- 29 Akti Protopsalti, Piraeus, 210 4180160 / €€€
Modern decor and a trusted place for first class seafood and great salads, reasonably priced.
- Akti Mikrolimanou, 210 4134084/184 / €€€
Chic, upscale venue with a view to match the menu. After lunch you can go upstairs to the bar-café.
Ouzo or tsipouro?: The celebrated ouzo, wrongly compared with absinth, is best enjoyed with seafood and diluted with water to make it lighter. Some people like to add ice, but connoisseurs claim it ruins the flavour, plus they blame it for the headaches experienced after its consumption. The best variety is made in Mytilini Island (Lesvos), mount Tyrnavos and Kalamata. Its “cousin”, tsipouro, is the rough equivalent of Italian grappa and is drunk the same way as ouzo. Their difference is that ouzo is made from alcohol distillation with the addition of water and aromatic herbs such as aniseed – which gives its signature smell – while tsipouro is made from the distillation of the mass that remains after the crushing of the grapes, plus some herbs. Drink with moderation, as they contain 40-50 degrees and 36-45 degrees of alcohol, respectively. Trusted brands of ouzo include Varvayiannis and Plomari and for tsipouro Tsantalis, but you can also find rare local varieties in delis with Greek products. “Mythos” beer is another Greek success story launched in 1997 and many Athenians prefer it to other brands. It’s a light, gold-coloured lager, perfect for taverna food and you can order it almost everywhere. Last but not least, Metaxa five and seven-star brandy has been a major export product since the 1970’s and remains highly recommended.
- 16 Pandoras Street, Glyfada, 210 8941071 / €€
This is bistrot-style restaurant in a quiet street of Glyfada, which serves homecooked meals like spicy meetballs (soutzoukakia), beetroot soup, stews in an airy veranda. There’s a huge world map pinned on the wall inside the main area.
- 17 Fivis Street, Glyfada, 213 0413159 / €
This souvlaki place is always packed and the reason is its juicy souvlakia, perfectly fried fries and fresh salads.
Les Petites Maisons
- 18 Pandoras Street, Glyfada, 213 0149904 / €€
Modern, white and with many rooms, this restaurant follows the some-Greek-some international-plates trend followed by most restaurants in the area.
- Selinis & 21 Iliou, Kavouri, 210 8963480 / €€€€
Fresh seafood is getting harder to find, but this restaurant is a sure bet. Garbis has a long tradition in fresh, well made seafood.
- 1 Giannitsopoulou, Glyfada, 210 8941310, Tram: Angelou Metaksa / €€
An Italian restaurant with modern décor and excellent pasta and helpful service. Good value for money.
- 43 Lazaraki, Glyfada, Tram: Angelou Metaksa / €€
The well-known chain has found a fitting environment in Americanised Glyfada. Popular with local youngsters.
- 20 Vasilissis Amalias Street, Kifisia, 210 8013853 / Train: Kifisia / €€€
A modern taverna serving Greek and Turkish fare with a twist. Try the doner, the tomato-balls, the stuffed cabbage leaves and the fresh salads.
Il Salumaio di Atene
- 3 Panagitsas, Kifisia, 210 6233934 / Train:Kifisia / €€€
An Italian delicatessen, doubling as a restaurant with a wide selection of cheeses and cold cuts, and the classic cured ham hanging from the ceiling. You must try the delicious focaccias or a fresh salad. Closed on Sunday.
To Kalosorisma tou Antoni
- 41 Lyra Street, Nea Kifisia, 210 8017869, 210 8018457 / Train: Kifisia / €€€
A welcoming taverna serving casserole and grilled dishes, made from high-quality ingredients.
- Corner of Dragoumi & Adrianou Streets, Kifisia, 210 6233900 / Train: Kifisia / €
Authentic Cretan cuisine cooked by the Cretan family which opened this taverna in an effort to bring their traditional recipies to Athenians.
- 3 Pendelis, Kifisia, 210 8080787, Train: Kifisia / €€€
Turkish flavours on the elaborate side, it is related to Istanbul’s original.
- Kefalariou Square, 210 89089160 / Train: Kifisia / €€€
A modern all-day restaurant serving international dishes to a hip crowd.
At the southern suburb of Voula there’s “Vlahika” on Varis street, an area known for its traditional plain red meat tavernas. It’s the place to go for a Greek interpretation of Sunday family lunch and a generous plate of meat. A prancing tout dressed as an Evzone –presidential guards in full uniform which includes a fluffy white kilt - greets customers on the street and shows them in the taverna. The food options exhaust the meat category: There are pork or beef hamburgers, rolled roast of beef liver and innards (kokoretsi), pork and lamb chops, T-bones, meatballs, all grilled on large roasting jacks or over charcoal. The cooked meat is displayed behind the glass kitchen divide to tempt customers – or freak them out if they’re vegetarians. These restaurants are a big hit with families who swarm them on the weekends bringing kids and in-laws for a casual lunch.
- Leoforos Varis & 2 Panos, 210 8952485 / €€
Serves big chunks of kokoretsi and T-bones grilled over charcoal.
- 24 Panos, Dilofo Varis, 210 8952371 / €€
It serves all possible meat combinations and it is packed on Sundays.
- Varis & Paizi, Vlahika, Vari, 210 8951710 / €€
Offers its juicy meat dishes in generous servings and low prices.