Don't you just love it when you stumble unto a "hidden gem" in a very busy city? Well, that' just what you'll feel when you go to Anapsikitiro. Tucked away beside a convenience store in Psiri—one of Athens' neighborhoods worth visiting—with only a half-open door to tell you it's there, this Greek "secret kitchen" is a family-owned establishment. Relying on recipes passed down from generation to generation, they offer a different, slightly familial spin on Greek cuisine that you won't find in any other restaurant in the city.
With its rusting pinewood decor and furnishing, Athinaikon very much looks like a hang-out for artists, writers, philosophers, and the like. And that's not far from the truth! For years, this local favorite has been an escape for bold new ideas but also, more importantly, a monument to culinary excellence. From their scrumptious crab coquettes to their savory grilled sardines, this is where seafood lovers in the city will get their best fill. You can bet they use the freshest ingredients too!
If you're in the mood for a hearty Greek meal, Díporto is one of your best bets. The name itself refers to the two doors you'll see in the Varvakeios area, which will lead you down a rustic cellar and into a slightly intimate space that serves up salads, soups, meats, and more. Sure, ambiance-wise, it can use a major redecorating, but the food is enough to keep you satisfied and coming back for more. It's a nice little retreat every lunch and dinnertime.
Despite its rather gimmicky name, the Funky Gourmet is anything but funky in terms of its elegant ambiance and delectable concoctions. Experimenting is the name of the game as the chefs in this rather swanky establishment combines all types of tastes and flavors together to come up with unique dishes for an equally unique culinary experience. Sweet and savory, spicy, and sour—a whole host of flavors come together and burst out in your mouth as you enjoy watching the Mediterranean sunset.
Source: Funky Gourmet Facebook Page
Good luck getting a seat at Kitsoulas Taverna! It's become a huge favorite among many locals, even becoming a lunch mainstay during the weekend. Founded in 1946, the place has fed many generations of Athenians in the past decades. And once you taste any of their flavorful dishes, you'll realize why it's often so crowded here! They really take to heart the richness of Greek cuisine here, offering up sauce-filled dishes or spiced-up delicacies so that you'll no longer need a dessert to end up satisfied!
Source: Kitsoulas Taverna Facebook Page
Now, if you're talking about old-school favorites in the Greek capital, Klimataria also takes the cake! Established in 1927, it's become a culinary monument in the city, a must-try for anyone going here for the first time. What's their specialty? Pies and potatoes! Mediterraneans sure love them, and no other place prepared such dishes quite like this prominent establishment. An onion pie with a side of homemade mashed potatoes may seem simple, but here, it's a feast in of itself!
Source: Klimataria Facebook Page
Now, how about something sweet for a change? Greek yogurt isn't the only type of dessert worth trying out whilst in Athens. You must have a few loukoumades as well! What are they, you ask? Well, they're Greek donuts, fried to fluffy perfections, and drizzled with homemade honey or sprinkled with cinnamon or powdered sugar. At least, that's how they serve them here at Lukumades, the go-to shop for this sweet treat. They're the perfect after-meal antidote to a hearty Greek dish or afternoon comfort food!
Don't think that all of Athen's culinary hotspots are taverns and family-owned diners. The Greek capital also has its fair share of fine-dining establishments that define luxury. Take Orizontes, for instance. Perched atop Lycabettus Hill, it gives you a stunning view of Athens, complete with the famous Acropolis and a horizon lined with the Aegean Sea. As for the menu, Greek delicacies that will fill your tummy and pair well with their finest reds! Not too shabby, right?
Speaking of restaurants with stunning views, Strofi also doesn't disappoint. A roof terrace place that views a beautiful view of the iconic Parthenon, it's the type of romantic hotspot suitable for a honeymooning couple. In fact, if you decide to propose to your significant other whilst dining here, there's a high chance you'll get an enthusiastic yes! Food-wise, they don't hold back with the meats here, particularly their famous roast lamb stuffed with Greek cheese. Now that's the stuff!
Source: Strofi Facebook Page
Finally, there's To Koutouki Tou Thoma. It's another tavern, the kind you'd expect here in the Greek capital, but this time, their selection of wines are just as noteworthy as their authentic Greek menu. Because what's a hearty dish without a strong red to help you down it in one full gulp? If you want a complete meal and an undeniably authentic Greek culinary experience, this place should be at the top of your list!
Source: To Koutouki Tou Thoma
Athens undeniably has its own flavor when it comes to the culinary scene. Sure, it's not considered a food capital like those other European cities, but you can still find a good many places that will tantalize your taste buds here!
The only perfect end to a night of fine Greek cuisine is to come home to a luxurious Athens apartment! Choose one as your accommodation for your stay here!