Looking for the best Athens restaurants? You’ve come to the right place!
Greek food is as much of a highlight of a trip to Greece as seeing the magnificent Parthenon or wandering through the narrow streets of Plaka. The Greek capital has a little something for every type of foodie.
Although it may not seem it at first glance, Athens is quite the gourmand. There is everything here from high-end restaurants and Michelin-starred eateries to homely tavernas where dishes are prepared just like yiayia used to make.
Contrary to popular belief, Greek food is far more than just moussaka, souvlaki, and meat dishes. Even if you follow a vegetarian/vegan diet or you struggle with food intolerance, you will be able to find plenty of places that accommodate you here.
This guide to the best restaurants in Athens was written by someone who has lived in Athens for four years. It has been divided into categories based on restaurant type.
- 1 Where to Eat in Athens
- 2 The Best Restaurants in Athens, Greece
- 3 Fine Dining Restaurants in Athens, Greece
- 4 Best Restaurants in Athens:Homely Greek Tavernas
- 5 Athenian Seafood Tavernas
- 6 The Best Restaurants in Athens Greece: Dessert Places
- 7 Dining Etiquette in Greece
Where to Eat in Athens
You could quite safely say that there is no such thing as a “bad” Athenian restaurant. Greeks pride themselves on their cuisine.
Yes, there are a handful of “touristic” restaurants in places like Thissio and Plaka that serve simple dishes at inflated prices. However, these are in the minority.
You could wander around any Athenian suburb, step inside any taverna that takes your fancy, and have a great experience. Wherever you visit, you will leave feeling that the meal you enjoyed inside was one of the best you’ve ever tried.
From the backstreets of quirky Koukaki to the gritty exteriors of Exarchia. The best meals can be found in some of the most unsuspecting places.
The Best Restaurants in Athens, Greece
The best Athens restaurants have been divided into the below sections. This will help you decide on what restaurants to visit, depending on what you’re specifically looking for.
- Athens seafood restaurants
- Homely Athenian tavernas
- Fine dining restaurants in Athens
- Charming charcuterie places
- Indulgent dessert spots
- Take out and Greek comfort food
- International cuisine in Greece
Fine Dining Restaurants in Athens, Greece
You don’t have to spend a small fortune in order to enjoy good food. However, if you want to treat yourself to something a little extra special during your Athens itinerary, there are plenty of excellent places where you can do so.
Athens is home to four Michelin star restaurants. There are also a plethora of highly-regarded eateries here that are operated by globally renowned chefs.
Where: Akti Koumoundourou 52, Piraeus 104 35,
Varoulko is a local favourite among seafood lovers. Here, the day’s latest catches are served fresh in a beautiful seafront setting.
Varoulko has a Michelin star, and the menu serves predominantly seafood. The main dishes vary from day to day depending on what has been caught.
The wine list contains an extensive selection of Greek and international wines. Homemade dessert at Varoulko should not be missed, and the establishment’s sweet menu changes with the seasons.
Where: Vrasida 13, Athens, 11528
Head to Vassilenas if you want to treat yourself to lavish dining during your Athens vacation This is an exquisite fine dining restaurant that has been passed down through the generations of a local family for centuries.
Vassilenas prides itself on its selection of local wines and freshly sourced ingredients. The two aspects work together to offer a truly decadent menu that is so quintessentially Greek.
Vassilenas: The Oldest Restaurant in Athens
Vassilenas restaurant was named after its founder Thanasis Vassilenas. It has held the longstanding title of being the oldest restaurant in the city.
Locals and tourists alike would flock to Pireaus in their droves in order to sample the Vassilenas menu that had won such high acclaim. Even world-renowned celebrities, Politicians, and Movie Stars dined at Vassilenas.
This includes the likes of Sofia Loren, Winston Churchill, and T.S. Elliot. The initial Vassilenas site opened in Piraeus in 1920. It was relocated in 2016.
Despite the move, the establishment has not lost any of its charms. The new location is more central and easily accessible from Athens’ main tourist attractions.
