Athens’ Michelin Star Restaurant Heads to Santorini 

In what’s said to be one of Greece’s biggest restaurant openings for 2022- Grace Hotel on Santorini is set to welcome Michelin star chef Lefteris Lazarou and his iconic Varoulko dishes to this world-famous Greek island. 

Grace Hotel, a member of the Auberge Resorts Collection, has just announced the overhaul of their restaurant, appointing Greece’s Michelin-starred chef Lefteris Lazarou to head up Varoulko Santorini. 

The innovative, yet traditional Greek restaurant will offer guests ingredients of the finest quality, genuine respect for tradition, and a creative edge- creating the ultimate dining experience on the island and will open its doors on Saturday 15th April 2022. 

“Beloved Greek and Mediterranean flavours get an inspired makeover at the hands of culinary genius and Michelin-awarded chef Lefteris Lazarou,” announced Grace Hotel management.

“In keeping with Greek gastronomic tradition, at Varoulko Santorini wonderful tastes such as the chef’s signature squid with pesto Genovese or the crayfish tartar with fresh basil and zesty yuzu, come alive thanks to the island’s abundant fresh ingredient offering,” they add. 

While enjoying Varoulko’s signature dishes- including the exquisite squid with pesto Genovese, an emblem of Lazarou’s creativity, as well as the humble monkfish; guests are able to overlook the breathtaking Caldera and the deep Aegean blue sea, as Varoulko Santorini boasts an exceptional vantage point for enjoying the renowned Cycladic views. 

Opening hours: 12 pm – 6 pm daily for lunch, 7 pm – 11.00 pm daily for dinner

A: Imerovigli, Santorini 

Varoulko Santorini at Grace Hotel  

Simple Dining by the Aegean Sea at Leros Island

Sit with your feet in the sand at a table a mere metre away from the Aegean Sea- enjoying simple and fresh seafood dishes and a glass of homemade wine, at this lovely family-run taverna on Leros island.

Whether you are looking for a place to enjoy some mezedes and a cold beer after a long swim at the beach, or a casual dining venue to sample some delicious lobster spaghetti under the stars – “Prima & Aneplora” in Alinda village is the perfect spot.


This unique taverna is right on the water’s edge at the far end of Alinda village. Offering a predominantly seafood menu, there’s also a wide range of meat and vegetarian options for those that aren’t big on fish.

Antonis, the charming owner is a wonderful host and cook, who enjoys giving recommendations to his guests- especially when it comes to revealing the specials of the day, which are always a good option!

Insights Greece - Simple Dining by the Aegean Sea at Leros Island

From delicious shrimp saganaki and grilled swordfish to soft kolokithokeftedes (zucchini fritters) and fresh horta (wild greens) drizzled with olive oil and lemon- the simple yet authentic dishes are all made from local produce.

If you do like your seafood (as we do) we recommend the octopus, shrimp, mussels and calamari, which pair perfectly with a side of fava (yellow split peas puree), tiganites patates (homemade fries) and a traditional Greek salad.

And if you plan on getting there in the evening, we suggest bringing a cardigan as it can get a little breezy, otherwise, you can also choose to eat on the terrace, which is also a nice option as the beautiful bay and castle are still in full view!

Offering a unique and laid-back atmosphere, at “Prima & Aleproma” you will experience delicious Greek island cuisine while relaxing and soaking up Lemnos’ authentic beauty.

A: Alinda, Leros

Athens’ Unique Politiko-Cuisine Charcuterie

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.

Insights Greece - Athens' Unique Politiko-Cuisine Charcuterie
Perfect breakfast

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.  

Insights Greece - Athens' Unique Politiko-Cuisine Charcuterie
A must for all foodies

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.

Many thanks to Livin‘ Lovin tours Athens. 

A: 41 Evripidou str., 10554, Athens; 119 Ermou str., 10555, Athens

Athens’ Top 20 Michelin-Awarded Restaurants

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

Insights Greece - Athens' Top 20 Michelin-Awarded Restaurants

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

Insights Greece - Athens' Top 20 Michelin-Awarded Restaurants

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

Insights Greece - Athens' Top 20 Michelin-Awarded Restaurants

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).


