While you’ve heard about souvlaki - the fast food to rule all fast food across the world- and the world-renowned ‘moussaka’, you should know that the culinary culture of Greece and Athens, in specific, goes beyond the perceptions of most.
Traditional Greek cuisine is based on the seasons. The typical Greek table is rarely based on the classic three-course succession of western culture. Instead, it is filled with a variety of dishes, from which the attendants snack on during rather long meals.
This is the tradition of 'meze', where wine and other alcoholic beverages play an important role. It is part of Greek culture. Small dishes of delicious food, which differ in color, texture, temperature, and spices, are offered to everyone and are always accompanied by a drink.
Although there are only a few things better than a home-cooked meal, the restaurants of Athens have managed to capture the essence of Greek cuisine, offering both traditional and contemporary dishes that highlight its best qualities.
Here is a list of the best restaurants in Athens to guarantee that your stay in the Greek capital is full of delicious Greek flavors and fascinating culinary experiences!
What is Greek cuisine famous for
Contemporary Greek cuisine - credits: aleria.gr
Greece is famous for its traditional cuisine. Having many elements of the so-called Mediterranean diet, it offers health and well-being through the consumption of fruits and vegetables, fish, and virgin olive oil. With influences from both the West and the East, Greek cuisine is truly gorgeous. Whether you try traditional dishes in a tavern by the sea or enjoy your dinner in a gourmet restaurant, there is no doubt that the flavors will captivate you.
Although neglected by some, breakfast is known for being the most important meal of the day. Breakfast in Greece, in particular, is extremely healthy and delicious. It includes local recipes with pies and freshly baked bread, yogurt with honey and nuts, homemade jams, and cheeses.
Of course, there are also many seasonal fruits that you can enjoy, for a day full of energy. There there are plenty of snacks that will keep you full before your main meal. In Greece, many people consume cheese pies or other baked goods, such as the well-known Thessaloniki bun or raisin bread.
Among the most popular dishes of Greek cuisine and the best Greek homey recipes, ‘gemista,’ ‘moussaka,’ ‘pastitsio,’ and the famous souvlaki stand out. Of course, each place has its own unique flavors. The Cretan ‘dakos,’ the ‘froutalia’ of Andros -which is essentially an omelet with potatoes and local sausages-, the tomato fritters of Santorini, the wine rooster of Corfu, and the 'bougatsa' of Thessaloniki, are imprinted in the memories of every traveler who have tastes such authentic Greek flavors.
However, the variety of flavors in these foods is not limited to those delicacies. On the contrary, there are many recipes for meat and fish and countless appetizers that are usually accompanied by ouzo, wine, or beer. Among our favorites are the zucchini meatballs, tzatziki, saganaki, and grilled octopus.
Of course, we could not forget the most famous salad in Greece, the world-acclaimed Greek salad. It is tasty and filling, fresh and healthy. It consists of fresh tomatoes and cucumber, olives and feta cheese, olive oil, and oregano. On some occasions, it may also include onion, caper, and green pepper.
There are equally popular dishes of Greek cuisine that everyone knows but are reserved for certain days of the year. A famous example is ‘magiritsa’, which is the pre-eminent traditional dish for the end of fasting during Easter. Also, the lamb and goat we eat at Easter are iconic foods that almost all travelers rush to try.
Explore the delicious Greek cuisine and you will be fascinated by the wonderful flavors, the intense colors, and the intoxicating aromas that emerge. Every dish turns into a journey of flavors that are bound to steal your heart!
If someone asks ‘what is the typical dish of Italian cuisine?’, it will probably be spaghetti or pizza. In France, a dish with snails or sour cream. In England, breaded cod with french fries. In Greece, however, things are difficult. There are so many famous dishes that characterize the Greek gastronomic scene, that you will have a hard time answering such a question!
Athens as a culinary destination
A rooftop restaurant in Athens - credits: gbroofgarden.gr
According to an article in the British newspaper Telegraph, Athens is included in the list of 20 European cities, where one has the opportunity to consume incredible, high-quality food in a lot of places. It is true that in the Greek capital, one can find a wide variety of restaurants from traditional taverns to fine-dining establishments that use contemporary techniques to highlight the excellence of traditional Greek recipes that have been passed down through multiple generations.
As pointed out in a report by the World Tourism Organization, the travelers who visit a city often use it as a base to explore the wider area that surrounds it. For that reason, there is a diffusion of economic benefits in other suburban areas or neighborhoods outside the city center. Following this rule, at a distance of a few kilometers from the center of Athens, there are archeological sites, natural beauties, and many gastronomic businesses that may attract the interest of gastro-tourists.
The Varvakeios Agora -or the Central Municipal Athens Market- has been operating at the same spot in the city since 1886. There, around 73 different shops operate, including a meat market, a fish market, and a market with vegetables and fruits, providing its customers with some of the most popular Greek products, among others. Inside Varvakeios Agora, there are also some traditional eateries that have been operating in recent years, where many locals and tourists visit to taste traditional Greek recipes.
In addition to the Central Municipal Athens Market, the streets that surround it, such as Sofokleous, Sokratous, Evripidou, and basically the entire axis of Athena Street that connects Monastiraki square with Omonia square, is a large gastronomic center with dozens of stores specializing in different products. Often per street, one can see concentrated stores similar to one another. For example, on Evripidou, one can come upon shops with spices and Greek herbs, and on Sokratous, one will find cheeses from all around Greece.
Moreover, in the Stoa of Arsakeio-Orfeos on Stadiou Street, there are plans for the establishment of a new tourist pole. The goal is to create a department store where products will be available by small producers from all over Greece, while there will be space for interactive activities and experiences, where guests will be able to take cooking lessons, tastings, and presentations by renowned Greek chefs.
