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A restaurant exterior, with people seated at outdoor tables down a winding corridor in the sun
Outside Geros tou Moria
Geros tou Moria

The 34 Essential Athens Restaurants

Where to find avocado tzatziki, fried seafood in a cone, mutton burgers, and octopus candied with tsipouro in the Greek capital

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Outside Geros tou Moria
| Geros tou Moria

Every year, tourists travel to the Greek capital to hike up the Acropolis, browse countless museums, and seek out tans at nearby beaches. They also come for Greek cuisine, which builds many meals from three key ingredients: olive oil, wheat, and wine. Add in lots of vegetables, fruits, fish, and meat, and a philhellene could want nothing more.

But the Athenian food scene goes well beyond olives and bread. The capital has also long served as a gateway for the wider MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region. Athens has welcomed immigrants from Egypt, Turkey, Lebanon, and Syria, who combine their foodways with Greek ingredients and customs in fine dining to street food. In recent years, the city’s chefs have developed new genres of gourmet Greek cuisine, with influences from across the eastern Mediterranean and with help from an up-and-coming generation of cooks who cut their teeth in restaurants around the world. Even TV shows like MasterChef Greece have had a noticeable impact, driving interest in new dining options and highlighting industry talent.

Before COVID-19, the food scene in Athens (and all over Greece, really) was thriving. The country has generally managed the pandemic well, especially during the first wave, but COVID dampened that growth. The government moved quickly to shut down cities, including restaurants, and close borders. Some venues pivoted to takeaway; many closed permanently. But in May, after months with their doors closed, restaurants all over Greece reopened, first for outdoor dining, then indoor. The country quickly advertised itself as a safe vacation destination, and the tourism industry made a significant comeback. The capital even attracted some attention among visitors who normally head straight for the islands.

Exciting, classic, and Classical, the best Athens restaurants are here to serve you olives, bread, wine, and so much more.

Prices per person, excluding alcohol

$ = Less than 10 euros (less than $12 USD)

$$ = 11 - 29 euros ($13 to $34 USD)

$$$ = 30 - 49 euros ($35 to $58 USD)

$$$$ = More than 50 euros (more than $59 USD)

Note: The inclusion of restaurants offering dine-in service should not be taken as an endorsement for dining inside. Studies indicate a lower exposure risk to COVID-19 outdoors, but the level of risk is contingent on social distancing and other safety guidelines. Check with each restaurant for up-to-date information on dining offerings. For updated information on coronavirus cases in Greece, please visit the National Public Health Organization.

Demetrios Ioannou is an independent reporter and documentary photographer, based between Athens, Greece and Istanbul, Turkey. His work has been featured at The New York Times, NPR, POLITICO Europe, The Daily Beast and BBC Travel among others.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Hoocut

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Pl. Agias Irinis 9
Athina 105 63, Greece

At Hoocut, an A-Team of famous chefs (also behind Cookoovaya, on this list) aims to elevate souvlaki, the iconic Greek street food, with the best possible ingredients. Set inside a neoclassical building of the interwar period, a bakery, a butcher shop, and a grocery store provide the raw materials for the final product, which emerges from the main grill area. Finely chopped pieces of beef or mutton are wrapped in pita, while pork, chicken, and sausage are presented on open pita. And for those who don’t eat meat, Hoocut has a squid option, too. [$]

A cook slices a large pile of meat into chunks with a mezzaluna
Serious meat work at Hoocut
Alexandros Antoniadis

2. Feyrouz

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Καρόρη 23 και, Agathonos 1
Athina 105 51, Greece

Run by a family with roots in Antakya, Turkey, Feyrouz is named for its matriarch and mastermind in the kitchen (who has no relation to the famed Lebanese singer). Inspired by the Balkan food of Istanbul and broader Levantine traditions, the family utilizes local ingredients to make various types of lahmacun, peinirli, lots of soups (mahluta is a favorite with red lentils, fennel, pumpkin, and chicken broth), and many different salads. In 2019, the family opened a dessert spot across the street, where diners can end their meals with Turkish kanafeh. [$]

A couple sit at a window-side counter, drinking beers and eating pastries. The street and another blurred shop are visible out the windows
A couple enjoy a meal at Feyrouz
Chris Anagnostopoulos

3. Lukumades

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Eolou 21, & Aghias Irinis Str
Athina 105 51, Greece

