Athens City Map
The Greek islands have long enchanted tourists, with their shimmering blue waters, sunny skies, and striking architecture. Athens is by no means a hidden gem; it’s captivated the interest of the history buffs, eager to step into the past and wander around the ruins of ancient Greece. But Athens is so much more than the city that houses the Acropolis, it’s a buzzy, energetic city with an expansive and exciting food scene. In this foodie map, we have gathered all our Athens favorites. You’ll find everything from ambitious fine dining restaurants, to specialty coffee shops, natural wine bars, and, of course, Greek street food like souvlaki and gyros. Navigate the map easily either by scrolling through the list on the right or by clicking the points on the map. Places are listed in a geographical order.
Opening Hours 🕒
Greece is on the rise as an exciting culinary destination, largely thanks to the opening of Delta. Thanos Feskos (former assistant head chef of Geranium) and George Papazacharias (previously of Maaemo, L’Air du Temps, Under) decided during lockdown to return to their home of Athens and open a restaurant unlike anything the city has ever seen before. They use only local ingredients, lots of which they have foraged themselves in the Greek forests. Sustainability is a huge focus of theirs, and they have three completely different tasting menus: omnivore, vegetarian, and vegan. From the dining room, to the ceramics, to the art installations hanging from the ceiling, to the mind-blowing presentations, this restaurant is a work of art.
You’re going to want to head outside of the city center for Athens’ best kebab. Our favorite dish at Kir Aristos was the kaserli kebab – juicy skewers of lamb meat are topped and filled with rich, melted cheese. On the side, you’ll need some orders of the fried cheese bites, the hand-cut fries, tzatziki, and the amazing herby yogurt dip. Save room for dessert! The ekmek kadayifi, a custard and cream dessert with a syrup-drenched baklava base, is to die for.
Hole-in-the-wall shop Achilleas makes our favorite gyro in Athens. This locals-only spot is worth a little trek outside the city center. Juicy strips of pork are sliced from the rotisserie and wrapped inside a pita, with tomato, onion, parsley, and yogurt. These are the flavors of Greece!
It’s not fine dining, it’s fine cooking! You’ll feel right at home at Annie, where delicious comfort food is served in a cozy setting. This newcomer to the Athens food scene opened in the summer of 2021, and has already become a favorite for many locals. The kitchen is run by chef Stefanos Michalis, and seasonal produce is the star. Modern dishes are made with local Greek ingredients. Our favorite dishes were the fall-off-the-bone tender lamb shank with trahanas and sheep yogurt, and the surf and turf pasta with cured pork, cod, and red shrimp.
Greek/American chef Ari Vezené’s eponymous restaurant has become a classic in the Athens restaurant scene. It feels like the Spago of Athens, a timeless bistro serving elevated pasta dishes, fresh seafood, and modern twists on Greek classics. The beef tartare pastitsio, a play on the traditional pasta dish, was one of the best things we ate in Greece. We also enjoyed a flatbread, shrimp and caviar pasta, buttery grilled langoustines, and a dry-aged côte de boeuf. Save room for Ari’s Deal Closer – a literal mountain of ice cream with a knife stuck in it. Note: Vezené also has an outpost in Santorini.
There are nothing but good vibes at Kora Bakery, where The Beach Boys and Billy Joel songs blast while you bite into your bread. Kora means bread crust in Greek, which is fitting since this is, without a doubt, the best sourdough bread in town. Baker and pastry chef Ianthi Michalaki previously worked in Copenhagen before moving back to her home country to open her own bakery, the first long fermentation sourdough bakery in Athens. Other pastries like morning buns, ham and cheese croissants, and cardamom buns are also on offer. Don’t leave without trying the passionfruit iced tea!
Chef Ari Vezené’s yakitori-focused restaurant, Birdman, is one of our favorite eateries in Athens. This place is pure hedonism, serving only the best quality Japanese beef and offering luxury ingredients like caviar, truffles, and wagyu. Come hungry, sit at the counter, and watch all the grilling action. Be sure to order all the skewers, the katsu sandos, the udon carbonara, and the smash burger, Ari’s nod to his American roots. To drink, choose from natural wine, beer, or craft cocktails.
Our favorite street food in Athens is at Kostas – we love the pure, clean flavors of the souvlaki here. Juicy cubes of grilled pork are wrapped in a fluffy pita, with fresh tomato, parsley, and yogurt. Expect to wait in a line – this institution has been around since 1950. Note: there are two places named Kostas in the city center, but, if you’re a souvlaki purist, this is the location you want to go to.
If you’re looking to take a deep dive into Greek wines while in Athens, Heteroclito is the bar for you. They have a lot of natural, organic, and biodynamic wines on their extensive list, and the friendly bartenders are at hand to guide you through any unfamiliar territory. Saddle up to the bar – and come thirsty!
Our home base in Athens was The Zillers, a charming boutique hotel in the middle of the city. Our room had one of the most insane views we’ve ever seen, with a panoramic view of the Acropolis. Mornings started on the roof with a traditional breakfast with Greek yogurt, cheese-filled puff pastries, and freshly squeezed juice. The rooftop is also a great place to catch sunset with a cocktail, or indulge in a fine dining tasting menu from chef Pavlos Kiriakis.
