Athens Food Guide – What to eat in the capital of Greece?
As Europe’s oldest city, Athens is an ancient beauty with tradition and history. There are incredible monuments, museums and centuries-old structures around every corner.
Acropolis, one of Athens’s most popular destinations, is a wonderful place to get lost in. Visible from almost everywhere in the city, Acropolis is a world of its own. It manages to surprise and dazzle regardless of how well-documented it is.
Besides the historic spots that is plays host to, Athens has become a foodie destination in the last few years. There are all kinds of eateries all ready to deliver authentic Greek cuisine to you.
I met my tour guide, Maria Synodinou, who brought me to places on and off the beaten track. We tried a whole range of local delicacies and visited shops with premium Greek products. I even had the chance to speak with a few talented budding chefs.
Athens has long been a dream destination for many but the cost of flying there is always a concern. Now, we can fly to Athens easily and most importantly, affordably and safely, thanks to Scoot. Scoot has just launched their first direct long-haul flight to Athens, Greece! You get to fly on the spanking new Boeing 787 Dreamliner with All-in Fares from just SGD 268! With that, let me present to you my BEST FOOD FINDS IN ATHENS!
Take a short walk around the city and you will discover that Athens has joined the street food revolution. At the newly-opened Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, which is home to the National Library of Greece and the National Opera, we met Georgios Glinos who started a mobile ‘Food Truck’ that serves delicious and healthy Turkish Gözleme. Even though he has a degree in astrophysics and an MBA, he decided to jump into a totally different career.
Gözleme is a flatbread filled with delicious ingredients. Georgios gets his produce from small producers, and every item on the menu is carefully crafted by him. I shared the feta cheese with greens with my guide, as we enjoyed the view of Stavros Niarchos Park. If you’re short of time, and only have limited time to try out the food available in the city, don’t miss the Feta with Greens here.
Address: Leof. Andrea Siggrou 364, Kallithea 176 74, Greece
Located along the coast of Microlimano Piraeus, Jimmy’s Fish is a restaurant famous for fresh fish, seafood and Greek cuisine in Piraeus. Owner, Babies, took over the business 2 years ago from his good friend Jimmy. He used to work on a ship and knew nothing about F&B. However, he picked it up along the way and now Jimmy’s Fish is one of the most popular restaurants in Athens.
Only the freshest supply from local fishermen is served here. Our order of grilled grouper was firm but tender, the wine-braised octopus bursting with flavour, and the fried shrimps crunchy and fresh.
Classic Greek dishes are available at Jimmy’s Fish too. It may sound silly to you, but it was my first time eating Greek salad in Greece so I was really excited about it. It’s such a beautifully simple salad with sweet red tomatoes, crunchy cucumbers, rich olives and salty feta cheese. Enjoying such a timeless Greek classic while admiring the view of the harbour was nothing short of enchanting.
Address: Akti Koumoundourou 46, Pireas 185 33, Greece
Phone: +30 21 0412 4417
O Gyros pou Girevis
Plaka, the oldest district in Athens, is built at the foothill of the Acropolis. We thoroughly enjoyed the wonderful view of the picturesque neoclassical houses, and the abundance of cafes and restaurants in the area. Roaming the streets is a delightful assault on the senses.
My tour guide, Maria, told me that the gyros here is one of the best in Athens. I did not doubt her as the aroma of the roasted meat was truly inviting. Gyros is a Greek dish made of meat(traditionally pork, or chicken) cooked on a vertical rotisserie. The moist and crispy meat is served wrapped in a flatbread with tomato, onion, and tzatziki sauce (made from yogurt, garlic and cucumber). If you are only heading to Athens for a really short period of time and wondering what is one restaurant that you absolutely cannot miss, O Gyros pou Girevis is it.
O Gyros pou Girevis
Address: 5, Athanasiou Diakou 1, Athina 117 42, Greece
Froots Juice Bar
This is a lovely corner near the Acropolis Metro station. Froots Juice Bar serves freshly cold-pressed juices and sandwiches. Michael opened this juice bar 2 years ago. There are energy-boosting juices, stress-reducing juices, and more. I picked the apple, carrot, ginger and lemon combination, in the hopes of a quick juice cleanse after a day of indulgent feasting.
Here’s a fun fact! Froots has two entrances. The one from Porinou Street (pictured) has a little secret garden amongst the surrounding apartments. Sipping on a cup of refreshing fruit juice in the garden is a great way to recharge after a long day.