The new Vassilenas restaurant has been designed by acclaimed Greek architects Andreas Kourkoulas and Maria Kokkinou. The site boasts a contemporary, artistic vibe that makes way for a new era of Vassilenas fans and celebrities.
Visitors can opt to enjoy a la carte dining or seasonal lunch menus. Meanwhile, the resident Sommelier will suggest the perfect wine pairing to complement your dishes.
Byzantino Restaurant, Hilton Hotel
Where: Leof. Vasilissis Sofias 46, Athina 115 28
The Byzantino restaurant sits on the ground floor of the Hilton Hotel Athens. It has long been a beloved rendezvous point among the Athenian elite.
The restaurant’s unique menu offerings have been lovingly designed and prepared by the establishment’s award-winning Greek chefs. The menu here boasts traditional Greek classics with contemporary and international twists.
Think sumptuous pasta masata from Folegandros prepared with marinated beef, black truffles, mushrooms, and kefalotiri cheese. Dinners at the Byzantino restaurant are well worth the price tag.
Where: Eleas Gi Restaurant, Kifisia 145 63
A big part of travelling is to be found in uncovering a country’s food culture. In Athens, the perfect place to do that is at Eleas Gi in upscale Kifissia.
Order an Eleas Gi Tasting Menu
The highlight of Eleas Gi is the tasting menus which enable patrons to sample a large number of classic dishes. Depending on your appetite, opt to sample a selection of 14 or 24 dishes that highlight the very best of Greek cuisine.
Envisage exquisite marinated meat dishes like beef tagliata, and succulent smoked gyros served with melted metsovone cheese. You can ask the in-house Sommelier to suggest the perfect wine pairings for the various tasting menus.
Food aside, Eleas Gi is renowned for its scenic terraces. From up here, you have incredible views over downtown Athens. Reservations are highly recommended, especially on Friday and Saturday nights.
Sense Restaurant, AthensWas Hotel
Where: Dionysiou Areopagitou 5, Athens 117 42
The Parthenon is so close that it seems as though you can reach out and touch it. Sense is a great place to visit for either dinner or evening drinks.
Sense’s menu changes according to the season. The food is prepared with excellent quality ingredients that are locally sourced, and everything is prepared in-house.
Take Your Tastebuds on an Adventure Across Greece
The menu options showcase various specialty fishes from different regions of Greece. This enables your tastebuds to go on an adventure all over Greece – even if your schedule only allows you enough time to see Athens.
Start with a refreshing summer “bostani” salad from Limnos island and some flavourful Greek mushroom cabbage rolls. A slow-cooked cockerel breast served “barduniotiko” style is a great choice for your main dish.
Meanwhile, a traditional cake from Lefkada island is the perfect finale. Once the plates are cleared, finish your evening with a strong Greek coffee.
Where: Falirou 10, Athina 117 42, Greece
Mani Mani is undoubtedly one of the best restaurants in Athens. It is loved by locals and tourists alike. Mani Mani brings unique flavours to the Athens restaurant scene.
The eatery focuses on delicacies from the Mani region of Peloponnese, Greece. Enjoy wines from Lakonia, cheese from Gythio, and meats from Areopolis as you take your taste buds on an adventure across the country.
Where: Pirronos 5, Athina 116 36, Greece
Spondi has been an important face on the Athenian fine dining scene since its opening in 1996. It regularly appears on shortlists of the best restaurants in the world.
This establishment is the proud owner of two Michelin stars. Spondi offers an interesting fusion between Mediterranean and French cuisine.
The chefs here combine ingredients that appear to be obscure pairings. However, somehow, they just work. Portions are hearty and generous, and the hospitality of the service staff is second to none.
There is an extensive selection of Greek, French, and Italian wines on the menu. A resident Sommelier can help you decide upon the perfect wine choice for your dish.
Spondi has had something of a cult following since its opening in 1996. It was established by Apostolos Trastelis.
The atmosphere and the setting of the restaurant are every bit as sophisticated and elegant as the menu. It is advisable to make an advance reservation, particularly at weekends.
Where: Chatzigianni Mexi 2, Athina 115 28
Cookoovaya is a Michelin-starred eatery that has captured the hearts of hundreds of locals and visitors. It is the brainchild of Manos Zournatzis and five other respected Greek chefs.
