The Best Restaurants in Athens

GreeceAthens › Best Restaurants
by Santorini Dave • Updated: September 22, 2022

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Best Tours in Athens
Best Bars in Athens
Best Museums in Athens
Best Hotels in Athens
Best Family Hotels in Athens
Where to Stay in Athens

A group of female diners sit at an outdoor table with the Acropolis and Parthenon in the distance.

The rooftop view of the Acropolis from the 360° Cocktail Bar and Restaurant. The best view of the Acropolis from any restaurant in Athens.

Dining in Athens

  • Meal times in Athens: Greeks typically eat late. Lunch time is between 1:30 and 3:00 p.m. and dinner is usually around 9:00 or 10:00 p.m. Of course, restaurants in the more tourist-centric areas will serve lunch as early as 11:00 a.m. or 12:00 p.m. and dinner starting at 7:00 p.m., but the restaurants will be largely empty with fewer locals. Breakfast is not a major meal in Greece.
  • Reservations in Athens: Reservations are not necessary for most restaurants in Athens, a city known for casual tavernas and outstanding street food, and most restaurants here don’t take them. However, for fine dining or for dining with a view at the best rooftop restaurants and bars, it’s a good idea to reserve a table in advance.
  • Eating with Your Hands: There is a misconception that Greeks eat almost everything with their hands. While this is certainly true for on-the-go snacks and meals, like gyros and cheese pies, or for pork and lamb chops at very casual restaurants, diners at nicer restaurants use cutlery for most things. Even for dipping bread, it is typical to cut a small piece and use a fork to dip and eat.
  • Water is perfectly safe to drink from the tap in Athens. Ask your server for tap water, as they will often offer bottled water first, which adds a few unnecessary euros to your bill.
  • Wine: Greek wines are criminally underrated. The country has been producing wine for thousands of years, and offer some truly amazing varieties, especially white wines. The top wine regions in Greece are the Cyclades, the Peloponnese, and Macedonia regions. Types to try include Assyrtiko and Moschofilero (both whites), Agiorgitiko (rosé and red), Xinomavro (red), and Vinsanto (white dessert wine).
  • Tipping in Athens: Tipping is customary in Athens, but it is not percentage-based as it is in the U.S. It is customary to tip about €2 to €5 for a meal, maybe more in an expensive restaurant.
A group of diners sits at a table surrounded by colorful jars and boxes.

The decor in Pame Tsipouro Pame Kafeneio is inspired by the traditional village kafeneios of old Greece.

Best Places to Eat in Athens

Map showing the locations of the 21 best restaurants in Athens, Greece.

21 Best Restaurants in Athens

1. The Old Tavern of Psarras – Plaka • $$

Psarras Taverna in the Plaka
Phone: +30 21 0321 8733
Also called The Old Tavern of Psaras, this charming restaurant first opened in 1898 and was later a famous haunt of Laurence Olivier, Vivian Lee, and Graham Greene. The traditional Greek menu features fresh seafood, meat (with especially great lamb), and plenty of vegetarian options. A romantic, casual atmosphere, great house wine, and live music on Friday and Saturday nights. Indoor and outdoor seating available. Open with continuous service for lunch and dinner. Reservations recommended for dinner.
Website • Nearest Metro: Monastiraki & Acropolis

2. 360° Cocktail Bar – Monastiraki • $$

Diners at outdoor tables on a garden terrace with the Acropolis in the background.
Phone: +30 21 0321 0006
Stylish rooftop bar and restaurant with outstanding cocktails and Greek meze and arresting views of the Acropolis and Parthenon. Popular with locals and travelers alike, reservations are not required to get in, but they are recommended to secure the tables with the best views, especially for sunset cocktails or dinner. Open all day and into the wee hours, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 a.m.
Website • Nearest Metro: Monastiraki

