Pharaoh serves wood-fire cooking, natural wines and music spun on vinyl – all tucked behind a striking emerald green curtain in edgy Exarcheia.
This new eatery has undoubtedly been Athens’ most celebrated restaurant opening of 2023 (technically, very late 2022) and it’s no surprise with a formidable team of food and wine experts at the helm including chef Manolis Papoutsakis (Deka Trapezia and Charoupi of Thessaloniki), wine merchant Perry Panagiotakopoulos and journalist Fotis Vallatos.
The space is warm and casual with an open kitchen, a few tables and a large bar that serves solo diners and sets of two. Front of house, the team of chefs, sommeliers and music curators work together to create an experience that sits somewhere between restaurant and wine bar. Walls are stacked with vinyl and firewood – a nod to the restaurant’s music and cooking philosophies.
Chef Papoutsakis has created a menu of fresh, seasonal offerings as well as village-style dishes cooked exclusively using wood fire. Menu staples include the keftedakia, the braised beef with barley and the tight-wrapped dolmadakia served with xygalo yogurt.
My fave dish
The menu is frequently modified to celebrate seasonal flavours. Every visit garners a new favourite dish (the most recent was the summer salad of monk’s beard with cherries, avocado and apricot). The perfectly whipped taramosalata topped with bottarga and the wild greens are dishes you’ll keep going back for.
Leave room for dessert?
The galaktoboureko is steadily gaining a cult following.
Something to drink…
There’s an extensive wine list of over 400 Greek and foreign wines, with a strong leaning towards natural varieties. Greek craft beers and select cocktails round out the drinks menu nicely with something for everyone.
Why I’d come back…
An evening at Pharaoh goes beyond the menu of classic dishes with thoughtful, seasonal modifications. It’s the curated music offering, the exciting beverage list and the modern decor that add texture and layers to the dining experience.
Solo dining at the bar, date night, or a fun meal with your foodie friends.
Price range: 40-60 € per person
Opening hours: Opening hours vary, and reservations can be made online
If you are foodies (like us) who are always on the hunt to eat at the best spots anytime you travel somewhere, then get ready to experience the best flavours around Athens- a city quickly filling up with a great range of patisseries that are glossy and new with boutique beauty!
Kokakias (48-50 Patriarchou Ioakeim, Kolonaki)
Kokakias is the Greek diminutive for coque, a domed cake made of syrupy sponge that’s filled with a velvety cream and covered in a chocolate glaze, is the star of this small, pink patisserie. Indeed, you’ll find the dessert in several creative renditions here, created by pastry chef Manolis Stithos, known for his work with Funky Gourmet restaurant. Try the bright red Red Velvet coque with Madagascar vanilla, whipped cream and red fruits, the lemon-flavoured Ekmek coque with crispy cantaloupe and light vanilla cream, or the pistachio praline and Aegina candied pistachios as well as the Ferrero coque. Also tasty are the other desserts they prepare, such as the profiterole which instead of chou centres around mini coques with vanilla cream, hazelnut praline and bitter chocolate glaze.
Candy’s Caravan (3 Giannitsopoulou 3 Glyfada)
How about something different? Like, say, pancakes on a stick for hassle-free indulgence, yummy and syrupy baba in a burger wrapper, or red velvet cake, chocolates, crunchy dumplings and many more indulgent treats. All this and more can be found at Candy’s Caravan, a fast-food-themed confectionery and unique concept store in Glyfada. Also an Instagrammer’s paradise because of the truly mouth-watering and amusing presentation.
Little Darling (119 Ethnarchou Makariou, Argyroupoli)
If you’re looking for a raw dessert that’s still just as delicious as a “regular” one, except that these desserts replace sugar with healthier syrups, are usually not baked and include ingredients like fruit, dried fruit, healthy powders like lucuma and nuts, then Little Darling is where you’ll find exactly what you want. This ‘secret’ spot has been known for some time by vegans and lovers of a healthier diet who visit the patisserie in Argyroupoli for raw vegan desserts made from amazing guilt-free ingredients. Some desserts to try are the white chocolate and hazelnut cream, passion fruit and mango tart and the raw carrot cake with carrots, nuts, raisins and spices. Even if you are not vegan, they are well worth discovering.
