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The best restaurants in Athens for authentic Greek food, whatever your budget...

During a long weekend in Athens, I was so impressed by everything the place had to offer, from the majestic Acropolis and impressive marble Panathenaic Stadium to the city's very cool hotels such as NEW hotel and Periscope, not to mention the incredible food scene. 

trees and fairy lights leading to athens restaurant feedel
The entrance to Feedel, Athens

I spent four days wandering the deserted streets of Athens, exploring ancient ruins and hunting out the best Greek food. I found a lot of good food but there were three places that I wanted to share because they were so brilliant, from service to location, plus they suit every budget. 

KOSTAS: best for pocket money snacks, less than $3 (2.50)

the front of greek souvlaki shop kostas in athens greece
Kostas maybe tiny but they serve incredible souvlaki

Well-known for the most delightful souvlaki, you can pick up a quick lunch here for just 2.50 euros. I went twice during my stay as the warm, doughy wrap was just too delicious, plus they serve two variations, beef and pork, and I wanted to try both. Souvlaki is a traditional Greek street-food snack made up of small grilled pieces of meat, topped with fresh tomatoes, parsley, a little yogurt and salt and pepper, all wrapped up inside a warm and delicious homemade pitta bread. You can’t sit inside at Kostas as it’s so tiny but there’s a little bench outside if you need to rest your feet. I’ve heard the queues can be crazy long in the summer months, but for my trip in March there was only ever a few people milling around.

hand with painted nails holding a pork souvlaki outside kostas in greece athens
The best souvlaki in Athens
Find Kostas at Pentelis 5, open everyday apart from Sundays and Friday afternoons.

TO KAFENEIO: best for hearty Greek food, friendly conversation and traditional interiors, less than $27 (23)

Tucked away, not far from the touristy lanes and restaurants of Plaka is To Kafeneio, a traditional restaurant recommended to me by a Greek friend. There are tables outside for when the weather is warm enough and a roaring fire inside which was lit for my visit. As this was my first meal in Athens and indeed Greece I wanted to try a traditional Greek salad, I ordered the salad along with a plate of meatballs in tomato sauce and a side dish of feta cheese in pastry with honey, plus a glass of dry Moscat white wine. 

greek salad, meatballs, glass of white wine and greek pastry at athens restaurant to kafenio
My delicious Greek meal for one

The salad was simple; feta, cucumber with no skin, huge tomatoes, a few kalamata olives, lots of olive oil and a sprinkle of oregano, each bite was purely delightful. The feta pastry, sprinkled with sesame seeds was incredible, the sweetness of the honey complementing the salty feta perfectly and the meatballs were tasty, although I couldn’t finish them all. For my three dishes and one glass of wine the bill came to a very reasonable 22.20. 

Find To Kafeneio at Epicharmou 1, open all day, every day

FEEDEL: best for a modern take on Greek food, inventive cocktails and the prettiest setting in the whole of the city, less than $44 (35.50)

I tried to eat here one night but it was booked out completely, so I made a reservation for a table for two nights later, on a Monday evening. A fairy lit pathway (see first photo above) leads you to the entrance of Feedel and the place feels special even before you’ve entered. Once inside there’s modern and sophisticated vibe with attentive staff and an interesting menu. The idea is to share plates but since I was travelling solo I ordered two for myself, the first was ‘Greek Fava’; split peas, chorizo and thyme truffle oil. I enjoyed this a lot but it was too much for one person and I perhaps could have done without it. 

dish of greek fave at feedel restaurant in athens greece
Greek Fava at Feedel

My second dish of scallops, asparagus, charred baby gem lettuce and hazelnuts was just amazing, the scallops were honestly the best I’ve eaten in my life and the flavours from the dish just blew me away. 

bowl of scallops, baby gem lettuce and asparagus at feedel restaurant in athens greece
Incredible scallops at Feedel

The cocktail I ordered was also very interesting and enjoyable, ‘Magic Mirror’ is a blend of citrus gin, brown rice tea, butter and red wine, the result was a drink that smelt like caramel, and tasted like a fancier version of Tinto de Verano. Feedel’s was the most expensive, meal I had during my stay in Athens, coming in at 35.50, but it was so worth it and I can't wait to return.

Find Feedel at Ktena 1


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