Athens is no longer just a mecca for souvlaki lovers. The city is bustling with exciting dining concepts, impeccable flavours and some of the best rooftop restaurants and bars. Below is our recommended list of restaurants to try in Athens and the Athenian Riviera.
Nikis 33, Athens
The recently included in the Michelin guide list of restaurants in Greece, this new kid on the block quickly managed to be deemed worthy of the Michelin guide accolades.
In a small but rather charming space dominated by the simplicity of the Scandinavian minimal aesthetics, the solid chic wood furniture and clean-cut interiors – Okio offers a unique culinary journey.
The menu is a playful take on a harmonious blend of the Mediterranean and Asian flavors prepared by the awarded Executive Chef Panagiotis Giakalis, Head Chef Vagelis Dagdelenis and their team. The selection of dishes is just right, not too much and neither too little, exactly like the decor the menu is minimalistic yet bountiful. Oh and please go light on the bread, every bite of the sourdough bread served with homemade butter is a burst of flavor – but make sure to keep some space for the rest of the dishes, we warned you!
Choose between dishes like cost chicory, semi salted fish topped with hazelnut and florini pepper; red shrimp, rocket and potato; octopus served with a rice croquette sprinkled with smoked paprika and lamb stuffed with tofu and infused with lime, paired with one of the creative cocktails or a finely chilled bottle of wine. The menu is seasonal so be prepared to try new creations every few months.
10, Panepistimiou (Venizelou Eleftheriou), Athens
Carnivore lovers will simply find this place irresistible. This local award-winning steakhouse located a few steps from the bustling Syntagma square features an elegant dining room with leather furniture, stunning chandeliers, grand mirrors, and a detectable meat menu.
Here you will find the best meat cuts prepared to perfection, everything from a classic carpaccio to Black Angus meat and finely grilled Picanha. Enjoy a wide variety of meats paired with an excellent choice of both local and international wines.
If you wish to try something other than the classic meat cuts, you can choose from pasta dishes and other traditional Greek recipes.
Rovertou Galli 4a, Athens
This rooftop restaurant and bar located on the 5th floor of Herodion Hotel Athens is one of the top dining addresses in the Makrigianni neighborhood. Offering breathtaking views of the Acropolis and the Acropolis Museum, POINT a excels at elevating staple Greek dishes into more creative versions. The chefs behind the innovative menu — Manolis Mavriyannakis and Marios Pirpiridis have weaved together another exceptional summer menu.
A delightful selection of seafood and meat dishes, refreshing salads, vegetarian bites and unique cocktails — guarantee a memorable evening under the starry Athenian sky.
For Starters we recommend that you try the staple Loukoumades’ honey dumplings filled with savory manouri cheese from Thessaly, the Tacos with ‘kapriko’ slow-cooked pork served with ginger chips and lemon preserve as well as the signature stuffed tomatoes. If you feel like something spicy, sweet and refreshing — make sure to order the Pineapple Chilli Margarita.
Acropolis Secret – Roof Garden Bar and Restaurant
Parthenonos 19-25, Athens
For another memorable evening with Acropolis views as a backdrop the Acropolis Secret roof garden restaurant at the Divani Acropolis Athens is a recommended choice. Serving authentic flavours inspired by the rich Greek heritage — we indulged on dishes such as sea bass carpaccio marinated in olive oil and citrus fruit and a crab meat and fresh salad leaves sprinkled with olive oil mustard sauce, served with shrimps on toasted bread. For mains there is a choice of fish and meat dishes.
We opted for a grilled croaker served with gnocchi stuffed with basil, green olive oil and Gruyère cheese.
The Black Angus beef outside skirt tagliata with hash brown potatoes and baby vegetables was very well prepared.
For dessert we had the half sphere Valrhona chocolate mousse filled with crème brulée and crème Anglaise with mint as well as the walnut pie with aniseed, parfait ice-cream with caramelized hazelnuts and passion fruit sauce.
Le Grand Balcon, St. George Lycabettus Hotel
Kleomenous 2, Athens
Perched on top of the Lycabettus Hill, this 5-star luxury boutique hotel enjoys unparalleled views of the Acropolis. Just a few steps away from the shopping area of Kolonaki and Athens’ most popular attractions, it is the perfect place to enjoy sensational Greek flavors while sipping your wine after a day of shopping and cultural activities.
The award-winning La Suite Lounge and Le Grand Balcon located on the 6th floor of St. George Lycabettus Hotel serves delightful menus for all occasions.