On top of the above, it is worth noting that the first foodie hotel worldwide operates in Athens. Ergon House is located on Mitropoleos Street, and it includes a restaurant, a bar, and a retail store where consumers can purchase meat, fish, grocery products are supplied. Moreover, on its premises, guests have access to communal kitchens for workshops.
Spondi - credits: spondi.gr
The high-quality gastronomic scene of the country is perfectly expressed through the most famous restaurant of Pagrati, Spondi, which has been a constant holder of two Michelin stars for years. Angelos Landos and Michel del Burgo create dishes of modern French cuisine, which in combination with the beautiful environment, create the ideal gastronomic combination.
At Spondi, the menu includes special flavors such as foie gras with quince and rhubarb, millefeuille, grouper mousse in herbal and onion broth, and beef with coffee sauce and beef sauce, mushroom tart, truffle, and baby potatoes. The desserts are also exceptional, by the hand of famous pastry chef George Platinos, with the trademark dessert being the hazelnut praline with coffee mousse served in a columnar glass of champagne.
Since 1996, Spondi has served as a landmark for Athens. It is famous for its elegance, the high quality of the ingredients it uses, and the impressive presentation of its dishes. It is located in a beautiful neoclassical building in the hip neighborhood of Pagrati, which was originally intended for a beer garden. Mr. Trastelis, initially by inviting foreign chefs to work at a consulting level in his restaurant and at the same time by traveling constantly, got to know in-depth the international gastronomic scene. He himself supervises everything, is serious about remaining constantly informed, and manages to create a unique atmosphere, which makes Spondi famous not only in our country but also abroad.
Address: Pyrronos 5, Pagrati
Aleria Restaurant - credits: thisisathens.org
Aleria is one of the best restaurants in Athens with the signature of famous Greek chef Gikas Xenakis. Experiential flavors, modernized at the level of fine dining, produce dishes such as ‘deconstructed vegetable pie’ and ‘potatoes in ashes’. Aleria offers a complete gastronomic experience, making you feel like a personal guest of the chef and making you wish to return again and again.
In the impressive neoclassical building, Aleria is housed, the atmosphere is cozy but at the same time luxurious. Be sure to trust the experienced sommelier of the store for the selection of wine. The deconstructed ‘pastitsio’ with thick spaghetti, the braised beef tail, the sitake mushrooms with creamy béchamel, as well as the veal cheeks with caramelized onions and red wine sauce are all treats to the senses. The menu also includes the trademark dishes of the restaurant, which are the red pumpkin mousse with caramelized chestnuts, the ‘apaki’ with fresh black truffle, and the braised lamb with cream of braised beans, celery, and capers.
The restaurant also has delectable desserts, with the apricot tart stealing the show and leaving the sweetest taste of your mouth at the end of this extraordinary culinary experience.
Address: 57 Meg. Alexandrou, Metaxourgeio, Athens
Phone: 21 0522 2633
GB Roof Garden
GB Roof Garden - credits: gbroofgarden.gr
On the 8th floor of the Grande Bretagne hotel in Athens, it is located for years perhaps the most cosmopolitan restaurant in town. GB Roof Garden has all the elements of a classy restaurant with manorial decor, low lighting, and exceptional creations on the menu curated by famous Greek chefs Sotiris Evangelou and Asterios Koustoudis.
Smoked salmon with roasted beets and avocado, grilled scallops with roasted cauliflower puree, grilled shrimp with fennel cooked with citrus, steamed sea bass with shrimp tortellini and fennel puree with steak, and Tomahawk steak for two people, give the perfect example of the refined menu that honors the produce from the Greek land and sea.
Address: Vas. Georgiou A 1, Athens
Phone: 21 0333 0000
Vassilenas - credits: assilenas.gr
Established in 1920 in Piraeus, Vassilenas became a legendary hangout where all the big names of the domestic and international jet set were received at its tables. Today, around a century later, it has been moved to its new headquarters, in the heart of Athens, in front of the small green park below Hilton hotel. In its identities, Vassilenas keeps the memories of its glorious past unchanged and combines them masterfully with creative Greek cuisine that specializes in fresh fish and seafood.
The wonderful design of the new space composes a relaxed atmosphere with images of a beautiful, dynamic vibe of metropolitan Athens. Vassilenas’ award-winning cuisine is inspired by tradition using high-quality raw materials and modern cooking techniques, with the talented chef Manos Garnelis proposing dishes that aim to take you on a trip around the country with their flavors.
From the legendary 'taramosalata' recipe of the ower, which remains nowadays unchanged, to the tartare from fresh prawns, and from the decomposed spinach cheese pie to the tuna fillet with you will discover intricate combinations and mouthwatering flavors that will blow your mind. On Sunday afternoons, Vassilenas honors the Greek tradition by proposing a different menu with classic Athenian dishes that resemble the Greek family table and speak directly to the soul of the locals.
Grilled greens, shrimp juvette, and grilled sea bass, pies, and baked goat are just some of the casual dishes of Sunday and at very good list prices. Families and groups gather around the table and share flavors, moments, and aromatic wines from Greek and international vineyards. One can not leave without trying the yogurt mousse with lemon curd, the praline cookie, and the strawberry-basil sorbet for dessert!
Address: Vrasida 13, Athina 115 28
Phone: 21 0721 0501
Dionysos Zonar’s - credits: dionysoszonars.gr
Dionysos Zonar’s restaurant is located in a prominent position on the outskirts of the Acropolis, with panoramic views of the sacred rock of the Acropolis and the Odeon of Herodes Atticus. It combines the privileged location with the tastefully renovated space and the high quality of contemporary Greek cuisine.