In Love Again in Athens (3 Kliitiou Street, Monastiraki)
This is the sweet sibling of the well-known and awarded bar “Baba Au Rum” bar, and opened at the beginning of September. In essence, it’s a concept store that marries quality coffee with sweets inspired by popular cocktails, and a florist. The Mai Tai tart is made with vanilla cookie, lime cream, bitter almond meringue and bergamot flavours; the Zombie profiterole contains fluffy noodles filled with aged rum-flavoured cream, white chocolate, a pomegranate glaze, grapefruit jam and pineapple and the Piña Colada cheesecake has coconut baked cream, a crispy cookie base and is topped with pineapple chunks. The rum baba is not missing from the menu, and you’ll find it in two versions, vanilla or caramel and passion fruit syrup, orange and peach. Also, try the vegan cinnamon cream vegan baguette made with oat milk and Iu honey. The entire menu is curated by chef Michalis Nournoglou.
Ourse (39 Mystra 39, Ano Glyfada)
At Ourse you’ll find sweets inspired by French culinary philosophy – with a lot of butter and cream – and a Greek character, since almost all the raw materials are Greek and mainly from small producers nationwide. Don’t miss out on the Flan Parisién, one of the most famous Parisian pastries, with thick cream and a sweet aroma of real Madagascar vanilla; the Paris-Brest with a chou puff pastry base filled with pistachio praline cream; pistachio ganache montée and pistachio crumble, and the Aegina pistachio tart that plays with four different textures of the nut. You’ll also find fluffy, chewy macarons in a wide variety of flavours, sinful chocolates to eat two by two, ice cream and apple pie – if you get there on time.
The vegan dining scene is not only here to stay in Athens, but also flourishing!
With more and more vegan restaurants and cafes opening up and an increasing number of previously vegan-incognizant places altering their menus to include exciting vegan options, there is a modern, creative, flavoursome and nutritionally sophisticated choice of venues for anyone with a hearty and even highly demanding plant-based appetite. Here we showcase our best recommendations.
Peas (40, Falirou Str, Koukaki)
With the motto “Give Peas a Chance”, this trendy Koukaki place serves salads, breakfast specials, wraps, burgers, sandwiches, souvlaki, hot meals, cakes and desserts that are all homemade. You’ll find gluten-free raw and sugar-free choices and can sip on vitamin-rich juices, smoothies and fair-trade coffee. Don’t Miss: the raw tart and club sandwich.
Trivoli Vegan Kafeneio 10 Best Vegan Restaurants in Athens (Marinou Antipa 107a, Ilioupoli)
A vegan bar/restaurant serving wholesome, filling meals such as various kinds of pasta, burgers, salads, souvlaki and healthy drinks such as shakes, juices and coffee with plant milk. Don’t miss: the cannelloni with vegan ricotta, spinach and sunflower seeds, Greek classic pastitsioand soy yiouvetsi.
Yi (69 Grigoriu Lambraki Street, Glyfada)
A foodie venue with sophisticated flavours and artfully concocted raw and vegan dishes, Yi has been impressing palates for over a decade now in a large, beautiful space in Athens’ southern suburb of Glyfada. Don’t Miss: Raw soup, Mexican burritos and the harvest veggie bowl with caramelized chickpeas.
The Vegan Vandal (Aminta 15 Pangrati)
Fancy junk food without the meat? This is your place. This fun Pangrati hangout serves souvlaki, pitta pockets burgers and other crunchy sinful-tasting stuff without the guilt. Don’t Miss: the Jack Burger with smoked pulled jackfruit marinated in BBQ sauce, coleslaw, mayo, garden onion, baby rocket and pickled carrot and the crispy cauliflower bites.
Athens’ first vegan souvlaki joint, and still perhaps the most successful, specialises in homemade mushroom or lentil gyro, and a ‘tzatziki’ with organic soy yoghurt. Don’t Miss: the Yellow Dish (with mushroom, avocado, vegetable mayonnaise, tomato, onion, parsley and hand-cut potatoes.
Mother Vegan (Dimitrakopoulou 95, Koukaki)
This place differs from the rest, especially in that it ventures to create ‘steak’ made with organic beans, kombucha, and various other intriguing ingredients. And it succeeds in creating something very tasty! Don’t Miss: the aromatic chard pie with fresh garden herbs and the Smoked Tofu Burger with soybeans, tamari, nutritional yeast flakes, lentils and nigari.