Eateries Reopen in Greece, Organised Beaches Next

After nearly six months of being shut, cafes and restaurants across Greece finally reopened their doors for sit-down service on Monday, May 3, a day after Greek Orthodox Easter.

As per the new rules, only open areas of restaurants and cafes will operate, until May 15, 2021. Distances between tables and seats are required, and no music is allowed on the premises.

Customers in restaurants and cafes are also strongly advised to wear their masks while seated and when they are not eating or drinking, however, this is not mandatory. 

The nightly curfew has now changed to 11 p.m, with eateries allowed to remain open until 15 minutes before curfew (10:45 p.m). 

Local residents will still need to use the SMS authorisation code for movement by sending an SMS (to 130 33). This will no longer be required after May 15, when international travel begins.  

Authorities have also announced that organised beaches in Greece will reopen on May 15, when the country opens up to international tourists, as locals in the food, beverage, and hospitality industry slowly begin to prepare for summer season 2021. 

*Images by IN+SIGHTS GREECE © (Copyright) 

Santorini’s Unforgettable Dining Experience 

Set on beautiful Exo Gialos Beach in Santorini, Yalos is an unforgettable gastronomic experience that shouldn’t be missed. 

Enjoy delicious Mediterranean dishes made with the freshest local products, or sip on your favourite drink prepared by expert mixologists- right on the water. This is a spot where you can grab your friends for an amazing gathering on the beach while enjoying an unforgettable dining experience by the sea; from freshly caught fish and seafood to refreshing salads made with locally grown vegetables- Yalos’ decor and dishes highlight the beauty in simplicity and authenticity.  


Exo Gialos is a small beach in Santorini, featuring black sand and a volcanic background. It’s ideal for anyone who wants to enjoy a swim in a beautiful beach setting, followed by an amazing late lunch or early dinner as you watch the sunset. It’s an idyllic location about a 10-minute drive directly east of Fira. Set beside numerous rustic fishermen’s shacks and a marina with wooden boats, it’s located between sandstone cliffs and crashing waves.

Insights Greece - Santorini's Unforgettable Dining Experience 

Beach Life

You can treat yourself to one of the private cabanas and experience the ultimate relaxation. Right next to the beach, there is a small harbour with swans, where you can have a walk and watch them swimming in the clear waters, between the traditional boats. 

The Mood

Yalos is a converted boat shed with a laid-back vibe. With chic and rustic decor, the
restaurant also has its resident DJ playing cool tracks and tribal rhythms.  


One of the stand-out pieces is a traditional boat that has been restored and transformed into a comfortable sofa with pillows in soft colours; creating a beautiful, relaxing shaded corner. Soft shades, a beautiful island feel, and sea details add to the soothing setting of Yalos restaurant; and the never-ending calming sea views and sounds are what make this experience unforgettable.

Insights Greece - Santorini's Unforgettable Dining Experience 


The menu focuses on the authentic flavours of Santorini. Delicious dishes include seafood, crispy salads, mouthwatering appetizers, local main courses, and fresh fish. All raw ingredients used in preparing our dishes are produced by the Anapliotis family and arrive at the restaurant daily: fava beans, cherry tomatoes, eggplants, local cheese, and a range of other products, which are grown exclusively on the island. Also, freshly caught fish from the Aegean Sea is delivered to the restaurant daily by the local fishermen themselves. Delicious fresh seafood includes grilled cod with olive oil, lemon and oregano, a variety of ceviches, and smoked mackerel. Santorini flavours such as homemade tomato fritters (domatokeftedes), probably the best fava in Santorini, and homemade cheese fritters topped with a honey syrup. Meat, pasta, and vegetarian options are also available. And let’s not forget the signature dessert; a deconstructed mille-feuille with creme brûlée, vanilla, and chocolate ice cream (leave room for it). 


The all-day beach bar serves all you need to enjoy carefree hours by the sea. Coffee, refreshing beverages, fresh fruit juices, innovative and creative cocktails, and the vibes of the resident DJ will accompany a chilled atmosphere. Try a cocktail with “katsouni” (Santorinian cucumber) or ask the talented mixologist to create a drink to suit your mood and taste! 

A: Yalos, Exo Gialos Beach, Fira, Santorini