This charming restaurant focuses on classic Greek recipes and the concept of enjoying home-cooked meals just like yiayia (grandma) used to make. Cookoovaya is the Greek word for “owl”.
In Greek culture, owls are often used to display wisdom and knowledge. In Cookoovaya, the symbol is used to demonstrate precisely how much the chefs here know about their trade.
Everything on the menu is prepared on-site. Bread, condiments, pasta, pastries, ice creams, and practically everything else you can think of is prepared fresh on the day of serving.
Galaxy Restaurant, Hilton Hotel
Where: Leof. Vasilissis Sofias 46, Athina 115 28
The Galaxy Restaurant & Bar is one of the best rooftop bars in Athens. This is the place to go if you want to enjoy your dinner with an Acropolis view.
The diverse Galaxy restaurant menu boasts an array of flavourful dishes from around the globe. Think fresh hand-rolled sushi inspired by Japanese cuisine, tapas-style entrees from Spain, and rich Italian pasta.
The Galaxy Restaurant is perched atop the elegant Hilton hotel. The atmosphere here is particularly special at night.
Head into the sleek lounge area after dinner and have the bartenders whisk you up an old-fashioned or a bitter negroni. The Galaxy Lounge is a perfect starting point for a wider night out in Athens.
Where: Paramythias 13, Salaminos, Athina 104 35
Funky Gourmet is the proud owner of two Michelin stars. The eatery is situated in a scenic neoclassical building in Keramikos.
As the name suggests, the innovative restaurant boasts creative interpretations of classic gourmet dishes. You can order a standard meal or to sample Funky Gourmet’s 14-course tasting menu.
Avocado Vegetarian Restaurant
Where: Nikis 30, Athina 105 57
Avocado is one of the best restaurants in Athens for veggies, vegans, and anyone with some kind of dietary restrictions. Avocado’s innovative menu offers both Greek food and a range of foods inspired by international cuisines.
What to Expect at Avocado
Asian, Middle Eastern, and Mexican-inspired dishes can all be found on the menu. The dishes here are a little on the pricier side.
You can expect to pay around €20 euros per person. However, the food is of excellent quality, and the portions are large. You will often find that you have to take half of your meal back home and have enough for lunch the next day!
It is advisable to reserve a table if you want to eat at Avocado. The restaurant does get very busy, especially at weekends.
Where: Leof. Andrea Siggrou 107-109, Athina 117 45
Stylish Hytra is a Michelin-starred Athenian restaurant on top of the Onassis Cultural Centre. It is worth coming up here for the views alone.
On a clear day, you can see all the way out to Piraeus and the Saronic Gulf islands.
Hytra’s Chef Chef Tassos Manti prepares an ever-changing menu of Greek recipes that have an innovative twist. Tasting platters and degustation menus are also available with prices starting from around €50 per person.
Many festivals and live music events are hosted at Onassis Cultural Centre during the summer months. If you are lucky, you may catch an evening of music and dance alongside your dinner at Hytra.
Best Restaurants in Athens:
Homely Greek Tavernas
There are few experiences more quintessentially Greek than dining at a taverna. Here you can share meze platters with your friends, and sip ouzo as folk music plays over loudspeakers.
Tavernas are in plentiful supply across Greece. Not to mention, tavernas and mezedopoleios are among the best places to eat homecooked traditional food.
Some of the best-loved local tavernas in Athens are detailed below. A few of them are located a little way out of the city centre. However, they are well worth the journey.
Where: Epicharmou 1, Athina 105 58, Greece
Plaka is arguably the most touristic district in Plaka. Day and night, the bars and restaurants here are crowded with tourists. They spill out onto the streets as they drink ouzo and participate in Zorbas dancing.
A Hidden Local Favourite
However, among the tourist places, there are those hidden establishments that the locals have kept for themselves. To Kafeneio is one such example.
Its location is very central. Yet this cosy local haunt is tucked away down an alleyway.
