The Best Restaurants in Athens, Greece

The 15 Best Restaurants in Athens, Greece

There’s a reason you find Greek restaurants and tavernas all over the world – the food is divine! From flavor-packed kebabs made with soft and puffy pita bread to buttery spanakopita and the iconic Greek salad, whatever you’re craving, your palate is guaranteed to be satisfied in Athens.

Greece’s capital is home to a staggering array of places to eat. During your visit, you’ll stumble across tiny street stalls that dish up phenomenal dishes for less than the change in your pocket, beautiful tavernas where outdoor tables are surrounded by bougainvillea, and top-end Michelin-starred restaurants that serve food almost too gorgeous to eat.

With such a fantastic choice of dishes to try and enticing spots to visit, it can feel impossible to work out which restaurants are worth visiting. To help make things easier, we’ve put together a list of the absolute best restaurants in Athens that serve food so remarkable you’ll be begging for their recipes. Add these restaurants to your list of must-do things in Athens, and you’re sure to have an incredible time dining in this ancient city. 

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15 Must-Try Restaurants in Athens, Greece

1. Nice n Easy

Sometimes simple is best, which is definitely true when it comes to Nice n Easy. Home to some of the best food in Athens, this unassuming restaurant is all about farm-to-table cuisine, and each mouthful perfectly reflects that. This casual bistro starts with the finest organic ingredients sourced from local Greek producers and enhances them with simple, trusted cooking methods to deliver phenomenal dishes you’ll be dreaming about for years to come.

The restaurant’s name was inspired by a Frank Sinatra song, and the decor falls in line with the 1950s Hollywood theme. There’s a focal wall with a portrait of Marilyn Monroe carved into the brickwork, with faded images of other retro movie and music stars decorating the remaining space. Pull up a chair at one of the minimalist tables indoors or enjoy your meal al fresco on the small outdoor terrace that’s perfect for people-watching.

Whether you visit for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, the striking decor and wholesome Greek food will win you over every time. 


2. To Kati Allo

Cool Restaurants in Athens: To Kati Allo

If you’re looking for somewhere to eat after exploring the fascinating Acropolis Museum, seek out To Kati Allo. This beautiful Greek taverna is tucked away down a small side street that may just be steps away from the bustling tourist hotspot but has a tranquil atmosphere that makes it feel like it’s in another world.

Run by two generations of an Athenian family, To Kati Allo keeps things as traditional and authentic as possible. Together, the Bakatselos have been wowing hungry diners with classic Greek cuisine for over three decades.

Take a look at the menu, and you’ll discover wonderful plates such as grilled feta cheese, stuffed saganaki, and mousaka. If you’re feeling adventurous, there are some more out-there dishes, too, including fall-off-the-bone braised rabbit with Zakynthos cheese and goat fricassee with a rich egg and lemon sauce.  

The portions are spectacularly large, especially considering the low prices. So don’t be surprised if you accidentally over-order and leave with enough leftovers to last you for several days. 


3. Birdman

Best Restaurants in Athens: Birdman
Images courtesy of Birdman

Not all the top restaurants in Athens serve Greek food, and Birdman is a testament to that. Arguably the city’s best-kept secret, this offbeat Japanese hangout is hidden in plain sight in the center of Athens and is well-known among locals for its phenomenal yakitori skewers.

An excellent alternative when you want a break from Greek food, Birdman serves the type of creative high-protein dishes that foodies dream of. Their open-fire kitchen churns out delicious neck-to-tail yakitori, seafood kushiyaki, hands-only bone-in cuts, and exclusive rare-breed beef nigiri. Making the most of fresh, seasonal produce, as many ingredients as possible are sourced from local farmers and producers.

Definitely not a place to go for a long, leisurely lunch, Birdman caters to diners on the go. The Japanese pub offers only a handful of tiny tables and benches out front where you can pause while waiting for your delicious eats to arrive. While you’re hanging around, treat yourself to one of their unique cocktails, such as the Ume Bloody Mary made with miso, sake, wasabi, plum, and truffle mushroom salt. 