Lukumades are an easy, popular dessert throughout Greece, but this shop consistently ranks high among customers with sweet tooths. The fried dough balls are made with flour, dry yeast, water, and starch, and the simplest renditions are served with honey and cinnamon. But here you’ll find them with more than a dozen toppings, including all kinds of chocolate, nuts, and ice cream. There are also stuffed versions filled with praline, banana, or lemon cream with wild cherry. [$]

A worker swirls honey onto a paper boat of pastries with a honey dipper
Topping the lukumades with honey
Lukumades / Facebook

4. Mirch

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Ermou 109
Athina 105 55, Greece

Mirch brings Indian gastronomy to the heart of Athens. While the shop delivers on classics like tandoori chicken sprinkled with lots of herbs and spices, the best seller is the Indian souvlaki: chicken tikka with mixed vegetables layered into a large fresh piece of naan. You can take your wrap to go, but if you stick around you can enjoy a concise list of tandoori dishes, curries, and fried appetizers. [$]

Flaky naan rolled around fillings, covered in brown paper, and cut in half. The two halves are stacked on a silver tray with a stack of branded napkins
Indian souvlaki
Mirch

5. Peas Vegan & Raw Food

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Falirou 40
Athina 117 42, Greece

Peas is one of a few but growing number of vegan restaurants in Athens, putting an animal-friendly spin on Mediterranean cuisine, according to owners Lila Pouliou and Maria Popa. Everything is made in-house, including vegetable-based protein substitutes like seitan and tempeh. Among the most popular options, check out their take on the famous Greek souvlaki with seitan and mushrooms. For dessert, don’t miss the famous raw tart with avocado, cocoa, and banana. [$$]

A small shop exterior covered in plants. The door and wide window are open. Stools are set on the outside of a counter on the window ledge
Outside Peas
Peas Vegan & Raw Food

6. Travolta

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Agiou Pavlou 33
Peristeri 121 32, Greece

Sea bream carpaccio, dusky grouper with okra, and roasted and skewered squid kontosouvli instantly transport Travolta diners to the sea. Owners Anestis Lampropoulos and brothers Spyros and Vangelis Liakos formed exclusive partnerships with three fishing boats, which provide the restaurant with everything from fresh octopus to cod to crayfish. Try the beer brewed in-house with salt water from sea urchins. [$$$ - $$$$]

Chunks of spit roasted meat topped with vegetables on a long platter on top of thin slices of fish, as an unseen figure drizzles olive oil on top
Kodosouvli with red mullet and bogue fillet
Dimitris Vlaikos

7. Cookoovaya

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Chatzigianni Mexi 2a
Athina 115 28, Greece

Spyros Liakos, Vangelis Liakos, Pericles Koskinas, and Manos Zournatzis are some of the country’s top cooking talents. At Cookoovaya, they create free-flowing, family-style meals under the mantra “remember how you felt, not just what you ate.” Though the seasonal menu changes often, some of their most-beloved dishes are slow-braised beef cheek with smoked eggplant puree, and grilled fish of the day with amaranth, olive oil, and lemon. It’s a good idea to start your meal with one of their pies; the open-topped version with truffle-creamed mushrooms, grilled beef off-cuts, and crispy onion is the most interesting. [$$$]

A restaurant interior with decorative tin ceilings, an open kitchen beneath patterned wallpaper to one side, decorative square pendant lights, and large windows on the far side of the room. Tables are set for lunch but the room is empty
Inside Cookoovaya
Cookoovaya, Athens

8. Falafel Al Sharq

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Liosion 1
Athina 104 38, Greece

Located right in the center of the city, in an area known for its rich immigrant communities from across the MENA region, Falafel Al Sharq serves hundreds of locals and tourists every day. The cook, Ibrahim Elabd, and his brother Mahmoud originally hail from Egypt. Besides falafel, they serve Egyptian specialties like chicken livers cooked in spices, as well as marinated chicken and lamb kebabs. [$]

A cook’s hand holding tongs above a large vat of frying oil, with falafel frying in the oil and stacked around the outside of the vat
Cooking the falafel
Falafel Al Sharq / Facebook

9. Myrtillo

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Ευσταθίου Λάμψα και Τριφυλίας (Πάρκο ΚΑΠΑΨ)
Athina 115 24, Greece

Inspired by a similar cafe in Scotland, Myrtillo Cafe is the first food business in Athens fully co-owned and co-operated by people living with disabilities. Among the dishes made with mostly organic ingredients, you can find homemade pies, such as the famous Sfakian cheese pie and the verdant fennel pie, along with sandwiches, baguettes, and bruschettas. The desserts are also delicious, with options including various cakes and sweet fruit pies. [$]