Peek a Bloom
Athens has a booming specialty coffee scene, and one of our favorite shops is Peek a Bloom. They roast their own beans, and serve a variety of different coffees. Our favorites were two natural coffees, one from Ethiopia and one from Colombia. They have a cute outdoor atrium for sitting and sipping your coffee by day, and your cocktails by night.
Baba Au Rum
One of Athens’ most popular cocktail bars is Baba Au Rum, a rum-focused cocktail bar (currently ranked no. 14 on the 50 Best Bars 2021). A few of the signature drinks here are the Spicy Baba (aged rum, lime, and sweet berries) and the Tiki Punch (Caribbean rums, papaya, pineapple, orange, apricot, and lime). But our all-time favorite was the Devil’s Milk (Jamaican coconut rum with chili pepper, lime, falernum, and nutmeg). In 2021, they also opened a specialty coffee and pastry shop, In Love Again, directly across from the bar. Here they serve pastries based on their cocktails, including two versions of baba au rum – one with caramel and passionfruit and peach and one classic baba with vanilla. This was the best iteration of this dessert we’ve ever had!
Our favorite cocktail bar in Athens is Barro Negro, a tequila and mezcal-focused cocktail bar (no. 74 on the 50 Best Bars 2021). It’s the world’s first Paloma Embassy, so we had to try one during our visit. We also loved the mezcal margarita and the mezontle sour with pear, violet, and acaí. On busy evenings, they also have a taco cart on the street – a taste of Mexico in Greece!
At first glance, Overoll Croissanterie looks like a bakery that was made for Instagram, but despite the food coloring, we were impressed by the pastry skills here. The croissants all have really nice lamination, mesmerizing layers of dough and butter, with a crunchy outside and a super moist inside. We weren’t a fan of the neon green color of the pistachio croissant, but we loved the nut paste stuffed inside. We also tried the salted caramel cruffin – perfect for those with a sweet tooth!
The most famous bar in Athens is The Clumsies, currently ranked no. 4 on the 50 Best Bars 2021. We sampled a bunch of their classics; our favorites were the Seasonal Daiquiri (with rum, apple, pear, and cherry), and the Popeye and Olive (with gin, spinach, green apple, mint, and olive). On a busy night, the bottom level turns into a party scene with a dance floor, but there’s also an upstairs level with tables and chairs.
Foyer Espresso Bar
We felt right at home at Foyer Espresso Bar, a piece of Scandinavia in Athens, serving the best coffee in town. They serve Coffee Collective and Prolog from Denmark, and Morgon and Koppi Roasters from Sweden, among other small, independent roasters. We particularly loved the Esmeralda Gesha from Coffee Collective, and a Guatemalan coffee from Calendar Coffee in Ireland.
Lefteris O Politis
Another of our favorite Greek street foods was the “bifteki” at Lefteris o Politis, which opened in 1951. It’s basically a beef burger patty inside a pita, with tomato, onion, and parsley. You only have one choice to make: spicy or not spicy. The soft bread is pressed into the beef while it’s grilling, to soak up all the juices. Although we wished there was a creamy yogurt inside, it’s still an incredible dish.
We satisfied our dessert cravings in Athens with loukoumades, traditional Greek doughnuts. They are small spheres, little donut holes, with a crunchy shell and a warm, spongey center. They are topped with cinnamon and sesame seeds, and, as is the case with most Greek desserts, absolutely drenched in syrup. These doughnuts are so juicy that the syrup explodes in your mouth when you bite into it! Loukoumades Ktistakis has been open since 1912, and is one of the last remaining shops serving traditional loukoumades.
You’ll find some of the most traditional Greek food behind an unmarked door in Athens. The graffiti-covered building almost looks abandoned; there’s no sign, just walk down the steps into the basement where tables are haphazardly placed between wine barrels. The smell of fish will alert you that you’re in the right place. There’s no menu here – just sit down and they’ll bring you the dishes they’re serving that day. On our visit we enjoyed grilled fish, a bean stew, and vegetables. On the side, there’s a husk of bread to mop up any extra sauce. Thirsty? The house wine is included, but the water is extra.
Proveleggios is a relaxed neighborhood restaurant from Masterchef Greece judge Sotiris Kontizas. The menu is a little all over the place, and some dishes were stronger than others, but we loved the tuna sashimi with yuzu, the lamb tacos, and the miso truffle pizza. The tsoureki (like a challah bread) brûlée with lactic cheese sorbet is a must-order dessert!
One of Athens’ new hotspots is Diego. This all-day eatery and cocktail bar is open from noon to night serving drinks and small bites. Chef Helen Saradis helms the kitchen, and the menu includes a modern take on a lamb kebab, dumplings, and a tempura king crab roll. Don’t expect anything too fancy – this is more of a party spot than a restaurant. But, that being said, the food hits the spot under the right circumstances, and the place has an awesome vibe with rotating DJs almost nightly.
Another of the city’s most renowned coffee roasters is The Underdog, an award-winning roastery and third wave coffee shop in the Thissio neighborhood of Athens. We enjoyed two different pour-overs here, and also had their coffee at Delta. We didn’t love the interior of the restaurant, but there’s a cute shaded backyard. Otherwise, take your coffee to-go and enjoy a view of the Acropolis just a block down the street.