Restaurants Serving Greek Cuisine
Kafeneio Ivis, Psyrri
Ivis 10, Athens
This is a tiny place located on one of the streets in the heart of Psirri neighborhood. If you want to experience an authentic meal, Kafenio Ivis is a typical place where locals will come to enjoy small meze style plates accompanied by either ouzo or local wine.
The menu features staple recipes from all over Greece. Here you will find dishes such as grilled cheese fried with egg as it is prepared on the island of Astypalea, or marinated anchovies, delicious baked potato and a simple tomato and rocket salad.
Cantina Serving the Best Beef Patty with Athens View
2 Karagiorgi Servias Street, Athens
This is one of Athens’ secret spots only a few locals know about. Located on the 9th floor a corporate building along the 2 Karagiorgi Servias street right across from Syntagma Square, you will find a small canteen which serves the same menu for about 40 years.
Mr Yannis has been serving his signature simple dishes which consist of a Greek salad, omelette with potatoes and the best beef patties you will find — for several decades. No reservations are accepted and the philosophy of this place is first come, first served. There are only a few tables here — and the place is only open during weekdays and office hours.
If you come here for lunch, be prepared to wait but of course as you wait you can grab a few chilled beers from the fridge and patiently wait for your turn to be seated.
Mitropoleos Street 23, € €
Ergon House is a project created for food enthusiasts. Combining Greek hospitality and cooking Ergon has become a global name in Mediterranean food and Greek cuisine culture. In this alternative restaurant you can choose what will be your food experience.
You can either pick something from the menu and be served like all other restaurants, or you can whip up your favorite recipe by picking the ingredients from the Ergon Agora (market in Greek) and cook it yourself in one of the fully-equipped kitchens available at the location. You can then serve your own dinner to your loved ones at the communal tables at the venue, accompanied by wine of your choice. Alternatively you can also book a cooking class by professional Greek chefs for yourself, friends and family.
Ella Greek Cooking
Mitropoleos 26, Athens
Situated a few steps from Syntagma Square, this authentic Greek restaurant serves Greek and Mediterranean dishes prepared with a twist.
Based on locally sourced, fresh ingredients the menu is inspired by traditional Greek recipes. Try delicious appetizers such as Fava beans, homemade dolmadakia, pies from Kaisaria stuffed with kaseri cheese and pastirma.
The menu offers a selection of cheeses and cold cuts from Greece as well as hot dishes and grilled meats.
Krasopoulio tou Kokkora
Aisopou 4 & Karaiskaki Street, € €
This traditional Greek taverna in the heart of Athens is not a tourist trap. Tucked in a little pedestrian street in Psyrri, away from the noise of the area’s bars, you will spot this cute little tavern filled with colorful chairs and antique lamps.
This place is loved by locals, who make reservations in order to guarantee themselves a table for their after-work dinner and drinks. All the dishes are prepared based on traditional recipes dating back to 1850 and are served in very generous portions and more than generous prices. Once you are here combine your food with some white house wine.
Keramikou 49, € €
Located in Metaxourgeio which is translated as silk factory, Seychelles is one the best “mezedopoleio” in Athens. This area is home to well-known contemporary art galleries, theaters, high-end restaurants, and simple greek taverns, attracting intellectuals and artists.
The menu is a harmonious blend of traditional and modern Greek cuisine and focuses on using fresh organic ingredients derived from small producers around Greece. There are always daily specials to choose from, which are full of surprises. In addition, their wide range of ouzo, tsipouro, raki and other Greek alcoholic spirits complement the menu.
Megalou Vasiliou 52 &Konstantinoupoleos 4, Athens
Set in the heart of Rouf, an area known for both its industrial and cultural side steps away from the Keramikos station (blue metro line) this delightful restaurant’s design exudes a modern industrial style.
Since its opening in 1998, Prosopa which translates as faces has become a favorite hangout spot among the theatre crowd, who gather here at the end of the evening, when the shows are out.
The excellent and diverse Mediterranean menu has a little bit of everything to please the most discerning palates. From refreshing salads to fantastic pasta dishes, meat dishes, and juicy burgers.
In the summertime enjoy al fresco dining at the cozy pedestrian area located on the side of the restaurant.
Benaki Museum Restaurant
Koumpari 1, Athens (€ €)
The Benaki museum is located in the family mansion of Emannouil Benakis, a man who is considered a national benefactor to Greece. The museum houses Greek works of art from the prehistoric to the modern times, an extensive collection of Asian art, hosts periodic exhibitions and maintains a state-of-the-art restoration and conservation workshop.