4. Ta Karamanlidika Tou Fani

A must-visit for any foodie looking for an authentic Greek experience, Ta Karamanlidika Tou Fani is much more than a restaurant. This unique spot is a modern version of a Byzantine pastomageireio – a fantastic fusion of tavern and deli. Tucked away inside a stunning neoclassical house, this dining spot is gorgeous and easily missable if you don’t know what you’re looking for.

Solid wooden tables and chairs dressed with sea-inspired white and blue crockery frame the star of the show – an extraordinary deli counter laden with all sorts of weird and wonderful edible goodies. 

Choose delicious cold cuts and local cheeses from the vast selection and combine them with the hot dishes of the day. The offering changes daily. But if you find fried aubergine and zucchini in a Cappadocian sauce available, you’ve absolutely got to order it.

One of the best things about Ta Karamanlidika Tou Fani is the ease of ordering. If you fall in love with something from the deli counter, you can order as much as you like. The friendly staff will prepare and package it up for you in seconds to take back to your accommodation.


5. Phita

Phita (also known as Fita and Pita) is essentially single-handedly responsible for bringing a new lease of life to Neos Kosmos, a downtown neighborhood that never used to have much of a spark. Undoubtedly one of the coolest restaurants in Athens, Phita looks a little out of place, flanked by abandoned housing projects and a tired tramline, but its gritty surroundings are all part of its charm.

The open kitchen is what attracts most visitors to this dining spot. You can enjoy an unobstructed view of the chefs at work from almost any of the tables and watch them as they create delectable wonders, with seafood being one of the specialties. The menu changes regularly according to the freshness and availability of ingredients, making two visits very unlikely to be the same. 

Some of the popular classics that frequently grace the menu are thick homemade potato chips served with creamy taramasalata for dipping and delicate fish tartare served on plump stuffed vine leaves.


6. Klimataria

Must Visit Restaurants in Athens: Klimataria
Images courtesy of Klimataria

One of the longest-established restaurants you’re likely to come across in Athens, Klimataria is the place to go if you’re in the mood for a little entertainment with your meal. This lively tavern has been family run since 1927 and is just as charming and enticing as it was on its very first day. 

The menu is laden with Mediterranean delicacies, from vibrant beetroot salads and crunchy zucchini balls to fresh grilled fish with seasonal greens and stuffed vine leaves with a rich tomato sauce. There are plenty of plant-based options, too, including a veggie moussaka that’s so divine there’s no way you’ll miss the meat. The house wine is beyond delicious and shockingly affordable. 

Visit during the evening, and you’ll be treated to a magnificent performance led by local artists and bands. Making a reservation here is a fantastic way of supporting up-and-coming artists while indulging your taste buds at the same time. Even if there’s no show when you visit, the rustic surroundings and friendly staff guarantee you a great time.


7. Seychelles Restaurant

The name may be a bit confusing, but Seychelles is one of the most remarkable restaurants in Athens. Said to be the original modern Greek bistro, this tavern is a friendly place where tables and chairs are tightly packed together.

If you don’t want to rub shoulders with other diners, grab a seat at the kitchen counter where you can watch the incredibly talented chefs work their magic. Alternatively, there’s also a casual outdoor seating area where you dig into Greek delights while watching the world go by. 

The comprehensive menu is brimming with so much deliciousness that you’ll find it almost impossible to settle on a single dish. We suggest sharing with your travel buddy and ordering a mix of roasted garlic cream-dressed salads, exquisitely presented seafood, and addictive meat-based dishes enhanced with gourmet extras like apricot ketchup. 

End your heavenly meal with rich, smooth, and creamy Cycladic cheeses and a glass of local wine if you’ve still got room. 


8. Hytra

Must Visit Restaurants in Athens: Hytra

If you’re celebrating a big occasion, make it extra special by reserving a table at Hytra. One of the most spectacular rooftop restaurants in Athens, Hytra is a Michelin-starred marvel that’s perched above the city on the 6th floor of the Onassis Cultural Center. From its lofty position, you get a sensational view of the Acropolis, as well as the quaint whitewashed buildings that make up the rest of the city. 

