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The Best Places to Eat and Drink in Athens

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In the past decade Athenian restaurant culture has upped its game. Along with the wonderful traditional family-owned tavernas serving local fare, Michelin-starred venues have been reinterpreting Greek favorites with creativity and aplomb to increasingly discerning crowds. Even Greek coffee (with grounds on the bottom of the cup) has branched out. Remember, dinner hour here is often 9-ish; and most of the year the action takes place outdoors under balmy skies.
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Chatzigianni Mexi 2, Athina 115 28, Greece
Cookoovaya’s five chefs (Periklis Koskinas, Manos Zournatzis, Vaggelis Liakos, Spyros Liakos, Nikos Karathanos; all individual Athenian stars) have gotten together to celebrate “wise cuisine”—which is how they see Greek...
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Aiolou 48, Athina 105 60, Greece
Although the restaurant claims it’s “American” (the owner is from San Francisco), local Greeks are laying claim on this all-day hangout. Breakfasts and brunches—creamy Greek yogurt and pancakes—start the day,...
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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...
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Vithinias 32, Nikea 184 50, Greece
Pireaus is Athens's harbor town, and at least one restaurant in every harbor town does seafood best—Zarkadoulas is a heavy contender and favorite even for those who live far beyond the neighborhood. Tucked away in a back street, this taverna...
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Leof. Andrea Siggrou 107, Athina 117 45, Greece
Hytra serves nouvelle Greek cuisine at its finest, in a location inside the Onassis Cultural Centre (and, in the warmer months, atop it). The name “Hytra” comes from the ancient Greek word for a terra-cotta vase,...
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Kidathineon 41, Athina 105 58, Greece
With its walls of colorful glass bottles, this charming little bar can be elusive—nestled deep in downtown Athens, in the warren of streets that make up the Plaka. Day or night, Brettos (pronounced Vrettos in Greek) is frequented by locals...
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Emmanouil Benaki 7, Athina 106 78, Greece
Taf Coffee started out as a family-owned coffee roastery in the 1990s then quickly moved beyond Greek brews to becoming Athens’ main source for international gourmet roasts. Owner Yannis Taloumis opened the doors to Taf Coffee (a...
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Vasileos Georgiou A 3, Athina 105 64, Greece
Dining at the King George Hote's seventh-floor Tudor Hall restaurant is not to be missed. The Acropolis is so close it feels as if you can reach out to touch it. Seeing the Parthenon lit up in the evening while you enjoy refined, well-balanced...
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Pentelis 5, Athina 105 57, Greece
The queue is long and you’ll have to eat standing up, but this spotless hole-in-the-wall does some of the best souvlaki in town. If you get antsy while you wait, be mindful of the multiple signs behind the counter saying: OXI AGXOS (NO...
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Kallidromiou 69, Athina 106 83, Greece
The large, leafy patio of this mezze restaurant in bohemian Exarchia was once the local schoolyard. Now cozy couples and animated gaggles of friends gather beneath the flowering bowers to enjoy some of the most honest and comforting food in town....
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Keramikou 49, Athina 104 36, Greece
It’s always fun stumbling upon places the locals frequent. If you’re in Athens, venture beyond Monaistaraki/the Plaka and all the typical souvlaki joints to the Metaxourgeio neighborhood. Here, you’ll find...
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Anastasiou Zinni 34, Athina 117 41, Greece
Located in the Koukaki neighborhood, rustic Fabrika tou Efrosinou is all about tradition and simplicity. Fine wines—many made by the chef’s wife—accompany savory pies, plump cracked wheat meatballs, and other seasonal dishes that...
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Vrasida 11, Athina 161 21, Greece
Local ingredients take center stage at Vezené, a bistro in central Athens, where chef-owner Ari Vezené ages his own meats, sources the best seafood in Greece, and cooks 150 meals a day for people in need. This appeared in the January/February 2018...