Food in Athens

This page will direct you to the different posts on Athens restaurants and food choices found in the blog. It's an evolving, concise guide to different food options that Athens offers to food lovers (and everyone else). I wrote my very first restaurant review in 2010 (that's where you can read about my "philosophy" on restaurants and cooking). My policy on presenting restaurants can be found here. When I travel abroad I prefer to explore the local cuisine, and I suppose the same goes for most of you. So, you will mostly find presentations of Greek restaurants in this blog. However, Athens being a big, international city, I will often stray into non-Greek cuisine options if I think they present an interest.
Also, make sure you have a stress-free lunch, by reading my guide on Greek tipping habits.

A few words on Greek cuisine

Greek cuisine has strong influences from the Turkish / Ottoman cuisine, as the Ottomans were the rulers of this land for 4-5 centuries (mid. 15th to early 19th or 20th century, depending on the area). A famous Greek chef / food-writer of the early 20th century, Nikolaos Tselementes, introduced various French-inspired cooking techniques and dishes to the Greek, while various other cultures and civilizations have also left their mark not only on Greece's history but also on the food consumed here.

But most of all, it's the local produce that defines Greek cuisine. Olive oil is the basic layer of all Greek cooking, accompanied by fresh, in season vegetables of all kinds that are either cooked as stand-alone dishes, or accompany meat dishes (like casseroles) or act as basic ingredients (like in moussaka) or get consumed as salads. The "Greek salad" (known in Greece as horiatiki, i.e. village's salad) is the most well-known one but you can also find a large variety of greens, often wild, that are cooked and then left to cool to be consumed as salads.

As far as meat is concerned, you will mostly want to concentrate on lamb or in Greece's famous gyros / souvlaki fast food options. Some pork chop dishes are quite decent but you'll have few reasons to deal with beef (esp. steaks) if you're coming from a beef producing country.

Fish -unlike what you might expect- is mostly imported or a produce of aquaculture and Athens offers just a few options for consuming fresh, domestic fish.

Pasta is a bittersweet story: Greeks love it and it's become part of the local cuisine, just like pizza, but if you're Italian you'll want to avoid Italian restaurants here, as pasta is almost always "over-cooked" (not al dente) for Italians palates. Finally, there are different types of sweets and pastries that one may pick here; some French-inspired and some others of an oriental flavor.
Now, on to the real reason you came here. Below you will find some - gradually expanding - lists of restaurants and food joints according to various criteria:

Restaurants and food joints in Athens by type of cuisine

For (various types of) Greek food restaurants and eateries in Athens, try: Acropolis Museum restaurant, Oinopoleio, OroscopoRaetiScholarhio (a.k.a. Ouzeri o Kouklis), To KafeneioTo Spitiko Fayito, Tzitzikas & Mermigas (4 locations), Vassilenas, Vlassis
For fish / sea-food try Vlassis, Vassilenas and the Acropolis Museum Restaurant.
For international / Mediterranean cuisine check out: Agora
For fast food in Athens see: Simply Burgers.
For grill / meat places in Athens check out: To Agrinio (a.k.a I gonia tou Babi), Simply Burgers (various locations)
For pizza and pasta try: Oroscopo
For wine bars, try: ...soon to be updated.
For street food in Athens check out: Ariston, Peynirli Ioniassee some pictures here and expect more in the future.
For gourmet restaurants in Athens area head to Vassilenas.

Restaurants in Athens by neighborhood (major hotels of the area also mentioned)

-Restaurants and food joints in the Ambelokipi neighborhood (President Hotel): Agora, Peynirli Ionias, RaetiTo Agrinio (a.k.a I gonia tou Babi), To Spitiko Fayito 
-Restaurants in the neighborhood of Ano PatissiaTzitzikas & Mermigas
-In Gazi there are many restaurants and bars, but most of them come and go with time as this is presently the main entertainment area of Athens. I would mostly try my luck (and often have) with tapas bars, snack places etc than with regular restaurants. 
-Restaurants in the neighborhood of Ilissia / Kaisariani (Athens Hilton, Divani Caravel Hotel, Best Western Illissia Hotel): Oroscopo.
-Restaurants in the neighborhood of Plaka / Acropolis (AVA Hotel Suites, Divani Palace Acropolis Hotel, Plaka Hotel, Royal Olympic Hotel): Acropolis Museum Restaurant, Scholarhio (a.k.a. Ouzeri o Kouklis)To Kafeneio  
-In the neighborhood of Psirri (a.k.a. Psyrri) ('A' for Athens Hotel, O&B Athens Boutique Hotel) make sure you dine at Oinopoleio.
-Restaurants near Athens city center / Syntagma Square / Omonia Square (Grand Bretagne Hotel, King George Palace Hotel, NJV Athens Plaza Hotel, Titania Hotel): Tzitzikas & Mermigas (the one at Mitropoleos St.)

-In the suburb of Halandri (a.k.a. Chalandri) check out Tzitzikas & Mermigas.
-In the suburb of Kifissia check out Tzitzikas & Mermigas
-In the suburb (port) of Piraeus (a.k.a. Pireas): Vassilenas

Map of Athens restaurants presented in AthensWalker

Click on the link under the map to see in a new window, with list of restaurants.


View Athens Walker-Restaurants in a larger map

1 comment:

  1. What a great post for those who havent been to Greece you will not be upset in your decision. Few years back i had flown in to Athens stayed had our choice of one of the many Hotels in Athens Greece 2 days later we flew out on a smaller plane 30-50 passenger due to the fact that some of the smaller islands such as Karpathos and Rhodes cannot support a huge commercial airlines plane what an amazing experience. Me and my wife had a bite to eat on the ocean front ordered fried calamari the establishment had a diver jump right into the water with a spear gun and show us the live squid asking if we were happy with it before they cooked it i mean how could i say no... it was breathtaking...

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