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Epic Food in Athens: What to eat in Athens

If you're looking for some great food in Athens, you won't be disappointed. There are plenty of delicious options to choose from, whether you're looking for a quick bite or a full-fledged meal.

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You won’t be disappointed if you’re looking for great food in Athens. Plenty of delicious options exist, whether for a quick bite or a full-fledged meal.

Indulge in a culinary adventure through the vibrant city of Athens, where gastronomy is an integral part of its culture and heritage. In this ultimate guide, we invite you to discover the authentic flavors and diverse food scenes that make Athens a food lover’s paradise. From traditional dishes to hidden gems to street food and the best dishes, prepare to tantalize your taste buds and immerse yourself in the rich culinary traditions of this ancient city.

Where to Eat in Athens: Exploring the Culinary Neighborhoods

Athens is a culinary paradise, offering diverse dining options to satisfy every palate. Each neighborhood has its own unique character and boasts a selection of eateries that showcase the best of Greek and international cuisine. Here are some of the top neighborhoods in Athens and the culinary experiences they offer:

Where to Eat the Best Seafood in Athens

For seafood lovers, Mikrolimano, Vouliagmeni, and Pirraiki neighborhoods are seafood havens. Located near the coast, these areas have numerous fish tavernas and seafood restaurants. Indulge in the day’s freshest catch, including grilled octopus, succulent shrimp, and mouthwatering fish souvlaki. Enjoy the picturesque waterfront views of Piraeus and Vouliagmeni as you savor the flavors of the sea.

Where to Eat the Best Meat in Athens

For carnivores seeking a hearty meal, head to Vlahika in Vari and Kessariani neighborhoods. These areas are known for grill houses and tavernas serving succulent meat dishes. Sink your teeth into juicy lamb ribs, tender slow-cooked lamb, or a sizzling plate of biftekia (Greek-style meatballs). Accompanied by traditional side dishes and a glass of local wine, these meat-focused eateries offer a truly satisfying dining experience.

Where to Eat the Best Local Food in Athens

To immerse yourself in the authentic flavors of Athens, explore the neighborhoods of Ano Petralona and Pagkrati. These areas are dotted with traditional tavernas serving classic Greek dishes. Indulge in moussaka, pastitsio, and spanakopita, lovingly prepared with locally sourced ingredients. Don’t miss the opportunity to pair your meal with a glass of ouzo or retsina for a truly authentic Greek dining experience.

Where to Eat the Best Street Food in Athens

To taste the vibrant street food scene, head to the bustling streets of Nikis and Apollonos in Syntagma. These areas are lined with street food stalls offering a variety of delectable treats. Sink your teeth into souvlaki wrapped in warm pita bread, grab a koulouri (sesame seed bread ring) for a quick snack, or satisfy your sweet tooth with a loukoumades (Greek doughnuts) drizzled in honey. These neighborhoods are a haven for foodies looking for a quick and delicious bite.

Where to Eat the Best Ethnic Food in Athens

Athens also offers a diverse range of international cuisines. Explore the vibrant streets of Nikis and Apollonos in Syntagma to discover hidden gems that transport you to different corners of the globe. From Middle Eastern delicacies to Asian fusion creations, these eateries cater to every international craving.

As you explore Athens’ culinary neighborhoods, be prepared to embark on a gastronomic journey filled with a wide array of seafood, meat, local dishes, street food, and international flavors. Each neighborhood has its unique charm and culinary offerings, ensuring you’ll find a dining experience to suit your preferences. So, venture off the beaten path, embrace the local flavors, and let Athens’ diverse culinary scene tantalize your taste buds.

Favorite touristic places for food in Athens

1. The Acropolis:

If you want to taste traditional Greek cuisine, head to the Acropolis. This restaurant offers classic dishes like moussaka and Souvlaki and stunning views of the city.

2. Plaka:

Plaka Neighbourhood - greece food tours
image source

The Plaka is one of Athens’s most popular tourist areas, and for a good reason. There are plenty of great restaurants to choose from, offering everything from traditional Greek fare to international cuisine.

3. Psiri:

Psiri is an excellent option if you’re looking for something a little different. This trendy neighborhood has many eclectic eateries, from Thai and Indian restaurants to hip cafés and bars.

4. Monastiraki:

Monastiraki is another popular tourist area, and like the Plaka, there are plenty of great places to eat here. If you’re looking for traditional Greek food, we recommend visiting one of the city’s many Souvlaki joints.