In this privileged position, and surrounded by pine trees, in a luxurious hall, Dionysos Zonar’s is a high-end restaurant that promises to introduce its guests to a world of mouthwatering Greek flavors. Counting now 50 years of operation, the Dionysos Zonars restaurant has been an attraction for great personalities from around the world.
The restaurant is a brilliant work of post-war architecture. It was designed by the pioneering architect Prokopis Vassiliadis in the early ‘60s. Elegance, finesse, and refined taste bring together a unique experience of Athenian and Greek culture. The steps that lead to the restaurant pass through the picturesque neighborhoods of Athens, from the historic Thissio on one side to Makrigianni on the other side, the view from Dionysios Zonar’s is unique.
The menu reflects the authenticity of the flavors of Greek cuisine, with fusion and post-modern elements of creativity. The flavors perfectly match the setting and are genuinely impressive. Greek nature brings the best raw materials to the cuisine of Dionysos. The high-quality ingredients are transformed by the experienced team of the chef into courses that are sure to excite everyone and will make Dionysos' hospitality a complete experience that pleases all the senses.
Address: 43, Rovertou Galli St, Athens
Phone: 21 0923 3182
Athénée - credits: atheneeathens.gr
A year before the outbreak of World War II in Greece, in 1939, the Greek expatriate Karolos Zonaras, who had returned to our country from the USA, opened the most luxurious patisserie in Athens.
Zonaras, already a successful chocolate maker in Ohio, knew well the secrets of the job that had made him a huge fortune. The inauguration of the historic cafe took place on August 15, 1940. The cafe was housed in the corner of the then Army Share Fund, in the building block that was before the king's stables.
The cafe served as a hangout of Athenians, and for many decades it was part of everyday life in the city center, a meeting place of political, artistic, and secular Athens. Especially, after the war, from 1950 until the death of its owner in 1968, Zonars experienced great glory, with personalities such as Odysseas Elytis, Nikos Gatsos, Manos Hadjidakis, Melina Mercouri, Sophia Loren, Anthony Quinn, and many others, being loyal clients.
In 1994, it was characterized as a ‘protected historical monument of Athens’ and ‘a sample of the architecture of public buildings of the interwar period’, as well as the entire building block to which it belongs and was renovated in the late 90s and early 2000s.
The coffee-pastry shop of Zonars, the historical hangout of Greek politicians and intellectuals of the last century, six years after its closure in 2001, began its renovation in October 2007 in the new shopping complex, keeping intact its Art Deco elements. In 2015, the Pana brothers took over its operation. However, a legal dispute ultimately led to the removal of the name ‘Zonar’s’ and the historic establishment was renamed ‘Athénée’.
Athénée is a French word and comes from the Latin atheneum which means the meeting place of the goddess Athena, where people gather and philosophize, converse, exchange thoughts, eat and drink in a civilized environment. It is exactly what Athens is for Greeks and foreigners. If Athens were a big hotel, Athénée would be its lobby.
The place has been transformed into a new destination, a new neighborhood with a European atmosphere for Greeks and foreign visitors who will choose to tour and enjoy their food or drink at the tables and bar of the Athénée.
The menu is signed by the award-winning executive chef Nikos Skliras, with dishes from international cuisine, traditional Greek recipes, and a sushi section. The established Sunday brunch, the carefully selected dishes of the day, but also the after-shopping meetings shape the atmosphere of the most cosmopolitan part of Athens.
Address: Voukourestiou 9, Athens
Phone: +310 210 3251430
Hytra restaurant - credits: thisisathens.org
Hytra restaurant, whose name comes from the ancient Greek clay vessel, first opened in 2004 in Psyrri and received its first Michelin star in 2010, which it maintains to this day. It has now been moved to the 6th floor of the House of Letters and Arts on Syggrou Avenue, while in summer it goes up to the 7th floor of the building, where you can enjoy your dinner with a panoramic view of the Acropolis and Lycabettus Hill. In 2012 the restaurant "Blue Hytra", hosted at the Westin Resort in Athens, was awarded a second Michelin star.
Chef Tassos Mantis oversees two menus: "Hytra", an eight- or fourteen-course tasting menu accompanied by wine, which offers Greek flavors cooked with special techniques, and "Hytra apla", which harmoniously combines domestic flavors and products at affordable prices in the logic of street food. Of course, there are also options, which are available in the a la carte menu. There is even a special vegetarian menu, for those who abstain from meat.
Of particular interest is the Hytra Bar, where bartenders create unique cocktails, using freshly squeezed fruit juices and handmade syrups and liqueurs, based on old traditional recipes, made with the most modern techniques. The impressive and constantly updated cocktail list is created to combine the dishes of the two menus and completes the extensive list of careful selections of fine wines, which consists of 70 different labels, mainly from Greek producers.
Address: 107-109 Syggrou Avenue, House of Letters and Arts, Neos Kosmos
Varoulko - credits: greece-is.com
The distinguished chef Lefteris Lazarou learned the secrets of the kitchen from his father, who was a cook on the ships. However, he traveled all over the world, expanding his gastronomic knowledge, and in 1987 he opened his first restaurant, which was then located in Piraeus, on Distomou Street.
The originality of the restaurant was that it specialized in cooking seafood, which appeared for the first time on the menu of a gastronomic restaurant in Greece. Marrying his love for fish and seafood, with high technique, Lazarou took out of obscurity fish unknown and less popular and made creative dishes, which today remain classics in the Greek gastronomic scene.
