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Athens Food Guide: What to Eat & Best Restaurants

Wondering what to eat in Athens?

From hearty salads to sizzling meat, the city serves up delicious dishes for every type of eater. In fact, you need at least a week to try all of the amazing food that Athens has to offer.

In this Athens food guide, I share some must-try snacks, dishes, and desserts. I also recommend the best places for breakfast, lunch, and dinner in Athens.

So, let’s dig in!


Breakfast in Athens

Truth be told, I’m not a breakfast person. My husband, on the other hand, can eat entire horse in the morning.

However, when I’m on holiday, I tend to make exceptions. I need a bit more than just coffee to help me gear up for a day of walking and exploring.

Fortunately, Greek breakfast is quite light and healthy. Typically, it consists of fruit and yoghurt.

Greek yoghurt | what to eat in Athens
Greek yoghurt at Yiasemi. Photo by Daniela Frendo.

Some breakfast places in Athens also serve homemade pastries and cakes. For example, Yiasemi in Plaka offers a variety of sweet and savoury treats.

It also does traditional Greek coffee, served with a spoon sweet.

If you just fancy a strong brew for breakfast, you can find several places in Athens that serve traditional Greek coffee.

Traditional Greek coffee
Traditional Greek coffee. Photo by Daniela Frendo.

Greek coffee is made by brewing finely ground coffee beans in a pot called a briki. It’s served with grounds in the cup, and it’s typically quite strong.


Best lunch spots in Athens

There are many places that serve traditional food in Athens.

If you prefer a light meal for lunch, you can have a Greek salad or stuffed peppers (gemista). For those with larger appetites, you cannot go wrong with gyros.

Here are my top recommendations for lunch in Athens. All of these places are located in the centre, close to Monastiraki Square.

Louis Bistrot

This French bistro is a great place for a light meal and a refreshing drink.

They serve delicious Mediterranean dishes and typical Greek food, including dolmades (stuffed vine leaves).

Here, I had one of the best Greek salads in Athens. The ingredients were so fresh!

Efcharis

Situated on one of the busiest streets in central Athens, Efcharis may seem like a tourist trap at first.

However, this restaurant on Adrianou Street serves up hearty dishes at very reasonable prices.

If you fancy something light and healthy, make sure to try the gemistas: peppers stuffed with rice and ground beef.

Stuffed peppers at Efcharis, Athens
Stuffed peppers at Efcharis. Photo by Daniela Frendo.

This is also one of the best places to try traditional food in Athens, like gyros and Greek salad. They serve a variety of seafood dishes, too.

Savvas

Fancy gyros for lunch? Head to Savvas!

This kebab shop on Ermou (next to Monastiraki Square) is perfect for meat lovers. They do grilled meats and delicious gyros.

They also have some vegetarian options, including salads with cheese.


Best places for dinner in Athens

Athens has no shortage of restaurants that serve delicious food. If you’re staying in Exarchia, you can indulge in the local food scene, away from the crowds.

We stayed at PAME Paradiso, a lovely four-stay hotel surrounded by some of the best restaurants in Athens.

However, even tourist hotspots like Plaka offer some amazing dining experiences.

So next in this Athens food guide, we’ll look at the best places for dinner in the city.

Rozalia

Rozalia is a traditional Greek restaurant located in a quaint alley in Exarchia. You can sit on the street or in the cozy restaurant garden.

I had moussaka here, and it was divine!

Moussaka at Rozalia.
Moussaka at Rozalia. Photo by Daniela Frendo.

They serve it in a clay dish, and it’s the perfect meal on a cold evening.

Salero

Love Spanish and Greek food? Salero in Exarchia combines these two cuisines with fresh dishes and amazing wine.

As a starter, I highly recommend getting the goat cheese wrapped in serrano ham.

They also make a lovely Greek salad if you prefer something light as the main course.

Rakoumel

Rakoumel is another amazing restaurant in Exarchia. It specializes in Cretan dishes and offers a large selection of mezes.

My top recommendations: the zucchini flowers stuffed with rice, and the Cretan sausage!

They have indoor and outdoor seating. Also, the place isn’t that big, so you might want to make a reservation.

Klimataria

Klimataria is a cozy tavern that serves some of the best food in Athens.

In fact, this restaurant is quite popular, so you’ll want to book a table at least a day in advance.

I recommend getting a variety of dishes to share, including the sausage, red peppers, and aubergine.

There’s live folk music on most nights, and they cook some of their home-made meals in huge pots.

To Kafeneio

On a nice summer evening, you can enjoy dinner al fresco in the quaint streets of Plaka.

However, even if you’re visiting Athens in October, it’s still warm enough to sit outside in the evening.

To Kafeneio is a lovely restaurant in the heart of Plaka, situated on a quiet alley with views of the Acropolis.

They make an amazing Greek salad here, served in a rusk bowl (all edible, of course).

I also recommend trying the cheese pie – the pastry is so nice and crunchy!

Ciel

For a truly amazing Athens dining experience, book a table at Ciel.

This rooftop restaurant and bar offers panoramic views of the city. If you’re there in the evening, you get to see the Acropolis all lit up.

They have a variety of dishes, including pizzas, pasta, and salads. I had the quinoa with avocado paste and prawns, and it was quite good.

Also, we were surprised at how reasonably priced the food was. We thought we’d have to “pay for the view”, but it was actually one of the cheapest meals we had in Athens.


Delicious desserts in Athens

So far, we’ve looked at the best food in Athens (and where to find it). Now, it’s time for dessert!

You may already be familiar with Greek sweets like baklava and milk pie. But, if like me, you’re more of a chocolate person, you might be looking for something a bit more, well, chocolatey.

So, here are my top recommendations.

Sorolop

Sorolop is actually an ice-cream place, but they also make these amazing profiteroles.

You can have them drenched in different types of chocolate, including white, milk, and dark.

Profiteroles at Sorolop
Profiteroles from Sorolop. Photo by Daniela Frendo.

Sorolop is located close to several restaurants in Exarchia, so you can get your profiteroles right after dinner.

I Cake You

If you’re staying at PAME Paradiso, you’re in for a treat (sorry, I had to!).

Right next to the hotel, you’ll find a cute little shop that sells brownies, cookies, and many other delicious sweets.

I Cake You is a great place to enjoy a coffee with cake after a morning of sightseeing. They have tables on the street, as well as a few indoor seats.


What to eat in Athens (a summary)

Breakfast:

Lunch:

Dinner:

Dessert:


Top Athens food tours

Want to explore the Athenian food scene with a local? Here are some of the best-rated food tours and cooking classes in Athens.


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