Veganaki (38 Athanasiou Diakou Street, Koukaki)
Veganaki centres its menu on Greek recipes with rich flavours and high-quality local ingredients. Don’t Miss: the moussaka with minced red lentil and bechamel made with almond milk and cauliflower, the pastitsio with minced soy and for a taste of the Middle East, the crispy, oven-baked falafel
Winners Vegan Restaurant (Nikis 27, at Niki Athens Hotel, Syntagma)
Actually located within the Niki Athens Hotel, Winners Vegan is a cheerful little place serves plant-based organic dishes and snacks including great breakfast options like guacamole toast. Don’t Miss: Mac n cheese and vegan poke (Hawaiian sushi).
Mama Tierra (84 Akadimias Street, Athens)
Highly popular for its tasty ethnic cuisine, pure raw materials (many of which are organic) and healthy homemade preparation, this is a classic haunt for vegans and vegetarians. Don’t Miss: Greek soutzoukakakia patties with red sauce, crisp macrobiotic salads, mushroom risotto and vegetable korma.
Avocado (30 Nikis Street, Syntagma)
Another Athens vegan classic, this place serves wonderful Asian, Indian and Mediterranean dishes made with high-quality ingredients as well as wonderful, healthy smoothies and juices. Don’t Miss: the Zen Tempeh with organic rice noodles, ginger, fresh snow peas, red curry, coconut milk and tempeh, crispy tofu and raw chocolate tart.
Greece is home to some of the most delicious homemade, traditional and mouthwatering desserts and here we share where to find the best classic Greek desserts in Athens!
If you are in the Greek capital searching for feel-good classics that still delight, here are five of the city’s most unmissable patisseries (some have been around for more than a century) where you can taste the best Galaktoboureko, Ekmek, Baklava, and more authentic Greek desserts!
Varsos (5 Kassaveti 5, Kifissia)
This classic confectionery store in Kifissia originally opened in 1892 in the centre of Athens as a sugar and dairy shop and moved to the north in 1922. Hardly having changed in terms of décor and selling chocolate and nut-stuffed croissants that the Prince of Wales was a fan of, “authentic” Varsos has it all. The retro café-pastry shop on Kassaveti Street is an essential stop for its meringues, cream puddings, fruit leather, jams, flaky cheese pie, galaktoboureko, kaimaki, and other ice creams- and lots more!
Konstantinidis (22 stores throughout Greece)
In 1920, Gregorios K. Konstantinidis set up the chain’s first confectionery shop, and five years later his sons brought it to Greece. Since 1954, when the family created its own recipes, Konstantinidis has become a synonym for eclairs and millefeuille, which to this day remain their most famous desserts. Nowadays, apart from the classic recipe with vanilla cream, two variations are offered: with chocolate and mixed.
Hara (339C Patission Street, Ano Patissia)
The famous Patissia patisserie first opened in 1969 and immediately became famous for its excellent quality ice cream – especially the “Chicago” ice cream (one scoop chocolate and one vanilla ice cream, topped with whipped cream, chocolate syrup and a cookie). The recipe has remained the same for 49 years. So have the quality ingredients such as fresh milk from farms in Parnitha, Kilkis and Trikala. The store’s other desserts include the sari Kadai Kifi and the ekmek, either with kaimaki ice cream or in the “Guzel” version.
This is one of the oldest pastry shops in town, as it has been operating since 1915. The former dairy shop of Charilaou Trikoupis has evolved into one of the most famous confectionery shops in Athens with a wide range of sweets. Nowadays, the business is run by the third generation of owners. Regular patrons recommend you try the handmade chocolates and ice cream (also handmade), luscious pastries and fluffy cakes, traditional brioche and rich chocolate mousse.
This is the oldest sweet intersection between Greek and Turkish pastry making. It serves perhaps the best galaktoboureko in Attica, but the baklava and other syrupy sweets have also got a huge fan base by now.
Athénée, the elegant all-day bar-restaurant that’s been synonymous with Athenian glamour since 1939, has just upped its “Lazy Sunday Brunch” menu, with enticing sweet creations by award-winning Greek pastry chef Spyros Pediaditakis and his talented team from leading Glyfada patisserie Ourse.
The stunning restaurant in Syntagma is an iconic meeting spot right in the heart of the city, where locals gather each Sunday to enjoy a long, relaxed catch-up with friends- while tasting delightful dishes and sweets, along with their morning coffee, tea, and other drinks of choice.
