Hot Stuff! A Foodie’s Guide to the Best Eateries in Athens

Join us as we explore the most interesting casual eateries in the Greek capital, where you can discover wonderful flavors and exciting spaces in which to refuel.


Bakeries

KORA

This is undoubtedly where you’ll find the city’s finest croissant, a claim we can confidently make after thorough testing. Kora stands out among the exciting new-wave bakeries that have rekindled a focus on genuine sourdough and high-quality ingredients. Their commitment to excellence is evident not just in their croissants and their bread but also in their sweet pastries, as all their doughs undergo a meticulous 72-hour maturation process, enriching them with exceptional textures and rich depths of flavor.

For connoisseurs of fine pastries, their exquisite croissants and the sublime pain au chocolat are must-tries. Crafted with traditional croissant dough, generously laced with rich French butter, and filled with luxurious chocolate, these treats are a culinary delight. The secret to their extraordinary taste lies in the harmonious blend of dark and milk chocolate, creating a perfectly balanced and indulgent taste experience. Their apple Danish, adorned with creamy pastry cream and an oat crumble topping, are not to be missed, and neither are their aromatic cardamom buns – if you’re lucky enough to find either of them on the shelves.

 

 

Info

44 Anagnostopoulou, Kolonaki, Τel. (+30) 210.362.7855, Mon-Fri 08:00-18:00, Sat-Sun 08:30-15:00.

TROMERO PAIDI

As we make our way through the array of treats from this French-inspired artisan bakery and patisserie, we often ask in amazement: Does Tromero Paidi (“Enfant Terrible”) excel at everything This place truly merits accolades for its unwavering dedication to quality. The skilled bakers of this establishment in Ilisia use the finest ingredients; they choose premium Breton butter, eggs from free-ranging hens and, most importantly, a natural sourdough starter rather than yeast.

Their Parisian baguettes might have put them on the map, but it’s their airy, butter-rich brioche loaf and their richly flavored multi-grain bread, made with a blend of five different flours, that are this bakery’s gems. The savory fillo pies they craft with meticulous care are exceptional, too. One bite of their flaky spinach or cheese pie, bursting with buttery goodness, is enough to win over even the most discerning palates. And let’s not overlook their desserts, crafted with quiet precision and yet deserving of loud praise. The lemon pie strikes a perfect balance between sweet and tart, the flan is delightfully creamy, and the eclairs are a dream.

 

 

Info

30 Papadiamantopoulou, Ilisia, Tel. (+30) 210.777.7537, Mon-Fri 07:00-19:00, Sat 08:00-17:00.

TAKIS

Long before the arrival in Athens of “third wave” bakeries, with their trendy sourdough and Instagramworthy loaves, there was Takis. Tucked away in the heart of bustling Koukaki, this establishment is a testament to traditional bread-making. A visit to Takis, conveniently close to the city center is always an easy option. Here you’ll find baguettes, dense sourdough bread, and rustic French pain de campagne, ideal companions for local cheeses, cold cuts, and good Greek wine.

You might want to try their kourou (cheese pies), stars in their own right. Humble in appearance, like a lovingly but awkwardly folded napkin, they hold a certain homemade charm. Unlike mass-produced kourou pies, Takis’ version avoids any heavy aftertaste, thanks to its butter-kneaded dough that dissolves like a biscuit. The filling is a flavorful revelation, dominated by spicy feta and complemented by anthotyro cheese, making these savory pies tasty treats indeed.

Info

14 Misaraliotou, Koukaki, Τel. (+30) 210.923.0052, Mon-Fri 07:00-20:30, Sat 07:00-16:00

Cup of Coffee

REDD

In a neighborhood with countless cafés where people can sit and engage in the art of conversation, this small boutique espresso bar on Kapsali Street is something special. They serve the perfect espresso in lovely ceramic cups for those standing at the bar or in takeaway containers; the latter are particularly popular with the area’s residents, who fuel up on the way to work, after their morning exercise, during their dog walks, or while running errands. Redd is possibly the first Greek coffee company to emphasize the importance of flavor over the origin of the beans. The coffee has always been up to the highest standards on our numerous visits. Those who end up at this tiny shop know precisely why they’ve passed by all the others. 

