Exarchia: 6 Delicious Stops Near Athens’ Archaeological Museum

How about a visit to the National Archaeological Museum, followed by some food or drink? Sounds perfect. Especially if you pick one of these six places.

Even though the Archaeological Museum is a destination in its own right, there’s nothing better than capping off your trip with a delicious brunch, homemade dishes featuring seasonal ingredients, craft beers, perfectly cooked burgers, or unique wines from Greece and abroad. New restaurants are bringing about a change in an area that previously had nothing interesting to offer in terms of drinks or food. 

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Delicacies all day long at Rini

Rini is a diminutive of Marina. Marina Chrona recently opened this small and welcoming cafe and gastro-tavern in a little side street next to the Archaeological Museum. The Kypseli-born chef and her partner and co-owner Nikos Tsilidis greet us as if we were guests in their home. “We really liked the spot, the neighborhood; this little pedestrian street is very special, and you wouldn’t expect to find something like this here,” says Nikos.

“The neoclassical buildings, the apartment buildings, the urban landscape, the back of the apartment buildings, all feel like a refuge in the inhospitable city,” adds Marina. Marina has a strong preference for products by small Greek producers and actively seeks them out. She likes to draw inspiration from the ingredients themselves, the seasons, the flavors of Greek tradition and the places she visits, in order to create dishes such as the delicious chicken ragout (slow-cooked with butter, spices, cinnamon, cloves, and other spices ) with conchiglie pasta and Syros graviera cheese.


The baked lasagna with eggplant, tomato, basil, and stracciatella cheese is comforting and very filling. The menu offers several other delightful options that change frequently depending on what products she can find at the market. Her best seller is the slow-cooked goat with bulgur. “If I took it off the menu I think my customers would kill me,” Marina quips. They open early in the morning for coffee, serving Underdog Roasting Company blends and some delicious brunch dishes, of which the shakshouka and the mouhamara toast are standouts.

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8 Rethymnou, Athens

Tel. (+30) 210.883.6781

Guerilla Chef Burgers: One fantastic burger 

On the other side of the museum, on Solomou Street, you’ll find a burger joint that attracts fans of the small, straightforward cheeseburger. It’s the only burger they serve, and they do it obsessively well. The tender smashed beef patties are handmade by owner and chef Fahd-Alexandros Hassan Kassem. He grills them expertly on a griddle, so they get crispy on the outside while staying juicy on the inside, adding only ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard, and American cheese that melts perfectly on top of the patty. He gives you the option to make it a double patty before placing them in a fluffy brioche bun. There is no indoor seating, but you can enjoy your burger with a cold craft beer on the sidewalk benches before continuing on with your day.

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33 Solomou, Exarchia

Tel. (+30) 213.028.7944

Pharaoh: Exarchia’s newest and most talked-about wine and food destination

Across the street from Guerilla Burger you’ll find one of the city’s most talked-about restaurants. Some think it’s worth the attention, while others beg to differ. One thing is for sure: Pharaoh has transformed a formerly undesirable neighborhood in Athens into a popular destination, drawing people from all over the city. Journalist Fotis Vallatos, wine merchant Perry Panayiotakopoulos (Wine Kiosk), famous baritone Dimitris Platanias, and creative chef Manolis Papoutsakis (Deka Trapezia, Haroupi) are at the helm of the wine bar-restaurant. Papoutsakis cooks traditional Greek dishes on wood-fired stoves and charcoal grills in an open kitchen, using carefully selected and prepared ingredients. The menu is seasonal and changes on a regular basis. Georgakopoulos curates the natural wine list, which includes several rare selections and focuses on Greek labels.

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54 Solomou, Exarchia

Tel. (+30) 210.380.8412

Mangal: Affordable Kurdish and Turkish cuisine

Ismael, the chef and owner of Mangal, uses his cooking to introduce the culinary stories of his Turkish and Kurdish ancestors to the Greek public. He believes that food is a beautiful and effective way for people to connect. The restaurant is located on Solomou Street, and has tables on the sidewalk as well as plenty of indoor seating. It’s a genuine Exarchia spot that serves delicious and affordable food.

As a welcome treat, they serve four small bowls of spicy ezme, pickled vegetables, beetroot, and baba ganoush, as well as fried eggplant with peppers, tomatoes, and garlic. The yaglama is an interesting dish that consists of layers of handmade dough baked in the oven, with juicy minced pork, beef, and lamb in tomato sauce, topped with a sprinkle of pistachios and walnuts, and served with refreshing yogurt. The souvlaki is grilled at the time of ordering. Another satisfying option is the peynirli, which is also made from scratch.

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12 Solomou, Exarchia

Tel. (+30) 213.099.1652

Talking Breads: Exarchia Street Food

Located about a ten-minute walk from the museum, this place is well worth the trip. It’s a great spot to eat in Exarchia Square, though the view isn’t the best as the square is currently fenced off. At Talking Breads, they bake their own burger buns, which makes all the difference. The fluffy brioche buns go perfectly with the expertly grilled, thin and juicy burgers. After that, it’s all down to personal taste since the menu has about a dozen options. I am a fan of the Hot Stuff burger, with cheddar, jalapeno, fried onions, and thinly sliced cucumber that provides a refreshing contrast to the spicy barbecue sauce. They also serve sandwiches, like as the authentic grilled cheese made with handmade butter bread, cheddar, mozzarella, parmesan, and pepper. Some people come just for that.

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11 Spyrou Trikoupi, Exarchia

Tel. (+30) 211.183.9731

Padre: A much-needed taproom in Exarchia

After enjoying the burgers at Talking Breads, all I want to do is sit somewhere comfortable and enjoy a refreshing beer. Lucky for me, in late summer a much-needed taproom opened right across the street. At Padre you’ll find beers on tap from both Greek and international microbreweries, as well as plenty of options in bottles and cans. It’s a popular destination for beer enthusiasts and tourists who enjoy sampling Greek beers and sharing their thoughts on the online beer community Untappd.

This article was previously published in Greek at gastronomos.gr.


17a Stournari, Exarchia

Tel. (+30) 211.210.9095

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