Travel Secrets

Lonely Planet: Best places to eat in Athens

Lonely Planet: Best places to eat in Athens

Lonely Planet suggests the best places to eat in Athens! Discover them!

Traditional Greek cuisine is all about fresh ingredients. Seasonal produce, just-caught seafood, regional cooking styles and minimal dressings bring out the flavours of the Mediterranean. And everything is made tastier by this year's olive oil and a crusty loaf of fresh bread. Greeks love to eat out and dining is a rowdy, drawn-out communal affair with friends and family. Despite the proliferation of upscale trendy restaurants, the most popular dining venue is the trusty taverna.

Café Avyssinia
Hidden away on colourful Plateia Avyssinias, in the middle of the flea market, this bohemian mezedhopoleio gets top marks for atmosphere, food and friendly service.

Homemade village-style bread, mismatched retro crockery and brown-paper tablecloths set the tone for this trendy, modern taverna serving regional Greek cuisine.

For great traditional fare, you can’t beat this inconspicuous, no-frills taverna on the periphery of Plaka, with a few tables on the footpath. There’s a basic menu but it’s best to choose from the daily specials, which include fresh seafood such as prawn saganaki.

Tzitzikas & Mermingas
Greek merchandise lines the walls of this cheery, modern mezedhopoleio that sits smack in the middle of central Athens. It serves a tasty range of delicious and creative mezedhes (like the honey-drizzled, bacon-wrapped cheese one) to a bustling crowd of locals.

This modern eatery with its white linen and fresh-cut flowers set in a lovely garden courtyard is upmarket for Exarhia, but the food is superb and made with largely organic produce.

Why mess with what works? Filippou has been dishing out yummy Greek dishes since 1923. A chance for a little soul cooking, with white linen, in the heart of Kolonaki.

Two Michelin-starred Spondi is consistently voted Athens’ best restaurant, and the accolades are totally deserved. It offers Mediterranean haute cuisine, with heavy French influences, in a relaxed, chic setting in a charming old house. Choose from the menu or a range of set dinner and wine prix fixes .

Mani Mani
Head upstairs to the relaxing, cheerful dining rooms of this delightful modern restaurant, which specialises in regional cuisine from Mani in the Peloponnese. The ravioli with Swiss chard, chervil and cheese, and the tangy Mani sausage with orange are standouts.

Kalamaki Kolonaki
Order by the kalamaki (skewer; €1.70), add on some salad and pittas, and you've got great quick eats with all the requisite people watching at Kolonaki's standout souvlaki joint.


From: Anthi Sasmatzoglou