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As you can probably imagine, there are virtually countless restaurants in Athens. A city that sees so many tourists walking its beautiful streets every year, after all, could not but boast a very diverse gastronomy scene.
Restaurants in Athens are spread throughout the city, cater to every taste, and can suit any palette.
From the upscale restaurants in Plaka and the casual food joints in Monastiraki to the traditional taverns of Psirri and the seafood restaurants of Syntagma, this city has it all.
Read on to discover the best Athens restaurants and choose the one that will give you a taste of authentic Greek cuisine on your next visit to the Greek capital.
Where to Eat in Athens? The Types of Restaurants and Eateries in Athens
Upon arrival, you’ll find that the options are plenty and that there is no way you can actually try out all the restaurants you would like to.
So, in order to help you make the right decision, we will try to break down all the types of restaurants and eateries that you will find in the city to give you a better understanding of what you can expect when eating out and decide where to eat in Athens.
Think of these as a glossary to the restaurant scene of Athens:
● Taverna: That is what locals call taverns. A taverna would almost always have a prominent traditional character (with a few exceptions of modern, new-age tavernas), a place where locals hang out and typically have lunch or dinner accompanied by wine. Tavernas are the most popular type of eatery and you will find them all around the city. At a taverna, you can expect to find traditional Greek cuisine dishes, many meat-based specialties, and lots of wine.
● Ouzeri: The name comes from the traditional Greek alcoholic drink named Ouzo. Ouzo is a dry aperitif made with anise that is extremely popular in Greece, especially during the summertime. As the name suggests, an ouzeri is a place that serves ouzo. Apart from ouzo, at an ouzeri you can expect to find all kinds of food, seafood and meze dishes. An ouzeri does not have a great difference from a taverna, except that their menus are quite limited and designed to suit the taste of ouzo.
● Cafeneon: The name translates to coffee house. Yet, Greek coffee houses are much different than you would expect. Locals spend a lot of time in cafeneons. They serve coffee, alcoholic drinks and food and are open from the morning till late in the evening. People usually go to cafeneons for drinks but it is not uncommon to order a full meal. They typically serve all kinds of meze dishes and cold platters but not full-course meals.
● Mezedopolio: These are the places that mainly serve “mezedes”, the Greek equivalent of the Spanish tapas. Mezedes are small tidbits of food served on smaller plates that are meant to be shared by everyone who sits at the table.
● Restaurant: Or as locals call them “estiatorio”. A restaurant is the same as it is around the globe. No surprises here. A restaurant is a place to go if you are looking for a more refined gastronomic experience, such as fusion cuisine or gourmet treats.
Seafood Restaurants & Taverns in Athens
If you just arrived and you are in the process of researching where to eat in Athens, the suggestions below should be enough for your starting point.
You simply cannot visit Athens and not spend some time gorging on seafood at one of the numerous seafood restaurants.
It might not be apparent at first sight, but Athens is located very close to the sea, making fresh fish and seafood easy to find.
The seas around Attica are more than abundant in marine wildlife and fish farms making fresh seafood available to the rest of the region.
And Athenians really do love their fish on a Sunday afternoon.
You will find various gourmet seafood restaurants in Athens to experience modern Greek gastronomy as well as traditional seafood tavernas where you can wine and dine as locals do.
These are some of our favorite seafood restaurants:
I Stoa Ouzeri
Located just a few meters away from Omonia Square, I Stoa Ouzeri is one of the most popular, budget-friendly, seafood restaurants in the city. With a history that goes back 20 whole years, I Stoa Ouzeri offers a large menu that includes all kinds of seafood, fresh fish, mussels, as well as a few meat dishes.
Taverna Aris boasts a charming little terrace in a quiet little cored walkway in the heart of Athens close to Omonia Square. They offer fresh sea-to-fork seafood as well as various salads and a wide array of delicious appetizers.
This is one of the hidden places in Athens. A charming seafood restaurant located right in the city center. Aiolou 68 restaurant offers a gourmet menu with seafood and other treats and features an alluring alfresco terrace.
So, when the question of where to eat in Athens arises, you will already be in a good spot.
There are numerous restaurants in Plaka, serving all kinds of dishes from all types of cuisines. And the best part is that although Plaka is close to the most popular attractions of Athens, it is not frequented exclusively by tourists.
In Plaka, you will also see locals having leisurely walks in search of a traditional tavern for a quick bite or a high-end restaurant for some fine wining and dining.