And starting from tomorrow, February the 13th, through to March 6th, 2022, for four consecutive Sundays’, visitors will be able to taste Spyros’ signature sweets, which appear in his new cookbook Notebook (featuring 38 unique creations specially created for award-winning restaurants) including Spyros’ famous Crunchy Apple, a lush lemon tart, the famous St Honore, Paris Aegina (Ourse’s version of the classic Paris- Brest), as well as a range of decadent chocolate desserts.
All of the pastries will be delightfully displayed on the remarkable Athénée dessert table- where guests will have the opportunity to appreciate the aesthetic beauty of each pastry before trying it- as they not only taste lush- but also look like a piece of art!
A: Voukourestiou 9, Athina
Opening hours for “Lazy Sunday Brunch”: Sundays’ from 9 am
Having only opened its doors a few nights ago, this hot new drinking spot in Athens, is the talk of the town; and how can it not be when it’s the brainchild of Nikos Bakoulis and Vasilis Kyritsis, the creators behind award-winning bar The Clumsies, and their talented friend Dimitris Dafopoulos.
Type: All-day bar.
The low down:Line Athens serves grape-less wine (yes there’s such a thing), nomad beer, and artisan bread (a few types to choose from)- making this cool spot in the centre of the city “the” place to visit for magnificent cocktails, fabulous bar food, and a great laid-back vibe.
Bar menu: The impressive drinks menu includes cocktails such as the New York Sour featuring Mastiha/lemon/ Bruxo Mezcal/line port; grape-less wines from Greece including a Honey-why-in with cotton mead/pineapple/passion/fennel, and a Fig Why-in of the Askada variety from the region of Karditsa. For those that love a good beer, you can throw back a line lager or a line west coast.
Bar food: From King oyster spaghetti and Cabbage roll beef tartare to hot dogs with pork sausage and an Athenian salad with lettuce, celery, carrot, and parsley– the food has been created by young up-and-coming chef Pavlos Kiriakis, who has designed the enticing menu to be shared amongst friends.
Décor/Ambience: This stunning former gallery of Zouboulaki has been given a minimalist yet chic makeover by the talented Nine Design team who have added plenty of industrial touches. Featuring mainly concrete, metal and wood, the neutral tones are mixed in with a splash of colour- creating a fine, warm texture to the open space.
Cocktail/spirit price range: Cocktails are priced at 10 €, wines 6.50 to 7 € a glass and beer is around 6 €.
Dress code: Casual and relaxed.
Opening Hours: Open from noon to late evening Monday-Sunday
The culturally rich, historic, vibrant and cool Athenian neighbourhood of Psyrri is packed with precious antiques, talented local artisans, authentic Greek tavernas, boho bars, charming cafes and loads of visitors who come here time and time again to enjoy a spot where the modern world blends in beautifully with old-time charm.
With so many amazing dessert places to choose from, we’ve rounded up our favourite spots to enjoy some delicious sweets in Psirri, for your next visit to the Greek capital!
Ta Serbetia Stou Psirri
One of Athens’ most loved patisseries, Ta Serbetia Stou Psirri is a family-run shop that first opened its doors in 1997. Since then, they have been serving mouthwatering homemade sweets created using family recipes that have been passed down through generations. From traditional Greek classics to cheesecakes, there is something here to satisfy all tastes.
A: Eschilou 3, Psirri
For some of the most delicious handmade tarts in Athens, head to Marika’s, who bakes sweet and savoury tarts each day, using seasonal and fresh products. Here you’ll taste traditional Greek flavours through to more modern variations- including pumpkin, lemon meringue and banoffee tarts.
A: Pallados 4, Psirri
To Serbetospito Tis Nancys
Otherwise known as Nancy’s Sweet Home, here you will find big servings of desserts that are mouthwatering. From rich chocolate cake to traditional Galaktoboureko (custard pie), it’s a local favourite that’s always packed, so make sure you go early.
A: Iroon 1 Square, Athens
For traditional Bougatsa, like you would find in Thessaloniki (where this famous dessert originated) head to Bougatsidiko, where you can also watch the masters open their filo by hand!
A: Iroon 1 Square, Athens
Serving some of the most authentic Greek desserts in Psirri, including Baklava, Kataifi and Ekmek, (drenched in their secret syrup), this stylish patisserie is the perfect spot to catch up with friends.
A: Eschilou 4, Athens
Who doesn’t love a good crepe? Specialising in crepes and waffles, Crepa Holic is open seven days a week, until 3 am in the morning- so if you are searching for something sweet after midnight, this one is for you!