Rows of two types of desserts, one covered in chocolate shavings, the other creamy with a dark crumbly topping, in a pastry case
Desserts at Myrtillo
Myrtillo

10. Geros tou Moria

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Mnisikleous 27
Athina 105 56, Greece

For over 90 years, this traditional tavern has sat in the same spot beneath the Acropolis, among the colorful little alleys of the historic Plaka district. Named for Theodoros Kolokotronis, one of the greatest heroes of Greek independence, the restaurant serves classics like moussaka, meatballs, tzatziki, and all kinds of roasted and grilled meats. While the food is good, the ambiance is even better. A couple of hours spent among the locals, singing and dancing to live Greek folk music, could make any outsider forget they’re just in Athens for a visit. [$$]

A restaurant exterior, with people seated at outdoor tables down a winding corridor in the sun
Patio seating at Geros tou Moria
Geros tou Moria

11. Zisis

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Athinaidos 3
Athina 105 63, Greece

Since opening in 2017, Zisis has made the case for seafood as street food. Based on its immediate popularity among snackers on the go, the restaurant was preaching to the choir. Zisis serves fried sardines, anchovies, shrimp, and squid in paper cones, which you can take to go or eat at the restaurant with a glass of tsipouro or ouzo (anise is a perfect match with seafood). [$]

A woman stands on the street holding a piece of fried fish from a paper cone full of fried items
Fried bounty from Zisis
Demetrios Ioannou

12. Nolan

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Voulis 31
Athina 105 57, Greece

This tiny fusion restaurant not far from Syntagma Square has made a name for itself among the city’s food lovers. Chef Sotiris Kontizas combines his own Greek and Japanese roots to create comfort food without geographic limitations, like gyoza with beef cheeks, bean noodles with octopus and Kalamata olives, and ceviche fricassee with guelly jack. [$$]

A bowl of soba noodles on a blank white background. The noodles are tossed in a white tahini sauce, and topped with pieces of buckwheat and a nest of shaved vegetables
Soba with smoked salmon, buckwheat, and tahini
Nolan / Facebook

13. Anadolu

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Mpousgou 2
Athina 114 73, Greece

East and West meet at Anadolu Mutfağı, where Kurdish chef and owner Selim Selguk makes Turkish dishes with Greek ingredients. Selguk arrived in Athens in 2003 as a political refugee from Turkey. Not long after, he set up his own restaurant to make what he knows best, Anatolian dishes like lamb kebabs, hünkar beğendi (smoked, spiced, pureed eggplant), perde pilavı (pilaf-stuffed dough), and baklava with pistachios. [$$]

A chef in a skullcap and apron holds up a tin of baklava on a table with other pastries in front of a bright yellow wall
Selim Selguk with his baklava
Anadolu / Facebook

14. Nancy's Sweet Home

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Pl. Iroon 1
Athina 105 54, Greece

Serbetospito, aka Nancy’s Sweet Home, is chocolate heaven on earth, though the epic catalog of sweets includes options for all sweet tooths, including vanilla and fruit-flavored treats. Owners Nancy Katsikari and Serafim Alexandris turn out traditional options like ekmek politico (semolina-based cake with syrup and kaimaki, the chewy local ice cream), as well as seasonal desserts that range from strawberry pie to Christmasy melomakarona cookies. Just take a look at the deli case and chat with the staff to find the ideal option. [$]

An outdoor table in front of a cafe exterior at night. On the table is a dessert, a stack of cake, doughnut, ice cream, and chocolate sauce, surrounded by raspberries
A chocolatey dessert at Sweet Home
Nancy’s Sweet Home / Facebook

15. Ovio

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Apollonos 4
Athina 105 57, Greece

Chef Panos Ioannidis worked for years in restaurants in Italy before returning to Athens to create Ovio. The smell of fresh pizza from the wood-fired oven welcomes you to the cozy space, a casual setting for the restaurant’s fine dining. Along with pizza under various toppings, the restaurant serves mains like pasta and risotto, as well as vegan and vegetarian dishes. [$$$]

A full pizza with a thick fluffy crust on a wooden pizza paddle on a neutral background. The white pizza is topped with shaved zucchini
Zucchini pizza at Ovio
Ovio / Facebook

