7 Of The Best And Tastiest Restaurants In Athens

Athens does not disappoint when it comes to good food and drink.

The bar and restaurant scene might very well be the best part of the Greek capital. You can get both traditional and modern Greek food of all interpretations in old-school tabernas or high-end Michelin restaurants. Ready for the best Greek salad you’ve ever had? Don’t miss out on these tasty restaurants in Athens.

Travolta

Agiou Pavlou 33, Peristeri 121 32, Greece

Travolta is a temple of amazing, fresh Greek seafood. It’s truly a can’t-miss experience for any seafood lover traversing through Athens. Travolta has been a Greek fish tavern for many years, which was always popular among local Athenians. When Chef Anestis Lazai took over in 2012, he created a stunning seafood menu which masterfully blends old Greek tradition with exciting modern touches.

You’ll find almost every type of Mediterranean sea creature prepared in every way at Travolta. Start with Travolta’s own taramosalata, the traditional Greek fish roe dip, which comes extremely fresh and creamy and topped with real fish roe and green onion. The raw starters are plentiful and fabulous. Both the seabream carpaccio with yuzu, thyme and butterfly fish roe plus the red bream sashimi with wasabi comes through with all the aforementioned flavors. One of the most gorgeous items on the menu is the red mullet tartar with butterfly fish roe which is served with the original fish intact. And then there’s our favorite starter, grilled eel served on a warm bed of fava beans and olive oil, which is the softest, tastiest eel that you will try in your life.

Travolta’s own seafood moussaka with minced calamari, octopus and prawns is a must-try for those who love the original Greek staple with bechamel. All-star mains include the gorgeous chargrilled squid with cuttlefish ink and chili and the red mullet with beetroot sauce, sea fennel, capers and caper leaves. Both are beautifully presented on skewers on top of a glossy sauce platter, which the waiter will expertly mix and serve at the table. The orzo pasta with cuttlefish ink is unique for the slivers of cheese which has been matured in a sea cave for a year, giving it a strong salty kick. And finally, the most popular dish on the menu according to the waiters is the fried sea bream. The fish is fried in large chunks the size of fish sticks then served with an addictive chili mayo for dipping. It’s so simple yet delicious and is a guaranteed crowd pleaser for everyone at the table.

The restaurant interior keeps it simple and welcoming, in traditional taverna fashion with two charming patios shaded by olive trees for those who wish to dine outside. Travolta is, without a doubt, the best seafood restaurant in the Greek capital, so don’t wait to make a reservation next time you’re in Athens!

Cookoovaya

Chatzigianni Mexi 2a, Athina 115 28, Greece

Cookoovaya is one of the trendiest restaurants in Athens. It’s a chic and versatile venue which fits the bill for any occasion: whether you want to impress a date or business client or have a fun dinner with friends. The restaurant seamlessly moves from indoor to al fresco. The interior dining room is a large airy space with an open kitchen that stretches from one end to another. The ambience is modern and bright with tasteful art and cubic light fixtures hanging throughout the space. But you’ll most likely want an al fresco table out on the beautiful rustic patio.

Innovative yet familiar modern Greek dishes is the name of the game at Cookoovaya, with special attention on fresh seafood. Every dish is presented beautifully with high attention to detail. To kick off, you can order the gorgeous raw fish of the day served with fragrant accoutrements like orange citrus and sesame or chili lime and coriander. The scallops with carabinero prawns are lightly sprinkled with horseradish, olive oil and green onions to elevate the flavor of the seafood without doing too much. The grilled Greek octopus that comes on a bed of whipped fava beans and grilled bread is real tasty with a savory tangy kick that will have you reaching for more. The roasted scallops with smoked aubergine puree and green chili is a hearty explosion of smoky flavors and textures.  For the main dish, don’t miss out on the dusky grouper that’s prepared in very traditional Greek fashion with Corfu Island tomato sauce. The Corfu Island tomato sauce featuring garlic, wine, thyme and peppermint is complex and smoky and oh-so-satisfying.

With so many gorgeous upmarket dishes to choose from, Cookoovaya will never fail to impress. No matter the occasion or company, Cookoovaya is there to show you a stylish, delicious good time.

Geros tou Moria

Mnisikleous 27, Athina 105 56, Greece

There’s a reason Geros tou Moria is included in almost every list of top restaurants in Athens. Located in the historic Plaka district just beneath the Acropolis, Geros tou Moria brings to life the perfect rustic Greek tavern of your imagination. The restaurant’s checker-clothed tables whimsically dot the cobblestone streets and down the wide steps of the hill. Geros tou Moria is quite an expansive restaurant that’s spread across two buildings which have traditional dining rooms, along with their sprawling outdoor seating and rooftop terrace in the front building.