A: Pallados 17, Psirri
To Koulouri Tou Psyrri
Most famous for its Koulouri (a round bread sprinkled with sesame seeds) this hole in the wall bakery also serves a sweet version, which is fried dough dusted with sugar, as well as homemade muffins and cakes.
Currently the city’s most Instagrammable café, pink and girlie Ellyz is fairly new to the city’s lively café scene.
With an entire wall blanketed in large pink flowers, tables decorated with gold candelabra, crystal chandeliers and colourful fantasy cakes and smoothies to match, this is probably the only place in town where you’ll find a doughnut sprinkled in gold dust and butterflies!
In addition, there is a chic neon sign that writes “Happiness is coffee and flowers’’ – with this pretty little cafe quickly becoming the Greek capital’s most popular spot amongst locals and international visitors- who come to capture the perfect background for their Instagram feed.
Featuring velvet sofas and chairs in soft shades of pink and blue- the glamorous onyx bar with plush high stools is a dreamy set up- and crowds of people can be seen outside patiently waiting their turn to take a seat. Take note: try to get there early!
Pink is not only the main theme for the cafe’s decor but it’s also a stand out on the menu- with a range of “pink” foods and drinks to choose from, including a Coffee Espresso with Pink Donut, a Pink Flat, freshly made Pink Grapefruit juice, Pink Velvet cake, Pink donuts and Pink inspired pancakes.
Ideally located in the heart of Athens city centre, Ellyz café is a fairytale spot for brunch, lunch, or an afternoon drink with friends.
And yes there is also a range of (non-pink) breakfast and lunch options to choose from, including truffled scrambled eggs, fresh sandwiches, healthy salads and protein bowls.
And for those who are only after a drink, there are is a wide range of cocktails, wines and Aperitivo’s to choose from!
Heading south from the Greek capital you will come across a stunning coastline known as the Athenian Riviera. Here you will discover some fine restaurants serving fresh seafood and creative dishes made from seasonal and locally sourced produce.
With so many great options to choose from, we’ve rounded up 10 of our favourites for you!
Set in Vouliagmeni, here you can enjoy a Mediterranean-inspired menu with seasonal and fresh dishes. The executive chef uses solely organic and local ingredients to prepare succulent summer dishes.
A: Thespidos, Vouliagmeni
Serving Nobu’s signature sushi, Matsuhisu has brought a touch of Japanese flavour and culture and the charm of fusion philosophy to the gastronomic map of Athens. Beautifully nestled in one of the city’s most stylish locations, the Astir Palace, Matsuhisa Athens offers an unforgettable gastronomic experience.
A: Apollonos 40, Vouliagmeni
For great Italian check out Mercato- an upscale Italian trattoria that’s also located at famous Astir Palace. Savour authentic Italian dishes and cocktails from the Spritzeria, which can be enjoyed in the warm indoor space in winter and on the alfresco terrace overlooking the Athenian Riviera in summer.
A: Apollonos 40, Vouliagmeni
If you like to rub shoulders with the rich and famous, head to Island where you will surely spot international designers, artists and athletes. The restaurant serves Mediterranean flavours and the modern dishes are all created by the award-winning chef, Nikos Skliras.
A: 27km South of Leof. Athinon Souniou
For one of the best views and great Latin American food, make your way to Helios. Relax poolside, while savouring zesty ceviches and tiraditos, piquant tacos, guacamole and grilled meat cuts, along with a range of signature cocktails.
A: Apollonos 40, Vouliagmeni
One of the areas most loved places, which frequently serves some of the world’s leading A-listers on their visits to Athens is Ithaki, in Vouliagmeni’s Laimos. Here you can taste the freshest fish and a range of local seafood, as you enjoy the magical sunset.
A: Apollonos 28, Vouliagmeni
If you are searching for a spot to enjoy a late lunch or evening dinner with a magnificent view, head to Moorings, where you will be treated to panoramic views of Vouliagmenis’ natural landscape, as well as a delightful menu.
A: Marina Vouliagmenis, Vouliagmeni
With renowned chef Yannis Baxevanis behind the menu, Ark offers signature dishes that are inspired by the Aegean sea. Along with the masterly crafted menu, you can also choose from an exceptional range of wines, beers and distillates from Greek producers.
A: Grigoriou Lambraki 2, Glyfada
This leading seafood restaurant located in Piraeus is a fine dining experience, where guests can taste quality seafood cuisine prepared by the famous chef Lefteris Lazarou while enjoying the picturesque views of the Mikrolimano Marina.
