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The best Athens restaurants – our favourites by neighbourhood

While visitors flock to see the Acropolis and other ancient sights of Athens, many are unaware of its vibrant food scene. The best Athens restaurants range from street food kiosks and traditional tavernas. There’s trendy all day cafes and top chefs offering modern Greek cuisine and everyone will have their favourites.

Stuffed peppers in Athens Greece Photo

Athens is like a series of villages, each with its central square and numerous places to eat. Having stayed in or visited a few of the different neighbourhoods, here are some of the places to eat in Athens that I’ve personally enjoyed or been recommended.

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Restaurants in Plaka Athens

Tucked under Acropolis Hill, Plaka is one of the favourite tourist areas, with cute neo-classical houses and views of the Acropolis. The area has more than its fair share of tourist restaurants in Athens.

I’m not a big fan of those that post a waiter outside trying to talk you in. Having said that, there are some undeniably atmospheric places you might consider for a drink or dinner.

Plaka Athens Photo V2
Plaka Athens

Plaka Steps in Athens

The most photogenic bars and restaurants are to be found along the “Plaka Steps”, narrow lanes with steps that run up the hill towards the Acropolis. In summer tables and cushions are put outside each restaurant and people sit on the steps themselves with a drink or a meal, to see and be seen.

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Plaka Steps in Athens Photo
Plaka Steps in Athens

I find sitting on the steps themselves, would be like dining in a goldfish bowl, however many of the restaurants have roof terraces. aThis is where I’d prefer to sit, with a fine view of the Acropolis above. Look on the map for the two lanes of Mnisikleous and Erechtheos, near the Tower of the Winds to find the location of most of these restaurants.

Yiasemi – this vegetarian cafe bistro is one of the most atmospheric of the restaurants on Plaka Steps. There’s a cosy interior in winter and a pretty roof terrace for summer.

Plaka Steps in Athens Photo
Plaka Steps in Athens
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Restaurants in Monastiraki Athens

Known for its flea market, Monastiraki Square is a busy metro stop and a tourist hotspot. There are always plenty of people moving through, so keep a close eye on your valuables in the square and surrounding lanes.

Monastiraki Square Athens Photo
Monastiraki Square Athens Photo

Along the pedestrianised street of Mitropoleos leading from the square are numerous grill style restaurants. This could be a good place to stop if you want a cheap and cheerful meat based meal. I didn’t eat here myself so I’d recommend you look for the places that appear busy and most popular with locals.

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Monastiraki restaurants Athens Photo
Monastiraki restaurants Athens

More Monastiraki restaurants

For somewhere a little more local and tucked away try;

Couleur Locale (Normanou 3) – A popular all day cafe bar with a second floor restaurant and rooftop terrace. It’s a good place for a coffee, cocktail or burger. The entrance is a bit tucked away close to the flea market off Monastiraki Square.

Coleur Locale Monastiraki Square Photo
Coleur Locale Monastiraki Square

TAF – The Art Foundation (Normanou 5) – right next door to Couleur Locale, TAF is a cultural space with a bar in its central courtyard. The building showcases typical Athenian worker’s houses from the 19th century. These have been restored, with small houses that shared facilities for kitchen, bathroom and laundry.

In the shady courtyard you can order a drink or coffee away from the Monastiraki bustle, with drinks, cocktails and music as the evening wears on.

The Art Foundation / TAF Monastiraki Athens Photo
The Art Foundation / TAF in Monastiraki Athens

A for Athens – Although I didn’t visit myself, the roof top bar and restaurant of this hotel overlooking Monastiraki Square is one of the best known places to sit at sunset for a cocktail with a view of the Acropolis.

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Restaurants in the Historic triangle (between Monastiraki and Syntagma)

There are many excellent restaurants and street food places to be found in the area known as the Athens historic triangle. To locate this on a map, draw a triangle between Monastiraki Metro, The Central Municipal Market of Athens and Syntagma Square.

This is one of the oldest neighbourhoods of Athens, with many pedestrianised streets. The best known is Ermou Street which is lined with major high street fashion stores. I’d probably avoid eating on Ermou Street itself as it’s so commercial. However, there are many excellent restaurants in the roads that lead off it or run parallel.

