No visit to Greece would be complete without a stay in Athens and being the capital of Greece, let's face it, you're probably going to be in Athens at some point during your stay in Greece. Food is one of the most important things when traveling. Wasting money on terrible food can be disappointing and frustrating. So you can bet I'm going to do my research before eating somewhere.
The general guideline when traveling is you want to eat where most of the customers are locals not tourists, which is an indication that the food is good. However, I've ended up in unexpected places and have stood in front of restaurants and gone online to compare the reviews of the restaurants around me before making a decision on where to eat.
Usually, I have a general itinerary set up so I know where I'm going to be staying and will create a list of restaurants that are close to my accommodations and that have great reviews that won't break the bank. If you're anything like me you're not looking for a $50 steak to eat while on vacation.
I've been to Athens dozens of times and these are some of the restaurants that have never disappointed me time and time again.
3 Platia Agion Anargiron, Athens 105 54, Greece
At Jordani is in the Psirri area of downtown Athens. It was probably the best or one of the best meals we had in all of Greece. The food was absolutely delicious and the service was great as well. If you go for lunch they have what's called magirefta which means home-style food your mother would typically make if you were Greek. The food is precooked and you get to look at it and choose what you'd like to eat and they then plate it for you. For dinner they have a menu for you to order off of. I prefer the variety of options the dinner menu offers. We ate here twice and tried two other times but we came too late on the third visit and the fourth time they were closed for vacation in August, as many Greek businesses are.
Fast food, Mediterranean, Greek
5 Pentelis | Syntagma, Athens 10560, Greece
If you're looking for a quick bite then O Kostas is your place. Their kalamaki (pork skewer) in a pita is delicious. I would get two because more is always better. You have to go early, unless you want to end up disappointed like we did the first time we came around 4PM only to find they had already closed. They open at 9:30 AM and are open until they sell out, so if you're planning on going, plan to go for lunch and not on Greek time at 2PM or 3PM, but more like 1PM.
East Pearl Chinese Restaurant
Chinese, Asian, Vegetarian Friendly
Apollonos 2 & Nikis, Athens 105 57, Greece
I love Asian food, and since I'm usually in Greece for a month or two, at some point I end up wanting to eat something other than just Greek food. Athens has the most options for international cuisine in Greece and the Chinese food here was amazing. We ate at East Pearl two days in a row, and if we had come here for lunch, instead of dinner on our first visit, I have no shame in admitting we would have eaten it again for dinner that same day. I don't think you can go wrong with anything you order here.
Ta Karamanlidika tou Fani
Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Greek
Sokrates 1 | & Evripidou 52, Athens 105 52, Greece
This was the first meal we had once we had finished settling in to our room and it was a great treat after a 10 hour flight. Their sausages are great and it was nice to try a bunch of different ones and compare which one was our favourite. While you wait for your food you can look at the deli counter and take in the view of all the delicious looking meats that make you even hungrier than you were when you walked in.
Bakery, Greek, Fast food, Vegetarian Friendly
Voulis 10, Athens, Greece
Ariston was our go to breakfast place. They have so many delicious pies that it's hard to decide which to get. They are all around 2 euros each and I can bet if you're in Athens for more than a day you'll be back to try something else. The tiropita (cheese pie) and spanakopita (spinach pie) were my two favourite.
Mediterranean, Greek, European
26 Mitropoleos, Athens 105 63, Greece
We came to Ergon around 5PM on our way back from the beach, and we had the place to ourselves. We had a melintzanosalata (eggplant dip) that was to die for. We came back from Greece a few days later and the first thing I did was go and buy eggplants and look up a recipe for melintzanosalata. They have a variety of great Greek food and the vibe and decor inside is very stylish.
Aiolou 21, Athens 105 63, Greece
We ended up eating here one night because it was directly below our Airbnb, and loving Asian food it was too tempting not to try. This place is great for a midnight snack. You get to choose all your ingredients and essentially create your own dish. First they have a selection of noodles to choose from then you decide what type of sauce you'd like and what else you'd like in it, like crispy onion, cashews, cilantro and about a dozen other options you can choose from. For such a cheap price you simply can't go wrong eating here.
I usually end up visiting Greece every year and the first thing I can't wait to do is eat. I might be biased being Greek, but I love Greek food and there's nothing like eating a bunch of mezedes (appetizers) in Greece.
Now go and get yourself some elastic-waist pants and prepare to pig out in Athens. If you don't pack on at least a few pounds while in Greece you're doing something wrong.
Have any other restaurants you've tried in Athens and absolutely loved? Or if you've tried of any of my recommendations, let me know what you think.
Don't forget to follow me on Instagram, and subscribe to my blog so you don't miss any of my posts.