Talented chefs and successful restaurateurs from the world’s food Meccas have entered the kitchens in Athens restaurants and changed the Greek food setting into one that can compete with many European metropolises. The result is hundreds of excellent restaurants with chefs, menus and waiting staff that impress even the well-traveled gourmand. Culinary aficionados are encouraged to delight their palates in the myriad of sophisticated gourmet restaurants in Athens that boast tastes and designs inspired by many cultures. Many can be found in Psiri, Kolonaki, Mets, Pagrati, Gazi, Koukaki and in most of the leading hotels. Every type of fine cuisine can be found and enjoyed in Athens: from Ιtalian, French, American, and fusion to nouveau, East Asian, Middle-Eastern and Greek.
Greek gastronomy comes with 3.500 years of history and it is based on pure, fresh, Greek ingredients, proper use of herbs and spices, fish and seafood, lamp and goat meat and the master of all, olive oil. In Attica, popular Mediterranean nutrition it is not about fashion or trend it’s an everyday way of life for inhabitants and visitors.
Gastronomy as a word and meaning is used to all roman-born languages. Gastronomy is all about moderation and appeals to every culture.
Souvlaki – Gyros
Souvlaki and Gyros is the Greek answer to fast food. Delicious and juicy pieces of pork meat or chicken, served on a thin stick or wrapped by grilled dough staffed with tomato, onions, fried potatoes and tzatziki. Enjoy them all day either as quick snack or as meal. Popular grills for Souvlaki and Gyros are around Monastiraki and Plaka but you can find one almost in every corner, in any street.
Greek Breakfast served at hotels is based on Mediterranean nutrition and products of Greece. Combines best of nutritional habits of different areas of Greece containing a great variety of Greek cheese and meats, produced in small family units, pure honey, pies with cheese or herbs, pancakes with non-salted cheese and honey, frumenty, eggs fried with fresh butter and traditional sweets. (See more about Greek Breakfast: www.grhotels.gr
Bread – Pastries
Bread is basic for every meal in Greek nutrition. White bread, whole meal bread, wholegrain, corn bread or yeast bread and various pastries. In Athens traditional bakeries and big bakery franchises sell fresh baked hot bread, fresh pastries and pies starting early in the morning till late afternoon. Popular snack is a bread twist with sesame that you’ll find in every corner of city’s centre also raisin bread and sugar- donuts.
Sweets and Desserts
Baklavas, kantaifi, ravani, walnut pie with ice-cream, a great variety of what we call “spoon-sweets”, fruits that are baked and sweetened with syrup, like cherries, sour-cherries, walnuts, lemons, oranges, roses, apples, bergamots, grapes etc. sometimes served with yogurt. You will find patisseries around the city selling them or serving them. Sweets like Baklavas come from the tradition of Constantinople Greeks, also almond sweets which are Greek islands wedding custom and mastic-vanilla served into a glass of water.
Greek Traditional Cuisine
Greek traditional cuisine is rich in nutritional value, quality and taste. A great salad variety, Xoriariki salad remains the queen of all, pulses, rice, baked vegetables and meat are mainly what Greeks cook at home. Taste Greek traditional cuisine at dozens of taverns at Plaka’s alleys, Psirri, Monastiraki, Exarcheia, Pangrati, Gazi, Thisseio, Ano Petralona. Part of Greek nutritional habits is going out for dinner at “mezedopoleia”. Share different “mezedes”( appetizers), inspired of different regions of the country drinking ouzo, wine or raki. You can do that all night cause main dishes are not on the menu.
In most European countries dinning has specific hours and so do restaurants, not in Athens. If you feel hungry after midnight you will find so many options that you’ve ever imagine. Canteens and restaurants working around the clock for a quick snack or a regular meal. Inside Varvakeios Market you will find restaurants serving a variety of Greek cuisine and soups. Also 24hour dinning you can head to Syggrou avenue and Alexandras avenue. Hot dogs and sandwiches you will find in canteens at Mavili square, Syggrou avenue, Peiraeus street and Gazi.
Modern Mediterranean Cuisine / Gourmet
You will find exceptional restaurants with exquisite menus for fine dining in Athens. Talented and awarded chefs create inspired tastes for you to savour. Menus that impress the most demanding gourmands.
Athens and Attica hotels host sophisticated restaurants that can easily compete with many European metropolises. Serving modern Mediterranean cuisine, molecular gastronomy, fusion and international menus. Gastronomy in Athens completes with impressive wine lists. 4 Athenian restaurants are awarded with Michelin stars. For fine dining many restaurants can be found in Syntagma, Kolonaki, Gazi, Pangrati, Metaxourgeio, Kifissia, Kefalari.
International Cuisine / Ethnic tastes
Hotels around Athens and Attica serve fine international cuisine, you can also choose among dozens of restaurants to savour tastes from around the world. Excellent French restaurants and bistros, Italian cuisine, Spanish tapas, pinxos and paellias, Chinese and Japanese restaurants, Brazilian grills. In Syntagma square especially Apollonos street you will find a lot of popular eateries serving multi-ethnic cuisine. Also Kolonaki, Gazi, Kifissia, Kefalari, Psirri, Glyfada and all around coastal area. Athens as a multi-ethnic metropolis, people from around the world live and work here. Most of them created small eateries to keep their nutrition habits and culture alive. Around Omonoia square you will find such places, maybe there are not sophisticated and stylish but they serve mostly to immigrants tastes from India, Pakistan Bangladesh, Egypt, Syria.
Fishes are basic in Mediterranean cuisine. Athens and suburbs have plenty of restaurants and taverns serving fresh fish and various seafood. All the way from Piraeus to Cape Sounio choices are infinite. Cosy small taverns by the sea or fine restaurants are prepared to serve you a memorable dinner. There is an easy way to enjoy fresh fish and seafood close to where a lot of sea’s goods are fished. Islands of Poros, Aegina, Hydra, Spetses apart from a splendid tour can also be a gastronomic destination.
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