Platia Agias Irinis Athens Photo V2
Platia Agias Irinis Athens

St Irene’s Square in Athens

Platia Agias Irinis (St Irene’s Square) – the streets (Athinaidos, Aiolou) and square around the church of St Irene once housed a flower market. This square is a great place to meet friends or head if you don’t know where to eat. There are numerous excellent options, many of them serving inexpensive street food.

For Souvlaki you’ll find the well known Kosta Souvlaki takeaway (Pl. Agias Irinis 2), which always has a queue. Or, the more modern Tylixto Greek Wrap (Aiolou 19).

There’s Hoocut (Pl. Agias Irinis 9) which was featured in the TV programme Gordon, Gino and Fred’s Road Trip. Numerous bars and restaurant with outdoor seating spill into the square, so it’s a fun area to visit in summer.

Souvlaki at Tylixto in Athens
Souvlaki at Tylixto in Athens

Ariston (Voulis 10) – close to Ermou and Syntagma, this well known pie shop sells a wide range of pies. You’ll also find the traditional tyropita (cheese pie) or spanakopita (spinach pie).

If you need a late breakfast snack, try the sweet custard pie bougatsa. For lunch sample Ariston’s specialty of kourou, a half moon pastie with a buttery filo case and filling of feta cheese.

Pies at Ariston, Athens Photo
Spinach and feta pie at Ariston, Athens

Feyrouz (Karori 23 / Aiolou) – this popular and reasonably priced takeaway with just a few tables serves excellent Levantine street food. Look for their Lahmatzun wraps, Peinirli filled pastries and home made soups. They have opened a second bakery with sweet cakes and coffees just across the street.

Feyrouz Athens Photo:
Feyrouz Athens

More restaurants in St Irene’s Square

Six d.o.g.s (6-8 Avramiotou) – the entrance down a side street doesn’t give much away of the modern bar, restaurant and huge shady courtyard that’s surrounded by other buildings. It’s a very chilled place to come for lunch or a drink on summer days, when there’s a separate menu of Lebanese dishes. In the evening the atmosphere changes to a cool bar serving Thai dishes and nightclub with live music and DJs.

Six Dogs, Monastiraki, Athens Photo
Six Dogs, Monastiraki, Athens

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Tzitzikas & Mermigas (Mitropoleos 12-14) – serving a modern take on traditional Greek dishes, this is a good choice of restaurant close to Syntagma Square. The menu showcases regional ingredients with good salad and veggie choices. Prices are reasonable considering the central location and the decor is a cute take on a retro grocery store.

Tzitzikas and Mermigas in Athens Photo
Tzitzikas and Mermigas in Athens
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Restaurants in Psiri Athens

Located just north of Monastiraki Square, Psiri is one of the oldest neighbourhoods in Athens. This is where crumbling old buildings and street art, mix with renovated houses, artisan workshops and stylish restaurants.

Above all Psiri is a fantastic area for eating out in the evening. It is known as one of the top nightlife districts of Athens, with streets of busy restaurants, especially in summer.

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Psiri in Athens Photo
Hero’s Square in Psiri Athens

By day the atmosphere is more sleepy and laid back. It’s a perfect spot to sit with a coffee in the central Plateia Iroon (Hero’s Square) and watch the world go by.

If you are visiting during the daytime I’d start at the numerous bars and restaurants around Plateia Iroon. Then follow some of the roads that radiate out from here, especially Ag. Anargion and Taki which are packed with places to eat.

Nancy’s Sweet Home – on the corner in Plateia Iroon, this Serbetia cake shop and cafe is one of the most instagrammable in Psir. There’s a cosy interior in the old building and tables outside in the square. They sell a delicious range of traditional cakes and pastries, which you can select at the counter to enjoy with a coffee.

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Nancy's Sweet Home in Psiri Athens Photo
Nancy’s Sweet Home in Psiri Athens

More Psiri restaurants

Bougatsadiko Thessaloniki – next door to Nancy’s Sweet Home, this is a traditional pie shop. We tried bougatsa, the sweet breakfast pastry of Greece as well as some of their other traditional feta and spinach pies. Originating in Thessaloniki, bougatsa is made with layers of filo pastry, filled with custard cream and sprinkled with icing sugar and cinnamon.

