Best Athens Restaurants
Best Athens Restaurants – Situated close to the bountiful Aegean Sea and with beautiful weather in the summer, Athens offers pure culinary delight in terms of fresh and locally sourced food. Athens’ best restaurants highlight classic Mediterranean cuisine, but when it comes to where to eat in Athens there is also an array of options hailing from other parts of the world. Cooked by skilled and passionate hands in an array of high-class dining establishments, the elite gastronome can enjoy a meal fit for the Gods of Mount Olympus. These are our picks of the best restaurants in Athens, Greece.
This family-run taverna has been going strong since 1927, offering evenings packed with Mediterranean food, music and dance – a combination Greeks love. The tis oras – a grilled meat platter – is what you should go for. It includes biftekia, grilled meat patties seasoned with spices, as well as lamb and pork chops. Plus, considering Klimataria translates as ‘grape vines’, it’s no surprise the wine served here is always excellent.
Papadakis may not be among the handful of Athenian eateries to boast a Michelin star, but it is arguably one of the best places to experience authentic Greek cuisine. Sitting on the foothills of Mount Lucabettus in the upmarket area of Kolonaki, it offers respite from the hustle and bustle of Athens and boasts views of the stunning Acropolis from its shaded dining terrace.
The restaurant is the brainchild of Argiro Barbarigou and first opened its doors in 2005 when she moved a restaurant of the same name from its original site on the island of Paros. It has since become a culinary pillar of the community and is regularly filled with well-heeled locals who come to experience some of the finest seafood available in the city.
Only serving the best and freshest seafood available, the menu changes as often as the sun sets. The daily specials are usually exquisite while the Paros Island Chickpeas – slow-cooked for 15 hours – are a must for any diner.
Ta Karamanlidika Tou Fani
This Byzantine pastomageireio, a tavern and deli in one spot, is set in a neoclassical house. Expect an array of Greek cheeses and cold cuts in the deli. The restaurant serves traditional regional dishes, like fried aubergine and zucchini in a Cappadocian sauce or saganaki cheese served with a dried meat called pastourma, beef sausage and eggs.
Perched on Lycabettus Hill, one of the highest peaks in Athens, the views from Orizontes are god-level. Sit outdoors come sunset – with the Acropolis, Aegean Sea and entire city sprawled below – and you’re guaranteed to feel like you’re dining on Olympus. The restaurant is equally acclaimed for its food: Mediterranean dishes that incorporate seasonal ingredients and local produce. Go for the pork tenderloin with vegetables in feta cheese, honey and sesame if it’s on the menu. It’s rich, moreish and will blow your mind.
Most European cultures have their version of doughnuts, but Greek loukoumades are arguably one of the tastiest. They’re perfectly fluffy fried dough balls topped with Greek honey and cinnamon. At Lukumades dessert café, lines of locals come to indulge in much more sinful versions. Creative toppings and syrups are drizzled on and they’re sometimes accompanied by scoops of creamy ice cream made with mastiha (a resin from the mastic tree).
Gyros are the classic fast food of Greece. They’re hot pittas piled high with grilled meat and stuffed with onion, tomatoes and lettuce. They’re juicy and delicious, and O Kostas does some of the best in Athens. Come lunchtime, there are lines of locals at this no-frills shop, no doubt thanks to owner Kostas’s simple but perfectly balanced recipe passed down from his father.
To Kati Allo
Tucked down a small street round the corner from the Acropolis Museum is a Greek taverna run by two generations of local family, the Bakatselos, who have been serving traditional meals here for more than three decades. They all pitch in to help in the open kitchen, cooking up hand-me-down recipes and making guests feel at home in the understated dining space. There’s no menu, rather a display of whatever’s just come out of the oven.
The view of the Acropolis from Strofi’s roof terrace is one of the most impressive in town. The menu is astounding too: expect traditional Greek dishes, including meze such as smoked aubergine and a cooling, smooth tzatziki. A classic main is the roast lamb stuffed with Greek cheese.
Nice ‘n’ Easy
This bistro places an emphasis on organic produce – packing local veg and traditional pasta into hearty dishes that also incorporate meat from sustainable growers. The farm-to-table concept is combined with a trendy, laid-back atmosphere reminiscent of ’50s Hollywood (even its name is inspired by a Frank Sinatra song). Try the Bogie and Bacall, skewered chicken kontosouvli marinated in Greek beer with sun-dried tomatoes, or the Coppola zucchini pasta topped with buffalo meat and marinated in a florina pepper sauce.