Despite its ancient age, Athens is always blossoming with novelty of every kind – edible and drinkable being among the most exciting forms.
After a year of home delivery Athenians are rejoicing that they can be their good, old extrovert selves and spend endless hours dining out under the sky while watching the world go by. Here are the five hottest new food places to visit ASAP.
Near the Varvakios Market, you’ll find Dopios (Skouleniou 1 in Aghio Theodoroi Sq), which is themed on Asian cuisine and meze dishes and has a menu created by well-reputed chef Christoforos Peskias. Try almirikia boiled greens with Japanese-style oil and lemon sauce, or black garlic sauce (skordarlia) with popcorn shrimps. Although culturally playful the meze restaurant aims to showcase authentic Greek products made by local producers and small farms.
Greek street food served from a food truck in an old parking lot-turned pebble-covered eating space is what you’ll find at this new alfresco eatery in Metaxourgeio (Avdi Square, Iatrakou 4). Chef Gogo Deligianni invites guests to seat themselves on colourful barrels and soak up the summery Athenian vibes. Try the grilled meatballs (keftedakia) or soya sloppy joes with dairy-free mayo for vegans, the fish n chips and salad with strawberries, cherry tomatoes, and graviera cheese, and sip an icy cocktail.
What’s a 50s American diner doing in the centre of Psyrri (Lepeniotou 26)? Cherry Blossom is like a time travel machine with checkered black and white tile floors, waitresses in A-line skirts, and cute neon signs. It serves American classics like burgers with gooey cheese pouring down the side, tall ice cream smoothies, sticky ribs, and fried eggs on stewed meat. Good old-fashioned comfort food a la Americana for anyone tired of souvlaki.
At Tzoutzouka in Rouf (Meg. Vasiliou 32) you shouldn’t expect the food to be artfully presented and perfectly Instagrammable, but you should definitely expect it to be flavoursome and authentic. Local recipes with bolshy creative touches by chef Argyro Koutsou evoke feelings of childhood nostalgia in Greeks and are made using lovingly grown, high-quality local ingredients from small farms. Try the fava from Schinousa with fresh pickled calamari, lemony giouvetsi with Tinos country sausage, and stuffed aubergines.
More of a wine bar than a restaurant, this new place on the roof garden of Utopia Hotel (Ermou 46) overlooking the Acropolis, Lycabettus, and the Athens Metropolis Cathedral serves a great variety of protected designation of origin (POP) products along with over 100 Greek wine labels. The all-day menu includes dishes as varied as finger foods, snacks, cheese, and cold cuts platters, burgers, scrambled eggs, and prawn dumplings.
Main featured image: Manouka