Bougatsadiko Thessaloniki in Psiri Athens Photo
Bougatsadiko Thessaloniki in Psiri Athens
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Kokkion – I visited this tiny shop selling artisan ice cream more than once, it’s just off busy Athinas street that runs down to Monastiraki Square. The ice cream is freshly made on the premises and includes lots of interesting, seasonal and local flavours including vegan sorbets. If you are staying in an apartment locally, they sell tubs of ice cream to take away too.

Kokkion ice cream Psiri Athens Photo
Kokkion ice cream Psiri Athens

Little Kooks – one of the most photographed places in Psiri for good reason, I didn’t eat there as I guess it’s mostly about the atmosphere. It would be fun for kids and those who love a bit of over-the-top Disney-esque decor. Order pancakes, ice creams and cocktails from the fairies posing as waiters and enjoy the quirky seasonal themed decorations.

Little Kooks Psiri Athens Photo
Little Kooks Psiri Athens

Nudie Foodie Psiri – tucked down the side street of Eschilou, this little cafe is worth seeking out, for those who want something healthy, veggie, vegan or gluten free. Chef Eva and her team serve colourful and tasty breakfast, brunch and lunch dishes. There’s also energising fruit smoothies (try the super cannabi smoothie) and gluten free cakes.

Nudie Foodie in Athens Photo:
Nudie Foodie in Athens

More restaurants in Psiri

Voliotiko (Lepeniotou 1)– There are numerous traditional style tavernas in Psiri, including Voliotiko Tsipouradiko. Here we enjoyed a meze lunch in their shady courtyard, with live music.

In winter, their restaurant provides a cosy atmosphere in an old mansion built in 1862. The restaurant’s name comes from the custom of drinking Tsipouro, a spirit a little like ouzo. It’s consumed with small plates of food and is especially popular in the coastal city of Volos.

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Karamanlidika (41 Evripidou) – located close to the Central Municipal Market on Evripidou, which is known as the Spice Street of Athens. It’s a deli and meze restaurant, which specialises in platters of Greek cheese and charcuterie.

Check out the Pastourma (air dried veal) or Soutzouki (dried spicy sausage). The deli part has limited space, but there’s another hidden restaurant area beyond it.

Karamanlidika in Athens Photo:
Karamanlidika in Athens

More Psiri restaurants

Atlantikos (7 Avliton) – Tucked down an alley on the border of Psiri and Monastiraki, Atlantikos is the closest Athens has to a fish and chip shop. They serve a whole range of inexpensive fish and seafood dishes and there are tables on the upper floor and in the street outside. The fish here is super-fresh, well priced, simply presented and the service was swift and friendly.

Sardines at Atlantikos in Psiri Athens Photo
Sardines at Atlantikos in Psiri Athens

The Foundry Roof Garden – We loved this elegant rooftop bar and highly recommend it for a sunset cocktail with those all important Acropolis views. Take the elevator to the rooftop terrace of the boutique hotel on Sarri.

You’ll discover the lush garden overflowing with a shady vines, herbs and flowering shrubs. They have a great cocktail and wine menu and serve pizzas made in their rooftop pizza oven. If you’d like to stay at The Foundry Suites you can check prices and availability here.

Foundry Suites Athens Photo:
The Foundry, Psiri Athens Photo
The Foundry rooftop garden, Psiri Athens

Restaurants in Kolonaki Athens

Kolonaki is considered one of the most upscale neighbourhoods in Athens, the equivalent of Chelsea or Knightsbridge in London. The two major streets of Solonos and Skoufa are lined with residential apartment buildings.

The street level is full of coffee shops, restaurants and designer shops that cater for an affluent crowd. Kolonaki also has a large share of the top restaurants of Athens, where top chefs showcase their fine dining experiences.

Kolonaki in Athens Photo
Kolonaki in Athens

Nice n Easy (60 Omirou and Skoufa Str.) – a Mediterranean restaurant serving healthy gourmet dishes with lots of veggie and vegan choices as well as excellent cocktails. They also have two other locations in Greece.

The all day menu is named after old time stars of the stage and screen, such as Audrey Hepburn, Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe.