You would completely bypass this passageway unless you knew what was down there. Consequently, most people that visit Plaka are not even aware of To Kafeneio’s existence.
This is the place to visit if you want a real taverna experience in Athens. Sink into one of the restaurant’s snuggly oversized armchairs and order up a glass of warm honey wine (oinomelo) and a selection of mezes.
Where: Tripodon 14, Athina 105 56, Greece
Scholarchio is a central Athens eatery that has been adored by Athenians for generations. The restaurant’s official name is “Scholarchio”. However, locals have given this place the nickname “Kouklis”.
The specialties here are the “flaming” sausages and trout. Both dishes are well worth a try. Wash it all down with an iced glass of ouzo served neat over ice.
Kebabtzidikon Kir Aristos
Where: Zisimopoulou 96, Paleo Faliro
Kebabtzidikon Kir Aristos is an Athens institution. It can be found in the upscale coastal district of Paleo Faliro and despite being a little out of the centre, is well worth travelling out to.
As the name suggests, Kir Aristos specialises in kebabs and meat dishes. Their yoghurtlu kebab is to die for.
This dish has Ottoman roots and consists of beef and lamb kofte kebabs served in fresh tomato sauce, Greek yoghurt, and herbs. The cheese-stuffed keftedes: homemade burger patties filled with melted cheese, are just as sumptuous and sinful.
Portions here are huge. This is a great place to come with friends and share an array of meat dishes, fresh salads, kolokithokeftedes and fresh fried potatoes topped with fresh tomato sauce and cheese.
Where: Theatrou 2, Athina 105 52, Greece
It would be wrong to say that every central restaurant in Athens was a tourist trap. Diporto proves exactly that.
This “secret” underground Athenian restaurant was established in 1887. Stepping inside feels almost like being transported back in time.
Diporto: A No-Frills Working Class Taverna
Diporto has no entrance sign and no menu. You would be forgiven for walking straight past it and not even noticing the restaurant was there!
Diporto is set inside a basement close to the Athens Central Market (Varvakios Agora). It is renowned for its warm, hearty soups that are particularly refreshing during winter in Athens.
Wine barrels line the walls of Diporto and are filled with a vast array of retsinas and locally sourced wines. You may be expected to share a table with locals and be served carafes of wine directly from the barrel.
Diporto is the perfect example of a working-class Greek taverna. Eating here is sure to be one of the most memorable dining experiences during your Greece itinerary.
Where: Keramikou 49, Athina 104 36, Greece
Metaxourgio may well be one of the most underrated neighbourhoods in all of Athens. A less than desirable reputation proceeds this area.
However, in recent years, Metaxourgio has emerged as an up-and-coming creative district. Some of the best street art in town can be found here.
If you find yourself meandering through the streets of Metaxourgio and admiring the politically charged street art, make time to stop by Seychelles. Seychelles can be found at the corner of Keramikou and Academou where it faces Avdi Square.
Order a Variety of Meze Dishes at Seychelles
This is one of the very best meze places in Athens. It is set inside an adorable 19th-century building and serves dishes that are prepared with fresh produce from across Greece.
One of the highlights of eating here is the open kitchen. You can sit and watch as Seychelles’ expert chefs prepare your dishes with love and care.
The menu is creative and seasonal. This is one of the best places for lunch in Athens.
The daily specials are an innovative mix. Think octopus cooked in red wine and served on creamed peas or chickpea salad with fresh mint and feta.
Where: Str. Kontouli 15, Athina 117 42
Sphḗka is a charming mezedopoleio restaurant in the heart of Koukaki. A mezedopoleio is a place that specialises in “small plates” (mezes). This is essentially the Greek answer to the tapas bar.
Sphḗka: Live Music and Meze Dishes
Little dishes of split peas, fasolakia, tzatziki, and other sharing plates can be ordered and shared among friends. Homemade classics such as moussaka (Greece’s national dish) and pastitsio also make an appearance on Sphḗka’s menu.
Everything here is very reasonably priced. Generous mixed grills and sharing platters are among Sphḗka’s highlights.
These enable you to try lots of different dishes at once without committing to huge plates. As you pay to leave, you will be given a lovely warm glass of their homemade rakomelo.