The a la carte menu is surprisingly simple, with just 2-3 options available for each course. But having so few options allows the chefs to devote all their care and attention to each dish and deliver it flawlessly. For an experience you’ll never forget, we suggest foregoing the a la carte menu in favor of one of the tasting menus.

Made up of 10-12 dishes, the tasting menus invite you on a gastronomic journey across Greece, beginning at the coast with delicate fish before moving inland for meat-based dishes and ending in heaven with a sweet chocolate-based dream. It’s worth splashing out on the drink pairing option and having your tasting menu accompanied by local wines or innovative cocktails. 


9. Kanaria

Unique Restaurants in Athens: Kanaria

Because of its ordinary location on an unremarkable street and unassuming façade, it’s easy to walk past Kanaria and think nothing of it. But to do so would be to miss out on one of the best fish tavernas in Athens. As soon as you pop your head through the entrance, you’ll discover that Kanaria is anything but ordinary.

The interior design makes you feel like you’ve stepped out of the 21st century and straight into a 1950s Greek diner. Huge wine barrels surrounded by vines decorate the walls, along with pictures of vineyards and family members who have worked hard to make Kanaria what it is today. The plain wooden chairs and tables covered with white paper tablecloths give the restaurant a familiar, casual feel.

This humble vibe is enhanced by the lack of a menu. Instead, your server will describe the handful of dishes that are available that day. Whatever you order, we strongly recommend accompanying it with some of the house wine. It’s made by the owners and tastes superb!


10. Orizontes

Describing Orizontes as one of the most magnificently alluring restaurants in the world would be a clear understatement. Perched prestigiously on Lycabettus Hill, this romantic open-air restaurant rewards diners patient enough to endure the long waiting list with unparalleled views of the city that stretch across the rustic homes, over the ancient Acropolis, and all the way out to sea.

You absolutely have to make a reservation for sunset. This way, you get to see the city bathed in golden light before the cobalt sky takes over and the city comes to life with twinkling fairy lights. It’s the closest you’ll ever get to dining on Mount Olympus like a god. 

Not only is Orizontes famed for its magnificent panoramas, but it’s also highly regarded for its excellent cuisine. Top-notch Mediterranean food flows from the kitchen in the form of mixed green salads with crispy prosciutto, lobster with housemade linguini, and a rack of lamb in a pistachio crust. As you’d expect from such a fancy place, there’s a spectacular wine list with bottles from all over the world. 


11. Linou Soumpasis & Sia

Despite its simplicity and minimalism, Linou Soumpasis & Sia is one of the finest Michelin-starred restaurants in Athens. This contemporary new-age taverna is conveniently located in the beating heart of the Psiri district and is set inside a building that was once a candle shop. As a fun, quirky bonus, you can still buy the candles that were originally made in this spot today.

Linou Soumpasis & Sia has earned its marvelous reputation by serving delicious Greek cuisine with a modern flair and zero added hassle. Absolutely everything is made from scratch – from the light-as-a-cloud pita bread stuffed with delicate lamb meatballs to the sharp pickled vegetables served with velvet-smooth goat cheese. 

This is a wonderful place to discover something new, and the best dishes at this restaurant are the simplest. Huge butterflied prawns grilled and drizzled with lemon butter, organic chicken dressed in a perfectly balanced yogurt sauce, and delicately blanched zucchini paired with soft anevato cheese will have you wanting to return again and again.


12. Strofi

Must Visit Restaurants in Athens: Strofi
Images courtesy of Strofi

For the chance to dine with the stars, make reservations for Strofi. This top-end restaurant has such an exemplary reputation that it’s a popular dining spot for famous faces from all over the world. On the off chance that there isn’t a celebrity dining at the same time as you, all you’ve got to do is look up, and the sparkling night sky will provide you with an equally jaw-dropping view.

