Restaurants in Athens

Touristy Plaka, below the Acropolis, has countless eateries marketing themselves as classic Greek tavernas. Some have rustic decor and live music, though sadly few offer authentic Greek home cooking. The nightlife district of Gazi is the place to try modern creative cuisine, while restaurants in the Syntagma area do lunch for business people working in nearby offices. In Monastiraki, on the edge of Psirri, you’ll find plenty of interesting tavernas and snack and fast food places, many staying open well after midnight. Some Athens restaurants close for the summer break from mid-July to mid-September.

The restaurants below have been grouped into three pricing categories:

Expensive (over €60)

Moderate (€30 to €60)

Cheap (up to €30)

These prices are for an average three-course meal for one person including a bottle of house wine or cheapest equivalent; they include sales tax but do not include service charge or tip.

Prices in Greek restaurants usually include the 13-23% sales tax. However, all Greek restaurants are required by law to add a 13% service charge to the bill and it is still customary to leave the waiter an additional 10% tip on top.

Spondi

Price: Expensive
Cuisine: Modern French and Mediterranean

Frequently cited as Athens' top restaurant, Spondi occupies a vaulted stone cellar in the Pangrati neighbourhood, with subtle lighting and neo-baroque furnishing. In summer, there are tables outside in a pretty courtyard. The menu features fusion French and Mediterranean-inspired cuisine, with an abundant use of aromatic herbs and spices. Reservations recommended. Dinner only.

Address: Greece
Telephone: +30 21 0756 4021.
Website:

Varoulko

Price: Expensive
Cuisine: Seafood

Seafood aficionados should head for Michelin-starred Varoulko. The six-course degustation menu is an adventure in itself, and changes daily depending on what’s fresh at the market. Expect exquisite treats such as ceviche of sea bass with tomato and basil sorbet with wines to match.

Address: Greece
Telephone: +30 21 0522 8400.
Website:

Funky Gourmet

Price: Expensive
Cuisine: Creative Mediterranean

One of the capital’s premier eateries, Funky Gourmet earned its first Michelin star in 2012. There are just three degustation menus, each of varying lengths and with optional wine pairing. Expect a creative take on Greek classics and a fusion of Mediterranean flavours, all beautifully presented. Dinner only.

Address: Greece
Telephone: +30 21 0524 2727.

Café Avyssinia

Price: Moderate
Cuisine: Greek

Surrounded by the antiques section of the Monastiraki Flea Market, the character of this lively restaurant combines the spirit of Greece with the feel of a pretty French bistro. Mirrors and bric-a-brac line the walls, dishes run the gamut of the Greek classics, and live music features on weekends.

Address: Greece
Telephone: +30 21 0321 7047.

Tzitzikas kai Mermigas

Price: Moderate
Cuisine: Modern Greek taverna

Tucked away behind Syntagma Square, Athenians like to retreat to this informal eatery for a long, slow lunch. Serving modern Greek cuisine, it is known throughout town for its delicious chicken with creamy mastiha sauce served on a kadaifi (shredded pastry) base, as well as colourful creative salads. The décor is shabby chic with wooden furniture and retro tinned foods.

Address: Greece
Telephone: +30 21 0324 7607.

Mani Mani

Price: Moderate
Cuisine: Regional Greek

This refined eatery in the Makrygianni neighbourhood, near the Acropolis, fills with chatting locals digging into an array of small plates from the Peloponnese’s Mani region. Ingredients showcase the best that Greece has to offer, from rich, crumbling feta cheese to thyme honey and succulent lamb.

Address: Greece
Telephone: +30 21 0921 8180.

Thanasis

Price: Cheap
Cuisine: Greek souvlaki (grilled meats)

Thanasis is a popular place for generous portions of shish kebab (made from minced beef or lamb) that’s served with pitta bread, sliced onions, grilled tomatoes and chips, plus an optional side plate of garlicky tzatziki. It gets unbelievably busy, especially at weekends, when it stays open till 0200. The atmosphere is fast and chaotic with tables both indoors and out.

Address: Greece
Telephone: +30 21 0324 4705.

Melilotos

Price: Cheap
Cuisine: Modern Greek

Close to Syntagma Square, the menu changes daily at Melilotis, depending on what fresh ingredients are available. There are always several vegetarian and macrobiotic choices (based on beans, lentils or chickpeas) as well as meat options and, unusually for Greece, dishes using fresh salmon.

Address: Greece
Telephone: +30 21 0322 2458.
Website:

Bakaliarakia o Damigos

Price: Cheap
Cuisine: Traditional Greek

This authentic basement eatery has been run by the Damigos family since 1865 and remains basic and old-fashioned. Most people come here for the house speciality, bakaliarakia (deep-fried battered cod) served with skordalia (potato and garlic sauce), but the menu also includes classics such as Greek salad and a hearty lamb casserole.

Address: Greece
Telephone: +30 21 0322 5084.
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