A: Akti Koumoundourou 54, Piraeus
Inspired by the Cycladic islands, Agora offers guests a simple and relaxed vibe, while serving a great and fresh range of dishes that are perfect for lunch or dinner by the sea.
Popular with locals who love to dine out, Lost Athens is one of the restaurants that have served to up Pangratis’ trendy profile.
The menu is separated into four categories: ‘With Hands’, ‘With Fork and Spoon’, ‘With Fork’ and ‘With Spoon’, which immediately reveals the restaurant’s original take on dining. Created to inspire fun, playfulness and experimentation among urbanites who simply want a good time – and great food to go with it, it showcases Greek as well as international street food favourites. Customers are encouraged to try several dishes in the middle to share so they can try as many tastes as possible. Upon arrival you are welcomed with the soup of the day served in a paper cup.
Type of cuisine? Mediterranean-Asian-American fusion.
Type of eatery? Modern, relaxed and hip. Almost everything here is made from scratch using fresh, mainly local but also exotic ingredients.
The low down… Owner Vasilis Stefanakis put it this way: “This is a place that welcomes every style of person, in whatever mood or clothes they may be when they come. The simplicity in decor is deliberate; we are not building expectations of a gourmet, fine-dining experience but in fact, that is what we are delivering; our menu is meant to surprise and delight you.”
Décor/ Ambience? Laidback and buzzy during the weekends. Simple, post-industrial décor by Circus Agency with neon signs such as one that reads ‘Enjoy Your F**ing Dinner’, targeted at today’s high-stress lifestyle and graphic design artworks combined with comfy leather chairs.
Entrees? Try with the Mussels with cucumber salsa, ponzu cucumber and pickled mustard seeds or the Greek Salad with tomato dressing, mousse volaki, carob biscuit and strawberry ice water.
Mains? The Hanger Steak Black Angus with grilled corn, romesco and chilli oil or the Greater Amberjack Sashimi with ponzu, tomato, celery mayonnaise, mango gel, watermelon and radish, or the Stuffed Squid with shrimp, green pea puree and fragrant oil. End with the Chocolate Custard Hazlenut Cake.
Something to drink? Apart from a decent wine list with Greek and foreign wines as well as some good cocktails, Lost serves a large choice (around 55) of craft beers from Greek micro-breweries (‘The Chill Journey’).
Chef says: Chef Kostas Nasiopoulos tells IN+SIGHTS GREECE that he has “taken street-food concepts and combined them with refined cooking techniques and sophisticated as well as feel-good and indulgent ingredients. This is food with no borders – it’s from our souls. We’ve put our hearts into creating it just right.”
Price range? Around 35 to 45 € per person without drinks.
In 2014 Evripidou St, the “spice street” of Athens, became even more sensorily exciting with the opening of the restaurant-deli Ta Karamanlidika Tou Fani, located in a old lovely stone house with a pretty, naturally-lit courtyard.
Through this restaurant, a few years ago a second one opened on Ermou 119, as Fanis Theodoropoulos of the Arapian family, who came to Athens after the fall of Asia Minor in 1922, aims to honour the culinary traditions of the Byzantine ‘patromageireio’.
Being amongst the Greek Orthodox community from Turkey with origins in Cappadocia and Cilikia, who were known as Karamanlides, Theodoropoulos lovingly entices and satisfies the appetites with a whole host of meze and main dishes.
Both at the original restaurant on Evripidou and the new one on Ermou, artfully-made, freshly prepared and deeply flavoursome specialty dishes include pastourmas of beef, kavourmas (a terrine cooked with spices and egg), soutzouk, salamis coated with various spices, hams and aged PDO cheeses. The cured products are made by partner/producer Paraskevas Sarimiboyas at the Sary workshop in Drama, where even the Xinomavro vine leaves used for their juicy, tender dolmades are grown.
I had the pleasure to visit the newer restaurant (accompanied by the wonderfully vibrant and Athens-savvy Livin’ Lovin’ tour guide Katerina Tsipiti who introduced me to the new place), try some of the flavours and interview Theodoropoulos, who joked that soon his family will be permanently locking him out of the house as he dedicates so much time and effort on perfecting the two restaurants. He also explained that the main difference at the twin restaurant on Ermou is that it has a wood-fire oven where fluffy, lightweight pies and breads are baked on the spot, which is why it’s called “to ergastiri” (the workshop).
