When Athenians are in the mood for fresh fish, they head down to the port of Piraeus. Big spenders (and most tourists) head for the fancy waterfront restaurants lined up along Mikrolimano marina, where you pay as much for the view as the refined seafood. But the cheaper, more cheerful, and authentic seafood restaurants where dockworkers and local families eat are burrowed away in the backstreets. Margaro has been around for generations. Named after the original cook, Margaro, whose son Lazaros now runs the business with his family, it’s a little slice of the Greek islands
on a nondescript, dead-end street. Painted wooden tables and chairs are set under an awning and murals of Mykonos, where the family originally came from. You don’t have to worry about what to order. There are precisely three things on the menu: fried shrimp, red mullet, and a perfect Greek salad with the sweetest Cretan tomatoes and feta from Argos. Occasionally, there might be langoustines as a special. There’s no better way to kill time while waiting for your ferry to the Greek islands. Avoid the weekends if you don’t want to wait for a table.