Info

8 Kapsali, Kolonaki, Τel. (+30) 216.900.2141, Mon-Fri 07:30- 20:00, Sat 08:00-19:00, Sun 08:30-18:00.

WILLIWAW CAFÉ & CANTEEN

An excellent spot for a morning pick-me-up, this colorful coffee shop, boasting Scandinavian decor, eclectic background music, and a welcoming ambiance, opened in 2021 on Kerkyras Street. It became a neighborhood favorite during a period when Kypseli was undergoing a sort of renaissance. Area residents enjoy their morning coffee here, along with a variety of freshly-made treats. It’s also a chosen location for both casual and business meetings, often held at the few outdoor tables.

Two weeks out of every month, they feature coffee from the Kross roastery of Ηania, Crete. The rest of the time, they showcase a rotation of selected coffee beans from other renowned roasteries, both local and international, including the exceptional Berlin-based The Barn. Their menu includes a variety of tarts, sweet cookies, seasonal cakes, sandwiches, and focaccia creations. In the near future, they plan to expand and prepare an even wider variety of foods. Animal companions are welcome, too. 

Info

69 Kerkyras, Kypseli, Tel. (+30) 210.822.0745, Mon-Fri 07:00- 20:00, Sat 08:00-20:00, Sun 09:00-18:00 

MÖTE

In the past, most cafés in Piraeus were known for their waterfront views rather than their exceptional beverages. That changed when Möte came along, with its excellent products and its prime location. The owners work with the brand Create by Stefanos Domatiotis, a barista of international fame, to provide their customers with everything coffee-related, from seminars to roasted beans. Let them fill one of their attractive cups with a smooth, velvety cappuccino that you can enjoy while watching passersby on Sotiros Dios promenade. They have a wide variety of coffees of different origins and processing methods. The staff is extremely knowledgeable, so ask for their recommendations, and they’ll reward you with the best coffee of your day.

Info

Sotiros Dios & Praxitelous, Piraeus, Tel. (+30) 213.046.7970, Mon-Sat 07:30-21:30.

For Breakfast

MINU

Ideal for a scrumptious breakfast or brunch either before or after your visit to the Acropolis, Minu is located in Thiseio, one of the most historic neighborhoods of Athens, in a wonderfully preserved single-family home with an elegant facade. The interior decor is intriguing as the indoor space blends with the outdoors, the ground floor opens up onto the terrace, and the plants seem to form part of the art objects.

On our visits, we enjoy dipping our grilled rustic village bread, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with sea-salt flakes and oregano, into the rich yolks of our poached eggs. The almond milk flavored with ginger, honey, and cinnamon is yummy, as are the hearty bowls filled with bulgur, granola, and fruits. The scrambled eggs with roasted cherry tomatoes and feta are everyone’s favorite, as indeed are the extraordinary wraps, particularly the one with chicken curry, which won us over completely. 

Info

50 Sarri, Thiseio, Τel. (+30) 210.323.2022, daily from 09:00-00:00. 

STANI

Stani isn’t for the lactose intolerant; it’s an Athenian culinary institution that’s been delighting patrons with exquisitely fresh milk and dairy-based delicacies for over 90 years. Its founder, Nikolaos Karagiorgos, came from the famous dairy village of Athanasios Diakos in Fokida, central Greece, and his descendants, who still run the establishment, honor a legacy of outstanding quality and heartfelt personal service.

