Papa Nick’s Greek & American shares its Greek heritage in Conroe through 60 years of cooking

At age 14, Nick Tsaganis began learning to cook his mother’s recipes in his native Greece. Six decades later, the 74-year-old chef continues to share his heritage in Conroe at Papa Nick’s Greek & American restaurant.

Nick, along with his son Dimitri and daughter-in- law Mercy Tsaganis, opened Papa Nick’s Greek & American in 2013 in the former location of Burger Boy, where Nick worked as a chef for the three years it was open. Papa Nick’s offers traditional Greek dishes, American breakfast plates and features items incorporated from the Burger Boy menu.

He also served as the personal chef in the late 1960s for first lady Jackie Kennedy Onassis and husband Aristotle Onassis, who was also of Greek descent.

“He’s in his 70s now, and he still cooks here every day starting at 6 a.m., and he doesn’t leave until I have to kick him out at 6 p.m,” Mercy said. “Most of his dishes are family recipes, and he puts a lot of love and a lot of heart into what he does. He’s just a really good man with a good heart.”

Mercy said some of the eatery’s most popular items include the Greek platter, which includes a sampling of various items, and the gyro plate, which comes with a side of Nick’s secret homemade tzatziki sauce.

“It sets us apart from other restaurants is that we pretty much know all of our customers personally,” Mercy said. “I know them all by name. They are more like family members to us than they are customers.”

The restaurant offers dine-in and carryout options as well as catering services. However, Mercy said due to limited seating in the restaurant, the family does plan to relocate next year to a larger Conroe location.

“We’re looking for a tad bit bigger place because right now during lunch, we just don’t have enough room, so people will take their food to-go instead of waiting for a table,” she said. “So we’re just looking to expand and get a little bit bigger place, but it won’t be far from here. We’ll still be in Conroe.”

100 Scarborough Drive, Ste. 3, Conroe
Hours: 7 a.m.-8 p.m. Mon.-Sat., closed Sundays
By Hannah Zedaker

Editor, Spring/Klein & Lake Houston/Humble/Kingwood

Hannah joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in May 2016 after graduating with a degree in journalism from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas. In March 2019, she transitioned to editor of the Spring/Klein edition and later became the editor of both the Spring/Klein and Lake Houston/Humble/Kingwood editions in June 2021. Hannah covers education, local government, transportation, business, real estate development and nonprofits in these communities. Prior to CI, Hannah served as associate editor of The Houstonian, interned with Community Impact Newspaper and spent time writing for the Sam Houston State University College of Fine Arts and Mass Communication and The Huntsville Item.


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