Varoulko has since moved twice and has now settled in the beautiful marina of Mikrolimano, in an elegant space by the sea. For your lunch, it suggests simpler dishes, daily and close to the logic of the meze, such as ‘taramosalata’ spread with white tarama, virgin olive oil and lemon, boiled octopus in vinegar, spinach with cuttlefish, or quince steamed wine with lei, garlic, and parsley, which are ideally accompanied by the new list of ouzo and other Greek spirits, but also the list of wines, where you can find many Greek labels and wines by the glass at very affordable prices.
If again, you want to experience the classic experience of Varoulko, you can enjoy your dinner on the wooden deck, tasting complex, creative flavors. You can choose between pasta, risotto, and main dishes where the fish is cooked in a vacuum with baby vegetables and the caramelized crayfish sauce stands out, or the one with chorizo and olive oil flavored with chocolate.
Both menus do not miss imaginative seafood soups, such as the one with cuttlefish ink, croutons, and beetroot cream, but also mussels, quinces, and shrimp. Do not forget to end your meal with one of the desserts prepared by chef Patissier Dimitris Chronopoulos!
Address: Akti Koumoundourou 52, Piraeus
Zampano - credits: zampano.gr
Zampano is an amazing restaurant-cafe with very helpful staff and not outrageous prices. The food there is beyond delicious and it is what you need for a weekly brunch in the heart of Athens. The establishment is tastefully yet simply decorated, while the service is fast. In Zambano, you will find sought-after and delicious dishes of traditional Greek cuisine with contemporary twists that keep the menu interesting and creative.
It cannot be argued that Zampano is one of the most interesting corners on the artistic street Sarri in Psyrri, where there are many theaters, which is why you will often see artists and art lovers at its tables. Inspired by Fellini's hero of the same name in 'La Strada', played by Anthony Quinn, the space seems ideal for fans of unique flavors.
In fact, this magnificent neoclassical building that houses the restaurant, created in 2012, became in a short time one of the most sought-after hostels in the city. Zampano was designed by the Sicilian brothers Maurizio and Guiseppe Alito with the City Circus team, combining the aesthetics of urban and industrial elegance with vintage elements.
On the ground floor, the wooden tables, a green marble bar, and a fridge that showcases the cold cuts and cheeses catch the eyes of the guest and with their retro aesthetic, they take them for a travel back in time.
The creative Greek cuisine of Zampano, curated by chef Chryssa Kataki, is based on fresh seasonal ingredients from local products, which the owners source from all over the country, while a variety of fine Greek cheeses and cold cuts accompany the extensive wine list from all over Greece.
There are two menus, one for lunch and one for the evening, but many of the dishes can be found on both of them. Start your meal with a salad that combines spinach, celery, and arugula, Naoussa goat cheese peels, chopped zucchini, smoked almonds, and lemon dressing. We highly suggest you also try the one with beans, kale, peas, onion pickle, and a Dijon mustard dressing.
From the appetizers, the ones that stand out are the meatballs from ground beef with yogurt sauce, the slightly spicy rolls of 'spetsofai' with sausages and bell peppers accompanied by a yogurt sauce and mint with tomato jam, but also the 'kavourmas' with red and white cabbage.
Mourtzinos's chilled revithada is also special, baked in the hull and flavored with rosemary and other herbs from Mani. There are also four burger options, with ground beef like the one with goat cheese, mushrooms, and mayonnaise, or the equally filling one with bacon and fried egg.
From the main dishes, our top picks are the chicken leg roll stuffed with Cappadocian' soutzouki', which comes with oatmeal and pink yogurt sauce with hot pepper, the Greek style barley with fried beef in the oven and dry cream cheese, the homemade 'khoshapi', the Rib eye veal with baked potatoes, or the goat.
For vegetarians and vegans, there are special dishes, such as risotto with three types of mushrooms, thyme, and parmesan. Additionally, for dessert, you will find four sweets in the morning and four in the evening, such as cinnamon roll served with a scoop of ice cream, Lemon pie with mastic ice cream, an almond chocolate cake, and the pumpkin cheesecake, which is the star of the show. In the evening you will find a slightly sour chocolate cream, with orange fillets and cocoa meringue, panna cotta with sour cherry, cheesecake with cream cheese, sour cream, and Swedish apricot jam. The list of wines includes sixty labels from Greek vineyards, at very affordable prices.
Please keep in mind that Zampano is known for serving the best brunch in Athens on a daily basis: delicious eggs Benedict, avocado toast, chocolate souffle with almond flour, specialty coffee from Kudu, and freshly squeezed beetroot and celery juices to fill your day with energy and a good mood. On Sundays, brunch is accompanied by gypsy jazz music.
Address: Sarri 18, Psyrri,
Phone: 213 0233244
Simul Gastronomic Situ
Simul Gastronomic Situ - credits: e-restaurants.gr
The place that houses Simul used to host one of the most famous restaurants in Athens. Today, it has been taken over by a completely different style restaurant both in terms of environment and tastes. The main room - there is a second smaller one - is modernly decorated and indirectly refers to the minimal aesthetics. Dominant elements of the contemporary decor are the white, the metal lamps on the walls and the central multi-light with the fancy old type lamps. Another important element is the comfortable seats that make the dining experience enjoyable.
The tasteful management of Simul has been undertaken by Nikos Thomas, whose biography includes passages from famous places in Athens, such as 'ManiMani and 'Cookoovaya'. It offers a fairly compact menu, which includes about ten hot and cold appetizers, which in turn support eight main course options. The source of inspiration of the chef, as the trends in the Greek gastronomic scene impose, has a background of authentic Greek elements, but at the same time, it integrates elements of international cuisine, from which it takes ideas, and assimilates them into the most tasteful and creative way.
