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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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Keramikou 49, Athina 104 36, Greece
It’s always fun stumbling upon places the locals frequent. If you’re in Athens, venture beyond Monistaraki/the Plaka and all the typical souvlaki joints to the Metaxourgeio neighborhood. Here, you’ll find...
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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
While sitting outside at a café in Plaka, the historical neighborhood in Athens, a brightly colored wall across the way—filled with bottles—caught my eye. Ouzo was something I wanted to try, as it is for many first-time visitors to Greece, but...
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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 at the Tudor Hall Restaurant & Bar is not to be missed. The Acropolis is so close it feels as if you can reach out to touch it. Seeing the Acropolis lit up in the evening while you enjoy one of the most memorable meals of...
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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 the best souvlaki in town. Don’t worry if you confuse it with the other Kostas joint on trendy Agia Irini Square—at either place, the pita bread is...