What Food to Eat in Athens: 10 Iconic Athenian Dishes

Regarding Athens’ culinary scene, certain dishes have become synonymous with the city’s rich gastronomic heritage. These iconic Athenian dishes encapsulate the flavors and traditions of the region, offering a delightful culinary experience. Here are 10 must-try dishes that will take your taste buds on a journey through Athens:

1. Kolokythokeftedes

greek zucchini balls

Savor the unique flavors of kolokythokeftedes, zucchini balls made with grated zucchini, herbs, and cheese. These crispy and flavorful vegetarian bites are often served as appetizers or a side dish, adding a delightful twist to your culinary adventure in Athens.

Kolokythokeftedes are lightly fried fritters made of puréed or grated courgettes and seasoned with mint, dill, and various other spices, depending on where you eat. They usually contain feta cheese, which gives them a slightly creamy interior, and they go well with tzatziki dip.

Greek cuisine has numerous fritters, including cheeseballs, tomato balls, meatballs, and potato balls.

2. Garides saganaki

Indulge in garides saganaki, a delicious dish featuring shrimp cooked in a flavorful tomato sauce with feta cheese. Greek shrimp saganaki is made with sautéed shrimp deglazed with ouzo and drenched in tomato sauce and feta cheese. You can add olive oil to the mix for a touch of Greece.

Combining juicy shrimp, tangy tomato sauce, and melted cheese creates a delightful blend of flavors that will leave you craving more. This dish is typically served as a starter or meze dish with pita triangles or bread at most restaurants in Athens.

3. Greek Salad

Greek Feta Cheese in a salad

A refreshing and colorful staple of Greek cuisine, the Greek salad, or horiatiki, is a delightful combination of fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, Kalamata olives, and feta cheese. Drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with herbs, this salad perfectly balances flavors and textures.

4. Pastitsio

Greek comfort foods

Similar to moussaka, pastitsio is a baked pasta dish made with layers of macaroni, seasoned ground meat, and a creamy béchamel sauce. This comforting dish is a favorite among locals, and its rich flavors make it a true indulgence.

5. Saganaki

saganaki fried cheese | GreeceFoodies

Indulge in the heavenly delight of saganaki, a traditional Greek dish where various kinds of cheese, such as feta or kefalograviera, are fried until golden and crispy. Served hot and often flambéed with a squeeze of lemon juice, saganaki is a cheese lover’s dream.

In Greece, saganaki is a simple cheese dish served as an appetizer. Simply wrap a cheese, such as kasseri or gruyère, in flour and fry it for 10 minutes to make saganaki. The unique technique results in melted cheese with a crunchy crust that pairs perfectly with the salad and a slice of lemon.

6. Melitzanosalata

santorini eggplant salad

Experience the vibrant flavors of Greece with melitzanosalata, a refreshing eggplant salad or spread. Made with roasted eggplant, garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil, this dish offers a delightful balance of smoky, tangy, and creamy flavors.

7. Moussaka

moussaka traditional dish | GreeceFoodies

An authentic Greek classic, moussaka is a layered casserole made with eggplant, minced meat (usually lamb or beef), and a creamy béchamel sauce. Baked to golden perfection, this hearty dish is bursting with flavors and spices, making it a beloved comfort food in Athens among locals and visitors alike.

Moussaka is a marriage of eggplant and potatoes in some recipes, with minced meat underneath and an indulgent serving of béchamel sauce on top. This dish can also occasionally be flavored with spices like cinnamon and nutmeg.

8. Dolmades

Cretan dolmadakia | GreeceFoodies

Dolmades are bite-sized parcels of grape leaves stuffed with a savory mixture of rice, herbs, and sometimes minced meat. These flavorful bites are steamed or baked until tender and are often enjoyed as an appetizer or part of a mezze platter.

9. Paidakia

Indulge in the succulent and flavorful paidakia, tender lamb ribs marinated with aromatic herbs and grilled to perfection. These juicy and mouthwatering ribs are a favorite among meat lovers and a true delight for the senses.

10. Tirosalata

Tirosalata Greek feta cheese

Savor the tangy and creamy tirosalata, a traditional Greek cheese spread made from feta cheese, olive oil, lemon juice, and herbs. With its smooth texture and rich flavors, tirosalata is a delightful addition to any meal. Spread it on bread or use it as a dip for vegetables, and let the unique taste of this cheese spread tantalize your taste buds.