16. Tastes of Damascus

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Fokionos Negri 19
Athina 112 57, Greece

The namesake tastes of Damascus are not only delicious; they also support asylum-seekers and refugees living in Athens. Started as a project by NGO Za’atar — which focuses on providing resources and local connections to women, unaccompanied minors, LGBTQ refugees, and prisoners — the Syrian and Middle Eastern restaurant is slowly attracting more diners with its falafel, tabbouleh, and Beyrouti hummus with parsley. One recent favorite is mouhalabe, Syrian milk pudding with coconut, orange blossom water, pistachio, and rose. [$]

A woman in chef’s wear stands outside a glass-fronted cafe with the name above the store and a neon sign nearby, along with outdoor tables beneath an awning on a sunny day
Outside Tastes of Damascus
Hasan Hmeydan

17. Spondi

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Pirronos 5
Athina 116 36, Greece

Located behind the Kallimarmaro stadium, where the modern Olympics started in 1896, this two-Michelin-starred restaurant sits at the top of fine dining in Athens. Chef Angelos Lantos (the first Greek chef to achieve two stars) is an expert ambassador of French haute cuisine. Among the signature dishes, try the langoustine with lemon, Petrossian Daurenki caviar, grapefruit, gentian, and celery. Or go for the crab with turnip, acacia honey, tarragon, and passion fruit. [$$$$]

A chef in an apron delicately plates a dish in a restaurant kitchen
Chef Angelos Lantos at work
Specials Digital

18. Feedέλ Urban Gastronomy

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Ktena 1
Athina 105 63, Greece

Feedέλ blends Greek gourmet cuisine with traditional dishes, like in their tzatziki made with avocado, which adds a layer of fatty luxury to the classic dip. You might also find rooster spring rolls, or pork tenderloin with aubergine salad, white beets, and onion pickles. The cozy restaurant, owned by chef Leonidas Koutsopoulos, immediately became the talk of the town when it opened in 2016. The small backyard remains the perfect place to spend a summer night with friends and a few exquisite cocktails. [$$$]

19. Etnico

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Kolokotroni 22
Athina 105 62, Greece

Not far from buzzing Syntagma Square, Etnico takes diners on gastronomic journeys to Mexico, the Middle East, and South Asia. The global menu includes tacos and fajitas, falafel, tandoori chicken, and samosas, as well as dessert options and drinks to fulfill even more wanderlust. Don’t miss the margaritas (especially on warm summer nights) and the heady sangria. [$]

A burrito filled with meat, corn, cabbage, tomatoes, and other ingredients, sliced to reveal the inside and stacked upright on a plate next to a few other dishes out of frame and a margarita
Burrito from Etnico
Etnico / Facebook

20. Αιόλου 68

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Aiolou 68
Athina 105 59, Greece

Greeks are known for their love of seafood, but there’s no fresher place to get it than chef Vasilis Akrivos’s restaurant set behind the central fish market. Dining at Aiolou68 (conveniently also the address of the restaurant) feels like eating by the sea on a Greek island. Along with well-spiced dishes like shrimp or lobster spaghetti, fish soup, and bouillabaisse, the restaurant serves fresh seafood prepared simply, best eaten with just a squeeze of lemon. [$$$]

An open restaurant exterior with simple white facade and plain sign with the name of the restaurant. Beyond large windows is a bar with seating, and some high tables with metal stools
Outside Αιόλου 68
Αιόλου 68

21. Hill Athens

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Apostolou Pavlou 27
Athina 118 51, Greece

With one of the most beautiful views in the city, looking out on the Acropolis, Hill Athens serves modern Greek cuisine from brunch to late dinner in the historic Thissio district. Chef George Nestoridis and his team skillfully serve a menu designed by award-winning chef Dimitris Dimitriadis. A blend of comfort food and traditional tastes comes through in dishes like octopus candied with aged tsipouro, or risotto that channels the flavors of Greek gemista (stuffed peppers and tomatoes). Take your pick from the large variety of wines to accompany your meal. [$$$]

A luxe restaurant interior with tables set for dinner. Outside the large windows is a view of Athens at night and the Acropolis, lit up in the distance
Inside Hill Athens
Hill Athens / Facebook

22. Portatif

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Sina 21
Athina 106 72, Greece

This small cafe in the center of Athens serves the best red velvet cake in the city thanks to pastry chef Tasos Lytras. You’ll have to stop by early to try it, though, since the cake regularly sells out. Don’t fret if you miss it; Lytras also whips up a variety of tarts, pies, croissants, and cakes. Accompany your dessert with coffee or, even better, a scoop of house-made ice cream. [$]

