We adore Greece and naturally, if you’re are visiting Greece you will most likely pass through the capital of Athens. Also, as travelling foodies, I’m sure you might also be interested in what Athens food there is to try during your stay?
Lucky for you we have spent plenty of time both living (6 weeks in an airbnb apartment) and passing through Athens so we’ve had the opportunity to experience quite a bit of the best Athens food on offer.
We could seriously go on for ages about our favourite Greek cuisine. But in this post, we’re going to highlight our Top 5 not to miss Athens Food options and the Best Places to Eat in Athens to enjoy these life changing dishes! Yes, they are life changing, they’re that delish!
Athens Food (Best Dishes) & The Best Places To Eat in Athens Greece
Every time we visit Athens I swear I find a new favourite Athens food but for the last couple of visits the winner has been Yogurtlu kebab. Yogurtlu is a dish of grilled beef or lamb kofte kebabs (the minced meat is seasoned with more than ten different herbs and spices) that have been placed on fresh pita bread and covered with Greek yoghurt and a tomato sauce. Is this a decadent dish – you bet! But all the flavours come together in perfect mouthwatering harmony. And can I just say those meat juices that have seeped into the pita bread – OMG!
At first, you think there is no way you can eat it all… and the next thing you know, it’s all gone and you regret nothing!
The Best Place To Eat in Athens for Yogurtlu is ΜΠΑΡΜΠΑΔΗΜΟΣ ΝΕΑ ΣΜΥΡΝΗ or “Barbadimos” in English. It’s a place we will always make time to visit when we are in Athens.
If you haven’t tried the salty goodness of Saganaki cheese then you haven’t truly lived. Saganaki actually refers to the frying pan that the cheese is cooked in but if you ask for Saganaki cheese they will 100% know what you are asking for.
The cheese is usually a kefalotyri cheese which is known for its saltiness and the fact that it does not melt like other cheeses. It manages to cook perfectly while still holding its shape. Kinda of like halloumi but different – and very Greek. Just grab the slice of lemon from the side of the plate, squeeze it all over and enjoy cheese heaven.
The Best Place To Eat in Athens for Saganaki – You can get saganaki in most taverna’s in Athens but we love visiting O Thanasis kebab Monastiraki, just because it’s an icon of Athens. Yes, it’s a bit touristy but lots of locals do eat there as well and it’s in a great location close to the Acropolis and Monastiraki station.
This is one of the first ever dishes I tried when I first visited Greece on the island of Corfu over 10 years ago, and I only just found out last year (2018) that I’ve been pronouncing it wrong all these years! I can’t believe it. I’ve been putting the emphasis in the wrong place. I’ve been saying Mou-saka where it should be Mou-sa-ka with the ‘ka’ being the emphasis. Just ask any Greek person to tell you the real way to pronounce it… I was shocked.
Anyway if you haven’t tried it before this is a must try dish on your Athens Food journey. Greek Moussaka is an eggplant & potato-based dish, often including ground meat spiced with the likes of cinnamon, nutmeg, mint, oregano, and garlic, that’s formed into a kind of lasagne – but instead of grated cheese on top, it’s a delicious béchamel sauce.
The Best Place To Eat in Athens for Moussaka – there is no going past the ever popular Manas Kouzina which prides itself on serving traditional Athens food just like a Greek Mama would make it.
This might sound like a really basic Athens food to add to the list but there is nothing like having true Greek souvlaki. They just get it right!
If you haven’t had souvlaki before it’s essentially a Greek shish kebab – little cubes of chicken or pork on a skewer. The meat is then either wrapped in fluffy pita bread, with salad, fries and tzatziki sauce inside – or on a plate with the same accompaniments. You’ll find it everywhere from high end tavernas to street food.
The Best Place To Eat in Athens for street food souvlaki – you have to try Kostas Souvlaki, a tiny hole in the wall place. We had to actually line up to get souvlaki from this place and let me tell you it was absolutely worth the wait! Only open 12 to 6pm.
If you have a bit of a sweet tooth – or even if you don’t – you can’t leave Athens without trying Loukoumades. Loukoumades are the Greek version of dumpling style, small doughnut spheres and they will rock your world!
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The basic Loukoumades you can get covered in honey and cinnamon but there are so many other toppings that you can discover during your Athens food adventure. Freshly made, light and fluffy inside and crunchy on the outside, it’s the perfect end to a day of devouring Athens food.
The Best Place To Eat in Athens for Loukoumades – The store is called “Lukumades” so that makes things easy. Here you can try the traditional style, make your own, or choose from their decadent menu. We recommend the Gold Medal. nom nom nom
These are just a few suggestions to get you started on your Athens food journey but if you are a first time visitor to Athens we can understand that finding your way around can be daunting and hella confusing. Athens is a maze and we still often get lost! So if it’s your first time we recommend hooking up with a local to show you around. They can take you to some places that they consider the best places to eat in Athens – and locals should know right?!?
We hope you thoroughly enjoy your visit to Athens and that you get to taste some of the best Athens food on offer. Of course, there’s plenty more food to discover and places to eat at but this should help get you started. If you are just passing through Athens on your way to other parts of Greece please feel free to check out some of our other articles on food in Greece below.