Restaurants in Athens
Below the Acropolis, touristy Plaka has countless eateries marketing themselves as classic Greek tavernas. Some even have rustic decor and live music. 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 Athenian 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 6-24% 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.
Funky GourmetCuisine: 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: Salaminos, Paramithias 13, Athens, 104 35
Telephone: +30 21 0524 2727
SpondiCuisine: 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: Pangrati, Pyrronos 5, Athens, 116 36
Telephone: +30 2107 564 021
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: Mikrolimano, Akti Koumoundourou 52, Piraeus, 104 35
Telephone: +30 21 0522 8400
Café AvissiniaCuisine: 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: Monastiraki, Kinetou 7, Athens, 105 55
Telephone: +30 21 0321 7047
Mani ManiCuisine: 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: Makrygianni, Falirou 10, Athens, 117 42
Telephone: +30 21 0921 8180.
Tzitzikas kai MermigasCuisine: 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: Syntagma, Mitropoleos 12-14, Athens, 105 63
Telephone: +30 21 0324 7607.
iFeel Cafe RestaurantCuisine: Creative Mediterranean
This brunch restaurant in Monasteraki offers a range of international breakfast dishes like pancakes with maple syrup and sunny side up eggs with crispy bacon and toasted bread. Brunch is from 0800 to 1800, after which the contemporary dinner menu takes centre stage. This small restaurant can get quite busy so make a reservation to guarantee a table.Address: Psirri, Karaiskaki 33, Athens, 105 54
Telephone: +30 21 0323 2244
Bakaliarakia o DamigosCuisine: 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: Pláka, Kidathineon 41, Athens, 105 58
Telephone: +30 21 0322 5084.
MelilotosCuisine: Modern Greek
Close to Syntagma Square, the menu changes daily at Melilotis, depending on what fresh ingredients are available and what inspires the chefs. There are always several vegetarian and macrobiotic choices (based on beans, lentils or chickpeas) as well as meat options and dishes using fresh salmon.Address: Monastiraki, Kalamiotou 19, Athens, 105 60
Telephone: +30 21 0322 2458
ThanasisCuisine: Greek souvlaki
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. The atmosphere is fast and chaotic with tables both indoors and out.Address: Monastiraki, Mitropoleos 69, Athens, 105 55
Telephone: +30 21 0324 4705.