Athenian Restaurants

  Super Favorites & some of the Top Athenian restaurants :

  Beau Brummel 

                              9 Aghiou Dimitriou & Aghion Theodoron 14561 Kifissia , Tel/Fax ( + 301 ) 623 6780-8 


Very few people are aware that one of the top restaurants in Europe is not in Paris or London but in Kifissia ... the ultra chic northern suburb of Athens.

Beau Brummel ( named after the famous dandy), boasts an incredibly elegant and plush decor created by the famous Greek interior designer Ileana Demopoulou, who spared no expense in creating a masterpiece.

The chef is none other than Christophe Clessienne  star pupil of the world renowned 3 star chef Guy Martin of  the venerable Grand Vefour restaurant in Paris.

The cuisine is quite simply exquisite, the service very friendly and efficient, and the total experience absolutely tops!

Of course this experience has prices to match but in our opinion it is worth every penny, and if you have lunch instead of dinner the experience becomes MUCH more reasonably priced.  

If your travels to Greece bring you to Athens for a few days we strongly recommend you make dining here one of the highlights of your trip


Diligianni 66 in Hotel Pendelikon, Kefalari, Kifissia
Athens, Phone: 01/623-0650, Email :

Compared to Taillevent in Paris, this grand restaurant is definitely worth the ride to the northern and elegant suburb of Kifissia. The award-winning chef executes both classic and modern French dishes with finesse. He demands quality ingredients, transporting rare sweetwater crayfish from Orhomenos and large shrimp (250 grams each) from Thassos Island. The clientele may be a little sedate, but the food dazzles. Especially good are the warm foie gras with dried fig puree, the superb crayfish linguine, and the tournedos Rossini served with a demi-glace enriched with foie gras. Few can say no to the irresistible chocolate fondant for dessert. AE, DC, MC, V. Closed Sun. and Aug. No lunch.

OVER 13,000 DR.

Dimokritou 12, Kolonaki
Phone: 01/364-7033

For those in need of a sushi fix, this has become an Athenian favorite despite hefty prices. Besides flawless sushi and sashimi, which often utilize local catch like bonito, dorado, sea bass, and cuttlefish, as well as fish flown in from Japan and London, the restaurant offers standards like perfectly fried vegetable and seafood tempura, crunchy yaki soba noodles, and chicken teriyaki. There is a separate menu for Japanese clients that includes gems like melt-in-your-mouth eggplant with miso flavored with sake and poppy seeds, pork tonkatsu marinated in mirin and fried in bread crumbs, and a memorable fish-cake soup (oden moriawase); ask the server for recommendations. AE, DC, V. Closed Sun. and Aug. No lunch.
Deligeorgi 14, Piraeus
Phone: 01/411-2043 or 01/411-1283

Acclaimed chef Lefteris Lazarou has joined forces with Fabrizio Buliani, and the results are splendid as they try to outdo each other. Customers wait in line to sample such appetizers as sturgeon-filled phyllo triangles or carpaccio made from petrobarbouno (a kind of rockfish). Although the restaurant is famous for its creative presentations of monkfish, there is a mind-boggling array of other seafood dishes: swordfish with porcini mushrooms; baby squid with pesto; lobster with wild rice, celery, and champagne sauce; and the lowly cabbage transformed into dolmades filled with crayfish and leeks. Varoulko has one of the largest wine cellars in Athens. AE, DC, V. Closed Sun. and Aug. No lunch.

9,000 DR-13,000 DR.

Haritos 43, Kolonaki
Phone: 01/725-3817

In this jewel of a restaurant, the space is cramped with just 12 tables, the chairs designer uncomfortable, but the food is heavenly. Start with fresh tagliatelle with shrimp in a bisque sauce, and then move on to the sea bass filled with fragrant herbs, avgotaracho (the smoked roe of gray mullet), and sun-dried tomatoes--an unparalleled combination. Other memorable main dishes are chicken stuffed with the uniquely textured Cypriot cheese, haloumi, beef fillet with apricots, and sole in caper and lemon sauce. The smart wine list is reasonably priced, with most selections under 6,000 dr. In summer, there are a few additional tables outside on the pedestrian zone, the location for several popular bars. AE, DC, V. Closed last 3 wks. in Aug. No lunch.
Alsos Evangelismos, near the Hilton
Phone: 01/721-0893 or 01/722-7324

