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Food in Athens

Hello all, my wife and I have 5 days in Athens (and many other days on the islands). Don't laugh but we are huge foodies and choose our destinations based on the food.

So, can someone give us some recommendations on where to eat? We are staying just outside of plaka.

Specifically we both love meat and keep seeing YouTubers with giant meat platters. Where to get that?

Best moussaka?
Best gyro?
Best pastries?
Best whatever...

Hit me with what you got.

For the record, already have mnahmanh on our list.


Posted by
973 posts

You'll be overwhelmed with choices and it's really a matter of preference, taste and budget.

Do you want to go where the tourists go or where most locals go?

One favorite area of mine is the Psiri District with a bit more local flavor than tourists but still popular with all. Still there are numerous places all over the city.

One of the best reasons to go to Greece is Greek Food.

You can check out my photos of tavernas I've gone to and food I've eaten not just in Athens but all over the country.

Hover your curser over a photo to get a caption:

Posted by
15 posts

Don't much care for the "touristy" places. I'm ok with hole in the wall type places as long as it's safe and not too much of a hassle to get there.

I'll check it the areas that you've listed.

Posted by
7972 posts

Kafeneio,, Loukianou 26, Kolonaki, classic, urban Athenian taverna in a lovely neighborhood not far from Syntagma Square, Benaki Museum. 2107237757
By the way, we never ate the foods you listed in Greece as there were so many excellent new foods to sample. Wait until you get to Greece and enjoy the fresh seafood and lamb, octopus, Greek salads. Honey cake. Yogurt with honey. Greek honey is terrific too.

Posted by
1313 posts

To Steki tou Ilia specialises in lamb chops, which they sell by the kilo. It’s a traditional place with a nice garden in the summer. It’s on Eptachalkou, a road that runs alongside the metro below Thisseio station.

There’s a small park between the station and the restaurant which is quite dark. We walk through it regularly but you might feel safer going round the outside later in the evening.


Posted by
973 posts

The most popular meat that Greeks eat will be pork and chicken. Lamb is eaten mostly for special occasions like Easter, christenings, weddings, etc. Tourists seem to think that lamb is served and eaten all over Greece.

Sheep/lamb are valued more for their milk to make cheese.

If you decide on a lamb meal you'll need to be careful it's a prime cut of lamb and not the fatty part which seems to be served more in tourist's tavernas than for local's tavernas.

Posted by
15035 posts

To clarify, the restaurant already on your list (and a good choice) is Mani Mani in English. When written in caps, MANI MANI (English) and MANH MANH (Greek), and Mani Mani = Mάνη Mάνη

Posted by
7 posts

I think the Psiri District would give you a more "greek" experience where many locals go to eat in addition to more knowledgeable tourists. Atlanko is a favorite of mine, excellent seafood at very affordable prices and in a nice alleyway with no traffic!
More great choices: Taverna Tou Psiri & Oinopoleion Taverna. You will be overwhelmed with choices for tavernas. Do your research, check travel forums, Athens restaurants guide, listen to experienced Athens travelers.
While most any taverna will offer good food, you'll find many others that don't get the hype, offer a traditional and local experience with food geared to Greeks more than tourists and at prices Greeks can afford and not what tourists are willing to pay.
As the saying goes: "When in Greece do as the Greeks do!"

Posted by
7972 posts

The chicken in Greece is delicious so make sure to have some. Much better than in the US.

Posted by
5630 posts

Great advice already.

Love Tzatziki yogurt with pita bread. Never took a liking to Ouzo or the Greek wine that has a faint turpentine taste.
Still, love the lamb dishes as well as stuffed grape leaves.

Posted by
973 posts

Many tavernas will allow guests to check out the serving area or even the kitchen to see what's available.

Don't be afraid to ask. Greeks like to show off what they have.

If you did that anywhere else they'd throw you out!

Posted by
125 posts

I have never been to Athens. Our 2021 trip is being postponed to 2022. However, I am still planning anyhow, part of the enjoyment for me is in the planning. On THAT note, I have read/watched videos of a restaurant called Diporto. It is underground, no signage, and from what I have read, they don't speak English and you get what they have made that day. It's a very small place and looks like a fun, authentic place to go.....maybe someone else on the forum can elaborate.
It is in the Omania district, .4 m from Plaka. They do have a web presence so just google Diporto.

Posted by
973 posts

I went to Diporto's a few years back. Sorta hard to find but if you look for "brown" doors you'll see it. It's right behind the produce section of the Central Markets on Athinas St. walk down the stairs and you are in another era of Athens.

It's reminiscent of the "old" Athens, nothing fancy and not a place for a romantic meal.

I have mixed opinions on it. I ordered a vegetable stew and fresh Greek bread which was outstanding. I then ordered a local fish which showed up swimming in oil. The fish was very bony and OK. When I got the bill it was "YIKES!" for this?

I've heard many good things about Diporto but my experience was mediocre and would not recommend it. However, others have said great things about it.

Posted by
5630 posts

Yes, don't order it unless you know what it is.
One day in Germany, I ordered a wurst (how could I be wrong with wurst?) and it was made from sheep's brains. It was not good.