dish. All very good, chicken moist. Beef not as seasoned as expected. Meals came with a pleasant cinnamon walnut pastry dessert. Upon leaving met couple who mentioned that Fri/Sat nights the place gets packed and has live entertainment. Will try again with later meal time. Food quality was very good; but slightly disappointed in price for quantity of food on dishes received.

Tags: Good for Groups, Romantic, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service5

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on April 17, 2014

Went there to celebrate a friends Birthday who happen to like Greek food. We really enjoyed the food and service, but it was really quiet which is too bad. The bar is really nice, but wew were the only ones there! Food, however, is worth going to this restaurant. There wasn't anything we didn't like!

Tags: Good for Groups, Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience3
service4

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on April 5, 2014

Food Was Overall Good Although You May Find Better Greek Restaurants In Astoria. The Oktapodi Could Have Been Better However The Melitzanosalata And Sausage Were Pretty Good.

Tags: Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining
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food3
ambience3
service3

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on March 29, 2014

Rafina left my Yorkville neighborhood sometime ago, but happily has reappeared 40 blocks south. We were so pleased to see the new large restaurant where the food is even bettert. There is an extensive Greek menu and the food is delicious. The portions are large and can easily be shared but whatever one orders is fresh. We were there early but we understand the time to go is after 11:00 p.m. when the music starts and the dancing begins. Sounds like a fun night to go to with friends. Valet parking after 8:00 makes it even better.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Late-night Find
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on March 22, 2014

This resturant was a true definition of mediocre. Nothing was terrible. Just on the ok boarder. Service was very slow and spotty. Don't bother.

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food2
ambience4
service1

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on March 17, 2014

Restaurant is located all the way east on 1st Avenue. Parking garage across the street and on weekends they have a valet. Have eaten here a few times. The owner is a very charming guy. Food is always delicious. This time we went with a small group on a Monday night including a couple of foodies and everyone was very happy their meals. Fish and seafood very fresh. Prices are moderate and a very good value. Walking distance from NYU Medical Center.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining, Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on March 16, 2014

I went to Rafina for a family celebration. The place is spacious and beautiful. From start to finish, the service was great and the food absolutely delicious! The red and white sangria was a good complement to the meal too. If you're in the area, I highly recommend checking out this place.

Tags: Good for Groups, Romantic, Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on March 13, 2014

salty. Salad very fresh, meat very tender, veggies excellent, but way too much salt. I will go back, but will ask them to hide the salt shaker from the chef!

Tags: Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience2
service4

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on March 8, 2014

Went on a Friday night around 9:15pm. Service was fast, efficient, friendly. Food was fine, lamb chops were very good. We ordered a Greek salad without feta (which my husband dislikes uncooked), and then also ordered the spinach pie as an appetizer. Spanakopita came loaded with raw feta on top --restaurant should ask first. Greek wine list could use some more current choices--come on you can do better!

Restaurant was slow until 10:15pm when there were some arrivals for music. Lights were too high making the place look really empty--sending a wrong message about food quality. Make dinner reservations for post 10:15 pm as in Greece on a Friday or Saturday night when there is live Greek music, and come with friends.

Tags: Good for Groups
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience3
service5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on February 19, 2014

I've had dinner at Rafina serveral times & have never been disappointed. The food is consistently good, ambience is lovely & it's one of the rare places to dine where conversation is not difficult. The staff & the service they provide is wonderful!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Great for Brunch, Romantic, Late-night Find, Neighborhood Gem, Great for Lunch, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on February 14, 2014

As usual all aspects of good dining were here.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service5

vip
 (Atlantic City)·Dined on January 18, 2014

Great selection of entrees and appetizers. Appreciated the dessert wine served!!! Baklava was excellent!!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Romantic, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on January 9, 2014

All was very good, food, service, atmosphere. Fish was very fresh and well prepared and seasoned. We will definitely return!

Tags: Good for Groups, Romantic, Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4

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