A baker holds up a slice of red velvet cake from the rest oft he cake on a cake stand nearby
Cutting into that red velvet cake
Portatif / Facebook

23. Granáda

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Miltiadou 11
Athina 105 60, Greece

Granada is decorated in colorful marble tiles meant to evoke Andalusia, a fitting setting for chef Dimitris Arsenidis’s blend of Spanish and Greek cuisines. Shrimp and chorizo empanadas come with romesco, while octopus is paired with fava beans and kapari (caper) jam. Accompany your meal with house-made sangria for the complete experience. [$$]

A large pile of baked potatoes beneath three spiced fried eggs, on a plate surrounded by other brunch dishes
Potato nest with fried eggs
Granáda / Facebook

24. Opos Palia

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Veikou 2
Athina 117 42, Greece

This throwback restaurant serves traditional Greek food a few minutes from the Acropolis, and it has become a natural hotspot in the area. The aesthetic is meant to evoke an Athens of decades past, with large portions and cheap prices to complete the fantasy. Try the meatballs, moussaka, and grilled meat and fish. Don’t forget to order some Greek wine. [$$]

An exterior patio with chairs and tables, set on a covered walkway
The patio at Opos Palia
Opos Palia / Facebook

25. Shedia

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Kolokotroni 56
Athina 105 60, Greece

You’ll find great food at Shedia, but it’s the great people who will keep bringing you back. The cafe-bar-restaurant occupies the ground floor of Shedia Home, an initiative that helps people struggling with homelessness. The famous Greek chef Lefteris Lazarou created the menu, but the kitchen is staffed with relative newbies (the only cooking expertise required for hire is knowing how to boil an egg). The seasonal menu utilizes organic ingredients while remaining affordable, with offerings like almond and pistachio-crusted salmon filet or marjoram-scented spaghetti with red peppers, singlino (salted pork), and minced pork. [$$]

A restaurant exterior with branded awning, outdoor tables, planters, chalkboard signs, and street nearby
Outside Shedia
Shedia

26. Vezené Athens

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Vrasida 11
Athina 115 28, Greece

Aris Vezenes, one of Greece’s most talented chefs, had a huge hit on his hands when he opened his Greek-inspired bistro in 2011. The restaurant has aged well, earning a community of loyal customers and a spot in the Michelin guide. The menu is divided into three categories: a sea section with fresh fish, urchin, and lobster; a land section with fantastic choices of meat, like faraona (Guinea fowl) cooked with shio koji, jus, pickled pear, and baby gem; and the soil section, which includes dishes of mushrooms, potatoes, and vegetables. [$$$$]

A wood table topped with various dishes, including steak, fried chicken, and risotto
A full spread at Vezené
Vezené / Facebook

27. Kalamakia O Elvis

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Plateon 29
Athina 104 35, Greece
21 0345 5836

You can get steak, pork, or chicken souvlaki at lots of places in Athens, but this is the only place to dine on the street delicacy beneath the loving gaze of the king. The story behind the Elvis Presley-themed eatery is a bit convoluted (the owners also run a bar that’s next door to a butcher shop named Elvis that was created for a popular Greek sitcom), but the owners ran with it, plastering the interior with posters and playing “Suspicious Minds” on repeat. If the ambiance somehow doesn’t appeal to you, the meats can also be taken to go, as can the freshly chopped fries sprinkled with salt and oregano. The shop’s huge success even led to a second location in the Pagrati neighborhood. [$]

28. Το Κουλούρι του Ψυρρή

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Γεωργίου Καραϊσκάκη 23
Αθήνα 105 54, Greece

Whether you’re an early riser or coming off a night of partying, stop by this 24/7 bakery in Psyrri, the city’s hippest neighborhood. The place is mostly known for its koulouri, thin, ropy breads similar to Jerusalem bagels or Turkish simit, which come topped simply with traditional sesame seeds, or decorated with sunflower seeds, dried grapes, or melted cheese. The bakery also serves a thicker variety of bagel stuffed as sandwiches, along with other baked goods. [$]

Three thin bagels topped with sesame seeds on a metal platter by a shaded window
Thin delicious koulouri
Το Κουλούρι του Ψυρρή

29. Kitchen Lab

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Romvis 9
Athina 105 60, Greece