An excellent place to go when you’re absolutely ravenous, Strofi specializes in generous mezze platters that are unbelievably huge. There’s a great selection to choose from, with all sorts of dishes such as mashed split peas with olive oil, garlic-marinated red peppers, grilled halloumi with pine nuts, spinach pie with housemade phyllo pastry, and rainbow Aegean salad.

If you’re not a fan of sharing, you’ll find plenty of tempting a la carte entrees to choose from. The Mastelo pork is highly recommended and is slow-cooked with baby onions, chickpeas, potatoes, and soft cheese infused with marjoram. 


13. Oikonomou

Nestled in one of the cutest and friendliest neighborhoods in the city, Oikonomou is just one of the many independent restaurants in the area. But it’s the home-away-from-home atmosphere, the warm welcome from the staff, and the incredible comfort food that make this place stand out.

Established way back in 1930, Oikonomoi is a family-run establishment that serves simple Greek dishes in a low-key atmosphere. Take a look around the dining room, and you’ll discover that the faded ochre walls are liberally decorated with notes and drawings left by world-famous writers and artists who have visited over the years. 

You’ve got to journey through the kitchen, past giant pots of stewed beef and decades-old ovens that guard fall-of-the-bone roast lamb to get to the restroom. But this little quirk only adds to the restaurant’s charm and honesty. Choose a table outside and settle in for a laid-back evening filled with great food, even better company, and old-school Athenian surroundings. 


14. Lukumades

Cool Restaurants in Athens: Lukumades
Images courtesy of Lukumades

Sometimes you’re not in the mood for a lavish Greek banquet. Sometimes you just want a sweet treat that will give you enough energy to carry on sightseeing. When you find yourself in this scenario, seek out Lukumades. This tiny cafe doesn’t look like much from the outside, but ask any local and they’ll tell you it’s the best place in the city for the Greek version of donuts.

Known as loukoumades, these bite-size pieces of deliciousness are light and airy dough balls that come in more varieties than you could possibly imagine. Traditionally, loukoumades are drizzled with Greek honey and cinnamon. But today you can find them stuffed with all sorts of creamy fillings and spread with every topping you can think of. 

You’ll find a spectacular choice of sweet and savory options to choose from, as well as creamy soft-serve ice cream, specialty coffee, organic tea, fresh juices, and gourmet milkshakes. It’s the perfect place to go to break up your day into more manageable pieces.


15. Feyrouz

Cool Restaurants in Athens: Feyrouz
Images courtesy of Feyrouz

When it comes to amazing street food in Athens, Feyrouz is a no-brainer. There’s always a long line in front of this place, but it’s worth waiting in the Mediterranean sunshine for the chance to sample the remarkable Levantine street food that comes out of the kitchen. As an added bonus, the prices are unbelievably good value, making Feyrouz a place you’ll definitely want to return to.

Feyrouz opens for lunch, and some of the dishes regularly sell out in no time. We recommend getting there as it opens and ordering the curried chicken served with Bosphorus rice, chickpeas, spicy pepper relish, and cooling yogurt. 

It’s an intoxicating melting pot of flavors you’ll instantly fall in love with. There are plenty of plant-based options, too, including a hearty wholegrain lahmacun spread thick with hummus and za’atar.

The homey dining spot is named after the cheery chef behind the generations-old recipes. She combines dishes and memories from Athens, Istanbul, and Antakya to create the deliciousness you’ll want to savor over and over.

There you have it! The 15 best restaurants in Athens. Where is your favorite place to eat in Athens, Greece?


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Author

  • Nicola Quinn

    Nicola is a freelance writer with an insatiable hunger for travel. She swapped her home in the UK for the sunny Canary Islands when she was just 11 and she has been based there ever since.

    From crawling on her hands and knees inside pyramids in Egypt to swimming with baby sharks in Bali and searching (fruitlessly!) for the Northern Lights in Iceland, Nicola takes every chance she gets to explore new places.

    The incredible experiences she has around the world fuels her writing and inspires her to plan even more adventures for the future.

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