The restaurants in Athens range from a simple souvlaki grill to the most trendy fusion restaurants. But where can you enjoy a truly delicious meal at a restaurant in Athens?
A BIT SPOILT
If, like me, you have lived in Athens for a while, you are a bit spoilt when it comes to food. At home, for instance, we cook with fresh products from the market, the local butcher, or the greengrocer. From my mother-in-law I really learned to cook, especially the traditional Greek dishes. Therefore, when we go out to eat, I want to order something special. By “special”, I mean something that I don’t make at home and that my mother-in-law doesn’t cook either.
OUTSIDE THE TOURIST AREAS
I particularly enjoy eating in neighbourhoods where there are few tourists. Simply because the food here is often much better than in the Plaka or the area around the Acropolis, for example. Furthermore, I like to discover new restaurants with original dishes. Most of these restaurants do not serve moussaka, pastitsio, or souvlaki because the Greeks eat these dishes often enough at home. So what type of food am I talking about then?
Undoubtably, Greeks like sociability, noise, and sharing food. Personally, I am most satisfied with a table full of small snacks. For instance, grilled cheese, good salads, stews, fish, you name it. And did I mention that the local Greek wines are really good?
DINING OUT IN ATHENS
I often try new restaurants. Eating out is much cheaper in Athens than in the Netherlands and therefore we dine out at least once a week. As a result, I often have a new favourite restaurant, but some classics remain.
So, which restaurants in Athens are the most highly recommended?
TIPS AND SUGGESTIONS FOR RESTAURANTS IN ATHENS
Here I will give you the addresses of the restaurants in Athens where I find that you can enjoy a truly delicious meal.
Do you have good suggestions of your own? Then send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
O TZITZIGKAS KAI O MERMIGKAS
This restaurant chain was born when the two friends Panayiotis Mazarakis and Tasos Dimas decided to do something with their shared love of Greek cuisine. The first restaurant was opened in Ano Patisia and decorated with a great sense of style. They collected recipes from all over Greece and sought out suppliers with the best products.
The interior of the restaurant, with cans and jars everywhere, reminds you of a grocery store. They also cook with local and pure products. The menu is extensive and diverse, so everyone will find something to their taste. Reservations are recommended, especially over weekends.
Mitropoleos 12-14, Syntagma, Athens, Greece
TO MAVRO PROVATO
To mavro provato is Greek for the black sheep. This restaurant is located a little outside the historical centre, in the Pangrati district and near the Kalimarmaro stadium. However, it is easy to reach if you walk from the Evangelismos metro station.
The owner has decorated this small restaurant stylishly. Inside, the decor is simple and sleek, but at the same time warm and cosy. On the menu, you will find a selection of small dishes that could be described as Greek with a modern twist.
At this restaurant, the portions are not very big, but this ensures that the prices are low and that you can try several things. The venue is not large and most tables are outside on the pavement. Since this is a very popular place among Athenians, it is advisable to book early: 0030 210 7223466.
This restaurant is situated in the trendy Exarcheia district. Most travel guides warn you to stay well away from this district, since it has a reputation for being an alternative neighbourhood. However, you can better ignore this advice. Personally, I like to go to Exarcheia because it is full of great bars and cosy restaurants.
Yiantes has a courtyard and a bar and serves delicious dishes such as octopus in honey sauce and a pasta of mini eel. Well worth a try, especially if you like unusual dishes. Due to the exclusive menu, you might expect a high bill at this restaurant, but it’s not that expensive at all. As a matter of fact, you can have a sumptuous dinner for two for 50 euros.
In contrast with the aforementioned locations, this is the one traditional Greek restaurant on this list. Because I think that, as a tourist, you should eat real Greek food at least once. And by that I mean Greek food as a Greek grandmother would prepare it. That is what you can expect at taverna Klimataria.
You will find this place hidden behind the central market on Plateia Theatrou.
LASTLY, AN EXTRA TIP
When you dine out at restaurants in Athens, keep in mind that the Greeks don’t eat their meals at the same times as people in the northern European countries. Lunch, for instance, is at around 2 in the afternoon and most Greeks don’t eat dinner before around 9 in the evening. As a result, you can easily still find a bite to eat in Athens as late as 11 at night.
Have you read the other blogs on the website yet? Here you will find even more inspiration and information about Athens.