There are enticing options here; picture a small plate with a fresh chunk of thick butter, lavishly soaked in thyme honey, alongside a soft, warm, round loaf of bread, or perhaps a creamy rice pudding, liberally sprinkled with cinnamon. They have rich sheep’s yogurt with honey and crunchy walnuts, as well as loukoumades (Greek doughnuts) soaked in honey, buttery kourou (cheese pies), or hearty pies with wild greens wrapped in rustic fillo pastry. In the ever-evolving city of Athens, Stani remains a constant. 

Info

10 Μarika Κotopouli, Omonia, Τel. (+30) 210.523.3637, Mon-Sat 07:00-22:30, Sun 07:30-22:30. 

WILD SOULS

This place radiates big-city energy with its beautiful space, its mixed crowd of locals and international visitors, and its wholesome philosophy around vegan and healthy eating; it would fit in perfectly in Berlin or London, hotbeds of new dining trends. We usually come here in the morning, when it’s quieter, and always choose something different from its exciting menu. We’re obsessed with the well-balanced, well-baked, and crispy granola bowl with fresh forest fruit that comes with your choice of nut milk. Also delicious is the vegan BLT, made from whole grain focaccia stuffed with soy tempeh (a solid blend of fermented soybeans) marinated in a handmade BBQ sauce, topped with avocado and cashew butter mayo. The “egg no egg” category, typical of their inventiveness, will surely get your attention.

Wild Souls also functions as a grocery store; before leaving, we usually pick up some of their homemade nut butters or one of their unusual halvahs, made without sugar or palm oil, such as the honey hazelnut halvah.

Info

36 Voulis, Syntagma, Τel. (+30) 210.323.1438. Mon-Sat 08:00-21:00, Sun 10:00-20:00. 

Grab Something

GUARANTEE

For over three decades, Guarantee has been a staple in Koukaki, a constant in an ever-changing neighborhood. Despite the influx of new eateries and the area’s transformation into a tourist hotspot, Guarantee has retained its simple charm and timeless appeal. This no-frills sandwich shop is a favorite among both locals and tourists, with customers patiently lining up for its renowned food items.

While there’s a tempting selection of ready-made sandwiches, the real delight is in crafting your own. Choose from an impressive range of 27 cheeses, cold cuts and grilled meats and pair them with one of the 11 types of bread available, many from the nearby Takis bakery.

 

Run by Yiannis Karambelas, his wife Haroula, and their sons, Guarantee shines brightest in the mornings. It’s the perfect spot for a fresh juice and a satisfying breakfast sandwich, crafted by hands that know how to please the palate. 

Info

41 Veikou, Koukaki, Τel. (+30) 210.922.6924, Mon-Sat 09:00-17:00. 

DODONI

In a city awash in morning pastries, the kourou (cheese pie) from Dodoni distinguishes itself with grace and quality. Avoiding the pitfalls of artificial cheeses, frozen doughs, or harsh oils, Dodoni’s kourou is a genuine delight. It’s a small, golden, butter-scented treat, offering just enough delicious substance and sustenance to power the start to your day.

Since the early ’70s, these pies have been made fresh daily in Dodoni’s workshop, their inviting aroma something to wake up to in the Omonia area. While their kourou is a standout, their handmade bougatsa (creamy custard wrapped in golden brown crispy fillo) and their traditional small pizza with its sweet tomato sauce are also deservedly popular. 

Info

9 Lykourgou, Omonia, Τel. (+30) 210.324.2761, Mon-Sat 06:00-16:00. 

KOSTAS

Lean meat seasoned solely with salt and pepper, freshly baked soft pitas that aren’t greasy, irresistibly sweet tomatoes even in winter, and an abundance of fresh parsley: when someone has mastered the art of making souvlaki the way that Kostas has, approaching it with almost sacramental reverence, it becomes a dish you can relish at any hour, even in the morning. In fact, preferably in the morning, particularly if you’re looking to kick-start your day with an energy and taste boost.

As every Athenian who frequents the city center knows, this establishment almost always sells out its souvlaki by early afternoon, leaving little room for delay: even at 10 a.m., there are invariably two or three customers already waiting outside. Note: For his tylihto (wrapped) souvlaki, Kostas adds yogurt instead of tzatziki, along with onions and a generous sprinkle of red pepper for those who fancy it. 