The philosophy of Simul is based on the management of seasonal products, a fact that leads to frequent changes in the menu. This ensures the high quality of the food, but at the same time, it means that loyal guests of Simul might not get to taste their favorite dishes on a future visit. The highlights of Simul's menu include the pork cheeks with celery puree and the wine rooster with 'trachana' and aged gruyere.
As a whole, Simul - that in Latin, literally means "together"- is a fascinating eating spot that challenges you to spend hours of gastronomic fun.
Address: 63 Ypsilandou, Kolonaki, Athens
Phone: (+30) 210 722 4737
Nice n’ Easy
Nice n Easy - credits: tripadvisor.com
Nice n Easy -both in Kifissia and Kolonaki- is one of the most special and original dining options in Athens, combining healthy eating and organic ingredients with an unprecedented taste and the most spectacular dishes. Its well-thought-out menu promises to leave its guests open-mouthed!
Following, as always, the latest trends in healthy eating, but of course adapting them to its own, unique style, the team of Nice n Easy prepares healthy and delicious new meals with interesting names, such as 'Sean Connery', which is baked trout with seaweed gnocchi and spirulina in Safran sauce, or the 'John Lennon' salad, with savoy cabbage, kale, pomegranate, walnuts, wasabi, pears, hemp seeds and cream cheese with sesame.
Glamorous dishes that take their place next to the all-time classic Nice n Easy signature dishes, as well as the delicious vegan and vegetarian creations that are nothing short of amazing, Simul is a perfect hangout spot for precious moments full of delectable flavors.
Address 1: 7 Papadiamanti 7, Kifissia
Address 2: 60 Omirou 60, Kolonaki
Kiouzin - credits: kiouzin.com
In a very cozy establishment in Kolonaki, you will find an excellent restaurant with flavors inspired by Greek cuisine. The team of Kiouzin knows what they have to do to satisfy the customer, providing flawless service in addition to the high-quality gastronomic experience. The best offerings of Kiouzin include the 'moussaka variation', the lentil salad, the amazing carbonara with melon and shrimp, and the salmon marinated with soy and spinach root. For dessert, don't forget to try the 'bougatsa' alternative, which is a cream-filled pastry.
Kiouzin is hosted in a beautifully decorated space that gives off nothing but positive vibes. The food is very well-thought-out with very high-quality ingredients. The recipes are original and the execution is masterful. What makes Kiouzin stand out, however, apart from its mouthwatering dishes, is its knowledgeable staff that is ready to answer all of your questions!
This restaurant is an effort that deserves credit due to the authentic flavors and the otherworldly creations that hold the bar so high, they might deem your following culinary endeavors in life mediocre!
Ella Greek Cooking - credits: ellagreekcooking.gr
If you're interested in trying food that has been engraved into the consciousness of Greeks and is connected to some of their happiest memories, this is exactly what you'll get by tasting every dish in Ella Greek Cooking. This cozy restaurant opened a few years ago on Mitropoleos Street near the bustling Syntagma Square, with the famous chef Nena Ismirnoglou at the head of the kitchen. A deep connoisseur of Greek cuisine, but at the same time, one of the best Greek chefs in our country, she cooks every traditional recipe the locals know and love in her own special way.
Try the smoked greens with a variety of mushrooms, the saganaki shrimp with feta cheese, gruyere, and fresh herbs, the oven beans called ‘gigantes’ with whole Santorinian tomatoes, ouzo, and dill but also the oven-baked chicken with potatoes and roasted tomato. Ella opens early in the morning, serving coffee and breakfast, while in it, you can find a wide variety of products of Greek producers, such as cheeses, cold cuts, salted olives, among others, which you can bring back home as souvenirs. After trying them on the dishes on the menu, you won't be able to resist!
Address: Mitropoleos 26, Syntagma
Phone: 21 0331 5547
Balcony Restaurant & Bar
Balcony Restaurant & Bar - credits: balconyathens.com
Undoubtedly one of the most beautiful balconies in the city center, the Balcony in Koukaki you will appreciate not only for the nice view to Makrigianni but mainly for the Greek creative cuisine that it presents. The elegant hall in the renovated neoclassic of Veikos, where the Balcony was housed and has a very homely atmosphere, is suitable for gastronomic pleasures noon-evening, with your family or your significant other, but also for cool cocktails on the balcony, especially now that it is summer.
Emphasizing the raw materials, as they choose many local products, such as cold cuts from Drama, cheeses from Andros, Roumeli, and Thessaly, fish, and seafood from Evoikos, the menu promises to travel you deliciously to every corner of Greece.
The new dishes of spring are signed by the chef Vassilis Roussos who a few days ago took the baton in the kitchen of the Balcony. Scallops with chips and carrot puree, Athenian with blue crab, grouper with leek, celery, dill cream, and egg-lemon foam but also lamb shank with fried greens and gnocchi from male and yin to discover on the Balcony.
Address: Balcony Restaurant & Bar, Veikou 1 & Dimitrakopoulou, Athens
Traditional Greek taverns
The traditional - credits: 2foodtrippers.com
The Traditional is a -you guessed it!- traditional tavern located in the center of Athens between Syntagma and Monastiraki behind the vibrant Agia Irini square. It is arguably one of the best shops if you want to eat meat in Athens, gaining a loyal following among the locals since its establishment.
All his dishes are wonderful. Definitely try the pork 'kontosouvli', the fantastic chicken 'kokoretsi', the delicious 'kleftiko', and the tasty grilled feta cheese -as spicy as you want it! The pork chop is very filling and tender, while all of its dishes are one better than the other. To top it all off, the freshly baked bread is an excellent asset.
