Perhaps the most well-known restaurant in Tarpon Springs, FL, is Hella's Restaurant and Bakery. The food and décor are overwhelmingly Greek, and the restaurant is located next door to the bakery in the center of the world famous Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks.
Although we'd been living in Tarpon Springs for a few months, we hadn't gone to the restaurant. We remedied our lapse over the weekend, and went to Hella's (our server pronounced it hell-AH's) on Friday night for dinner.
Upon entry, I was met with a smell that I couldn't put my finger on at first, and decided it's "dining room on a cruise ship," and I absolutely love cruises. We've had one postponed twice now due to Covid, but I digress. The feeling of a cruise ship dining room is furthered by the layout. In the center of the 2 dining areas are tables on the floor. Surrounding these tables are more seating, raised one step off the ground, on carpet, partitioned from the center seats by a half-wall. The decorator played up the Greek theme immensely. Every inch of the establishment is blue and white. The walls are painted with scenes from Greece. This vibe is enhanced by a blue lighting which emanated from who-knows-where, and the Greek music played over the sound system.
I was stoked from the second I walked in. How had we not been before?!
What followed was a pleasant dining experience. We just HAD to try the hummus and we were not disappointed. I consumed both cheese pie and spinach pie (a combo meal), with Greek sides of potato, rice, and green beans. My husband ate the chicken skewers with the same sides. And of course we tried the Greek table wine.
Despite being pretty full after eating, we walked next door to the bakery, which is incredible and almost even magical. Even the pickiest of dessert consumers (I include myself in this group) would not be disappointed. We ordered a few desserts to go, hoping to earn a small bit of them and our dinner on the 20-minute walk home.