3. Geros Tou Moria – Plaka • $$

diners eat alfresco at cafe tables in a cobblestone courtyard
Phone: +30 21 0322 1753
Yes, it’s a bit touristy, but this quaint, 90-year-old taverna is the best place in Athens to try classic Greek dishes paired with live Greek music and dancing every night. Order the moussaka, lamb, or bekris mezes (veal and eggplant in tomato sauce). Sit outdoors under the grape vines for views of the Acropolis, or sit indoors to be closer to the music and dancing. Reservations recommended for late dinner service, when the music starts.
Website • Nearest Metro: Monastiraki

4. Bougatsadiko Thessaloniki – Psirri • $

Bougatsadiko Thessaloniki cafe in Psirri
Phone: +30 21 0322 2088
Wonderful café in the funky Psirri neighborhood, serving excellent coffee and pastries and best known for their bougatsa (custard and phyllo pastry), a family recipe brought to Athens from Thessaloniki by the owner’s grandfather. Other stand-outs include the spanakopita (spinach pie) and tiropita (cheese pie). An excellent stop for breakfast, brunch, or late-night snack. Indoor and outdoor seating available. Open from 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. most days and 24-hours on Fridays and Saturdays.
Website • Nearest Metro: Monastiraki

5. Kostas – Monastiraki • $

Kostas gyros and souvlaki in Monastiraki
Phone: +30 21 0323 2971
The best gyros and souvlaki in central Athens, offering a choice of pork or beef topped with fries, fresh veggies, and their signature tomato sauce in place of tzatziki. This no-frills shop has hardly any seating, so be prepared to take your order to go. If the line is too long (as it often is) or if you crave for a more traditional gyro, head to the equally excellent O Thanasis, just a 3-minute walk away. Kostas is open Monday to Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
• No website • Nearest Metro: Monastiraki

6. O Thanasis – Monastiraki • $

Tables of diners at outdoor tables along a pedestrian thoroughfare.
Phone: +30 21 0324 4705
This family-friendly standby since 1965 has plenty of tables along the pedestrian street out front just off Monastiraki Square. Most dishes are meat-centric, though they also serve up an excellent saganaki, Greek salad, and tirokafteri (feta dip). A busy restaurant, but service is quick, so wait times for tables are usually short. Open all day from 9:00 a.m. until 1:30 a.m. (2:30 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays).
Website • Nearest Metro: Monastiraki

7. Aleria Restaurant – Metaxourgeio • $$$$

Aleria fine dining restaurant in Metaxourgeio
Phone: +30 21 0522 2633
The best fine dining restaurant in Athens. Aleria serves contemporary, creative Mediterranean fare highlighting seasonal ingredients and regional specialties. Their extensive wine list showcases artisanal wines from top Greek and international producers. The restaurant sits in a neoclassical villa with indoor seating year-round and elegant garden seating in the summer.
Website • Nearest Metro: Metaxourgeio

8. Smak – Monastiraki • $

Smak street food in Monastiraki
Phone: +30 21 1409 7046
Awesome street food spot for pizza and their signature peynirli (Black Sea style pizza boats) made using a combination of Greek-Turkish and Neapolitan techniques for dough. Everything is cooked to order in an open kitchen and topped with a variety of cheeses, meats, veggies. Dine in or take away. Open for lunch, dinner, and late-night bites.
Website • Nearest Metro: Monastiraki

9. Avli – Psirri • $

Best inexpensive authentic Greek food in Athens.
Phone: +30 21 0321 7642
A true hidden gem in the heart of Psirri. This cool hole-in-the-wall restaurant lies behind a narrow door between two larger shops, so it’s easy to miss. The door leads to an old alley converted into a quirky, courtyard restaurant. Standout dishes on their simple menu include omelets, keftedes (meatballs), kolokithokeftedes (zucchini balls), and Greek salad. Great house wine. Open for lunch, dinner, and late night meze from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. every day but Tuesdays. Avli does not take reservations. Be prepared to wait – it’s totally worth it.
Website • Nearest Metro: Monastiraki

10. O Elvis – Karameikos • $

O Elvis souvlaki shop in Kerameikos
Phone: +30 21 0756 6066
Great little souvlaki shop with a simple menu: grilled meat (pork, chicken, lamg, ground beef, sausage, or pancetta) served with lemon sauce, fries, and bread. The lines are often long, but the restaurant offers a free shot of raki while you wait. Great music, friendly staff, and a fun vibe. Owned by the same people as the fantastic bar Kerameio next door. Open from noon to 3:00 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and from noon to 5:00 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
Website • Nearest Metro: Karameikos