True to its nature as a Greek tavern, the portions of The Traditional are huge, while the prices are very affordable; the Greeks tend to take the 'value for money' element to a whole other level. Last but not least, The Traditional's service is impeccable and the staff is always willing and polite.
Address: Kolokotroni 59, Athens
Phone: 21 0323 1700
Diporto - credits: flickr.com
In Diporto, you cannot eat anything but high-quality traditional dishes that are quintessentially Greek, in an environment that is unlike anything else you have experienced. Its authentically Athenian atmosphere is unmatched. The moment you step foot in it, it's as if ýou have taken a trip back in another era. Inside, the tavern is irresistibly photogenic, while its customers are locals folk crowds, like characters from a period movie and, although it attracts tourists from time to time, it has not lost a trace of its authenticity.
Throughout its existence, Diporto has managed to remain the same. It has the same dishes, the same service, the same underground vibe. From its dishes, the spicy chickpea soup, the 'yahni' potatoes, and the lamb and noodle soup, are some of the best-selling dishes of the tavern that make everyone who tastes them think of Greece. Authenticity is the main objective of Diporto, which is why this tavern is so unique. This is what a true traveler is looking for.
What's more, Diporto has a great advantage: its folklore, old Athens atmosphere makes it stand out. The travelers that want to experience something they will not find anywhere else, but only in Athens, go to Diporto. And as if that wasn't enough, Diporto also has a wide variety of vegan foods. After all, Greece is the best place for vegetarians and vegans.
When you have the guts to stay true to your identity and resist following fashions and trends, you are always in fashion. And that's what Diporato has succeeded in. And that is why we recommend you Diporto without a second thought for your culinary adventures in Athens.
Address: Sokratous 9 &, Theatrou, Athens
Phone: 21 0321 1463
To Koudounaki - credits: spottedbylocals.com
The owners of the tavern To Koudounaki in their paternal home have been cooking the home-cooked lunch of the toiling people of the neighborhood since the ‘70s. Now the handicrafts are closed, the night of glamor has been transferred to other neighborhoods, but they insist on the huge filling portions - "so we got used to our customers" - on the daily different menu with the best and freshest from their own market suppliers.
The quiet nights with cold, under the warmth of the "pine cone", the shop is transformed into a house, the girls alternate in the kitchen, in between you become a group with them, memories of the history of the neighborhood, conversations about Now, sunny lunches on the sidewalk you just take back the conversation you may have said, that in Psyrri the food is only for the rubble.
The good authentic raki is combined with spicy oatmeal for meze, nicely, the liver with onion sauce, the double-sided hot fava, half of lentils-half normal-with the cumin, the oregano, and their own olive oil from the region of Mani, the homemade meatballs stuffed cinnamon onions with minced meat and pine nuts, the aromatic light cabbage stuffing, the salad with all the vegetables, flaxseed, sesame, the hot feta with chilly that is baked in the oven, the crunchy potatoes.
Address: Ivis 15 Psyrri Athens
Telephone: 2103236909, 6974253635
Stamatopoulos tavern - credits: wondergreece.com
What could be nicer than a walk in the center of Athens, in the picturesque alleys of Plaka and the beautiful Acropolis accompanied by a visit to one of the oldest taverns in the city for delicious delicacies? The Old Tavern Stamatopoulos is located just below the Acropolis, at 26 Lysiou Street, and has been serving people with local delicacies since 1882.
Of course, its specialty is traditional Greek cuisine, which is both nutritious and delicious, maintaining a folklore character that doesn't go unnoticed. There you can enjoy the carefully designed menu, in its lush garden, with its traditional decoration and family atmosphere, creating pleasant memories with your loved ones. Just one visit, and you'll remember it for the rest of your lives!
Don't miss out on the Greek salad, the roasted lamb, the homey moussaka, and the juicy burger, and make sure to follow the suggestions of the waiters!
Address: Erechtheos 9, Athens
Phone: 21 0322 8722
Steki tou Ilia
Steki you Ilia - credits: steki-tou-ilia.com
Steki you Ilia is a folk tavern that is located on the paved pedestrian street, just 100 meters from Thissio station to Petralona, next to the courtyard of the church of Ag. Athanasios. It is truly a wonderful place for both the summer -which in Greece, lasts for about eight months- and for the sunny winter days.
There, you will try simple and tried and tested dishes of the local cuisine, with the lemony fried liver being a hit among locals and foreigners. Whatever you order, don't forget to accompany it with ice-cold beer or wine, for the full authentic Greek experience. There is a second tavern called 'Steki you Ilia' which operates under the same management. It is located just a few meters below the first one, and the only difference between the two is their location; pick one based on your preference and you won't look back.
Address: Thessaloniki 7 Thiseio
Restaurants with a view
Kuzina - credits: kuzina.gr
In the shadow of the Acropolis, under the imposing temple of Hephaestus, and on the historic pedestrian street of Hadrianou, in a magnificent building, lies Kuzina. This restaurant, headed by the famous chef and profound connoisseur of Greek cuisine Aris Tsanaklidis, has fascinated both Athenians and foreign visitors. It is no coincidence that Kuzina has been proposed for many years by the Michelin guide and the Gogobot guide, and is among the top 10 restaurants with a view of the world according to the BBC.
