If you're wondering where to eat in Athens and Piraeus we have a few suggestions including some favorites around the Acropolis, Omonia Square, and Syntagma.
We've also included some highly-acclaimed places, ranging from Michelin-starred restaurants that we aspire to eat in one day, to cheap tavernas that we love and which simply ooze atmosphere.
Spondi €€€ This neo-classical mansion has contemporary art works on the walls and has been voted the best restaurant not just in Athens but in the whole of Greece several years in a row. Pyrronos 5, Varnava Square, tel: 210 752 4021, spondi.gr.
To Kouti €€ One of the few reliable places on this busy Plaka street, most of the others catering for the fast tourist trade. Here the service is more leisurely, the menu's unusual and the setting with its Acropolis views will give you a romantic night to remember. Adrianou 23, tel: 210 321 3229, no website.
Bakalarakia € This is one of the Plaka's basic basement tavernas, and is much older and much more reliable than many of the smart places on the street. This is named after its specialty, a cod dish served with a garlic sauce. On one of our research trips when we spent several weeks in Athens, we ate in here a lot! Kidathineon 41, tel: 210 322 5084, bakalarakia.gr.
O Platanos € It sometimes seems like 'The Plane Tree' (like the plane tree it's named after) has been here forever, so well-established is it in its leafy square. Visitors love it as it is so typically Greek, but locals hang out here too, and though the food is nothing fancy, it is wonderfully cooked. Great atmosphere too, whether outside on warm summer evenings or dining cosily inside in winter. Diogenous 4, tel: 210 322 0666, O Platanos website.
Athinaikon € Wonderful venerable old place with its wooden interior still intact, and some of the waiters seemingly dating from the same era. They have one of the best meze menus in town, dozens of dishes made fresh every day so it's a chance to try lots of different things like grilled octopus, meatballs with mint, or deep-fried whitebait. Themistokleous 2, tel: 210 383 8485, athinaikon.gr.
Diporto € If you want a real Athens eating experience then head for this old place in a basement beneath the Central Market, where the market traders go for good, honest, fresh, hearty food, though you'll find local business people there too. If you're on a budget, it's ideal. It's at the corner of Theatrou and Sokratous, There's no phone or website so you just have to turn up and chance your luck, and you can read more about it here: culinarybackstreets.com.
Aegli Café and Restaurant €€€ Fabulous setting in the National Gardens by the Zappeion, but don't assume it's just another café as the bistro-style menu is very inventive, as is the more extensive (and expensive) French-influenced evening menu. They make nice cocktails too. Zappeion, tel: 210 336 9363, aeglizappiou.gr.
Balthazar €€€ This has long been one of the most stylish places to eat in Athens, housed in a wonderful 19th-century mansion on the north-east edge of Kolonaki. They do vegan and vegetarian dishes as well, have a separate sushi menu, and if you're on a budget and want to sample their amazing food without breaking the bank they have a Finger Food menu as well. Vournazou/Tsocha 27, tel: 210 644 1215, balthazar.gr.
Ratka €€-€€€ International menu ranges from sushi to pasta in this chic place which has been a fashionable meeting and eating spot in Kolonaki for decades. Haritos 32, tel: 210 729 0746, no website but you can read its glowing reviews on TripAdvisor here.
Ouzadiko €€ This contemporary take on a traditional Greek ouzerie shows off the new Greek-style cooking at its best with a long list of meze, the Greek version of tapas, to choose from, and the chance to find out that not all ouzos taste the same. Karneadou 25-29 (in the shopping mall), tel: 210 729 5484, no website.
Benaki Museum Café € Great place for a spot of lunch on this attractive second-floor terrace, with a very popular buffet on their Thursday late-night opening, for which you would be advised to book. Koumbari 1/Vasilissis Sofias, tel: 210 367 1000, benaki.gr.
Dexameni € Well-loved and long-established café-restaurant, with mainly light meals but a great people-watching place in a lovely little Kolonaki square. Platia Dexameni, tel: 210 723 2834, no website but you can read more here: culinarybackstreets.com.
Alli Skala €€€ This distinguished restaurant has a wonderful courtyard and isn't over-priced by Piraeus standards. It has a wider menu than just seafood-seafood-seafood, with meats, vegetarian dishes, and good old-fashioned Greek dishes like Greek sausages. Serifou 57, tel: 210 482 7722, allhskala.gr.
Jimmy's Fish €€-€€€ Ask an Athenian to recommend one Piraeus fish restaurant and chances are it would be this one, not just for the fresh fish and its speciality seafood pasta dishes but also its lovely setting on the harbour at Mikrolimano. Don't turn up late on a sunny Sunday lunchtime and expect to find an empty seat. Akti Koumoundourou 46, tel: 210 412 4417, jimmysfish.gr.
Dourabeis €€ If a seafood restaurant has been in business for over sixty years then it must be doing something right, and the secret here is: keep it simple. The freshest of fish, the lightest of grillings and dinner is perfect. Not cheap but then fish never is. Akti Dilaveri 27-29, tel: 210 412 2092, Dourabeis Facebook page.
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