Below you will find some of our favorite places to eat in Plaka that will surely give you a taste of what the restaurant scene in Athens is all about:
2Mazi is a restaurant that specializes in creative cuisine housed in a beautiful neoclassical building. Here you will find delicious treats with meat, fresh fish, handmade pasta as well as traditional Greek recipes with a twist.
Scholarchio is one of the most traditional restaurants in Plaka. It’s very close to Acropolis Hill and perfect for a delicious lunch or dinner after a visit to the Parthenon. They serve traditional Greek cuisine dishes including meat, fish, seafood as well as a few vegetarian options.
Geros Tou Moria is another excellent option for those of you looking for traditional restaurants in Plaka. The charming restaurant has a long history of 90 years and boasts a privileged location with a relaxing ambiance very close to Acropolis.
As the name suggests, the old tavern of Psarras (translating to fisherman in Greek) is a quintessential traditional seafood tavern that is located in the heart of Plaka. An excellent choice for those that want to try authentic Greek cuisine in a charming outdoor setting among the picturesque alleys and cobblestone pave ways.
For locals, the matter of where to eat in Athens is usually quickly resolved by choosing one of the countless traditional tavernas that can be found in plain sight on every corner of the most famous streets or tucked away in hidden alleys in the city center.
And -as is usually the case- locals know best.
Why not follow their example and get in touch with local culture by experiencing Athens like a true Athenian? If you’re looking for any kind of food and drink tours, experiences, and activities to get acquainted with Greek gastronomy, we suggest you click on this page, scroll down to the food and drink tours section, and select the one that is best for you!
No matter how many days you have planned to spend in the Greek capital, you can’t leave before experiencing true Greek hospitality and the wonders of Greek cuisine at a traditional restaurant or taverna in Athens.
You will find an abundance of those throughout the city, so we will try to make your life a tiny bit easier by listing some of our favorites below:
Ta Karamanlidika tou Fani
Ta Karamanlidika Tou Fani is one of the most unique restaurants in Athens. Operating both as a traditional tavern and a delicatessen, this is the ideal place to get a taste of authentic Greek cuisine or even buy a few products to take with you.
Dio Dekares i Oka is a traditional taverna located close to the Syggrou Fix metro station (red line). Here you will find all kinds of typical Greek food as well as local wines and ouzo in a place with an extraordinary atmosphere where locals hang out.
Address: Anastassiou Zinni 29-31 Dimitrakopoulou, (next to Syggrou Fix Metro Station), Athens 117 41 Greece (Map)
Telephone: +30 21 0922 0583
Elaea Mezedadiko is definitely among the most popular seafood restaurants in Athens. It’s located in Plaka, only a few meters away from the new Acropolis Museum. It serves traditional “mezedes”, wine and ouzo as well as a few vegetarian dishes.
Acropolis is beyond a shadow of a doubt the most beloved and popular monument in Athens.
It’s only natural, therefore, that restaurants that feature terraces or balconies with Acropolis view are the most sought-after places to eat in Athens among tourists and locals alike.
And to be fair, most of them deserve the attention they get as they offer exquisite gastronomic experiences to those lucky enough to have a reservation in place.
You can try a wine tasting experience with a sommelier under the Acropolis. All you have to do is to click on this page, scroll down to the food and drink tours section, and book it online!
Of course, the privileged restaurants with a view of the Acropolis are the first that pop to mind when a foreigner asks a local where to eat in Athens.
After all, who wouldn’t enjoy a romantic dinner at a candlelit porch with a view of the Parthenon?
We know you would, so we have selected for you a few magnificent restaurants with an Acropolis view that should not be missing from your itinerary.
Find them below:
Peacock restaurant is part of the Hera Boutique Hotel that is located in the Makrygianni area, very close to the Acropolis metro station (red line). The upscale rooftop restaurant offers gourmet Greek cuisine dishes as well as astonishing views of the Parthenon and Acropolis hill.
Point a Bar and Restaurant is an upscale restaurant located in Makrygianni (or Makriyanni) area, between Thission, and Koukaki, right under Acropolis Hill. Its gourmet Mediterranean cuisine combined with the impeccable views of the Parthenon and the Acropolis Museum from the terrace make it ideal for a romantic dinner.