Spheka is one of the best restaurants in Athens for the ambiance, not just the food. On certain nights of the week, live musicians perform here.
The taverna gets very busy on Friday and Saturday nights. Be sure to make a reservation if there are a few of you.
Where: Arrianou 31, Athina 116 35
Mavro Provato (“Black Sheep” in Greek) is a popular little spot on the outskirts of Pagrati. Since the restaurant opened up two years ago, it has quickly acquired something of a cult following in the Greek capital.
Classic Food with a Contemporary Twist
The eatery focuses on traditional dishes with a contemporary modern twist. You can opt to order main dishes and appetizers, or a selection of mezes.
If you opt for the latter, you can enjoy the quintessentially Greek fava bean puree, with warm homemade bread, and bouyiourdi (baked halloumi with veggies). Order the restaurant’s own take on giouvetsi – sumptuous braised beef that was flavoured with cinnamon and red sauce.
You will be treated to some complimentary Cretan raki and a small snack platter as you browse the menu. This place comes highly recommended – even if you have to wait a short while for a table.
Avli Psiri Restaurant
Where: Agiou Dimitriou 12, Athens
Avli Psiri restaurant is one of the best options in Central Athens if you want to enjoy the ambiance of a traditional Greek taverna. This is a homely little place that is always packed full of locals. It is located just a short walk away from the Acropolis in Athens’ Psiri district.
Avli Psiri is special because it is somewhat secret and “hidden” from view. Avli translates to “the backyard” which is a perfectly fitting name for this cute place.
The taverna is situated in a tiny little piazza that is tucked away down one of the graffiti-filled backstreets of Psiri. You can find all of your quintessential taverna foods here.
Keftedakia meatballs served with potatoes, sausage, and onion casseroles (spetzofai), and meat-filled dolmas adorn the menu. All service comes with a smile, and old Greek folk songs play out over the speakers as you eat.
ΡΕΜΟΥΤΣΙΚΟ ΨΗΤΟΠΩΛΕΙΟ (Remoutsiko)
Where: Leof. Agiou Dimitriou 120, Ag. Dimitrios 173 41
Remoutsiko is a lively traditional tavern that is such a hit among locals that it requires an advanced reservation most days of the week. The taverna plays host to live bands and musicians who perform in the restaurant’s charming courtyard.
Marinated meats and steaks are grilled over open spits. The tender cooked beef and pork dishes here are among the best you will find in town.
Remoutsiko is located in Athens’ Agios Dimitrios district. This is just fifteen minutes away from the city centre, and well worth the journey for the wonderful food.
If you arrive and find that you have to wait a while for a table, you will be treated to free wine at the bar. Perfect!
Athenian Seafood Tavernas
Psaras Fish Tavern
Where: Erotokritou 12, Athina 105 56
The Psaras Fish Tavern in Plaka is arguably the very best place for eating seafood dishes in central Athens. The tavern was established in the 1800s.
Today, it is a popular haunt with locals and tourists alike. During the busy summer months, the patrons and tables of the restaurant occupy the entirety of the nearby Erotokritou street square.
The owners of Psaras have expanded and diversified their menu in recent years. So, today you can find far more on offer here than just fish dishes.
A lot of the charm of the Psaras Fish Tavern is owed to its location. The restaurant is situated in an old neoclassical mansion.
The structure looks incredibly decadent and grand from the outside. However, the inside of Psaras feels as though you are sitting in someone’s living room. Psaras is decorated with rustic wooden furnishings and antique trinkets.
Where: Emmanouil Benaki 38, Athina 106 78
Ouzeri Lesvos is a fish taverna and ouzeria that specialises in food from Lesvos island. This is a favourite spot among locals and visitors from Lesvos.
In fact, most of the time you will look around and find that you are surrounded by people from the island who are visiting their family and friends in Athens. What better assurance do you need that their Lesvos cuisine is excellent and authentic?
Exarchia is Athens’ alternative neighbourhood. It does not have the best reputation.
However, the area possesses something of a rugged, edgy charm. People often trek across the city to Exarchia, purely to dine at Ouzeria Lesvos.
