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Where to eat in Athens - Best restaurants in Athens

  1. Before arriving in Athens
  2. How to get to Athens - Getting to Athens by train, plane, car, ship or bus
  3. Public Transport in Athens - Getting around Athens
  4. Cost of Living in Athens
  5. Save money in Athens - Tips for living in Athens on a student budget
  6. Accommodation for students in Athens - Top tips and advice
  7. Athens neighbourhoods - The most important districts of Athens
  8. Greek Cuisine - The gastronomy of Greece and traditional dishes
  9. Where to eat  in Athens - Best restaurants in Athens
  10. Athens Nightlife - Nightclubs and going out in Athens
  11. What to do in Athens
  12. Top 10 must-see attractions in Athens
  13. Top 10 Festivals in Athens
  14. Athens Beaches - The best beaches in Athens
  15. Day trips from Athens - Places to visit and excursions around Athens
  16. Athens in three days- What to see in Athens in three days

Athenians, especially students, love to eat. They use food as a way to meet new people and try different tastes. The students are really used to order delivery food while at home with their friends, or simply go out for some food and a chat at any time of the day. This is why you will be amazed to see thousands of different food spots all around Athens, even in small streets. Athens is huge, with a lot of great spots in many different areas, but I will try to give you some of the most well-known places you can find all over the city, without that meaning that you cannot find really great local ones with perfect value for money food.

I will not suggest specific names of places to have a full meal in Athens, as the list will be endless, but I will give you certain areas that are famous for the best restaurants with affordable prices, and you can freely choose among them to enjoy any of the above-mentioned tastes, as most of the restaurants tend to have pretty much the same menu painted with their own touch:

Centre of Athens: Taking a walk at the surrounding vertical streets of Ermou street, you will find a lot of traditional Greek tavernas. The same goes for many streets of Monastiraki, Plaka and Psirri. Keep in mind that many of them are tourist-traps so, make sure you take a look at the catalogue in order to see if the prices are normal before you enter. Prefer the ones with locals, like Klimataria, Sholarheion, Avli, Geros tou Moria, To Kafeneion, Kapnikarea where the total amount of money you will be asked to pay will not be more than 15 euros per person. Some of the most famous ones among the Athenians are Tzitzikas kai Mermigas, Plateia Theatrou, Ta Karamanlidika tou Fani, and Seihelles.

Exarheia: One of the most affordable regions, with modern tavernas hosting the hungry local students and the people who work closeby. Among the mostly selected ones are Mageirio, Rozalia, Ama lahei stis Nefelis, Rififi, Rakoumel, as well as Peinaleon, all of them with traditional dishes and Greek music. If you eat with friends here, it will cost you around 10 to 15 euros per person.

Haidari- Karaiskaki Street: Take the metro up to Ag.Marina station, and then walk to the Karaiskaki street, where you will find many tavernas with incredible local tastes, like Ladokolla for great Barbeque, Lemonaki (make sure that you make a reservation here, as it is so good that it is always crowded!) for home-made food, Mezeraki for cretan tastes, and Pes to ki Egine for authentic Greek cuisine. In all of them you will pay according to what you order, but I am pretty confident that the bill will not raise more than 15 euros per person.

Peristeri- Bournazi: Here, you can find a bunch of traditional places full of young people to eat at really great prices, or even fixed prices of 10-13 euros per person for unlimited food certain days of the week . Among the most famous of them are Ladokolla, Karagiozis for the best lamb in town, I Taverna tou Thoma, To Lithari, and, if you want to listen to some live Greek music too, Kresento.

Vari: It is a place on the coastline of Athens, away from the centre, but it is the ‘’Mecca’’ of all the meat lovers of Athens, as it hosts some of the best tavernas for traditional Greek meat. Ta Vlahika tis Varis is the most well-known of them for delicious lamb and kokoretsi and kontosouvli, followed by Tsolias and Voskopoula. In this area, you can enjoy original food among the locals, with a chance to walk along the coast afterwards.

The best places for brunch in Athens

The combination of breakfast and lunch, the well-known “brunch” is a new trend in Athens, that started in 2005. The weekends in Greece tend to be cozy and calm, and Greeks love to go out late in the morning, in order to sit at a table for a long time, while drinking coffee and having a chat with their friends. As the time goes by, after a strong coffee that will wake you up after a wild party night, you will need something to fill your belly and at the same time consist a full-meal. It is now converted into a habit in Athens, and that is why most of the coffee places started to create their own brunch menus, that have nothing to be jealous from the foreign ones. Here, you will find some of the most popular brunch spots in Athens, in order to fill not only your weekends’ mornings, but also your stomach.

