I Kriti

Veranzerou 5, Athina 106 77, Greece

I Kriti (Greek for “Crete”) has been serving some of Athens’ best Cretan cuisine long before the island’s hearty cuisine became fashionable in the mid-2000s. A charming, utterly unpretentious tavern tucked into a nondescript arcade passage near Omonia Square, Kriti serves fare that will leave you reeling with pleasure—dakos (barley bruschetta topped with grated tomato, crumbled myzithra cheese, olives, and pickled samphire), smoked Cretan pork, snails in garlic, Crete-made sausages, spicy cheese dip, and baked pies, all at excellent prices and with real Cretan hospitality (the owners don’t really speak English, but it doesn’t matter). Expect to wait for a table but then, once seated, to spend some time here. And don’t forget to wash each dish down with some Cretan raki, a strong grape distillate similar to grappa.

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