Delicatessens and Charcuterie Spots
There are many kinds of cheese and types of cold-cut meats that are native to Greece. Many of these are “products of designated origin” and cannot be produced outside of the country.
Different regions of Greece have different specialty meats and cheeses. For instance, in Kerkyra (Corfu), you can enjoy Noumboulo Foumikado (Corfiot prosciutto).
In Metsovo, you can tuck into locally produced metsovone, metsovella, and graviera cheeses. Fortunately, there are several charcuterie spots in Athens that sell treats from across the country.
So, you don’t have to travel to far-reaching areas of Greece! Several of them also sell products that you can purchase to take home and prepare in your self-catered accommodation or give to friends and family as Greek souvenirs.
Where: Evripidou 45, Athina 105 54
A visit to Miran is as much of a photo opportunity as it is a dining experience. The deli is situated on the colourful Evripidou street, close to Athens Central Market.
It would be hard to miss Miran with its cured meats and pastirma hanging in the doorway. Once you step inside, you will note that Miran is home to one of the largest selections of Mediterranean delicacies that you have ever laid your eyes on.
Countless cured meats, cheeses, dairy products, and homemade baked goods await behind the various counters. The vast selection can be daunting, but you can ask the servers for their expert recommendations.
The specialty of Miran is meats and dairy products sourced from the Kerkini region of Greece. The charcuterie boards are best washed down with a cool glass of house wine.
Where: Sokratous 1, Athina 105 52
Karamanlidika is a Greek deli and restaurant that sits across from Miran. This place has a more traditional taverna-style ambiance and a menu that boasts hearty dishes such as pasticcio and moussaka.
Many locals visit Karamanladika for their tasting platters. You can order a bespoke selection of cold cuts and local produce. Alternatively, select one of the preset options on the menu.
Karamanlidika’s menu focuses on food from the Thessaly region of Northern Greece. It is a very pleasant place to enjoy lunch and dinner as you dine to the background of old bouzouki music.
The Best Restaurants in Athens Greece:
Greek cuisine is not known for its desserts. However sweet tooths need not despair. There are plenty of wonderful patisseries and dessert spots scattered through Athens.
Nancy’s Sweet Home, Psyrri
Where: Pl. Iroon 1, Psyrri, Athens 105 54
Nancy’s Sweet Home is one of the best places to stop in Athens for pudding. This place combines decadent desserts with a cosy, homely atmosphere.
Here, all considerations for portion control go out of the window. Envisage giant slabs of chocolate cake that are three times the usual and are swimming in a sea of hot chocolate fudge.
Nancy’s Sweet Home attracts tourists and locals alike. It has an enviable corner location in Psiri.
Consider also stopping by the bakery next door to pick up some bougatsa, spanakopita, or other Greek pastry classics. If you stop by early in the morning, you will see the pastry chefs making bougatsa and swirling huge sheets of pastry around above their heads.
Le Greche Artisanal Ice Cream
Where: Mitropoleos 16, Athina 105 63
Few things are more refreshing on an Athenian summer day than cooling down with some homemade gelato. For most locals, La Greche is the go-to place for ice cream when they are in the city centre.
La Greche: An Art nouveau Gelateria
This art-nouveau artisanal gelato parlour is hidden away down a narrow alleyway that veers off from Athens’ central Syntagma square. All gelato and ice cream products here are made from scratch using high-quality, locally sourced ingredients.
La Greche’s creations use sweet wines from Santorini and Lemnos, cherries from Macedonia, ricotta cheese from Crete, figs from Kalamata, and dairy products from local farms. Better still, the owner trained beneath renowned Italian pastry and gelato chefs Iginio Massari and Francesco Palmieri.
Where: Aiolou 21, Athina 105 51, Greece
Lukumades is a picture-perfect urban dessert place in central Athens. Named after the traditional Greek doughnuts (loukoumades), the hip spot offers eclectic modern twists on the dessert.
The typical way to eat loukoumades is to cover them in a sinfully sweet honey syrup, a sprinkling of cinnamon, and some chopped nuts. However, at Lukumades, you can enjoy plenty of weird and wonderful interpretations of the dessert.