The dishes of Aris Tsanaklidis are based on the recipes of our country, they are made based on the best raw materials of the Greek land, but at the same time, they have modern, creative touches that bring Greek cuisine to the modern era of gastronomy. Start with the sweet pumpkin soup, pumpkin chips, orange, carrot, ginger, and pumpkin seeds; the perfect start to a perfect meal. Afterward, taste the tuna tartare with ginger, lime, soy, wasabi, and avocado sauce, which rightly has the reputation of one of the best tartare in the whole city. If you're visiting Athens during the colder winter months, the 'Winter Salad', true to its name, hides in it all the winter treasures: beetroot, purple and yellow carrot, Jerusalem artichoke, turnips, grilled 'talagani'' cheese, and vinaigrette sauce made from roasted onion bulbs.
For the main dish, there are several delicious tasty surprises such as the Pata Negra pork with white sweet potato puree and bilberry sauce, which from day one acquired its own fanatical followers. Equally delicious options are the fresh fillet of 'mylokopi' fish with carrot, leek, fennel, and lemonade sauce béarnaise, but also the lamb with mashed potatoes, rosemary sauce, and roasted garlic that melts in your mouth. And, of course, do not leave without dessert! The traditional macaroon with homemade mahlep ice cream and bergamot dessert is the perfect end to a perfect meal!
Address: Adrianou 9, Thiseio
Phone: (030) 2103240133
Sin Athina - credits: tripadvisor.com
Housed in a three-story neoclassical building on Iraklidon Street in Thiseio, Sin Athina is a fun multi-purpose space with bright colors that stands out for its stunning views, excellent food, and noble staff.
There, you will start your day early in the morning with coffee and a rich breakfast with many options. As the day progresses, it is the turn of the beer and the wine, which you will combine with one of the delicious delicacies Sin Athina offers abundantly.
The options are many: savory and sweet flavors, burgers, club sandwiches, traditional 'moussaka', and sea bass fillet. Wonderful dishes oriented to the Mediterranean tradition, made with fine ingredients, are waiting for you to discover them.
Of course, the great asset of Sin Athina is none other than its magnificent terrace with breathtaking views. Open from 6 pm and overlooking from the Parthenon to Pnyx and the Observatory, the roof garden of Sin Athina is the right place, especially in the summer, to enjoy delicious cocktails, good wine, and a rich dinner with many gastronomic specialties together with your company and a background of the most beautiful part of the city.
Address: Iraklidon 2, Thiseio
Phone: 210 3458463,
Point-A Bar and Restaurant
Point-A - credits: pointarestaurant.com
Those looking for the best evening and summer terraces of Athens hold the Point A Bar & Restaurant on the roof garden of the Herodion Hotel in the neighborhood of the Acropolis very high in their preferences, a choice justified by the environment of the excellent hall under the Attic sky of the restaurant, the which generously offers you the directness of the visual contact with the Parthenon, the New Acropolis Museum, the hill of Philopappos and in the background Lycabettus.
The rooftop area of Point A serves signature cocktails. High tables, and design stools complete the scene offering you the perfect setting to drink and eat tapas. What's more, it also boasts comfortable sofas to relax and enjoy the colors of the sunset fire with the aroma of jasmine blossoms all around.
The kitchen of Point A Bar & Restaurant bears the signature of two chefs, Marios Pirpiridis and Manolis Mavrigiannakis, who are known for looking for ways to be original, without moving away from their roots. They succeed in being creative, without their food in taste and culture. Their preference for Greek local materials is unequivocally stated in their dishes, but they do not hesitate, where they think it is necessary, to borrow ideas and materials of Asian origin.
The tapas menu is interesting, multinational, and fusion. It's a combination of good theoretical and practical support from the chefs, high-quality materials, and contemporary techniques. Depending on your mood and the drink you have chosen, you can taste from sea bass ceviche with Syrian ginger Turkish delight to crispy nigiri with white Santorini eggplant and rice powder or to Jalapeños donuts with sweet and sour tomato sauce.
The transition from kitchen to kitchen and ingredient to ingredient is done with well-balanced steps that do not disturb the homogeneity of the menu and the continuity of flavors.
Address: 4 Robertou Gali, Acropolis
Phone: 210 9236832
Thea Terrace Bar
Thea Terrace bar - credits: athinorama.com
An international audience, a relaxed mood, and amazing views of the Acropolis and Plaka make Thea Terrace bar worth a visit. It offers coffee, drinks, and snacks in the morning. While in the evenings, Mediterranean cuisine and cocktails with the signature of Alexandros Gikopoulos steal the show of this roof garden restaurant.
Visiting Thea Terrace bar is very much like taking a vacation in downtown Athens. Located on the 7th floor of Central Hotel gives its guests the opportunity for comfort and luxury. The wonderful Acropolis in the foreground, the neighborhoods of Anafiotika and Plaka at the foot of the sacred rock, and the temple of Hephaestus and the Observatory in the background make for a magical setting. Comfortable armchairs, free WiFi, together with the most fascinating view of Athens, and nine original signature cocktails, as a result of the collaboration with the excellent international mixologist Alexandros Gikopoulos, complete the experience.
We especially love the combination of a bottle of white or red wine with a variety of cheeses and cold cuts for 4 people. There, you also have the opportunity to taste 15 bottled wines - 6 of them by the glass - along with the magical image of the city at dusk, when the houses in Anafiotika and Plaka start to light up and the surrounding apartment buildings are beautified by the colors of the sunset.
Address: Apollonos 21, Athens
Sense restaurant - credits: cms4.nelios.com
Sense Restaurant on the rooftop of AthensWas Hotel offers its guests a wonderful trip to every corner of our country through its variety of local flavors. And as if that wasn't enough, the balcony with the amazing view of the Acropolis smells like Greece!