GH Attikos Restaurant is a charming restaurant that serves traditional Greek cuisine in the heart of Athens. Among other things, what makes it popular is the fresh seafood, the delicious homemade desserts, and -of course- the magnificent view of the Acropolis.
Even though the music scene in Athens is often overlooked, the locals would all agree that enjoying a meal in a taverna or restaurant with live music in Athens is one of the best ways to get acquainted with the local culture.
Live music in taverns and restaurants is one of the locals’ favorite forms of entertainment.
Finding the best restaurants with live music in Athens might prove to be quite a challenger for first-time visitors.
Tourists are more often than not worried about where to eat in Athens when it’s really a question of how fun eating out in Athens can be.
Luckily for you, we have a few suggestions that will answer both questions, leaving you with a full stomach and a satisfied spirit.
Below you will find our top picks for the most beautiful restaurants in Athens with live music that will make your evening out magical:
Klimataria is a traditional colorful tavern located in the heart of Athens that first opened its doors in 1927. It has been consistently hosting small concerts and various live music acts by well-known local musicians since its very beginning.
Located in the famous traditional area of Psyrri, only a few minutes away from the Ancient Agora of Athens, Oinopoleion is a popular taverna that serves traditional Greek and Mediterranean cuisine. What makes Oinopoleion stand out are the impeccable live music events held every Friday and Saturday.
Kafeneio To 111 is a widely popular cafeneon located in the most famous shopping street of Athens, Ermou, right between the squares of Syntagma and Monastiraki. It offers traditional Greek dishes paired with local wine and entertaining live music acts.
Apart from traditional tavernas, delicious street food joints, cafeneons, wineries, and Greek cuisine restaurants, Athens is also home to several high-end, gourmet restaurants that are distinguished for their quality and their exceptional food.
Actually, during the past few years -and, surprisingly, amidst the financial crisis- the gastronomy scene of Athens has seen a rapid and complete transformation.
More and more restaurants keep getting renovated, redesigned, and have their menus altered to suit the needs of an audience that gets more demanding and distinguished by the day.
So, if your question is where to eat in Athens, we recommend trying some of the more upscale restaurants to get in touch with the new-age gastronomy of the Greek capital.
Among them, you’ll find a few restaurants that have been awarded with one -or more- Michelin stars.
Below, we list our recommendations for some of the most popular Michelin-starred restaurants in Athens:
Led by chef Angelos Lantos and boasting 2 Michelin stars, Spondi is probably the most acclaimed restaurant in Athens. It’s housed in a beautiful neoclassical building in the neighborhood of Pangrati that features a charming outdoor terrace.
Hytra Restaurant and Bar is hidden in plain sight on the 6th and 7th floor of the Onassis Stegi Foundation, very close to the famous neighborhood of Plaka. The top floor offers magnificent views of the Acropolis to make your meal even more satisfying.
Scouting Athens for an inexpensive restaurant does not necessarily mean that you will have to compromise quality as well.
In fact, some of the cheaper places to eat in Athens actually have the reputation of providing the most authentic experience and serving the most delicious food.
It all comes down to having the local insight and knowing exactly where to eat in Athens.
There are plenty of budget-friendly restaurants in Athens. Granted, not all of them deserve the attention they get from online platforms and the media.
Worry not, however, first-time visitors. We are here to help.
No matter which neighborhood you choose to stay in or what streets you are roaming, you will always be able to find a place that serves delicious Greek food at low prices to sate your hunger and recharge your batteries.
Below you will find our recommendations for the most popular cheap restaurants in Athens:
Cinque Wine and Deli Bar
Although not technically a restaurant but more of a deli Cinque Wine and Deli Bar’s delicious cheeses, smoked meat, traditional Greek tapas, homemade desserts, and a long list of local wines will not leave you disappointed. Cinque Wine and Deli Bar is a fine wine tasting spot located in the heart of the city of Athens.
This restaurant’s name is as simple as the food it serves. Located at the foot of Lycabettus Hill, just a few minutes away from Evangelismos metro station, 5F is one of the most beloved, budget-friendly, traditional Greek restaurants in Athens.
Situated in the heart of Athens, right between Thisseio, Monastiraki, and Syntagma Square, All that Jatz is a funky, cheap restaurant that will give you the chance to taste all the popular local delicacies at the best prices.
Greek cuisine is internationally known for its use of fresh seasonal ingredients, colorful herbs and spices, delicious vegetables, and excessive use of meat of all kinds.