Since being named the first champion on Greece’s version of MasterChef, Akis Petretzikis has been a rising star in the Greek food scene over the last decade. At Kitchen Lab, his team serves the most satisfying brunches in town, including croque-madames, rich sandwiches, English breakfasts, omelets, and the ever-popular pancakes topped with combinations like toffee, banana, and crumbled biscuits. This location is most convenient from the city center, but two others further out offer more seating. [$ - $$]

A light wood table topped with various dishes, including pancakes in the center covered in sweet sauces and candy, as well as sandwiches, egg dishes, bread, and salads
Brunch featuring sweet pancakes
Kitchen Lab

30. Papadakis

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Fokilidou 15
Athina 106 73, Greece

Celebrity chef Argiro Barbarigou serves locals and tourists some of the freshest fish and seafood in the city. Her restaurant, Papadakis, opened at the foot of Mount Lycabettus in downtown Athens in 2005, attracting A-listers like Jean Paul Gauthier, Carla Bruni, and Pierce Brosnan. Less-famous diners can also stop by for lobster, squid, and the fisherman’s soup known as kakavia. [$$$]

Sardines stacked on a pile of vegetables and crutons
Sardines at Papadakis
Papadakis

31. Vintage Wine Bar & Bistro

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Mitropoleos 66
Athina 105 63, Greece

This bistro and wine bar, owned and operated by restaurateurs Iza and Panos Kyriazis, breathes fresh air into the historic neighborhood of Plaka in central Athens. The wine list includes a wide range of bottles from both Greek and international vineyards, while chef Erasmia Balaska continues to prove herself a prodigy in the kitchen with dishes combining traditional and modern Greek cuisine. Try the milk-fed lamb youvetsi, a popular casserole prepared with orzo in a rich tomato sauce. [$$$]

A restaurant interior with high beamed ceilings, candle-topped chandeliers, back-lit alcohol shelves, and long wood tables
Inside Vintage Wine Bar
Vintage Wine Bar & Bistro / Facebook

32. Stoa Fix

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Aiolou 102
Athina 105 64, Greece

You could walk by Stoa Fix and not even notice it. The “gastronomic cafe,” as mastermind Gogo Delogianni describes it, lies underground in a covered shopping court near Omonoia Square. Tables are arranged down a (surprisingly light-filled) hallway, with a green-and-white color scheme that makes the place feel small and cozy. The cafe does serve coffee, but later in the day you’ll also find burgers topped with provatina (mutton), roasted squash filled with goat cheese and almonds, and black lentils with rice, smoked trout, lemongrass, and peppers. [$ - $$]

33. Alex: The Fresh Pasta Bar

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Pl. Dexamenis 3
Athina 106 73, Greece

Despite the location in Kolonaki, one of the most expensive neighborhoods of Athens, this pasta bar doesn’t require a second mortgage to afford its plentiful plates. After working in London and Paris, chef Alex Vasilatou returned home to Greece to open her namesake restaurant. The menu includes seven different choices of pasta, all with unique names, like the Cleopatra, a pappardelle in a spicy red sauce, and the Castaway, spaghetti alla chitarra with cured pork tenderloin. [$$]

Sidewalk seating outside a restaurant, with patrons seated at small tables and servers passing through
Outside Alex pasta bar
Alex: The Fresh Pasta Bar / Facebook

34. BiteBox

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Veikou 84
Athina 117 41, Greece

All-day cafe BiteBox serves food from breakfast to dinner, but most people come for Agapi Salamozi’s “poffies,” handheld doughnut hole-like pastries stuffed with a variety of sweet and salty fillings. Stop by the beautiful space in Koukaki in the morning for coffee and a sweet poffie with chocolate, caramelized raspberry, or coconut cream. Or come by in the afternoon for a glass of wine with a salty flavor like cheese and bacon, sauteed spinach, eggplant and peppers, or sundried tomato with olive paste. [$ - $$]

From above, a ceramic dish of puff balls in savory tomato sauce, and a glass bowl of chocolate puffs topped with pearl sugar, along with two small drinks on a tray
Sweet and savory poffies
Bite Box / Facebook

1. Hoocut

Pl. Agias Irinis 9, Athina 105 63, Greece
A cook slices a large pile of meat into chunks with a mezzaluna
Serious meat work at Hoocut
Alexandros Antoniadis

