Athens is not just Greek art but also pure cuisine in capital letters. The Greek capital tastes of feta cheese, of moussaka, of souvlaki, of tzatziki, of bekri meze, of portokalopita, of pastichio and of papoutzakia. And if you are not acquainted with these flavors, I don’t know what you are waiting for. You’ll feel a taste explosion in your palate, and there’s no doubt you’ll want to repeat. The Athenian culinary tradition is at the top end of delicious, and that’s why I’d like to recommend a few restaurants where cuisine becomes an art form. Are you ready to eat Athens?
The best thing about Funky Gourmet is that, even though it has two Michelin Stars, everything still goes: you can eat with your hands or even lick your fingers. And it’s also worth mentioning that its chef is the only Greek woman with a Michelin Star, Georgianna Hiliadaki, who also worked at El Bulli Restaurant in 2005 under Ferran Adrià himself (she was one of his disciples). One of her specialties is pastichio, a type of lasagna. Also quite impressive are her urchin eggs with truffle cream, and of course, her pastries filled with cinnamon ice cream. At Funky Gourmet one can choose between 3 tasting menus that range from 90 to 150 euros. With a wine paring it could go up to 240 euros. Where to go? Paramythias Street with Salaminos, in the Keramikos Neighborhood.
It’s in the Monastiraki Neighborhood that you’ll taste the best souvlaki in Athens. It’s similar to a kebab, though more sophisticated. No Greek festivities are ever celebrated without a good souvlaki. It’s the national appetizer of choice, and it’s made with pita bread, tomato, and roasted onion to which lamb, chicken, veal or even shrimp is added. And to go with it, you couldn’t do without tzatziki. Take good note: it’s on Mitropoleos Street and it’s very affordable. Nothing to do with our previous entry. You can’t leave Athens without trying it.
Elegant like few others. This restaurant located in the heart of Athens is one of those places you’ll want to return to. Some of its highlights are its vaulted stone cellar and its stunning terrace in the summertime. But not only that, its cuisine has been catalogued as one of the best in the world in several occasions (despite not having any Michelin stars). It specializes in lobster and shrimp. Now, if you are up for this, you’ll have to book well in advance. It generally tends to be very busy. Address: 5 Pyrronos Street.
Just sitting at one of the tables in Diogenes makes the visit to the Plaka Neighborhood worth the while. I wouldn’t leave without trying their moussaka, their salad with feta cheese, and of course, their famous grilled meat. This restaurant is popular with the Athenian youth, who drop by to eat on weekends. I can guarantee you’ll have a great big meal for less than 30 euros. And the best thing are its views, as it is located right below the Acropolis. Take good note: Lisikratous Street, Athens.