Set in Evangelismos Park, Boschetto pampers diners with a soothing view, an expert maître d', and creative Italian nouvelle cuisine: you may even forget you're in the center of Athens. The specialty here is fresh pasta, such as papardelle with wild mushrooms and quail-Parmesan ragoût; airy capellini with crab and sautéed tomatoes; or ravioli with crayfish, foie gras, and poppy seeds. Favorite entrées include sea bass grilled in a salt crust and beef fillet with black truffles and red wine. End your meal with the bittersweet chocolate mousse or the crème brûlée, followed by the finest espresso in Athens (cigars available). The tables tend to be close together; reserve near the window or in the courtyard during summer. AE, V. Closed Sun. and 2 wks. in Aug. No lunch weekends.
Leoforos Poseidonos 54, Palio Faliro
Phone: 01/982-9647 or 01/983-9636

Dedicated to specialties not found at most tavernas, this restaurant brings back fond memories to those who love the Greek islands. Although technically a mezedopolio, it serves very good, reasonably priced seafood. Amid the blue-and-white Cycladic decor, diners can indulge in such delights as soupies krasates from Smyrna--cuttlefish with pine nuts and raisins; gavros (fresh anchovy) marinated in vinegar as it's done in Salamina; a salad of sun-dried mackerel from Chios; and steaming hot mussels in mustard sauce from Skopelos. Nonseafood appetizers include a tangy, bright orange cheese dip from Mykonos, skordalia (but here the garlic-mashed potatoes are made with walnuts), squash croquettes sparked with mint from Ermioni, and saganaki, in this case with pastourmas and phyllo. If you can manage an entrée, try the makaronada thalassina (al dente pasta with crab, shrimp, and mussels) or any of the fresh catch, like sargus, sole, sea bream, and Kaldera's specialty, monkfish. AE, DC, MC, V. Closed a few days around Christmas and Aug. 15.
Stratigou Plastira 3, Tabouria, Piraeus
Phone: 01/462-9620, 01/461-9150, or 01/093/226-9999 (mobile phone)

The restaurant's terrace, with pots of geranium and jasmine, evokes the Athens of the '60s. Friendly owner Tassos Kollias has a way with seafood, often creating dishes that range from the humble to the aristocratic, from marinated gavros to lobster with lemon, balsamic vinegar, and a shot of honey. He is also known for bringing in the best quality catch, whether oysters culled by sponge divers from Kalymnos or cuttlefish from Messolonghi. Order the grilled scorpion fish flavored with mastic; the flambéed mackerel; or mussels stuffed with rice, grapes, and pine nuts. Besides piping-hot tomato and other vegetable croquettes, there are large mixed salads with white beets, arugula, lettuce, parsley, caper leaves, endive, and radishes. A fitting end to such a meal are the warm loukoumades (like hot, fried doughnut holes with syrup), best with the kumquat liqueur. AE, DC, MC, V. Closed Sun. and Aug. No lunch.
Xenokratous 51, Kolonaki
Phone: 01/722-9106

A more central alternative to Vardis in Kifissia is this restaurant, which focuses on traditional French dishes and recently made a comeback, much to the delight of its loyal clientele. Located in the chic neighborhood of Kolonaki, it offers all the classics: cheese soufflé, frog legs Provençal, probably the city's best steak tartare, and crêpes suzettes prepared at your table, also available with homemade vanilla ice cream. One delectable house specialty is the foie gras sautéed with Calvados; others include duck with cherry vinegar and sea bass with fennel. In summer, there is outdoor dining in the tree-shaded courtyard. AE, DC, MC, V.
Pirronos 5, Pangrati
Phone: 01/726-4021 or 01/752-0658

You may feel like you're dining in a medieval wine cellar--the brick-and-stone room is vaulted and the furniture is massive and wood--but the cuisine is delightfully contemporary, and the menu is always changing. Perfectly balanced is the salad of tiny livers, radicchio, and onion sauce; sweetbreads come in a tart with mushrooms and lentil sauce, modest ingredients transformed in a masterful dish. Savor the lamb with a crust of garlic, parsley, and rosemary or the grilled fresh foie gras with caramelized endive in mavrodaphne cheese sauce, together with a red wine chosen by the award-winning sommelier, who has assembled more than 150 labels. After dinner, there is a choice of cigars to accompany your cognac, port, or whiskey. When weather permits, diners sit in the magnificent courtyard. V. No lunch.
Tsakalof 36A, Kolonaki
Phone: 01/361-4695