Street Food Delights

Immerse yourself in the bustling streets of Athens and discover these street food favorites, each offering a unique and satisfying culinary experience. Whether strolling through the neighborhoods or exploring food markets, these street food delights will delight your taste buds and provide an authentic taste of Athens’ culinary culture. Here are the top 5 choices when it comes to street food in Athens:

1. Spanakopita

spanakopita | Greecefoodies

A popular Greek pie, spanakopita features layers of flaky phyllo pastry filled with a mixture of spinach, feta cheese, onions, and herbs. This savory pastry is baked to perfection, creating a delightful contrast between the crispy exterior and the flavorful, cheesy interior.

Spanakopita is the most famous Greek pie and is high in nutrients and flavor. It has the appearance and flavor of a spinach pie, with additional fillings such as spring onions, eggs, and herbs. In true Greek fashion, this pie includes a healthy dose of olive oil and a variety of cheeses.

2. Souvlaki

Tsiknopempti Fat Thursday souvlakia

No visit to Athens is complete without indulging in souvlaki. These succulent skewers of grilled meat, commonly made with pork, chicken, or lamb, are served with warm pita bread, tzatziki sauce, and various fresh vegetables. Tender meat, tangy sauce, and fluffy bread create a mouthwatering explosion of flavors.

Souvlaki is one of many delectable spit-roasted and charcoal-grilled meat dishes in Greece. It’s made with skewered pork chunks, pita bread, or gyros stuffed with onions and chopped tomatoes. In some Athens taverns, pork is replaced with goat, lamb, or a combination.

3. Loukoumades

loukoumades greece food tours
Photo from:

Indulge in the irresistible loukoumades, heavenly honey-soaked dough balls deep-fried until golden and crispy. These sweet treats are often sprinkled with cinnamon and topped with crushed nuts, creating a delectable combination of textures and flavors.

4. Falafel

Experience the flavors of the Middle East with falafel, a popular street food made from ground chickpeas or fava beans. These crispy and flavorful patties are often served on pita bread with fresh vegetables and zesty sauces.

Athens Food Tour: Immerse Yourself in Athens’ Vibrant Food Scene

When truly experiencing the local food culture, there’s no better way than embarking on a food tour in Athens. These guided culinary adventures offer a unique opportunity to delve into the heart of Athens’ vibrant food scene and uncover its hidden gems.

  1. Athens Vegan Food Tour: Join a 3-hour vegan food tour in Athens for €65 per person (1-8 participants) to explore the thriving vegan scene. Taste vegan versions of traditional pies, discover Greek nuts and olive oil, savor vegan street food, and enjoy a delightful vegan twist on a Greek dessert. Uncover the flavors of Greek vegan cuisine in Athens.
  2. The Ultimate Athens Street Food Tour: Join a private 3-hour Athens food tour for €69 per person (3-12 participants) and savor 6 original Greek street foods with drinks. Explore the central food markets and indulge in a variety of tastings, immersing yourself in Athens’ vibrant food culture. Discover hidden culinary gems on this personalized tour of Athens’ street food scene.
  3. Athens for food Lovers Tour: Join a 3-hour Athens food tour for €80 per person and experience the authentic flavors of Greece. Explore the central food markets, and indulge in delicious pies, loukoumades, cheeses, and more. Discover hidden gems and immerse yourself in Athens’ culinary culture on this immersive and affordable food adventure.
  4. Athens private tour: Join a 4-hour Athens private food tour for €120 per person (1-10 participants) and savor over 15 delicious Greek dishes, including phyllo pies, cold cuts, stuffed tomatoes, and loukoumades. Explore non-touristy neighborhoods, visit hidden culinary gems, and discover the Athens Central Market on this immersive gastronomic journey.


Why join an Athens food tour?

Here are some compelling reasons why you should consider booking a food tour for an unforgettable gastronomic adventure:

  1. Discover Hidden Gems: Athens is a city filled with culinary treasures tucked away in its bustling streets and local neighborhoods. A food tour allows you to go beyond the tourist hotspots and explore lesser-known establishments cherished by locals. Expert guides will lead you to hidden gems, from tucked-away tavernas serving authentic Greek dishes to family-run bakeries with time-honored recipes. By venturing off the beaten path, you’ll uncover the true flavors of Athens.
  2. Taste a Variety of Dishes: One of the biggest advantages of a food tour is the opportunity to sample a wide range of dishes. Athens boasts a diverse culinary landscape, and a food tour allows you to try traditional Greek specialties, regional delicacies, and contemporary twists on classic dishes. From mouthwatering souvlaki and mezedes (appetizers) to delectable pastries and sweet treats, each stop on the Athens food tour will introduce you to a new culinary delight.
  3. Learn About Athens’ Food Culture: Athens food tours are not just about eating; they’re also a chance to learn about the rich food culture of Athens. Knowledgeable guides will share fascinating stories, historical insights, and cultural anecdotes about the dishes and ingredients you encounter. Gain a deeper understanding of Greek culinary traditions, the importance of local ingredients, and the significance of food in Greek society. You’ll walk away with a newfound appreciation for the flavors and stories that make Athens’ food scene unique.