Estrella: This is the best option for the foodies of this town. It is always crowded with students, as its products are the best value for money. It hosts the internationally famous “bougatsan”, a butter croissant that comes along with sweet semolina creme and optional praline. Here, you can also find a brunch menu with delicious extraordinary tastes of sweet or salty pancakes, bagels, burgers, pizzas, club sandwiches, waffles, smoothies, etc. (Estrella Athens, Romvis 24A, Athens,€)

The Underdog: Thissio is one of the most beautiful areas in the centre of the capital for a walk and a tasty brunch. The Underdog is famous for its good-quality coffee and its special brunch menu. Here, you can have scrambled eggs with mushroom ragout and cheese, eggs with fried potatoes and chorizo sausage, and tasty combinations of pancakes. (The Underdog, Iraklidon 8, Thiseion, €€)

Harvest: Harvest is known amongst Athenians as one of the best wine bars, although in the morning it serves a diverse catalogue of brunches. Amongst the many choices, there are burgers, sandwiches, fajitas, scrambled eggs, benedict with omelette, pancakes filled with praline and creme anglaise. (Harvest, Aiolou 64 and Evripidou Street, Athens,€€)

Otto: It is one of the places that hosted King Othon and Amalia when they first arrived as kings in Athens, so it is promising a royal breakfast for the food lovers, in a decent price. Here, you can taste many traditional Greek- kind of brunches, like yogurt with honey and nuts with fresh orange juice or a mediterranean Greek pizza called “ladenia”. (Otto, Kalamiotou 16-18, Syntagma,€€)

Spollati: It is located at Ag.Eirini Square, where most of the students gather all day long in order to hang out with their friends. Here you can try musli with milk or yogurt, homemade cereal bars with honey and nuts, omelette or scrambled eggs and mouth-watering club sandwiches. (Aiolou 27A, Ag. Eirini’s square,€€)

New York Sandwiches: In a place decorated with Scandinavian minimalism, seated in double american-style booths, you can enjoy one of the best brunches in Athens. It's basically a typical american weekend meal which includes various egg dishes such as Eggs Benedict, Eggs Florentine, delicious Burgers, BLT, as well as pancakes. It is so famous among youngsters, that as the time goes by, there are new branches all over Athens, so it’s impossible not to find one close to your place. (New York Sandwiches, Nikis 23, Syntagma, €€)

The best places for Ethnic Street Food in Athens

Kafti Patata: A new trend in Athens, serving tasty, healthy potatoes baked in the oven for 90 minutes, and then served with butter, cheese, and any kind of taste that you are free to choose among a variety of available ingredients, for less than 5 euros. (Kafti patata, Kolokotroni 37, Athens,€)

Street Wok: It is a different street food which is made exclusively in the wok, just as you can find in the Asian outdoor markets: delicious, fresh and simple exotic tastes, with a specialty in reasonably priced and mouth-watering noodles. (Street Wok, Ampelokipi Menemeni Greece, Panormou 115Ζ, €€)

Johnie Hot Dog: It’s located outside the Panteion University, aiming at the students who are searching for a quick, low-cost bite after their classes, this canteen makes the absolute hot dog: you can choose between four different kinds of sausage and lots of ingredients for innumerable combinations. Apart from the many students that pay a visit every day, it is the best option for the passengers of Syngrou Street and for everyone who just attended an event in the House of Letters and Arts. (Johnie Hot Dog, Syngrou Street 136,€)

Hot Hot : It is a chain bar spread all across the capital, but the one in Syntagma is the most famous, as it is close to all the bars of the Kolokotroni street and it is the first choice of all those who want a quick, cheap and delicious snack after a long night out. There are exuberant burgers fulfilling all the tastes, hot dogs, or even vegetarian burgers. (Hot Hot Burger Bar, Praxitelous 2 and Kolokotroni 14, Syntagma,€)

Mpar mpee kiou: Voted as one of the 25 best burger bars in the world, this is the place where you should definitely come starving, because apart from the mouth-watering catalogue that will make it extremely hard for you to choose the perfect combination you want, the portions are huge! Mpar mpee kiou is prohibited for anyone on a diet, so get prepared to loosen your belt and have the juiciest burger you have ever had. (Mpar mpee kiou, Leof. Freatidos 13, Piraeus, €€)

Falafellas: Τhis is the original place which actually introduced the falafel-eating culture in Athens. It is a really small place that serves the best falafels in town, and that is obviously proven by the crowds of people waiting in line for a take away of this lebanese delicacy all day long. The best part: you will have the greatest taste in the most logical price. (Falafellas, Aiolou 51, Athens,€)

Lukumades: If you feel that you have a craving for something sweet, then don’t hesitate to try one of the most traditional sweet street foods of Greece, an all-time classic. As its name states, Lukumades are little fried dough balls covered with a variety of toppings between which you are free to choose, the traditional one being honey with cinnamon. (Lukumades, Aiolou 21, Athens, €)

Ethnico: Mexico, Spain, Jamaica...Ethnico is serving food from all over the world, taking your taste away to distant, exotic destinations. You can try tasty quesadillas, falafel sandwiches, chimichangas and exotic juices that will definitely travel you at the four corners of the world. (Ethniko, Kolokotroni 22, Athens, €€)

Tortuga: It may be small, but it promises great satisfaction. The open kitchen promotes the concept of slow and handmade food, perfect for a lunch or dinner with your friends. Don’t expect another classic wrap here. There are special combinations with international flavors closed in handmade crisp tortillas in more than just satisfying portions. (Tortuga, Archimedous 1, Pagrati, €€)