We tried a delicious taramosalata with Greek bottarga, rice-only dolmadakia, kavourmas, beef pastourmas pie and spinach pie, accompanied by icy tsipouro. Apart from many types of raki, tsipouro and wines, the restaurant also serves a satisfying variety of Greek craft beers. Turkish dessert lovers shouldn’t miss out on baklava, Kiounefe and kazan dipi, made with pure butter, as well as phoney and sesame pasteli, baklava, rice milk and homemade jams.
Athens is home to hundreds of great restaurants and if you are planning a trip to the Greek capital and looking for a few culinary gems that are leading the way in haute cuisine, we’ve put together a list of the Top 20 gourmet restaurants in Athens that have received Michelin distinction in various categories.
Athens culinary scene is thriving and there are now two restaurants in Athens with 2 Michelin stars, three restaurants with 1 Michelin star, another three gained a Bib Gourmand and 12 have received a Plate Michelin. No matter how long you’re in Athens, where you’re staying, or what you may be craving for your next meal- they are all well worth a visit- and we highly recommend you bookmark this list!
Spondi | 2 Michelin Star
Being named Greece’s leading French restaurant, since it first opened in 1996 it has stood out for its innovative and creative approach to cooking and magnificent food presentation. Featuring two lovely courtyards and two stunning dining rooms, the award-winning chefs create dishes using fresh, seasonal and locally sourced ingredients; and there’s also an impressive Greek, French and Italian wine list to choose from. Signature dishes: Langoustine with Eucalyptus, Tapioca and Radish, Challans duck with Carrot, Pine and Praline and for dessert- Coffee with Lemon Thyme and Hazelnut.
A: 5 Pyrronos, Pangrati
Botrini’s | 1 Michelin Star
Botrini’s is a modern, creative, Greek-Mediterranean restaurant that’s elegant, stylish, and features a large garden with large white rotundas. Since it opened in 2014, the restaurant has received a Michelin Star seven times for its ambitious menu, professionalism, and ultra-creative high-end flavours. Signature dishes: Swordfish Carpaccio ‘Fishermen Style’, Milk-fed Lamb with Aubergine and Fig Pie; and for dessert try the Peach with Champagne and White Chocolate.
A: Vas. Georgiou B, 24 b, Halandri
Hytra | 1 Michelin Star
Modern Mediterranean Hytra, is located in the Onassis Cultural Centre. In 2020, the restaurant received another second Michelin star and take note that it is normally located on the sixth floor but during the warmer month it moves to the scenic seventh-floor rooftop- offering diners majestic views of the Acropolis and Mount Lycabettus. Signature dishes: Tomato, Watermelon, Strawberry and Sweet Alyssum, Cod with Ramson Capers, Kombu and Juniper and for dessert- Lemon with Basil, Vanilla Biscuit and Olive Oil Ice Cream.
A: Leof. Andrea Siggrou 107-109, Athina
Varoulko Seaside | 1 Michelin Star
This leading seafood restaurant located in Piraeus is a fine dining experience, where guests can taste quality seafood cuisine prepared by the famous chef Lefteris Lazarou while enjoying the picturesque views of the Mikrolimano Marina. Signature dishes: Red Mullet Tartare with Florina Pepper, Raisins and Bottarga Powder, Grouper with Beets, Broccolini, Black Garlic and Béarnaise Sauce; and for dessert- Cherry Ganache with Pistachio Mousse, Hibiscus and Kaimaki Sorbet.
A: Akti Koumoundourou 54, Piraeus
Cookoovaya | Plate Michelin
This Micheli recommended restaurant features an open plan kitchen and a beautiful modern dining room. Cookoovaya’s five local chefs- Periklis Koskinas, Manos Zournatzis, Vaggelis Liakos, Spyros Liakos, Nikos Karathanos use the freshest seasonal and local ingredients to create stand out dishes without losing authentic Greek tastes and flavours.
A: Chatzigianni Mexi 2a, Athina
GB Roof Garden | Plate Michelin
Located at one of the city’s most prestigious, elegant and imposing hotels, the Grande Bretagne. GB’s pronounced Mediterranean influences are presented in haute cuisine compilations. Flavours are fresh, rich and true to their quality ingredients. Don’t expect experimental or highly gourmet gastronomy, although creativity and finesse are definitely not lacking.
A: Vasileos Georgiou 1 A, Syntagma (8TH Floor)
Electra Rooftop | Plate Michelin
On the 10th floor of the popular Electra Metropolis Hotel, you’ll find one of the very best rooftop terraces in Athens, which is usually buzzing with both local and foreign guests tasting Mediterranean flavours.