At Hoocut, an A-Team of famous chefs (also behind Cookoovaya, on this list) aims to elevate souvlaki, the iconic Greek street food, with the best possible ingredients. Set inside a neoclassical building of the interwar period, a bakery, a butcher shop, and a grocery store provide the raw materials for the final product, which emerges from the main grill area. Finely chopped pieces of beef or mutton are wrapped in pita, while pork, chicken, and sausage are presented on open pita. And for those who don’t eat meat, Hoocut has a squid option, too. [$]

Pl. Agias Irinis 9
Athina 105 63, Greece

2. Feyrouz

Καρόρη 23 και, Agathonos 1, Athina 105 51, Greece
A couple sit at a window-side counter, drinking beers and eating pastries. The street and another blurred shop are visible out the windows
A couple enjoy a meal at Feyrouz
Chris Anagnostopoulos

Run by a family with roots in Antakya, Turkey, Feyrouz is named for its matriarch and mastermind in the kitchen (who has no relation to the famed Lebanese singer). Inspired by the Balkan food of Istanbul and broader Levantine traditions, the family utilizes local ingredients to make various types of lahmacun, peinirli, lots of soups (mahluta is a favorite with red lentils, fennel, pumpkin, and chicken broth), and many different salads. In 2019, the family opened a dessert spot across the street, where diners can end their meals with Turkish kanafeh. [$]

Καρόρη 23 και, Agathonos 1
Athina 105 51, Greece

3. Lukumades

Eolou 21, & Aghias Irinis Str, Athina 105 51, Greece
A worker swirls honey onto a paper boat of pastries with a honey dipper
Topping the lukumades with honey
Lukumades / Facebook

Lukumades are an easy, popular dessert throughout Greece, but this shop consistently ranks high among customers with sweet tooths. The fried dough balls are made with flour, dry yeast, water, and starch, and the simplest renditions are served with honey and cinnamon. But here you’ll find them with more than a dozen toppings, including all kinds of chocolate, nuts, and ice cream. There are also stuffed versions filled with praline, banana, or lemon cream with wild cherry. [$]

Eolou 21, & Aghias Irinis Str
Athina 105 51, Greece

4. Mirch

Ermou 109, Athina 105 55, Greece
Flaky naan rolled around fillings, covered in brown paper, and cut in half. The two halves are stacked on a silver tray with a stack of branded napkins
Indian souvlaki
Mirch

Mirch brings Indian gastronomy to the heart of Athens. While the shop delivers on classics like tandoori chicken sprinkled with lots of herbs and spices, the best seller is the Indian souvlaki: chicken tikka with mixed vegetables layered into a large fresh piece of naan. You can take your wrap to go, but if you stick around you can enjoy a concise list of tandoori dishes, curries, and fried appetizers. [$]

Ermou 109
Athina 105 55, Greece

5. Peas Vegan & Raw Food

Falirou 40, Athina 117 42, Greece
A small shop exterior covered in plants. The door and wide window are open. Stools are set on the outside of a counter on the window ledge
Outside Peas
Peas Vegan & Raw Food

Peas is one of a few but growing number of vegan restaurants in Athens, putting an animal-friendly spin on Mediterranean cuisine, according to owners Lila Pouliou and Maria Popa. Everything is made in-house, including vegetable-based protein substitutes like seitan and tempeh. Among the most popular options, check out their take on the famous Greek souvlaki with seitan and mushrooms. For dessert, don’t miss the famous raw tart with avocado, cocoa, and banana. [$$]

Falirou 40
Athina 117 42, Greece

6. Travolta

Agiou Pavlou 33, Peristeri 121 32, Greece
Chunks of spit roasted meat topped with vegetables on a long platter on top of thin slices of fish, as an unseen figure drizzles olive oil on top
Kodosouvli with red mullet and bogue fillet
Dimitris Vlaikos

Sea bream carpaccio, dusky grouper with okra, and roasted and skewered squid kontosouvli instantly transport Travolta diners to the sea. Owners Anestis Lampropoulos and brothers Spyros and Vangelis Liakos formed exclusive partnerships with three fishing boats, which provide the restaurant with everything from fresh octopus to cod to crayfish. Try the beer brewed in-house with salt water from sea urchins. [$$$ - $$$$]

Agiou Pavlou 33
Peristeri 121 32, Greece

7. Cookoovaya

Chatzigianni Mexi 2a, Athina 115 28, Greece
A restaurant interior with decorative tin ceilings, an open kitchen beneath patterned wallpaper to one side, decorative square pendant lights, and large windows on the far side of the room. Tables are set for lunch but the room is empty
Inside Cookoovaya
Cookoovaya, Athens