Decidedly different from its Piraeus sister establishment, Thalassinos in Kolonaki guarantees some of the best seafood to visitors who want to stay in central Athens. Located in a neoclassical house that has a patina of nostalgia, the place is reminiscent of an old French restaurant with linen tablecloths, mirrors, a large wooden chest of drawers behind the bar, and frescoes on the ceiling. A fine, rarely found appetizer is the salted eel from Komotini, or the house-made seafood pastourmas, excellent with a shot of icy tsipouro. Hot entrées include fresh octopus with a dense tomato-green olive sauce and garlic shrimp baked amid layers of potato. This is one of the few places in Athens that serves sea urchin that tastes like it's just been plucked from the sea, either in the shell, with pasta, or just the eggs in a salad. For those watching their budget, the lunch menu is cheaper and offers seafood pastas. AE, DC, V. Closed Sun. and mid-June-Aug.

4,500 DR.-9,000 DR.

Themistokleous 2, Omonia
Phone: 01/383-8485

This renowned establishment moved here after almost 60 years near the law courts, and it is still a favorite of attorneys and local office workers. The decor is no-nonsense ouzeri, with rectangular marble tables, dark wood, and framed memorabilia. Abide by the classic specialties: grilled octopus, giant beans in a decadent tomato sauce, swordfish souvlaki with bay leaves and a light mustard sauce, and ameletita (sautéed testicles). A favorite dish is patsaggka (cured, spicy meat called "pastourmas" wrapped in phyllo with cheese and tomato). All go well with the light barrel red. No credit cards. Closed Sun. and Aug.
H' (7th) Monopolio Athinon
Ippothontidon 10 and Keiriadon, Kato Petralona
Phone: 01/345-9172

Formerly a state-run monopoly that sold such goods as matches and petroleum, this has the feeling of a '50s oinomageirio, or "eating house." The emphasis is on regional Greek cuisine, with a few dishes from Asia Minor, Sicily, and Morocco. It is run by an actor and his mother, who turns out some of the best pites (pies) in the city. Try the traditional Cypriot eliota, its crisp, sesame-sprinkled pastry a deft contrast to the olive-onion filling, or the Cretan souhli, stuffed with meat, tomato, and kefalograviera cheese. Skip the osso buco and opt for the tsoutsoukakia Smyrnaikia, spicy patties with a dash of cumin and filled with olives, or "Aggeliki's tigania," bites of pork with mustard and throubi, a Sifnos herb resembling oregano. No credit cards. Closed Mon. and mid-June-Aug.
Panepistimiou 46, Omonia
Phone: 01/330-3000

The original Ideal burned down after almost 70 years, and its Art Deco protégé is in bright contrast, with comfy booths and tasteful decor. The oldest restaurant in the city center, it has a following for its gamut of traditional Greek dishes cooked with unremitting reliability and its numerous daily specials, depending on what's good at the market. Best bets on the regular menu are the egg-lemon soup, fried mussels with garlic sauce, leek croquettes, grilled Aivaliotika minced beef with sweet peppers and mustard sauce (from Anatolia), and the Smyrnaika tsoutsoukakia (spicy meat patties made with ouzo and cumin). Sweet wines, such as mavrodaphne, is available by the glass, making a smooth partner for the strawberry coupe. The service is fast but fastidious. AE, DC, MC, V. Closed Sun.
Il Tinello
Knossou 54, Alimos
Phone: 01/982-8462

Walking into this Italian trattoria is like dropping in on a dinner party: a boisterous atmosphere, convivial guests, and a host who tells jokes as he strolls from table to table, taking orders, humming along to the canzione, and occasionally asking a guest to dance. In 1998 the restaurant won an award for its price-quality ratio, so diners shouldn't be put off by its location on the edge of a seaside suburb. Scrumptious dishes include roasted goat cheese with anchovy sauce and parsley; intense risotto with garlic, Parmesan, and porcini mushrooms; and plate-brimming servings of rustic pastas such as ravioli with a hint of chamomile; orecchiette with potatoes, tomatoes, and garden rocket; or fettuccine with almonds and chicken. No credit cards. Closed Sun.-Mon. and mid-July through Aug. No lunch.
Loukianou 26, Kolonaki
Phone: 01/722-9056

