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Restaurants in Greece

The hubby and I are scheduled on the June 22nd Best of Greece tour, and will be heading to Naxos and Santorini after the tour. Do you have recommendations for small, family-owned, authentic Greek restaurants in Athens (Plaka neighborhood), Naxos, and Santorini? We have an eclectic palette. Thanks! (hubby says to state as long as it's not fried monkey brains)

Posted by
16883 posts

Fried monkey brains are out of season in June! You have a better chance of squid and octopus. Greek menus are sometimes not very eclectic, so if you see something you've never had, try it on the spot, with the knowledge that other traditional dishes will still be there next time.

I don't have any restaurants to recommend. In Greece, I've only selected restaurants either by reading my guidebook or by walking past and reading the menus. (Versus looking up New York Times reviews as in Paris, etc.) The nice thing is that restaurant menus are always posted outside in Europe. I prefer menus with maximum two languages, instead of six, or written on a chalkboard instead of laminated. In Greece, a lot of cheaper places seem to use a universal, pre-printed menu that they got from the restaurant supply store. Then, you try to order and find that they're "out of" several things. You also usually have the option of looking at their refrigerator display case for both prepared dishes and fresh fishes. It's also very common for Greek restaurants to have a greeter outside to encourage you in (or to turn you off); so common that you can't really make a rule about avoiding those.

Posted by
11613 posts

In the Plaka area of Athens, the restaurants will find you. My friend and I were dragged off the street (not against our will) to a restaurant there.

Otherwise, we just followed our noses. At that time of year, every restaurant will be open. I don't have specific names, it was a long time ago that I was in Greece. But keep in mind that even the most traditional menus will have a personal spin on how a dish is prepared, hence the advice to look and smell what's cooking.

Posted by
80 posts

I went to Athens and Santorini last year and my favorite restaurant of the trip was a place called Floga in Oia, Santorini. They have a little patio with a beautiful view over the caldera and the food was amazing. The service was great and because I emailed them ahead of time to "make a reservation", they reserved a table for me right along the edge of the patio so we had unencumbered views. And best of all, it was not as expensive as we thought it would be - It ended up being about 65 euros for 2 people, including drinks and tip. I highly recommend it for a nice, romantic dinner. Plus, after you eat, it's a short walk to the sunset viewing area of Oia :) Their website is http://www.floga-oia.com/index_content.php?height=955&width=1920 and their email is info@floga-oia.com

Enjoy!

Posted by
4535 posts

I've always been wary of restaurants that pay someone to hawk their establishment out on the sidewalk. But it is pretty common in Athens and other places, so it is a hard rule to follow there. A good restaurant has someone cooking in the back and they offer whatever they are cooking that day. So posted menus may not really work the way they do elsewhere in Europe.

It's been awhile since I was in Athens so won't offer any specific recommendations. Do check guidebooks and Tripadvisor as they usually have good options to at least check out. Avoid some of the main streets where the restaurants cater only to tourists and quality may vary significantly.

I also recommend eating mezedes. These are the Greek version of tapas and are small plates. It's a great way to try a variety of things and limit the damage if you accidently order monkey brains.

Posted by
1775 posts

Are you staying at the Acropolis Select? If so, out the door and to the right about a block up is a restaurant, Mani Mani ( spellings can be done many ways in Greece). If you keep walking to the right , up the hill towards the Plaka and the Acropolis, there is a family restaurant, To Kati Allo. It's just to the left on Hatzichristou ( which may be spelled with a "C" rather than an "H"). It's one that RS guide book mentions. Eat late and order whatever he suggests. We tried to return for lunch and the place was packed. If you go left out the hotel, down towards Drakou, there are some good restaurants as well. This isn't technically the Plaka, but it's less touristy. The night we ate at To Kati Allo, half the fun was watching the dignitary cars on the backside of the Acropolis Museum- they have a lot of fancy functions there.