Kantina Mavili: The historic canteen in Mavilis Square has been feeding generations for over 20 years and remains a constant value for those who love hot dogs. It’s reputation brings not only young, but old people as well from every single part of Athens so as to eat the cleanest “vromiko”(filthy- that means the low quality food you eat after a long night out) in the city. It’s impossible not to find a queue there, especially on Fridays and Saturdays, but it will definitely be worth the wait. Choose the vromiko with boiled or roasted sausage- . (Kantina Mavili, Dim. Soutsos 3, Mavili Square,€€)

Gazi College: It has not only the name of a college, but also the feeling. It is open 24/7, so as to host all the students that party or just go for a coffee or a brunch in the district of Gazi. It’s menu will definitely make your mouth water, as the choices are numerous, and the tastes incredible. You can feel it since the very moment you enter, as the cakes and sandwiches waiting for you to choose them increase your appetite in instants of a second. (Gazi College, Persefonis 53, Gazi, €€)

Vromiko Michalakopoulou: “Vromiko” means dirty, and there is nothing better than tasty, fried, lower-nutricional food after a long night out, so that is how the Greeks use to call the food they eat in the early hours. Prepare to wait in a long line in order to be served, as this is the most legendary canteen in Athens, and it is open all night long. Over the last years, it consists the first choice of the food lovers who come all over Athens to taste its famous chicken bites with incredible sauce and fried fries.(Vromiko Michalakopoulou, Michalakopoulou 38,€)

Keep in mind that the national Greek street food is called Souvlaki or Tilihto. Souvlaki is kind of a sandwich with pita bread, usually with pork or chicken meat, potatoes, tomatoes, salad and tzatziki sauce. This is the traditional combination, but you can alter it according to your tastes. You can find this street food everywhere, as it is so cheap (it costs from 1.80 up to 2.70 euros) and mouth-watering, that it is on high demand, and, as a result, there are thousands of Souvlatzidika where you can eat one. The quality of the ingredients make the taste of souvlakia different in each and every place, so you can have a good one anywhere, but just for your convenience and ultimate experience, I will suggest you Thanassis, Savvas and Bairaktaris as the best ones for souvlaki in the centre of Athens, as well as Elvis kalamakia, a place where you can have souvlaki in its premature form.

The best places for desserts in Athens

Apart from coffee or a drink, the Greeks are obsessed with sweets, so they never miss a chance to enjoy one in a place which normally serves sweets and coffee. Here, I will make a list of the best spots for the yummiest sweets you can find in Athens. Be sure not to be on a diet while going to these because you are going to spoil it...but you are definitely not going to regret it!

To Serbetospito tis Nancy: It is by far the best and most famous traditional place for sweets in Athens, with so many visitors that it has two branches only a few metres away one from the other. Don’t judge by the looks, as it looks like an old coffee place, just take a look at the sweets which are exhibited for those who know how to eat well, as it is extra difficult to choose among them. You MUST try the Cake of Love which is full of chocolate or any one, and order them with kaimaki ice-cream, the specialty of the place- rumor has it that nobody could finish eating all of it….the portions are extreme! (To Serbetospito tis Nancy, Pl.Iroon 1,Athens, €)

Cap Cap: Hidden in a little street of Aigaleo district, you can find a little patisserie that makes fairytales come true. This place is full of students, as its atmosphere makes you feel like a child, with figures of famous fairy tales surrounding you, music from well-known films’ soundtracks and tastes which steal their names from Harry Potter and other teen blockbusters. The hot chocolate and the mud-pie are must-try, and you should accompany the latter with ice cream.(Cap Cap, Panormou 26, Aigaleo, €€)

Fairytale: If you like sweets and fairy tales, then Fairytale in Nea Filadelfeia district promises to satisfy both your desires, as long as you can find a free table. It is always full of the most ambitious sweet-lovers, as it offers exceptional sweets, like New York Cheesecake with ferrero and Oreo, Bueno Donuts, Twix dessert and cakes named like “Death by chocolate” in a place that gives you the feeling that you live in a fairytale. (Fairytale, Tripia 48, Nea Filadelfeia, €€)

Portatif: Made to look like a cozy house, with classic pottery and vintage furniture, it attracts a lot of students due to its proximity to the Kapodistrian University. The place is small but full of colours, and you can sit inside or outside in order to have a coffee or eat delicious homemade tarts, profiterol, and hot chocolate with cinnamon and orange. (Portatif, Sina 21, Athens, €)

Yiasemi: It is one of the most famous spots of Plaka, as proved from the hundreds of people that visit it every day in order to spend a joyful afternoon with friends sitting at the tables on the stairs. Getting the charm from the picturesque neighborhood of Plaka, it is an ideal place in order to drink a Greek coffee along with a homemade pie or a cake. (Yiasemi, Mnisikleous 23, Athens, €€)

Note: although waffles and crepes are not traditional greek desserts, you will find innumerable places that serve them with tons of nutella and ice cream, naming some: Crepe Diem, Wafflemania, Crepa Land or Pagotomania. Don’t miss the chance to try one of them anywhere, it will definitely make your day! In addition, you will find donut houses all over Athens, the best brand of them being Nannou Donuts, with their price starting from only 0.60 cents.

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