A: Mitropoleos 15, Athina
2 Mazi | Plate Michelin
This creative Greek cuisine restaurant is located on the outskirts of Plaka. Featuring a charming alfresco area, the contemporary Greek cuisine dishes are made from seasonal and local produce. There is also a good selection of local wines by the glass.
A: 48 Nikis Street, Athens
Sushimou | Plate Michelin
Chef-owner Antonis Drakoularakos, trained in Tokyo to master Japanese cuisine and this amazing eatery offers the finest of what’s available at the fish market that day. It’s a tiny 12-seater eatery and although there is a menu, Antonis prefers his diners allow him to choose, according to their preferences.
A: 6 Skoufou, Athens
Alficon | Plate Michelin
Located within a charming neoclassical building on Ironda Street, two young and talented chefs Elvi-Dimitris Zymba and Nikos Vorias create a short seasonal menu featuring contemporary Greek dishes that are served on a pretty pavement terrace. Note, there’s also a good organic Greek wines list to choose from.
A: 8 Ironda, Athens
Birdman | Plate Michelin
This cool Japanese eatery serves great noodles, meat plates, beef nigiri and other enticing snacks that are paired well with their lush cocktails.
A: 35 Voulis, Athens
Ergon House | Plate Michelin
Located at the world’s first-ever “foodie hotel”, Ergon House is not only a wonderful agora filled with local artisan produce but also a great place to taste simple, Mediterranean dishes using local, seasonal produce. The enticing menu includes small bites, sharing boards and generous main dishes.
A: 23 Mitropoleos, Athens
Sense Restaurant | Plate Michelin
Located on the splendid rooftop of Athens Was Hotel, Sense offers majestic views from two beautiful dining areas (indoor and outdoor). With an open kitchen, you can watch Chef Charalambopoulos prepare his creative and seasonal Greek dishes.
A: 5 Dionysiou Areopagitou Street, Athens
CTC | Plate Michelin
Taste eye-catching dishes from award-winning chef, Alexandros Tsiotinis, and his talented team who like to push the boundaries. Choose between three surprise tasting menus with a modern blend of Greek and Gallic flavours.
A: 14 Oumplianis, Athens
Vezene | Plate Michelin
This popular steakhouse is a contemporary eatery that serves wood-fired Greek regional plates and seafood, plus a Sunday roast menu. One of the most popular items on the menu is the mouthwatering mini Wagyu Burger (try to stop at one!)
A: Vrasida 11, Athens
Oikeio | Bib Gourmand
Located in Athens’ chic Kolonaki neighbourhood, you can choose to eat indoors (on two levels) or outside. Serving amazing homestyle dishes made using locally sourced produce, this modern Greek taverna is like a cosy Parisian bistro in the heart of Athens.
A: Ploutarchou 15, Athina
Aneton | Plate Michelin
In 2005 Dimitris Fotopoulos first opened Aneton’s doors in a quiet northern suburb of Athens and after huge success, 15 years later, moved to the Historic Centre of Athens becoming a local and international visitors favourite. Expect a seasonal menu that is Mediterranean- inspired in summer, and in winter features traditional stews and casseroles.
A: 3 Navarchou Nikodimou, Athens
Nolan | Bib Gourmand
Greek-Japanese chef Sotiris Kontizas is the brainchild behind an unfussy yet sophisticated list of dishes that Michelin has awarded with the Bib Gourmand. The ambience at Nolan is modern, upbeat and vibrant, the flavours are memorable and sometimes very exciting, and the service is fast and professional.
A: Nikis 31-33, Syntagma
7 Food Sins | Bib Gourmand
A gourmet Greek Gastro Pub in the heart of Plaka, the most historic Athenian district! Gourmet dishes created by awarded chef Dimos Samourakis. 7 Food Sins offers a distinguished atmosphere and exquisite Greek dishes.
A: Plateia Filomousou Etaireias 1, Athina
Funky Gourmet | 2 Michelin Star
Having been labelled the best restaurant in Greece on many occasions, Funky Gourmet is a contemporary Greek restaurant that is loved for its innovative dishes delivered as 3 multi-course tasting menus, which change regularly, depending on available seasonal ingredients. Currently relocating (rumoured to be at Athens Hilton Hotel) local and international visitors are eager for the re-opening (watch this space).