A Kolonaki institution, this ouzeri is slightly fancier than the norm, with cloth napkins, candles on the tables, and a handsome dark wood interior. The menu is enormous, with many unusual creations. The tender marinated octopus, fried eggplant, and the onion pie are good choices. No credit cards. Closed Sun. and 3 wks. in Aug.
Zaimi 37, Pedion Areos, behind the Archaeological Museum
Phone: 01/821-2496 or 01/822-0624

If you're looking for authenticity, this is the place to go, liveliest late at night after the theatergoers arrive. One of the oldest and most popular tavernas in the area, it has an impressively wide range of Greek dishes--including shrimp salads, stuffed mussels, rabbit stifado (a stew of meat, white wine, garlic, cinnamon, and spices), and sautéed sweetbreads. No credit cards. Closed Sun. and last wk. of July through 3rd wk. of Aug. No lunch.
Markou Moussourou 3, Mets
Phone: 01/922-7684

One of the best of the old-time haunts, Manessis is a homey garden in summer and several rooms of a little house in winter. Dishes on the menu are tarama (fish roe paste) croquettes; giant charcoal-grilled shrimp; green peppers stuffed with midopilafo (mussel-studded rice); and a fisherman's salad, composed of black-eyed peas, mussels, and shrimp. Specialties include Zakynthos-style beef with red sauce and Regato cheese, lamb baked in wax paper with garlic and tomato, ugardoumba (spit-roasted innards and meat), and chicken souvlaki. There are also vegetarian dishes like falafel, hummus, and tabbouleh. Sweets include ravani, a semolina cake doused in syrup. No credit cards. Closed Sun. and a few days in Aug. No lunch.
Stous 7 Anemous
Astiggos 17 (from Ermou 121), Monastiraki
Phone: 01/324-0386

A peculiar ridged ceiling, tiled wooden tables, and seven antique fans for which the restaurant is named ("anemos" means wind): the decor is beautiful but not exactly unified, a bit of postmodern pastiche in Monastiraki. Never mind: the playful food with intense flavors is what's impressive here. Appetizers not to be missed are the fried Dodoni feta wrapped in a sesame-enhanced crust and served with fleshy marinated tomatoes and walnut sauce, and the grilled mixed vegetables and chèvre with a tangy arugula puree. One of the best pasta dishes is plump fusilli with mushrooms (wild, oyster, and button), asparagus, and truffles. Main dishes include expertly grilled fish; moist pork fillet with a dense coffee-black currant sauce; chicken with shrimp and pistachios doused with brandy; and salmon, monkfish, and shrimp poached in lettuce leaves and served with a lemon-chive sauce. AE, DC, MC, V. Closed Aug.
Rovertou Galli 25, Makriyianni
Phone: 01/921-4130

Just a few blocks from the Odeon of Herod Atticus, this taverna draws theatergoers for its congenial service and dramatic roof garden views of the illuminated Acropolis. Inside the old two-story house, signed glossy photos indicate the many performers who have dined here after a show at the ancient theater. Despite the many tourists, Strofi continues to attract locals who have been coming here for decades. The tzatziki, with its ground cucumber, abundant garlic, and velvety yogurt, goes well with the perfectly fried, thinly sliced zucchini or the village bread. Another good appetizer is fava, a puree of yellow split peas. Reliable entrées include roast lamb with homemade noodles called hilopites, rabbit stifado, kid prepared with oil and oregano, and rooster stewed in red wine. DC, MC, V. Closed Sun. and a few days in Aug. No lunch.
Ta Tria Tetarta
Oikonomou 25, Exarchia
Phone: 01/823-0560

There's something dollhouse-like about this trilevel stone-and-wood interior with nooks and crannies, decorated with eye-catching objects like an old narghile. The mezedes served here include spicy feta sprinkled with red pepper and roasted in foil, cheese bread, skewered seftalies (a tasty mix of lamb liver bits and onions wrapped in suet), seafood pie, and spinach crepes with tomato, basil, and yogurt. No credit cards. Closed Aug. No lunch Mon.-Sat.
Tade Efi Anna
Ermou 72, Monastiraki
Phone: 01/321-3652