Dinner at Nice n Easy Athens Photo:
Dinner at Nice n Easy Athens

Apivita experience store (Solonos 6) – stop for a refreshing juice or smoothie, while shopping for gorgeous toiletries. This four story neo-classical building is a showcase for Apivita’s face and body care range based on plant and bee products. There’s a juice bar on the first floor mezzanine, a spa for relaxing treatments and a lecture hall.

Fresh juices at Apivita Athens Photo:
Fresh juices at Apivita Athens

More Kolonaki restaurants

It (Skoufa 29) – although I didn’t have time to eat there, I liked the look of this all day cafe. Here it’s all about fresh and seasonal dishes with a big choice of veggie and vegan options. It looked like a great place for brunch, coffee or cocktails, with an outside terrace on Skoufa Street.

Eating out in Kolonaki in Athens Photo
Eating out in Kolonaki in Athens

Prasini Tenta (Ploutarchou 66) – an outdoor coffee bar and restaurant on the slopes of Mt Lycabettus with views over Athens. I passed by on my walk and thought it had a stylish and relaxed atmosphere.

It’s a good place to stop for a break while walking on Mt Lycabettus on the edge of Kolonaki. On the crest of the hill, where the cable car stops is a restaurant Orizentos. It’s popular in the evening to dine with a view over Athens and the Acropolis.

Prasina Tenta Kolonaki Athens Photo
Prasina Tenta Kolonaki Athens

Benaki Museum (Kounpari 1) – If you are visiting the Benaki Museum, which is dedicated to Greek arts and culture, be sure to have a coffee or light lunch in their rooftop restaurant. In good weather, the outside terrace is a pleasant place to sit with a view over the treetops of the National Gardens.

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Restaurants in Koukaki

We stayed in an apartment in Koukaki, a neighbourhood that’s south of the Acropolis and Filopappou Hill. It has a very local feel, without many tourist sites. The arty vibe and affordable rents, make this a neighbourhood that’s attracting new restaurant openings and creative young chefs.

There are two pedestrianised squares along Drakou and Georgiou Olimpiou, lined with bars, coffee shops and restaurants. Koukaki has a youthful feel and is a good place to meet friends at the Syggrou Fix Metro station if you want to go bar and restaurant hopping within a small area of Athens.

Skoumbri (Drakou 16) – the white painted tables and rope decoration of this seafood restaurant give it a Greek Island feel. We dined there one evening and enjoyed the fresh fish and traditional seafood dishes on the menu. The same family owns Kalamaki Bar across the street, which offers a modern take on Greek traditional taverna dishes.

Seafood at Seawolf Koukaki Athens Photo:
Seafood at Skoumbri Koukaki Athens

Restaurants in Ampelokipi

The neighbourhood of Ampelokipi is probably not one that you are likely to visit as a tourist. It’s a mainly residential area full of apartment buildings, medical clinics and a couple of large hospitals. However if you happen to be in the area you might like to try out one place we discovered;

48 Urba n Garden (Armatolon & Klefton 48) – we’d never have found this quirky restaurant had it not been recommended to us, as it doesn’t have a frontage to the street. It’s in the ground floor courtyard of the Ileana Tounta Contemporary Art Centre.

This has been landscaped to make an indoor / outdoor herb and vegetable garden, and the bar and kitchen is in a silver airstream caravan. The menu is inspired by street food dishes from around the world, including Mexico, Asia and the Caribbean.

48 Urban Garden Photo
48 Urban Garden
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Restaurants near Omonia Square

Omonia Square was known in the past as one of the most classy areas of Athens. Unfortunately its reputation declined in recent years as it became a base for refugees in Athens. Some of the underlying issues have been addressed but it’s something to be aware of if you are walking around the neighbourhood.

Stani (M. Kotopouli 10 ) – This family run dairy cafe close to Omonia Square is the place to try Greek yoghurt and dairy products. You’ll see the creamy Greek yoghurt tubs piled in the chiller cabinet, with jars of honey were stacked on the shelves of cream painted kitchen cabinets. Try traditional Greek sweets and cakes, like loukoumades drizzled in honey, or the Galaktobureko custard tart enclosed in syrupy filo pasty.

Stani Athens Photo
Stani Athens
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Best restaurants in Athens Photo

A few of the places mentioned in this article were visited on a complimentary food tour hosted* by Athenian Tours but most of the restaurants are places I visited and paid for myself. 

* More info on my policies page

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