A Foodie’s Guide to Eating in _____ is a delicious series exploring blogger’s favorite foodie cities! Each month, we’ll highlight a different city known for it’s culinary prowess, and hit the streets on search for best foods they have to offer. This month we travel to Athens, Greece with Maro from Akamatra as she shares her best tips for eating in Athens.
Eating Your Way Around the Ancient City
When you think of eating in Athens, I bet the first thing that pops in your mind is souvlaki, right? Or maybe it’s ancient gods and big fat weddings. Well, you are not far off but you need to think twice if your only food fantasy is souvlaki.
Athens is actually a very diverse and colorful city when it comes to food. It’s probably because of its geographical place. It has influences from all over! The Mediterranean, the East and the West all meet up and make Athens a very interesting foodie city.
You can find everything your heart desires here. From the traditional Greek plates cooked with olive oil and fresh veggies, to the more sophisticated European and International cuisines, you will never run out of places to eat.
That’s why we love it so much here. As a family we like to eat healthy food and stay away from junk and eating out in Athens isn’t hard for us. There is always a healthy alternative. And if I want to treat my sweet tooth, then I can do it too!
Eating in Athens
When eating in Athens you must try the souvlaki, after all it’s still on your mind from the first paragraph right? Now, there are many (like hundreds) of great places to eat souvlaki throughout the city. In fact there’s one shop every five steps you take. But the best place to enjoy this street food treat if you are in the center of Athens is Thanasis (Mitropoleos str. 69). I have been eating there with my family since I was a little kid and I can tell you in all honesty the recipe is always the same and always delicious!
If you want to truly taste the local cuisine then you need to try one of the many small home-cooking restaurants around the city. These are not your large corporate restaurant, rather they are small family owned businesses that tend to the locals. It’s always a treat eating there because the food tastes like your mom made it. Well, a Greek mom. Try Manas Kouzina (Aiolou str. 27) and Paradosiako (Apollonos str. 4), both excellent choices for this kind of food.
A place you need to try if you want to taste a special mixture of healthy but savory and an all-around friendly service is Makalo (Nikis str. 23). This is a small funky restaurant with a catalog designed to make you drool. Don’t miss the chance to try their daily pie (I am salivating just thinking about them!) and the soup of the day! They will listen to your every wish and make it come true. Like not overcooking your salmon or going easy on the salt. Did I mention they are kid and pet friendly? It’s one of our favorite things to do in Athens with a toddler!
If you have a sweet tooth like I do, be warned. You WILL end up eating all the desserts! Don’t miss the chance to try loukoumades (fried pancakes short of) with honey and cinnamon. You will need to lick your fingertips later! Then stroll around Nancy’s sweet home in Psirri square and treat yourselves to a juicy chocolate cake. Want more? There are a lot of amazing ice cream shops throughout Athens. A great choice is Da Vinci Gelato (Adrianou str. 50) with a number of mouthwatering tastes to choose from. You will go back for more.
You will have no problem finding a place to eat well in Athens if you want to eat international style. There are many sushi shops, Chinese and western type of joints. And if you are vegetarian you need to try the restaurant Avocado (Nikis str. 30).
Just a walk around town will reveal how food loving Greeks really are!
- Don’t miss your chance to taste the real frappe coffee in the place it was discovered!
- Have a cheese pie for breakfast from Ariston (Voulis str. 10). You are welcome.
- Get some pasteli (sesame bar), olive oil and herbs as souvenirs to take to your loved ones back home.
- Be sure to make a stop at Athen’s Central Market for a look at their wet market and a bite at one of the many restaurants in the alleys and surrounding areas (the fish is so fresh, many will buy it directly from the market when you order!)
I hope you’ll like eating in Athens!