At Pappas Grill Greek Restaurant in Toronto we are all about Greek cuisine, and in this article we will tell you our top 5 picks for Greek Restaurants in Athens Greece. Besides the city of Goddess of Wisdom, Athena, Athens is a meeting place for those appreciating elite gastronome. Offering pure culinary delight, in terms of locally sourced food with fresh local ingredients, and dishes cooked by passionate and amazingly skilled hands, Athens has all one could look for…high class dining establishments, enchanting flavours, friendly and hospitable people, and mind-blowing surroundings for everyone to enjoy a fine meal followed by tasty desserts on the house! From the numerous excellent restaurants located in the city of Athens or nearby suburbs, here are the top 5 that tick all the boxes…
1. TA KARAMANLIDIKA BY FANIS (WEBSITE)
Ta Karamanlidika is a truly inviting place to eat, housed in a lovely spacious neoclassical building that has been renewed to combine both tradition ad style. The gorgeous high ceilings and the tables arranged around the counter, where you can find a plethora of cheeses, meats, and condiments displayed, create a very warm atmosphere. Feel free to let your eyes wander and notice the different kinds of meat hanging over the counter, from sausages and salami to soutzouki, kavourma, and pastirma, together with the rarest cheeses smoked on oak wood.
Ta Karamanlidika will definitely steal your heart, not only with its amazing interior and the traditional Cappadocian & Byzantine dishes, but also with the friendly and fast service. Maria and Fanis, the owners, alongside the entire staff, are always willing to help and offer you some of their best meat products while waiting to be seated. Needless to say, their own distilled traditional Greek Ouzo and wine flow plenteously!
It is highly unlikely you will leave the restaurant feeling nothing less than full and completely content, with each plate overflowing with delicious, authentic Greek food. Just before a foodie goes, Maria offers their tasty dessert called glyko tou koutaliou, a spoon sweet, over velvet fresh Greek yoghurt, as a delicious farewell gift! Don’t be surprised if you are offered some to take back home!
Some refer to Ta Karamanlidika as the hidden jewel of Greek cuisine, and from what it seems, for a very good reason!
2. ELEAS GI (WEBSITE)
Bringing back memories of families eating traditional homemade Greek food around the dinner table, flavours come alive near a wood stove at Eleas Gi, where they cook their daily dishes and bake bread. Located in the Athens suburbs (Kifisia), it has become the locals’ favourite place to dine, for its charming setting, excellent service, and second to none dishes.
In an totally overwhelming location surrounded by impressive platanus (plane trees) overlooking the city of Athens from up high, Elais Gi is full of heart-stopping views. It steals impressions from the first moment, with the elegant entrance hall, the welcome drink, the numerous divine dishes nicely presented and placed on your table, and the palate-caressing dessert. You should try either the menu of 24 or 14 different flavours at reasonable cost and allow mushroom soup, corn or olive bread, rib steak, veal cheeks with papardelle, and piglet with Swiss chard, among many others, to please your taste buds at levels beyond imaginable.
The staff is incredibly friendly and attentive, making you feel welcomed. The atmosphere is fabulous, and expect the owner to come over to your table to introduce himself to you, while soft Greek music playing on the background accompanies you to your every bite, and sip of wine.
You will be under the charm of this beautiful restaurant…a charm you won’t want to escape from!
3. MILOS (WEBSITE)
More than 2 decades after Greek C. Spiliadis opened the first Milos in Montreal and about 11 years after a Milos opened in New York, Milos found its way back home. From 2004 and onwards, it has been taking locals and tourists alike to lands of exquisite organic food and line-caught fish. Seasoned with the cleanest and simpler natural ingredients the fish are served in a beautiful green veranda or the mesmerizing interior, offering a heavenly escape from the bustling city. That aside, Milos is packed with surprises. For the discerning traveller, Milos offers a lovely private dining area. However, if you want to feel utmost culinary delight, you’d better book a chef’s table and enjoy the finest dining experience ever! If you happen to visit Athens during summer, Milos offers an oasis from the heat and noise of the busy town of Athens. Here, it will be as if time has stopped, allowing you to enjoy the best moments of your stay…
4. I PALIA TAVERNA TOU PSARRA (The Old Tavern of Psarras) (WEBSITE)
I Palia Taverna Tou Psarra has been serving up Athenians (and not only), Greek cooking since the late 1800s. With wooden tables arranged under the shade of a mulberry, on beautiful white-washed steps leading straight to the Acropolis, it can’t get any more romantic! The oldest authentic Greek restaurant in cobblestoned Plaka plays live Greek music every evening and receives friends of good traditional Greek cuisine while emphasizing in the quality of taste and excellent service.
For those longing for some Greek atmosphere, you should try the lamb cooked in a clay pot or the kebab lamb, besides fresh fish dishes, all in generous portions! They are all delicious! In Athens, where there is plenty of sunshine all day long, seating in this tavern offers a superb city view (both old and new Athens) and a pleasant way to relax after a walk in the Plaka area with a glass of wine and some tasty Greeks flavours.
The I Palia Taverna Tou Psarra is housed in 2 old neoclassic buildings standing one opposite the other, and the space in between serves the hungry food lovers from all over the world during the summer months. As for the picturesque veranda, it is a like a dew on a hot day! You will also love the warm colours and the wooden floors, while the impressive fireplace and the rich collection of old items blend beautifully, giving the tavern an overall entrancing sensation.
5. FUNKY GOURMET (WEBSITE)
Your senses will burst with the culinary masterpieces you’ll taste at Funky Gourmet. Situated in an old mansion, the renovated first floor with ridiculous glass walls and an incredible view of the city, spark your imagination and awaken your desire for some local flavours that not only please your mouth but also your eyes. With one surprise after another, any adventurous traveler in search of a more funky twist of traditional Greek food will find what they had been searching for here.
Some of the most delicious courses you should definitely give a try include the chicken livers topped with smoked eel, the Greek salad in granita, the seam bream tartate with chervil, lamb brain, and snails. Although the food is superb, the theatrical end with the dramatic impact to your meal will stay memorable for many years to come! Expect the waiter to bring you a bowl filled with cinnamon sticks and 2 macarons nested on top, and pour something from a vase into the bowl, releasing a white smoke creeping over your table, leaving you with an appealing cinnamon perfume behind!
Greece is the land of romance, traditional Mediterranean cuisine (with all the known health benefits), lovely and hospitable people doing their best to please your palate, and mind-blowing dining establishes that host the loveliest flavors made by the hands of passionate chefs and local ingredients. Can anyone ask for anything more?