Info

7 Filellinon, Syntagma, Tel. (+30)210.322.8502, Mon-Sat 10:00-16:00, but if you plan to go after 13:00, call ahead to place your order.

ACHILLEAS

Step back in time at Achilleas, where the art of crafting perfect pork gyros is still celebrated just as much as it was in the past. This outstanding eatery stands as one of Athens’ final bastions of a tradition that began in the 1970s, stoked by influences ranging from Turkish doner to Lebanese shawarma. Amidst a sea of change in which many establishments have seen a decline in the quality of what they serve, Achilleas stands firm as a proud upholder of this classic Athenian delicacy.

The owners, with a passion for authenticity, continue to engage in the nearly lost art of preparing the meat by hand. They meticulously debone it themselves and season it with the perfect balance of salt and pepper. They cook just enough each day to ensure that each serving is fresh and delicious. Their gyros are nothing short of exceptional – a delightful harmony of tempting flavors, with pork that’s a heady mix of textures, crispy on the edges yet tender in the middle.

 

As the evening creeps on at the eatery, a sense of urgency begins to build; the vertical rotisseries are almost bare of meat! No one wants to miss out; they know that wrapped in those firm pitas will be a tasty treasure trove of rich, red tomatoes from Filiatra in Messinia, bursting with juiciness; homemade tzatziki for an added creamy, zesty kick; and tangy onion to complete the symphony.

Gyros from Achilleas are more than just a quick and tasty meal option; they’re a celebration of tradition, an homage to simplicity, and a testament to the timeless allure of Athenian street food. 

Info

18 Spintharou, Neos Kosmos, Τel. (+30) 210.902.1391, Mon-Fri 16:30-00:00. 

BLACK SALAMI

Over the last couple of years, this Exarchia micro-bakery has become more and more popular, continually refining its baking techniques and crafting innovative options made with top-notch ingredients. A standout since its opening, it quickly captured our culinary curiosity, producing exceptional slow-matured loaves of bread, rich in flavor, which form the base for their inventive ‟portable” brunch selections featuring various egg preparations and some of the most skillfully assembled sandwiches in the city.

Their commitment to quality is evident in their choice of imported Italian flours, free from additives, stabilizers, or enhancers. Many of their ingredients are sourced through direct partnerships with small-scale Greek producers, effectively cutting out the middleman. Make sure to arrive early to snag their sought-after bread, and stay to try their distinctive cheese and spinach pies these are essentially bread stuffed with interesting cheese and vegetable combinations – as well as their hearty sandwiches, such as their BLT made with pancetta from Serres, their tender slow-cooked beef brisket sandwich, or their Black Pastrami, boasting 180 grams of pastrami complemented by homemade pickles.

Info

71 Zoodochou Pigis & Methonis, Exarchia, Tel. (+30) 211.418.7956, Mon-Sat 09:00-17:00, Sun 10:00-17:00.

Going Greek

LINOU SOUMPASIS KAI SIA

Despite trying perhaps a bit too hard with its decor and its tongue-in-cheek self-description as “simple restaurant – office – candles,” this modern taverna has captivated us with its distinct culinary flair. Now in its third season, it steadfastly honors the principles of seasonal and local produce, crafting slow-cooked, scrumptious dishes.

Head chef Loukas Mailer’s passion for superior extra-virgin olive oil is a hallmark of his creations. Many of his dishes leave behind rich and flavorful traces of olive oil made from Koroneiki olives of Ancient Olympia, and you’ll want to soak it up with their delicious fresh bread.