Envisage sinking your teeth into doughy delicious doughnuts topped with bavarian cream, chocolate pieces, and sprinkles. Yum!
Where: 32, Archelaou street, Athina 116 35
Ohh Boy is a coffee shop and dessert spot close to Evangelissmos metro station in Pagrati. This adorable Scandinavian-style bistro is perpetually crowded with remote workers and trendy Pagrati locals.
The decor and ambiance at Ohh Boy are more reminiscent of being on an island, rather than in the suburbs of Greece’s largest city. Charming white-painted tables and chairs adorn the sidewalk, and the interiors are decorated in a delightful shabby-chic style.
Ordering a hearty slab of cake or an indulgent slab of choco pie here comes with the assurance that everything is fresh. Cakes and pastries are cooked twice daily using only the freshest ingredients, many of which are organic.
Where: Andrea Metaxa 17, Athina 106 81
Sorolop is an excellent ice cream and pastry store located in the heart of punky Exarchia. You can of course find all of your favourite classic ice cream flavours here.
However, what makes Sorolop special is its array of quintessentially Greek ice creams prepared with mastiha, and other strong Greek alcohols and liqueurs. If you prefer to sink your teeth into a sweet Greek pastry, consider sampling Sorolop’s unique tsoureki sweet bread with raisins & cinnamon.
Dining Etiquette in Greece
Eating out in Greece is not all that different from dining out in most countries around the world. However, a few things that you may wish to consider when visiting restaurants and tavernas in Athens are detailed below
It is not customary to tip in Greece but tips are always appreciated. Even just leaving 50 cents or so makes a difference.
Some higher-end eateries may automatically add a 10% service charge. Greeks themselves usually just round up or leave a couple of coins.
Taking Food Home
If you cannot finish your meal, you will usually be able to have it boxed to take home with no problem. The only exception to this is some of the high-end restaurants which do not allow it for some reason.
A lot of tavernas and restaurants offer “full” portions and “half” portions for their dishes. Full portions are often monstrously huge and you could spend an entire week eating them.
“Half” portions are still pretty huge. These are sufficient for one person.
You can also order several “half” portions to share meze style at a tavern. If you’re dining alone and don’t see a half portion specified on the menu, just ask. Most places will prepare them for you.
Check the Prices
Always make a mental note of the prices when you order at an Athens restaurant. If you visit a tourist restaurant, it is not unheard of for the waiter to “add it up wrong” and charge you an incorrect higher price thinking that you won’t notice.
This is not common in Greece. But it can happen in restaurants around the Acropolis, Plaka, and other areas that are frequented by tourists.
Food Delivery in Athens
There are plenty of food delivery options available in Athens if you feel lazy after a long day of sightseeing or taking a day trip out of Athens. E-food and Wolt are the Greek answer to Uber Eats.
The e-food delivery service lets you order meals from tons of excellent local restaurants, tavernas, dessert places, and coffee shops. It is not just junk food and classic takeout.
The minimums for delivery are usually pretty low (think 5 euros or so) and delivery is typically free. You can order to hotel rooms or go and pick the food up from the eatery.
Greeks follow a Mediterranean schedule when it comes to dining. Depending on where you are coming from, their eating times may be a little later than what you are accustomed to.
Lunch is typically eaten between 15.00 and 16.30 pm. Most Greeks do not eat dinner until after 20.00.
However, it is not uncommon for locals to go out to eat as late as 22.00 pm. Many tavernas continue serving food until the early hours of the morning.
You do not have to follow a Mediterranean dining schedule when visiting the best restaurants in Athens detailed here. The majority of Athenian eateries are open all day.
Many places are accustomed to serving tourists who may wish to dine at different times than their Greek counterparts. That said, you should at least try and experience dining at a bustling Athenian taverna in the evening at least once.
Do you have any questions about this guide to the best restaurants in Athens? Don’t hesitate to contact me via the comments below.
I live in Athens (Pangrati) and will be happy to assist as best as I can. Safe travels! Geia sou! Melissa xo