Any parent with young children knows that eating out can often involve a tradeoff: finding a place with a play area to occupy the kids at the expense of quality of food on offer. Elsewhere lax enforcement of the anti-smoking laws or a restaurant’s inability to accommodate parents with infants can put a dampener on dining out.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. We’ve picked the six best places in Athens for you to eat well while dining with kids.
Venues with Play Areas:
Oliver Family House
Oliver Family House is located inside a multiplex away from traffic and has spaces for families and children to enjoy themselves indoors or outside in the garden. Open all day and all year round, the extensive menu offers freshly prepared meals, snacks, salads and desserts using organic products from their own garden.
Their concept is very family-oriented, also catering to those with very small children, so breastfeeding is welcome and ample facilities for baby changing are provided. Staff are on hand to supervise play, but parents are ultimately responsible for their kids in the play area. Weekly activities and creative play schedules are posted on their Facebook page and cost about 3-7 euros for participation. An in-house store sells creative toys for small children, healthy treats and backpacks. The staff speak both English and Greek. Open daily from 8:30 am until late, Sundays from 9:00 am.
INFO | 37 Dimarchou Aggelou Metaxa Avenue, Glyfada • Tel. (+30) 210.898.6066
Yoleni’s Flagship store
Laid out across several floors, Yoleni’s Flagship store offers visitors a comprehensive Greek gastronomy experience with carefully sourced ingredients and food. On the first level you’ll find their steak bar and restaurant with meat sourced from Bralou farm. On the ground floor, you’ll find delicious handmade pies prepared to order, salads and sandwiches, cheeses, olives and ice cream. But for kids, the best part is the play area located on the second floor.
Trained staff keep kids aged 3 to 9 busy with creative play while parents enjoy a glass of refreshing Greek wine, something to eat or just browsing the 2,500-plus products in the grocery store located in the basement. Parents are given a pager which vibrates if they are needed back in the kid’s area on the second floor. Other than that, you are free to relax knowing your little ones are being well taken care of. The store is open daily from 8:00 am to 10:00 pm, Saturdays from 9:00 am to 10:00 pm and Sundays 10:00 am to 10:00 pm. The play area is open daily from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm, except on Mondays when both the play area and steak bar are closed.
INFO | Solonos, Kolonaki, Athens 10671 • Tel. (+30) 212.222.3622
To Perivoli Tou Vari
To give your kids the chance to be out in nature and literally get their hands dirty learning about food and the environment, Perivoli Tou Vari on the outskirts of Athens is the place to go.
The English and Greek-speaking staff will lead your children through structured activities in the sprawling orchard that gives the establishment its name (orchard in Greek is perivoli). Visitors from ages 3 and up can learn about sustainable farming, food recycling, composting and more. Children are fully supervised for the duration of the hour-long activity you choose and the grounds are available for free, parent-supervised play for children of all ages.
Participation in the sessions costs 5-8 euros. A kitchen operates on the weekend serving freshly prepared meals using organic materials from their own farm and other small producers. During the week, the farm caters for school visits, opening to the general public on the weekend. Activity schedules for the weekends are available online. Call in advance to explain if you require an English-speaking team member for your kids. Open weekends from 10:00 am until sunset
INFO | 15 Kygrion, Vari • Tel. (+30) 210.896.3000 • email@example.com
Child (and Parent) Friendly Eateries
The Avocado vegetarian café is dedicated to providing healthy, seasonal and cruelty-free food. They believe that ”we are what we eat’ and therefore we should all make better choices for our bodies and the planet. An extensive menu of food, drinks, freshly made smoothies, juices and daily specials are available, including macrobiotic options. There’s pizza and pasta for the kids, and staff are happy to accommodate special requests that parents might have for the little ones too. Finish off your meal with one of their delicious desserts, including Happy Sheep Ice Cream and a sugar-free raw chocolate tart. Strictly non-smoking and with a baby change table located in the bathrooms, it’s a great choice for a nourishing meal in a cheerful setting.
INFO | 30 Nikis, Athens • Tel. (+30) 210.323.7878 • firstname.lastname@example.org
This relaxed, laid-back restaurant serves simple comfort food that blends global cuisine with delicious cocktails. There is also live music some days. With the trend for brunch having well and truly caught on in Athens, choosing the right place can be a tough call, especially when, (unfortunately) the smoking ban is not diligently enforced. This is what makes Mama Roux such a good find.
Located right in the heart of the city’s historical center with tables spilling onto a pedestrianized street, chorizo and egg fries, ruby pancakes and eggs florentine are some of the scrumptious options for brunch, and the kids will be thrilled with delicious hamburgers, pasta dishes and more. Vegetarian and vegan options are also available, and the indoor areas are strictly non-smoking.
INFO | 48-50 Aiolou Street, Athens • Tel. (+30) 213.004.8382 Brunch is served on Sundays from 12:30 to 18:00.
This charming taverna has stood housed in the same neoclassical building for nearly four decades. Fully renovated in 2014, it shed its old-school feel to emerge as a stylish restaurant beloved by both locals and visitors. A beautiful, spacious courtyard with its trailing bougainvillea is like an oasis to escape to in the middle of the hot summer. Kids will find plenty of space to occupy themselves while the adults enjoy a drink before their meal.
The food is traditional taverna fare with some stand-out stars like the mussels with ouzo, pork sausage with orange juice and smoked aubergine with yogurt. Their philosophy is based on the fact that cigarette smoke dulls both the sense of smell and taste, and so they operate a strictly non-smoking policy – a rare treat in the center of Athens!
INFO | 69 Kallidromiou, Athens • Tel. (+30) 210.384.5978