As expected from the ideal Greek tavern of your dreams, Geros tou Moria serves authentic traditional Greek dishes; the same that they’ve been hawking since 1926 for nearly 100 years. You can select from comforting homecooked dishes like roasted lamb or veal and baked eggplant with sausage and cheese. All of the classic hot and cold mezes can be found including spinach and cheese pies, moussaka and octopus in vinegar, along with a list of Greek cheeses.

Geros tou Moria is there and will continue to be there whenever you want to dine at a traditional Greek tavern with great hill views and tasty Greek comfort food!

Skoubri – Σκουμπρί

Drakou 14, Athina 117 42, Greece

Skoubri is a neighborhood seafood restaurant in the hip Koukaki district. It’s a great option for when you want yummy seafood plates in a laidback, casual atmosphere. The décor is beachy minimalist and welcoming, while there’s ample outdoor seating along the pedestrian street. Skoubri’s terrace is usually convivial and lively, with lots of diners enjoying good food, wine and company.

The restaurant serves a long list of fresh mezes and appetizers that are difficult to choose from because everything sounds so yummy. Such noms include codfish patties with garlic dip, smoked eel and bass fish carpaccio as well as perpetually popular mezes like tzatziki, fava beans and eggplant salad. The main menu is a bit more straightforward, which is alright because it lets the ingredients do all the talking. Still, there are lots of seafood options to choose from. You can get shrimp, red mullet, sardines, mussels or squid, fried, grilled, with orzo, pasta or in a cheesy Greek saganaki. The Fisherman’s pasta with octopus, squid, shrimp and mussels is hearty, as is the orzo with cuttlefish.

Nolan

Voulis 31 - 33, Athina 105 57, Greece

Greek-Japanese chef, Sotiris Contizas, set up Nolan by drawing from his multicultural sensibilities and the restaurant has been one of the hottest tables in Athens ever since. It even got a Bib Gourmand from the Michelin guide recently. The space is simple, sleek and minimalist, in the heart of Downtown Athens.

nolan athens
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The menu is original and intriguing, as is expected from a chef who comes from such a unique blend of cultures. Many menu items read like interpretations of familiar Japanese dishes made with fundamentally Greek ingredients. At Nolan you’ll find one-of-a-kind dishes like bean noodles with octopus and kalamata olives, donburi with lamb and steamed buns with pork cheeks. Dishes are made to share and lean toward lighter portions and flavors, keeping in line with Japanese cuisine. Plus, the price point is still affordable for the quality and originality of the restaurant.

nolan athens
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Be sure to book far in advance, as Nolan is often booked for weeks at a time. If you do manage to snag a table, you’re definitely in for a chic meal that you’re unlikely to find anywhere else in the world.

Hytra Restaurant & Bar

Leof. Andrea Siggrou 107-109, Athina 117 45, Greece

When in Greece, it’s imperative to eat Greek food. And what better place to try cutting-edge Greek cuisine than at the Michelin-starred Hytra? Hytra is a pantheon of Greek cuisine which takes pride in honoring native culinary traditions while innovating contemporary expressions of national dishes. Greece’s top raw ingredients such as homegrown olive oil, meat, seafood and produce are on full display in Hytra’s dishes. You can order a la carte, or enjoy the degustation menu for 70-90 euros with a wine or cocktail pairing. There’s even a Think Green vegetarian tasting menu which is a nice touch.

Hytra is located on the top floor of the Onassis Cultural Center and includes a bistro, bar and rooftop. The interior space is sleek, modern yet still inviting with a stunning golden bar centerpiece made of weaved basket patterns. The bar slings top-notch cocktails infused with Greek herbs, spices and liqueurs. Then add some al fresco rooftop seating with spectacular views of Athens and the Acropolis, and it’s no wonder that Hytra is one of the top award-winning restaurants in town.

Bonus: Kalamakia O Elvis

Plateon 29, Athina 104 35, Greece

Elvis was the most popular food recommendation I got from multiple people before I went to Athens and it was not difficult to see why. A visit to Elvis is a must for anyone visting Athens. Elvis is a small souvlaki shop which is more like a fast and casual food stand than restaurant. There are no tables but there is an outside table on the side where you can stand and eat as you watch the dudes inside grilling meat.

As you can guess, the shop has an Elvis theme with cute vintage memorabilia honoring the King posted all around. Hot, made-to-order meat souvlaki is what it’s all about at Elvis. For just 2 euros each, you can get pork, sausage, chicken and lamb skewers that are thrown on the grill as soon as you order them. The pork is unbelievably tender and flavorful. The whole sausage that comes skewered was my personal favorite. The meat is served on a bed of fries plus you can order pita bread on the side. And of course, don’t forget the order the yogurt and BBQ sauce which takes everything to a whole new level.

Nadia Cho

Communications Associate

As the empowered female behind the blog: International Women of Mystery, Nadia reps Team JST traveling the world in search of exclusive features on hidden gems and cool hotspots. You can find her exploring metropolitan cities or lounging on tropical beaches.

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