One of the city's newer establishments, this bar-restaurant opened in an area that, though close to sights like the ancient Agora and Monastiraki, lacked a decent place to eat. Near the end of the Ermou pedestrian zone, this serves classic Greek cuisine with a modern touch at gratifying prices. Look for the narrow doorway--easy to miss--and proceed upstairs to the simply decorated dining room with splashes of orange and yellow, iron candelabras, plants, and a small bar in the rear. Melitzanes amigdalou is an unusual dish of thinly sliced eggplant layered with tomatoes and cheese with a thick topping of crushed almonds, big enough for two, and unadorned except for salt, pepper, and parsley. The rabbit is cooked with cinnamony plums, nicely contrasted with fresh spinach, and the chicken fillet is first wrapped around Gruyère, then baked in a crust of Aigina pistachios. No credit cards. Closed Aug.
Taverna Xynou
Aggelou Geronda 4, Plaka (entrance down the walkway next to Glikis kafenion)
Phone: 01/322-1065

Stepping into the courtyard of this Plaka taverna is like entering a time warp: Athens in the '50s. According to loyal customers, nothing has changed much since then, including the excellence of the food. Start with the classic appetizer of stuffed grape leaves, and then move on to the taverna's forte--cooked dishes such as lamb yiouvetsi (meat baked in ceramic dishes with tomato sauce and barley-shaped pasta), livers with sweetbreads in vinegar and oregano, and piquant tsoutsoukakia laced with cinnamon. In summer, tables move outside; nightly, a guitar duo drops by to charm the crowd with ballads of yesteryear. No credit cards. Closed weekends and July. No lunch.
Navarhou Apostoli 7 (off Ermou), Psirri
Phone: 01/321-1200 or 01/321-1511

It's obvious this highly stylized restaurant is the creation of a fashion photographer--from the chair backs with attached drawer handles to the row of silver minimalist wall clocks. The specialty here is high-style Aegean-inspired cuisine: one of the best appetizers is lettuce-leaf dolmades stuffed with shrimp and served with saffron-ouzo sauce. The combinations are often bold: crayfish with coffee and coriander or grilled lamb ribs with grapefruit, honey and buttermilk. Try the pork tenderloin in retsina, the rabbit croquettes served with lentils and fried onions, or the shrimp with vodka sauce flecked with avgotaracho, considered a delicacy. Desserts include the "chocolate island," with chocolate cream in a bittersweet chocolate shell and drizzled with white chocolate sauce. Reserve early enough so you can book a table upstairs; downstairs is claustrophobic. In summer, the chef packs up for Santorini, where he runs the equally wonderful restaurant Domata. No credit cards. Closed Mon. and mid-June-Sept. No lunch Tues.-Sat., no dinner Sun.
Paster 8, Mavili Sq.
Phone: 01/646-3060

Relying on traditional recipes from Thrace, Roumeli, Thessaly, and the islands, the cooks here whip up Greek home cooking in generous portions that more than make up for the daunting noise level. The best way to sample as much as possible is to order several appetizers for a meal (there are more than 20, all reasonably priced). Essentials include the spicy cheese salad, lahanodolmades (cabbage rolls), pastitsio (baked minced meat and pasta with tiny bits of liver), pork with quince and red sauce, and the octopus stifado, tender and sweet with lots of onions. Also good are the kebabs, seftalies, oven-baked lamb, and katsiki ladorigani (goat with oil and oregano). Fresh fish is also served, and for dessert, the huge slice of galaktobouriko (custard in phyllo) is delicious. DC, MC, V. Closed Sun. and Aug.-mid-Sept. No lunch.

UNDER 4,500 DR.