11. Evgenia – Plaka • $

sidewalk tables in front of a cafe window, set for lunch service
Phone: +30 21 0321 4121
AKA Paradosiako Cafeneon, this authentic, family-run Greek taverna serves homemade, traditional dishes with an ever-changing menu featuring seasonal ingredients. Much less touristy than other restaurants in Plaka, Evgenia is popular with locals for their rich flavors and cozy ambiance. Open all day, from 9:00 a.m. to midnight.
Website • Nearest Metro: Syntagma

12. To Mavro Provato – Pangrati • $$

To Mavro Provato restaurant in Pangrati
Phone: +30 21 0321 4121
A simple yet elegant restaurant serving regional Greek fare that highlights the best ingredients and recipes from throughout the nation: Cretan cheeses, Macedonian smoked beef sausage, Peloponnesian wine, and more. The restaurant offers indoor and outdoor seating, modern design, and friendly staff. Open from 1:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. daily (1:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Sundays).
Website • Nearest Metro: Evangelismos

13. Falafellas – Monastiraki • $

Falafellas Street Food in Monastiraki
Phone: +30 21 0323 9809
The best falafel in Athens and one of only a handful of places where you can actually get spicy food. Falafellas runs a tiny kitchen and offers a simple menu of just falafel or meatballs wrapped in pita and topped with fresh veggies (spicy sauce is optional). There is no seating, so be ready to take your wrap to go. Open all day, every day from 11:00 a.m. to midnight.
Website • Nearest Metro: Monastiraki

14. Tazza All-Day Bistro and Wine Bar – Syntagma • $$

Cafe sidewalk chock-full of tables, frilly lamps and vases, and colorful decorations
Phone: +30 21 0331 1999
Flamboyant bistro for Mediterranean-Greek bites, wine, and cocktails – best-loved for their breakfast and Sunday brunch. Tazza sits on a lively street near Syntagma Square, with indoor and outdoor seating spilling out onto the sidewalk with colorful, mismatched vintage furniture and a cheerful atmosphere. Open most days from 7:30 or 8:00 a.m. until 1:00 or 2:00 a.m., except Sundays when they open at 11:00 a.m.
Website • Nearest Metro: Syntagma

15. Atlantikos – Psirri • $$

Waitress serving a sidewalk table at a Greek cafe after dusk
Phone: +30 21 3033 0850
One restaurant, two kitchens: the original kitchen serving super-fresh seafood and the new kitchen dedicated to traditional Greek fare. All recipes are authentic and delicious, but they are especially known for their savoro (pan-fried white fish with black currents) and fava (chickpea dip) with marinated anchovies. Outdoor seating on the sidewalk and indoor seating on the main or upper floors. The original seafood kitchen is open daily from 1:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.; the new Greek kitchen is open the same hours on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays and for dinner only Mondays to Thursdays.
Website • Nearest Metro: Monastiraki

16. Pame Tsipouro Pame Kafeneio – Monastiraki • $$

Restaurant tables in a large room lined with colorful items for sale
Phone: +30 21 0325 0208
Lively café in Aiolou, Monastiraki, serving excellent coffee, spirits, and Greek meze (small, shareable plates similar to tapas). The restaurant was inspired by the kafeneios of old Greece, central to a village’s social framework, serving as combination coffee shops, bars, mini markets, and meeting places. Casual atmosphere, indoor and outdoor seating, open all day from 7:00 a.m. until midnight.
Website • Nearest Metro: Monastiraki

17. Little Kook – Psirri • $$

Little Kook in Psyrri
Phone: +30 21 0321 4144
Little Kook is all about the spectacle. This fairytale-themed dessert spot serves coffee, cocktails, and sweet treats (especially known for pancakes, pralines, and cakes). But the main attraction is its over-the-top decorations which change seasonally and spread throughout its massive 3-building complex (plus outdoor seating in summer). The shop opens daily from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. They do not accept reservations and wait times can last up to an hour.
Website • Nearest Metro: Monastiraki