Spyros Liakos, Vangelis Liakos, Pericles Koskinas, and Manos Zournatzis are some of the country’s top cooking talents. At Cookoovaya, they create free-flowing, family-style meals under the mantra “remember how you felt, not just what you ate.” Though the seasonal menu changes often, some of their most-beloved dishes are slow-braised beef cheek with smoked eggplant puree, and grilled fish of the day with amaranth, olive oil, and lemon. It’s a good idea to start your meal with one of their pies; the open-topped version with truffle-creamed mushrooms, grilled beef off-cuts, and crispy onion is the most interesting. [$$$]

Chatzigianni Mexi 2a
Athina 115 28, Greece

8. Falafel Al Sharq

Liosion 1, Athina 104 38, Greece
A cook’s hand holding tongs above a large vat of frying oil, with falafel frying in the oil and stacked around the outside of the vat
Cooking the falafel
Falafel Al Sharq / Facebook

Located right in the center of the city, in an area known for its rich immigrant communities from across the MENA region, Falafel Al Sharq serves hundreds of locals and tourists every day. The cook, Ibrahim Elabd, and his brother Mahmoud originally hail from Egypt. Besides falafel, they serve Egyptian specialties like chicken livers cooked in spices, as well as marinated chicken and lamb kebabs. [$]

Liosion 1
Athina 104 38, Greece

9. Myrtillo

Ευσταθίου Λάμψα και Τριφυλίας (Πάρκο ΚΑΠΑΨ), Athina 115 24, Greece
Rows of two types of desserts, one covered in chocolate shavings, the other creamy with a dark crumbly topping, in a pastry case
Desserts at Myrtillo
Myrtillo

Inspired by a similar cafe in Scotland, Myrtillo Cafe is the first food business in Athens fully co-owned and co-operated by people living with disabilities. Among the dishes made with mostly organic ingredients, you can find homemade pies, such as the famous Sfakian cheese pie and the verdant fennel pie, along with sandwiches, baguettes, and bruschettas. The desserts are also delicious, with options including various cakes and sweet fruit pies. [$]

Ευσταθίου Λάμψα και Τριφυλίας (Πάρκο ΚΑΠΑΨ)
Athina 115 24, Greece

10. Geros tou Moria

Mnisikleous 27, Athina 105 56, Greece
A restaurant exterior, with people seated at outdoor tables down a winding corridor in the sun
Patio seating at Geros tou Moria
Geros tou Moria

For over 90 years, this traditional tavern has sat in the same spot beneath the Acropolis, among the colorful little alleys of the historic Plaka district. Named for Theodoros Kolokotronis, one of the greatest heroes of Greek independence, the restaurant serves classics like moussaka, meatballs, tzatziki, and all kinds of roasted and grilled meats. While the food is good, the ambiance is even better. A couple of hours spent among the locals, singing and dancing to live Greek folk music, could make any outsider forget they’re just in Athens for a visit. [$$]

Mnisikleous 27
Athina 105 56, Greece

11. Zisis

Athinaidos 3, Athina 105 63, Greece
A woman stands on the street holding a piece of fried fish from a paper cone full of fried items
Fried bounty from Zisis
Demetrios Ioannou

Since opening in 2017, Zisis has made the case for seafood as street food. Based on its immediate popularity among snackers on the go, the restaurant was preaching to the choir. Zisis serves fried sardines, anchovies, shrimp, and squid in paper cones, which you can take to go or eat at the restaurant with a glass of tsipouro or ouzo (anise is a perfect match with seafood). [$]

Athinaidos 3
Athina 105 63, Greece

12. Nolan

Voulis 31, Athina 105 57, Greece
A bowl of soba noodles on a blank white background. The noodles are tossed in a white tahini sauce, and topped with pieces of buckwheat and a nest of shaved vegetables
Soba with smoked salmon, buckwheat, and tahini
Nolan / Facebook

This tiny fusion restaurant not far from Syntagma Square has made a name for itself among the city’s food lovers. Chef Sotiris Kontizas combines his own Greek and Japanese roots to create comfort food without geographic limitations, like gyoza with beef cheeks, bean noodles with octopus and Kalamata olives, and ceviche fricassee with guelly jack. [$$]

Voulis 31
Athina 105 57, Greece

13. Anadolu

Mpousgou 2, Athina 114 73, Greece