Located on Areopagitou Street, Sense Restaurant is an ideal meeting point for cool cocktails and excellent food. It is especially perfect if your visit to it can be combined with one of the legendary performances at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus. In the menu of Sense Restaurant, the chef Alexandros Charalambopoulos and his team, based on experiences and delicious memories from the Greek tradition, create dishes with a purely Greek character, given in a creative style.
Recipes and raw materials from every corner of the country meet modern techniques, bringing to today renewed the most classic ideas. Guavas with sea urchin eggs, carrot puree, vegetables, and ouzo foam are a typical example of the modernized Greekness of a dish with a sea note, creating a wonderful result. Don't forget to try the lamb, the Tsakonian eggplant 'imam', caramelized onions, and feta cheese croquette. In the summer, the ideal pick is the fish ala Spetsiota, which has an origin from the island of Spetses. For dessert, opt for the wonderful caramelized pouch, consisting of caramelized 'phyllo' pastry with nuts, semolina cream, orange-tahini sorbet, and orange peel cream. Yum.
Address: Dionysiou Areopagitou 5, Athens
Phone: 210 9200240
Acropolis Secret Bar Restaurant
Acropolis Secret Bar Restaurant - credits: tripadvisor.com
One must not forget that in Athens, people have the opportunity to be within walking distance of the illuminated Acropolis, enjoying the interesting dishes prepared by the kitchen of the Divani Palace Acropolis hotel. They can do so, at Acropolis Secret Bar Restaurant, on the roof garden of the hotel, while being swept away by the combination of the striking view, and out-of-this-world taste of its dishes that never fail to win the impressions of its guests.
The relatively simple cuisine draws ideas from the international arena, with influences from both the Far East and the French and American traditions. At the same time, it combines them with Greek appetizers, while grilled meats and pasta are also spectacular. The result is delicious simplicity and an excellent view that serves as the icing on the cake.
Address: Parthenonos 19-25, Acropolis
Strofi - credits: tripadvisor.com
Strofi Restaurant is an experience to be had! For 43 years, this rooftop on the neighborhood of Koukaki directly opposite the Acropolis, serves as an ideal place for a romantic meal for two. The roof of the building gives you unlimited views of the sacred rock and the alleys of the picturesque neighborhood, which make you escape from the hustle and bustle of Athens. Nureyev once honored it when he dined after a performance at the Athens Summer Festival.
Strofi Restaurant is an ode to traditional Greek food, with options such as wine-cooked rooster and Corfiot sofrito. Regardless of its preference for cult classic Greek dishes, they are all given with a more modern approach. For the ultimately satisfying culinary experience, end your meal with a traditional walnut pie!
Address: Robertou Gali 25, Acropolis
Phone: 21 0921 4130
Galaxy Restaurant & Bar
Galaxy Restaurant & Bar - credits: hiltonathens.com
The name 'Galaxy' was not chosen at random. The top floor of the Athens Hilton seems to be touching the stars, becoming a gateway to another galaxy. The first thing you notice when visiting Galaxy Bar & Restaurant is the stunning view. All of Athens stretches in front of you: the Acropolis, Lycabettus, Piraeus, the Athens Tower, Ymittos Hill, illuminated boulevards, take over the scene, making you wonder where to look first. It offers its guests the definition of a panoramic view, which is sure to excite and captivate you. This setting is perfect for good wine and a nice dinner. Enjoy wonderful Mediterranean dishes served in the most imaginative way. If you are a fan of Asian cuisine, prepare yourselves to go crazy over the sushi bar.
Galaxy's bartenders put excellent quality ingredients in the shaker, creating both classic recipes, and original flavor combinations, dedicated to lovers of premium drinks. The extensive list of cocktails will satisfy even the most demanding of customers.
The well-trained staff, the exquisite Mediterranean flavors using Greek traditional products, and the unique techniques of extraction, spheronization, and foaming used in the preparation of imaginative cocktails, make the Galaxy Bar & Restaurant the ultimate dining destination in the city.
At the same time, the themed nights dedicated to funk, jazz, and mainstream sounds, the famous DJs, and the live concerts, manage to bring the Galaxy Bar & Restaurant to the top of the preferences of prominent guests from Greece and abroad. After all, Galaxy Bar & Restaurant has managed to be ranked among the best rooftop bars in the world for eight years.
Address: Vas. Sofias 46, Ilisia
The Zillers - credits: thezillersathenshotel.com
On the roof of the hotel of the same name, The Zillers amazes its guests with a majestic view and abstract style, where green marble and a garden manage to become a great distraction from the gray of the cement that dominated the Greek capital. This incredible Athenian rooftop is located on Mitropoleos Street, and boasts magnificent views of the Acropolis, tasteful and unique decoration, a pleasant atmosphere, and gourmet delicacies that will blow your mind.
They say that the image you have of the world depends on where you are. If you are on the roof of the Zillers, this image is probably the most charming you could enjoy, while at the same time, the flavors travel you over the city. The Zillers roof garden welcomes you from the morning, as the hotel’s rich breakfast is open to all guests, offering a range of fine dishes.
Try creations such as homemade couscous with grilled wild mushrooms and fresh chestnuts, quail with wild herbs, organic egg, black garlic, and smoked cold cuts from Andros. Risotto, 'moussaka' pizza, and cod donuts are more of the suggestions where tradition turns a blind eye to modern gastronomy.
As for the evening side of Zillers, this is a great degustation experience: three menus, one of which is vegetarian, with exquisite combinations of dishes and wine pairing that highlights the flavors, to choose, with difficulty, which one suits you. Enjoy your meal with a bottle of wine from the amazing restaurant list or