By joining a food tour in Athens, you’ll unlock a world of culinary delights, immerse yourself in the local food culture, and create lasting memories. Whether you’re a food enthusiast, a culture lover, or simply seeking a memorable experience, an Athens food tour is the perfect way to enhance your food exploration journey in Athens. So, don’t miss the opportunity to savor the authentic tastes of the city and embark on a gastronomic adventure like no other.

Food in Athens: Hidden Gems

Embark on a culinary adventure in Athens and discover its hidden food gems, showcasing the city’s local flavors and authentic dining experiences.

  1. Varvakios Agora: Step into the bustling Varvakios Agora, a vibrant food market where locals gather to buy fresh produce, aromatic spices, and traditional Greek products. Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere and explore the diverse ingredients that form Athenian cuisine’s backbone.
  2. Local Tavernas: Venture off the beaten path and seek out lesser-known tavernas and family-run restaurants in Athens scattered throughout the city. These hidden gems offer an authentic taste of Greek cuisine, serving traditional dishes prepared with love and care. These tavernas provide an immersive dining experience, from sizzling grilled meats to flavorful stews.

Unveiling these hidden food gems allows you to go beyond the typical tourist hotspots and discover the essence of Athens’ culinary scene. By exploring local markets in Athens, like Varvakios Agora, and seeking out authentic tavernas, you’ll better understand the city’s food culture and savor the flavors that make Athens a gastronomic paradise. Don’t miss the opportunity to experience these hidden treasures and create lasting food memories during your visit to Athens.

FAQ about Food in Athens:

i. What is Athens famous food?

What is the national dish of Athens? Athens is famous for its rich culinary heritage. Some of the iconic dishes that represent Athens and Greek cuisine include moussaka, souvlaki, spanakopita, tzatziki, and baklava. While there is no official national dish of Athens, these dishes are widely enjoyed and celebrated.

ii. What are meal times in Athens?

In Athens, the typical meal times follow a similar pattern to other Mediterranean countries. Breakfast is usually light and consists of coffee or a quick bite. Lunch is the main meal of the day and is typically enjoyed between 1 pm and 3 pm. Dinner is served later in the evening, starting from 8 pm or even later, allowing for a leisurely dining experience.

iii. How much is the food in Athens?

The cost of food in Athens can vary depending on the type of establishment and location. On average, a meal at a mid-range restaurant can cost around €10 to €20 per person. Street food and casual eateries are generally more affordable, with options ranging from €5 to €10 per meal. Fine dining restaurants or upscale establishments may have higher prices.

iv. What is the largest food market in Athens?

The largest food market in Athens is the Varvakios Agora, also known as the Athens Central Market. Located in the heart of the city, this bustling market offers a wide range of fresh produce, meats, seafood, spices, and traditional Greek products. It’s a vibrant and lively place to immerse yourself in the local food culture.

v. Is it cheap in Athens, Greece?

Athens can be an affordable destination compared to many other European cities. While prices can vary depending on individual preferences and choices, overall, Athens offers a range of options for different budgets. From budget-friendly street food and local eateries to mid-range and high-end dining establishments, visitors can find options that suit their budget and preferences in Athens.

Food in Athens in a nutshell

Athens is a city that delights food enthusiasts with its diverse culinary offerings. From iconic dishes like moussaka and souvlaki to hidden gems and unique food experiences, Athens has something to offer for every palate.  No matter your taste, you’re sure to find something you like.

Embarking on a gastronomic journey through this vibrant city allows visitors to savor the flavors of traditional Greek cuisine, discover local favorites, and create unforgettable memories. So, embrace the hospitality, explore the restaurants in Athens, indulge in street food, and immerse yourself in the culinary capital of Greece.

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Let your taste buds guide you and experience the true essence of Athens through its delectable food adventures. Bon appétit!

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