Community feasts at Greek Food Festival

Terry Richardson

You just can’t beat authentic Greek cuisine. 

Visitors lined up bright and early, well before the 11 a.m. start Oct. 7 for the 13th Annual Greek Food Festival at the Saints Peter and Paul Orthodox Christian Church. As the church lawn filled with people, volunteers held a group prayer before setting up a production line to prepare food for the food festival that would last until 3 p.m.

“This is my first time here,” said Ksenija Zetalkins, festival attendee. “I can’t wait to see how good the food is.”

Zetalkins said she had initially heard about the Greek Food Festival from her friends who had attended the event in past years. After seeing the event being shared on Facebook, too, she decided to visit the festival herself. The event’s Facebook page advertised the eclectic menu of traditional Greek food being sold. A plate cost $16 per person, and came with an entree and three side dishes.

“I am interested in the baclava,” Zetalkins said. “Their desserts are a lot different than western desserts.’

Physical menus were passed down the line and made available to attendees before they placed their orders. After ordering, attendees paid and were given a number. Tables were set up where the crowds could dine together, but to-go options were also available.   

“The closest Greek restaurant is in Kansas City,” Zetalkins said. “So this is a real treat.”

Many Topeka residents actively seek out food festivals and community events such as these.

“I try to catch everything in Topeka,” said Alison Beebe, festival attendee. “There is always something fun going on.”

While food was being served on the east side of the church, Greek pastries and coffee were available for sale in the church’s basement. A large white tent was also set up near the dining area where painted wooden eggs and other trinkets were sold.