Alas, it’s almost impossible to eat well in Plaka, the terribly pretty but desperately touristy old town of Athens
, whose pastel-colored streets are carved into the foothills of the Acropolis. Touts will try to lure you into the many identikit tavernas and ice cream parlors. Ignore them and head straight to Saita. It’s a classic taverna with all the standard Greek dishes you’d expect on the menu: grilled lamb chops doused in lemon and oregano (that must be eaten with your hands), pastitsio (Greece’s answer to lasagne, always a hit with kids), steamed seasonal greens (dress liberally in olive oil), and baked eggplant heaped with caramelized onion and crumbled feta. The fries are to die for. In winter, tables are squeezed into the tiny basement dining room, where the smiling cooks beaver away in the even smaller kitchen. In warmer weather, tables are set out on the marble-paved street, opposite a Byzantine church. It’s a postcard setting that miraculously still feels real.