Balkoni Tou Immitou
Pavlou Mela 13, Karea (take Bus 203 from Akadimias to Byzantio stop)
Phone: 01/764-0240

This large, unpretentious place on a hill has a huge balcony with panoramic views of the Saronic Gulf Islands. It's known to few tourists, though the waiters speak some English. The extensive menu covers the standards, plus quail, partridge, and rabbit stew, and gardoumba, which tastes much better than it looks. No credit cards. No lunch Mon.-Sat., no dinner Sun.
Arktinou 35 and Pausaniou 4, Pangrati
Phone: 01/721-5155

In this neighborhood favorite near the Panathenaic Stadium, the winter dining room is insulated with huge wine casks, and in summer there is garden seating; get here early so you don't end up at the noisy sidewalk tables. The classic Greek cuisine is well prepared, including pungent tzatziki, bekri meze (lamb chunks in zesty red sauce), and stamnaki (beef baked in a clay pot). No credit cards. Closed a few days around Aug. 15. No lunch.
Hatzikyriakou 126, Piraeus
Phone: 01/451-4226

If you are in Piraeus and want to forego the tourists and undeservedly expensive fish places on Mikrolimano, consider this fish taverna in the nearby neighborhood of Hatzyikyriakeio. Located at the gates of the Naval School, it serves just four items, along with excellent barrel wine: fried crayfish, fried red mullet, fried marida (a small white fish), and huge Greek salads--which you may be asked to prepare yourself when the staff is overwhelmed by a hungry rush-hour crowd. No credit cards. Closed Sun. and Aug.
O Platanos
Diogenous 4, Plaka
Phone: 01/322-0666

Set on a picturesque corner, this is one of the oldest tavernas in Plaka, and it's a welcome sight compared with the many overpriced tourist traps in the area. Its shady courtyard is fine for outdoor dining. Don't miss the oven-baked potatoes, roasted lamb, and the exceptionally cheap but delicious barrel retsina. Although not much English is spoken, the staff is extremely friendly; you can always go back to the kitchen and point to what you want. No credit cards. Closed Sun. and 2 wks. in Aug.
Monastiraki Sq. 2
Phone: 01/321-3036

Run by the Bairaktaris family for more than a century, this is the best place to eat in Monastiraki Square. After admiring the painted wine barrels and black-and-white snapshots of Greek film stars, go to the window case to view the day's magirefta (stove-top cooked dish, usually made earlier)--beef kokkinisto (stew with red sauce), tsoutsoukakia spiked with cloves--or sample the gyro platter. Appetizers include small cheese pies with sesame seeds, tender mountain greens, and fried zucchini with a garlicky dip. AE, V.
To Ouzadiko
Karneadou 25-29 in Lemos shopping mall, Kolonaki
Phone: 01/729-5484

If you're exploring Kolonaki's boutiques and museums, plan to lunch here for the cozy interior (old posters, abundant wood, small marble tables), the friendly service, and the enticing mezedes. Depending on what the owner bought at market that morning, you may find delicious Thessaloniki mini meat pies called tsigerosarmadakia; any variety of croquettes like fluffy cheese balls spiked with red pepper; duckling with rice and chestnuts; eggplants capped (or kapakiastes) with feta and tomato; rustic black-eyed peas cooked with sweet greens; or juicy rooster with onions. To Ouzadiko lives up to its name, serving 110 kinds of ouzo and that regional grappa-like liquor, tsipouro. No credit cards. Closed Sun. and last 2 wks. in Aug.
Etolikou 72, Ayia Sofia, Piraeus
Phone: 01/461-2457

Longtime residents and frequent visitors rejoice in this precious vestige of the good old days, a family-run taverna that is probably as good a bargain now as it was 70 years ago, when it operated as a grocery store during the day and a diner at night. The decor is minimal; in warm weather the operation moves to the upper terrace. Come here ravenously hungry with friends, so you can do justice to the set menu of 16 dishes (5,000 dr. per person), brought in a steady stream to your table. Zesty shrimp yiouvetsi and fried monkfish are two standouts, as is the dessert called diples (a deep-fried pastry served with walnuts and honey syrup). No credit cards. Closed Sun. and Aug. No lunch.
Taki 10 and Ayion Anargiron, Psirri
Phone: 01/321-5368

This usually crowded Psirri hangout has decent mezes, but the real draw is its location, the metal tables lining the main pedestrian walkway, great for watching all the world go by or for enjoying the neighborhood's illuminated churches and alleys. Appetizers include spicy grilled feta, green peppers stuffed with cheese, pork in mustard and wine, eggplant baked with tomato and pearl onions, and garbanzo bean croquettes. The wines are overpriced for the food; opt for ouzo instead. No credit cards. Closed 2 wks. in early Aug.