18. Avocado – Syntagma • $$

Avocado vegetarian vegan restaurant in Syntagma
Phone: +30 21 0323 7878
Lovely vegan and vegetarian restaurant near Syntagma Square. Avocado focuses on local, seasonal, sustainable, and organic dishes full of rich flavors. Gluten-free and wheat-free dishes are available, as is a selection of organic wines. Open for lunch and dinner every day until midnight, except on Sundays when they close at 7:00 p.m.
Website • Nearest Metro: Syntagma

19. Kuzina – Monastiraki/Thissio • $$$

White restaurant tables and chairs set before a large, white, backlit bar
Phone: +30 21 0322 0133
Upscale, contemporary Greek restaurant offering stunning Acropolis and Temple of Hephaestus views from its rooftop terrace (open from April to October). The menu changes seasonally with a few year-round staples, lots of vegetarian choices, and for solo diners, some menu items can be ordered in half-sizes. Standout dishes include thesoutsoukakia (combination grilled beef and lamb) and savory loukoumades (Greek dumplings) stuffed with cheese and tomatoes and topped with pistachios and pomegranate sauce. The restaurant serves lunch daily from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and dinner from 5:00 p.m. to midnight. Reservations recommended.
Website • Nearest Metro: Thissio

20. Melina Mercouri Café – Plaka • $$

Exterior view of a restaurant with large, draped windows and cafe tables out front
Phone: +30 21 0324 6501
Sweet café in the heart of Plaka offering Greek meze, traditional dishes, and desserts – an ideal spot for breakfast or a late-night snack. The café is popular with locals despite its location in tourist-heavy Plaka. The café serves as a mini-museum dedicated to Melina Merkouri, and actress, singer, politician, and activist; her 1960 film “Never on Sunday” is what popularized the Greek trend of smashing plates.
Website • Nearest Metro: Monastiraki

21. School Pizza Bar – Monastiraki • $$

Sidewalk tables in front of a pizzaria, with one bench in the shape of a clothespin
Phone: +30 21 0325 1444
Bustling Italian restaurant offering thin-crust pizza, pasta, risotto, and gnocchi paired with delicious Greek and Italian wines and creative cocktails. Indoor and outdoor seating available in their cozy restaurant decorated with a schoolhouse theme, complete with desks, lockers, and chalkboards. Open all day from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 a.m. Reservations recommended but not required.
Website • Nearest Metro: Monastiraki

Best Area to Eat in Athens

Diners sit at outdoor tables lining a pedestrian alley in Athens.

Mitropoleos Alley, off Monastiraki Square, is a great spot to find good, cheap, Athenian food. O Thanasis, serving some of the best gyros and souvlaki in Athens, is located on the corner.

One of the best places to eat at an outdoor restaurant in Athens is in the Plaka or Monastiraki neighborhoods. Tables spill out into the squares and alleys as Greeks sit late into the evening talking, laughing, yelling, and eating. It’s lots of fun.

The best area to go is around Monastiraki square and metro station. Just east of the metro station, Mitropoleos Alley is lined with lively restaurants that serve good inexpensive food. In the Plaka area, you are more likely to be surrounded by fellow tourists, whereas in the Monastiraki area you’ll be eating with more locals. There’s lots of traditional Greek food on the menu here; gyro, souvlaki, hummus, and greek salads are very popular.

Best gyro and souvlaki in Plaka.

This is the start of Mitropoleos Alley as it meets Monastiraki Square. The yellow building on the opposite side of the square is the Monastiraki metro station. The A for Athens hotel (not visible) is off to the right.

Certainly, this isn’t the absolute best food you’ll find in Athens – it is a little touristy – but it’s still very good. It’s a short walk for most tourists from their hotel, easy to find, and safe. Walk to the Monastiraki metro station and you can’t miss the restaurants. They’re very easy to see and find. Pick the first one that has an open table – they’re all good.

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