Combine your cultural visitation with a delicious meal at the Benaki Museum restaurant located at the establishment’s terrace which overlooks the city, where you can enjoy sensational dishes from brunch and lunch menus.
Best Ethnic Restaurants in Athens
Mamacita – Taquería y Coctelería
Apollonos 9Β, Athens
Located in the heart of Athens, steps away from the Syntagma Square this Mexican restaurant serves a fine selection of dishes ranging from Mexican salads, to Chili con Carne, Chorizo, Tacos, Nachos, Tortillas, Quesadillas and Fajitas.
The restaurant decor highlights the famous Día de los Muertos, Day of the Dead which is a celebratory holiday to remember the dead. The cocktail menu is equally impressive.
Birdman – Japanese Pub + Grill
Voulis 35, € € €
This contemporary Japanese pub set on a quiet but central street in the heart of Athens, serves authentic new-style Japanese food with high-quality Greek ingredients, natural wines and exclusive cocktails.
The idea of the owner, Aris Vezenes was to create a place where people could feel relaxed and welcomed, picking a not-so-crowded area and a small in size venue to achieve his purpose. Due to the popularity of this place you should consider booking a table to avoid queues.
Apollonos 1, € €
Great sushi, great prices and great services, is what Athenians relate to Koi Sushi. Due to the success of this place, in the 6 years of the first opening of a Koi Sushi bar, another 16 have opened around Athens center and suburbs. Located in a narrow, quiet street, Koi Sushi bar is a place you should try if you are a Japanese food lover.
Los Gatos Athens
Romvis & Kleitou 17, € €
Hidden on a narrow street of Athens’ city center, this all day bistrot resembles vintage vibes. Los Gatos serves excellent value for money, a menu of Mediterranean flavors with an emphasis on Spanish cuisine.
Try some authentic Spanish paella, crunchy tortillas among other delicious tapas and cold cuts, while sipping some fruity sangria or dazzling margaritas.
Best Wine Bars in Athens
Heteroclito Cave & Bar a Vin
2 Fokionos & Petraki, Athens
A destination for wine lovers this quaint wine bar in the heart of the historic center of Athens boasts a wine list of more than 200 Greek labels. Every first of the month the suggestions for wine glasses are changing, therefore visitors can enjoy a wide array of fantastic wines.
The bar features a small menu of savoury bites to accompany the wines such as beetroot hummus, Greek cheese plateau and Dakos Heteroclito. The bar consists of two separate spaces and there are also several tables set outside along the pavement. A great way to enjoy the vibrant atmosphere of Athens especially in the summer.
Caravin Wine and Wanderlust
11 Akamantos str, Thisio, Athens
This cozy wine bar located steps from the National Observatory of Athens with breathtaking views of the Acropolis, offers a wine list of over 140 Greek and international labels carefully selected by Sommelier Anna Chriskioti.
While sipping the carefully selected wine you can enjoy the sounds of equally carefully selected musical matches. Anna herself will be delighted to share her rich knowledge of wines that will please the palates of the most discerning wine connoisseurs.
Best Restaurants in the Athenian Riviera
Grigoriou Lampraki 2, Glyfada
Set in one of the most charming locations of the Athenian Riviera, overlooking the Aegean Sea this all day venue serves coffee, cocktails and remarkable flavours.
The delectable menu has been prepared by one of Greece’s most celebrated chefs, Yannis Baxevanis and includes a rich selection of seafood delights as well as meat dishes. Most of the dishes on the menu come in small portions as the idea is that the best meals are to be shared.
From haloumi cheese with fig marmalade, to fish roe dip, fried squid from Halkida, salad with strawberries topped with olive-lemon sorbet and crispy traditional kataifi, the choices are plentiful. For mains we tried the grilled skirt beef steak with scents from the East, served with spinach salad and grilled potato and the black linguini pasta with sea urchin.
L’amico Athenian Riviera
Leof. Athinon Souniou 17, Anavissos
Located on the coastal road of the Athenian Riviera in Anavissos — the all day venue is a complex that consists of a bar, beach and Italian restaurant.
The young chef behind the creative menu is Ilias Sitinas who has harmoniously blended the Italian flavours with the best locally sourced Greek ingredients — the result, a fresh, delicious and authentic menu served in a warm environment overlooking the Aegean Sea.
During the day you can enjoy a swim, coffee and drinks on the beach. There are a few theme nights taking place during the summer months.
In the evenings enjoy the special cocktail menu created by George Pantazis — a wonderful way to celebrate summer in the Athenian Riviera.
Have you been to any of these restaurants? Share your most memorable dining experience in Athens below.