What many travelers do not know, however, is that there are numerous dishes that are meat-free and dairy-free that are an indispensable part of the classic Mediterranean diet.
Contrary to popular belief, these are far from frowned upon by locals.
Apart from the famous souvlaki and moussaka and all the other well-known local treats that include meat, Greek cuisine also features countless options and dishes that are vegan and vegetarian.
Similarly, Athens might be full of restaurants that specialize in said classic recipes but -especially during the past few years- the city has been overtaken by places that exclusively serve vegan and vegetarian food.
Below we will list our top picks for the best vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Athens that will show you the ‘other side’ of Greek gastronomy:
As the name suggests, Vegan Beat is a vegan restaurant that serves healthy Mediterranean-style snacks, vegan street food-like treats, and fresh juices right in the heart of Athens, only a few minutes away from Monastiraki Square.
Located in the popular and hip neighborhood of Psirri, Bandiera is a vegetarian-friendly restaurant that offers visitors the chance to taste traditional Greek cuisine in a healthy and meat-free way. It also offers a lot of vegan options.
Address: Taki 19 Psirri, Athens 10554 Greece (Map)
Telephone: +30 697 726 1279
Indian Haveli is one of the best Asian cuisine restaurants in Athens, located only a few minutes away from Acropolis and the Acropolis metro station in Plaka. It serves Indian cuisine and the majority of the dishes on the menu are vegetarian or vegan.
Address: Leof. Andrea Siggrou 12, Athens 117 42 Greece (Map)
Telephone: +30 21 0924 4522
Tips and Useful Information About Restaurants in Athens
Here you will find answers to the most common and frequently asked questions regarding restaurants in Athens as well as some of our most useful tips on wine and dining in the Greek capital.
What should I eat in Athens?
There are always plenty of options and several traditional dishes you have to try in Athens, but you really should not leave before trying the traditional Greek salad, Moussaka, Souvlaki and a few of the popular “mezedes”.
Where do locals eat in Athens?
Eating out is very common in Athens. Athenians usually prefer restaurants for a more formal meal or dinner and a cafeneon or mezedopoleion for a quick bite and a refreshing drink that are occasionally paired with live music.
Is food cheap in Greece?
Food in Greece is quite cheap compared to most European countries. You can expect to spend around 10 euros per person in an inexpensive restaurant and up to 40 euros per person in a high-end, expensive restaurant.
Can you drink the tap water in Athens?
Yes. Tap water in Athens and in most areas of Greece is absolutely safe to drink.
Is it customary to tip in Greece?
Yes. There is no exact amount that you should tip your waiters as a percentage of the bill as is the case with other countries, but a tip is almost always expected and generally welcomed.
What do they eat in Greece for breakfast?
A Greek breakfast may consist of various things, depending on one’s tastes. For example, a typical Greek breakfast could include bread, pastries, marmalade, honey, fresh juices, cheese, sandwiches, cold cuts, or traditional pies like the popular cheese pie or ‘tiropita’.
What time is dinner in Athens?
Athenians -and Greeks in general- prefer to have dinner quite later than most Europeans. Typically, dinner time in Athens is around 9 or 10 pm.
What is the main meal of the day in Greece?
Dinner is, in most cases, the main meal of the day in Greece. Most locals have a very light breakfast and lunch but go for a quite full dinner at around 9 or 10 pm.
What can you not eat in Greece?
There is nothing that is forbidden to eat in Greece. Local cuisine includes most of the popular foods that are consumed throughout Europe. However, the Greek diet is especially heavy on olive oil, herbs, cheese, vegetables, seafood, and meat – mostly pork, veal, chicken, and lamb.
Is Greek food healthy?
Yes! Greek cuisine and the Greek diet are widely considered to be among the most healthy in the world due to the use of virgin olive oil, fresh vegetables, fruit, seafood, unsaturated fats, and whole grains.
We hope that this guide will help you understand the restaurant scene in Athens and that you will enjoy our recommendations.
No matter what time of the year you choose to visit, choose one of the suggested restaurants in Athens above and you will not be disappointed.
In fact, we are already certain that you will be coming back for more.
A Quick Reminder:
Remember that BTI Athens Travel Guide is here to guide you with planning the perfect trip to Athens and help you every step along the way. If you didn’t found what you’re looking for, or need any recommendations about your trip to Athens, feel free to contact us and we will do our best to help you. Please be as more detailed as possible regarding your subject so as to help you better.
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