 

The menu, a canvas of culinary innovation, changes almost daily. Standout dishes that have left a lasting impression include the succulent beef cheeks with chickpeas; the perfectly grilled mackerel served with a subtly sweet and sour lentil salad; and the bean soup with wild mushrooms. Other great choices include the charcoal-grilled oysters; the antikristo (a traditional Cretan technique of roasting meat over coals) goat from the island of Lemnos; the salad with cherry tomatoes and Greek brie; and the freshly made lemon-infused pasta. The homemade candles that adorn the tables are also available for purchase at the restaurant.

Info

2 Melanthiou, Monastiraki, Τel. (+30) 210.322.0300. Mon-Fri 18:00-01:00, Sat-Sun 14:00-01:00. 

ELLA GREEK COOKING

Nena Ismirnoglou is a chef at the forefront of inventive new Greek cuisine, utilizing ingredients with protected origin designations with quiet consistency while embracing local and seasonal flavors. At Ella Greek Cooking, her menu is full of standout dishes, each a delectable nod to home-style traditions and comforting warmth. Specialties include the chickpea soup with rosemary, meticulously slow-cooked over twelve hours in a clay pot; the lusciously sweet giant beans atop a red lentil cream; and the aromatic fava purée accompanied by black-eyed peas. Her homemade dolmadakia (stuffed grape leaves), infused with herbs and toasted almonds, are nothing short of culinary poetry; dip them in the fragrant yogurt with Chios mastic before you pop them in your mouth.

Her vegetables are always in season, so you rarely find the same ones; she grills them lightly and serves them with hummus. Her fricassée dishes are prepared with lamb, goat, or kid meat, selected based on the finest market availability. The giouvetsi, made with kid goat, aromatic herbs, and creamy galomyzithra cheese, is sublime. And what can one say about her chestnut stifado with plums? These are traditional Greek dishes, made just as they should be.

Info

26 Mitropoleos, Tel. (+30) 210.331.5547. Sun-Thu 10:00-00:00, Fri-Sat 10:00-01:00. 

LELOUDAS

How is it that we still love this charming pre-war taverna, nestled in an unsuspecting side street of Petrou Ralli? How has it weathered decades, including some truly challenging times and yet remains not just relevant, but essential to city diners? It’s a fascinating case study in a city where steadfast beacons are vital amidst constant change and evolution.

Since 1928, from the moment the first pan sizzled, and the first glasses were filled with their signature homemade wine, Leloudas has stayed in the same family, consistently luring us in with its straightforward, hearty midday meals served in a space full of memories.

 

Our usual order includes classic feta with olives, tender meatballs made from freshly ground meat, rich stewed kid goat, and crispy fried potatoes topped with ground meat and dry mizithra cheese. We enjoy the wine crafted by Dimitris Leloudas, a trained oenologist, and conclude our meal with sweet crunchy, bite-sized pasteli (a honey and sesame bar).

Info

8-10 Salaminias, Votanikos, Tel.(+30) 210.346.4167. Open daily 12:00-18:00 from September until May, in June and July Mon-Fri only, August closed. 

FANIS’ KARAMANLIDIKA

The entrepreneur Fanis Theodoropoulos has the wisdom of a seasonal grocer, having grown up in his father’s small grocery store, Arapian, on Evripidou, Athens’ “street of spices,” which he still maintains to this day.

The nearby restaurant-deli Karamanlidika was his next venture; the first branch opened on Evripidou and later a second shop was launched on Ermou Street. Both locations sell quality products and serve outstanding meze, including their exquisite hunkiar beğendi (veal with eggplant purée), the mantı (an Anatolian ravioli), juicy kebabs, and the fragrant breads that come out of their stone-built oven and are served with pastourma (air-cured beef), soutzouki (beef sausage infused with cumin) and eggs, or ground meat. Their kanafeh (a sweet pastry), particularly noteworthy for its mastic flavor, is a delight. 

Info

119 Ermou, Thisseion, Τel. (+30) 210.321.9119. Mon-Sat 13:00-23:00. 

1 Sokratous & 52 Evripidou, Tel. (+30) 210.325.4184. Mon-Sat 08:00-23:00.



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