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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:
Tel: +30 21 0522 8400.
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:
Tel: +30 21 0324 4705.
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:
Tel: +30 21 0322 2458.
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:
Tel: +30 21 0756 4021.
Funky GourmetPrice: Expensive
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:
Tel: +30 21 0524 2727.
Mani ManiPrice: Moderate
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:
Tel: +30 21 0921 8180.
Tzitzikas kai MermigasPrice: Moderate
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:
Tel: +30 21 0324 7607.
Café AvyssiniaPrice: Moderate
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:
Tel: +30 21 0321 7047.
Bakaliarakia o DamigosPrice: Cheap
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:
Tel: +30 21 0322 5084.