Froots Juice Bar
Address: 6 Athanassiou Diakou, Athens 117 42, Greece
Phone: +30 210 92 22234
This small bakery located near the Acropolis Museum is an eye-opener. Artemi’s and Theodori’s Grandfather started this bakery in 1971 after working in a “koulouri” shop in Thessaloniki. Koulouri Thessalonikis is the most popular street food that one can find in Greece. This sesame seed-encrusted bread ring is a traditional snack that Greeks have as breakfast-on-the run.
Today, more than 50 different kinds of bread are produced here everyday. You will find sandwiches, cookies and cakes in the bakery. They also supply to many cafes in Athens.
Address: Misaraliotou 14, Athina 117 42, Greece
Phone: +30 21 0923 0052
Drupes & Drips
Coffee joints are bringing new buzz to the once languishing areas. The owners of Takis Bakery has opened a café “Drupes & Dripes” beside the bakery. They serve specialty coffee and juices in the morning, and fine wine and tasty Mediterranean bites later in the day. As Drupes & Drips and Takis Bakery are both owned by Artemi, food from Takis Bakery is allowed to be brought over to Drupes & Drips. We got apple pie, koulouri and brownies from Takis Bakery to go along with a cup of coffee here.
This is where I got to try Greek coffee. A strong brew (just like our kopi-gao) is boiled in a tall, narrow pot with foam on the top. It is traditionally served black, though some young people prefer to order a “double” Greek Coffee and add milk to it. This is the perfect venue for coffee-sipping and people-watching.
Drupes & Drips
Address: Zitrou 20, Athina 117 42, Greece
Phone: +30 21 0923 0052
Melilotos started out as a delivery service of home-cooked meals before they decided to open a restaurant in downtown Athens. This family-run restaurant uses regional ingredients to whip up simple and traditional Greek dishes.
For a start, we shared a plate of salad with figs, French soft goat cheese and pastrami deli meat. I had the black tagliatelle made with cuttlefish ink from Chios Island. It is cooked with smoked trout from Orhomenos, cherry tomatoes and ouzo sauce. Cooked al dente, the pasta is striking in both flavour and color. The salmon baked in paper with celery, leek and fennel, is moist and tender.
Address: Kalamiotou 19, Monastiraki, Athens 105 60, Greece
Phone: +30 21 0322 2458
Scholarchio Restaurant is one of the older restaurants in the Plaka area, closer to the base of the Parthenon. I met my Greek friend, Michael, for dinner on my last day and we managed to snag a nice table by the window.
I was honestly very impressed with the moussaka at Scoot’s meal presentation and I wanted to try it again at a local restaurant. The moussaka sees thin pieces of fried potato and eggplant layered with meat sauce, and topped with béchamel sauce. I have to admit that the moussaka was absolutely brilliant.
Address: 14 Tripodon, Athens 105 58, Greece
Phone: +30 210 3247605
It feels like Christmas when I entered Noel. One of Athen’s hottest bars, this space exudes a warm and welcoming holiday charm all year round. The red walls are accented with golden touches, and chandeliers dangle from the ceiling. Do try their range of uniqe cocktails such as the Windmill Fizz – a concoction made from vodka, raspberry syrup, lemon, love bitters, cider and egg white.
Address: Kolokotroni 59B, Athina 105 62, Greece
Phone: +30 21 1215 9534
Athens Central Market is where you get to see the real Athens. I enjoyed walking around the market with a carnival of smells, colors, people and activities. The best part was sampling a wide variety of fresh produce and local products along the way. There are excellent cured meats and cheeses, herbs, spices, sweets, honey, liqueurs and anything you can think of from every corner of Greece.
Throughout my few days in Athens, we tried a good range of Greek food from places only the locals knew. Maria was passionate and knowledgeable about Greek culinary heritage and shared with me a great deal about how food has always been an important part in the lives of the Greek.
Address: Athinas, Athina 105 51, Greece
Weather in Greece
To be honest, I think anytime is a good time to come to Greece because there is always something to see every season. If you really want to be specific, spring and autumn are probably the perfect times to see Athens. Between March and May, and September and November, sunshine is pretty much a guarantee. The skies will be a gorgeous azure blue and the temperature very pleasant.
Scoot to Greece
Low-cost carrier Scoot has launched their first ever long-haul flight between Singapore and Athens. The route will be serviced by Scoot’s fleet of Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner and it is a non-stop, direct flight from Singapore to Athens. The planes are fitted with eight crew bunks and a total of 329 seats, including 18 in ScootBiz.
There will be three to four flights from Singapore to Athens per week (depending on the season). During winter season (October to February), they have 2 flights a week. The planes are scheduled to take off at 2.45am (Singapore time) and land in Athens at about 8.45am (Athens time). Don’t miss the sale that runs till 30 June! To book, visit Scoot’s website.