By Eirianna Anagnostou
Is brunch a little… done? Maybe. But being offered eggs, burgers or pancakes with syrup morning and noon, you can’t really complain. The hybrid of breakfast and lunch has something for everyone, from cooling iced coffees and juices to guilt-free early cocktails, and from healthy “sensible” options to savory and sweet treats, it’s a good excuse to catch up on the weekend with those friends who haven’t yet left for an island holiday – or sneak a meeting with a friend on a weekday, playing truant from work to catch up on gossip, have a bite to eat and kill time.
Artisanal, in a garden of rare beauty
Evenings are beautiful in the garden of the Kifissia restaurant run by Fotis Sergoulopoulos and Vaggelis Gerasimou, surrounded by tall trees and flowers. Mornings and lunchtimes aren’t bad either. Chef Dimitris Dimitriadis, known for his superb work in the field of contemporary Greek cuisine, relies on well-chosen ingredients from all corners of Greece for his brunch, while he has a particular love of bread and doughs.
You see this in his sourdough potato bread which is served with roast beef and roast cauliflower mayo, as well as in the handmade sourdough bread which accompanies his scrambled egg with mushrooms, thyme and kyano, a blue goat cheese from Arvanitis creamery in Neochorouda in northern Greece.
Sit in one of the armchairs with floral upholstered cushions or in a leafy corner, and order a Drosia peinirli with soft crust, kasseri cheese, buffalo pastourma supplied by the Altamazoglou family in Kavala, and fresh butter. Don’t forget the sourdough loukoumades (donuts) dusted with sugar and cinnamon or filled with strawberry cream and raspberry. They are a great accompaniment to coffee (a blend provided by Qualita Unica).
If you are in the mood for a drink, you will be offered a Mimosette with vodka, champagne, mandarin and elderflower liqueur. It brings a touch of the garden party to your brunch, and is a good choice for lovers of sparkling wine and fruity cocktails.
Zirini 2, Kifissia, Tel. (+30) 210.808.6111.
Brunch daily 11:00-17:00, Saturday-Sunday 10:00-14:00.
Warehouse Edge, a few steps from the park
Decorated on modern lines using mainly wood and metal, with a relaxing, clean cut simplicity, the outpost of Warehouse in Kallithea, opposite the SNFCC, follows the recipe established by its sister establishments in Exarchia and Syntagma, playing on the triptych of coffee-food-wine.
Taking your seat in the front grey-green decorated garden, or in the backyard with the black-and-white tile, you can choose from a variety of coffees from the Wisedup Coffee Roasters collection. We recommend the iced espresso with coffee from a Colombian producer, with notes of ripe forest fruits and milk chocolate. It is a great accompaniment to the butter croissant with marmalade, the chocolate braids and pancakes on the menu.
The pancakes also come in a savory version with bacon chutney, pepper relish mayo, cream cheese and onion chips. Then there are eggs in many guises, from omelets to scrambled eggs with burrata and black truffle paste, and poached eggs with goats’ cheese and black garlic crème served on brioche with chive oil. This also pairs well with a Bloody Mary, if you’re in the mood for being unfaithful to that nice coffee.
Tip: You can always take you brunch with you and lounge with a book and a picnic on the lawn in the park.
Peisistratou 4, Kallithea, Tel. (+30) 210.942.7722.
Brunch Monday-Friday 9:00-14:00, Saturday-Sunday 10:00-14:00.
Mr Fox, the fine art of the egg
Painted navy blue in the British style, with over a hundred recognizable pictures on the walls – from Grant Wood’s American Gothic to Klimt’s Kiss and Dali’s melting clockfaces – looking like a cross between a bar and a collector’s house, Mr Fox serves a selection of breakfast and lunch options daily.
On weekends it also offers a special brunch menu featuring eggs in different preparations, including poached eggs with paprika hollandaise, avocado, finely chopped peppers and prosciutto served on brioche, or “egg in a dough” which is exactly as the name implies, egg cooked in a wood oven inside pizza dough, with prosciutto and melted cheese, as well as generous sandwiches, burgers and pancakes.
You can wash them down with coffee from taf, detox juices or cocktails, which have a special place here. Panos Kanatsoulis and his team take a daring approach to the classics, adding modern techniques and surprising twists, and extend this approach to cocktails which are tailored to brunch: Negroni and Campari Tonic, Bloody Mary with tomato or beetroot juice mixed as spicy as you like it, with vodka or in variations with gin and tequila. There is also the light, refreshing Flower Delight, mixing white wine, aromatic elderflower, cucumber and mint – ideal if you can get seated at one of the tables on the little veranda in the afternoon.
Laodikis 38, Glyfada, Tel. 210.898.1654.
Brunch Saturday-Sunday 10:00-17:00.
Lot51 on Vrazilias square
We don’t know if they chose it on purpose because of the location on Vrazilias (Brazil) square, but their cold brew, which comes encased in a cute little metal box, is made from a specialty coffee from Brazil, with aromas of chocolate and notes of caramel. An espresso freddo or an iced latte, always made with Area 51 coffee, are equally good choices.
At the tables scattered around the tasteful café-bar opened two and a half years ago by Kostas Spiliopoulos, Panagiotis Zotiadis and Spyros Lappas, there are also home-made lemonades and smoothies. We shared a cool, crisp salad with quinoa, bulgur wheat, finely diced tomato, mango and spring onion, which leaves a fruity taste in your mouth, crispy french fries with egg and chorizo nuggets, and the generous burger, which consists of a whole breaded chicken breast fillet in a brioche roll with chunky gherkin and lettuce, and a mountain of more golden fries on the side. You need a big appetite to tackle the latter, but if you decide to take it on, pair it with their new beer, Tropiki, a light, refreshing IPA with exotic flavors and a slightly bitter aftertaste, produced in partnership with Strange Brew.
For those in the mood for something sweet, we recommend the soft cookies with salty caramel, which smell deliciously of butter.
Papadiamantopoulou 24B, Ilissia, Tel. (+30) 693.733.7066.
Brunch daily 10:00-17:45.
The Underdog, Thissio for party mood
Anyone belonging to the brotherhood of coffee nerds in this city knows that Tassos Delichristos and his team do serious work in the field – from choosing the raw beans to roasting and brewing. At The Underdog, when you want an espresso, hot or cold, you have your pick of six to eight different coffees, each with their own flavor profile.
Midweek, when things tend to be quieter, we sometimes take a seat in the courtyard out back with our laptops (power outlets are located along the walls) and order a cold brew, made from Ethiopian coffee with notes of strawberry, tropical fruit and jasmine, with a yoghurt and fruit or an avocado toast on the side. On weekends, the place gets busier and the vibe changes. The large tables with wooden shades are loaded with eggs Benedict with bacon, guacamole or salmon, fried eggs and hash browns, minced meat and crumbled feta cheese, and different variations on pancakes and burgers.
The sweet which wins the most plaudits is the buttery sourdough babka with melted chocolate: it is sweet, a touch salty and just slightly sour. The coffee is the hero of the piece, but for those in the mood for a noon or afternoon cocktail, there is a light Aperol Spritz, and three varieties of Negroni: one white, one with smoked hazelnut, and one with chocolate liqueur.
This article was previously published in Greek by “K” Magazine.
Irakleidon 8, Thissio, Tel. (+30) 213.036.5393.
Brunch daily 9:00-17:00. Reservations necessary, by phone or online (two hours per seating).