With more and more innovative and internationally-flavoured culinary ventures opening in the capital each month – and catering for every appetite and budget – Athens has never tasted better. Amanda Dardanis shares half a dozen of the city’s hottest new dining addresses for you to make a date with.
Flamingo Drinks & Food Stories
A much in-demand Pangrati newcomer that is charming foodies of all persuasions with its creative, fresh fare and light-flooded interior. Flamingo’s forte is the front end of the day: they serve excellent breakfasts, brunches and quick lunches (their gourmet burgers and egg variations rarely disappoint). All at reasonable prices.
22 Effranoros st. Tel +30 211 410 4639
333 Chef’s & Workshop Theme Restaurant
Witness Gourmet Athens’ multi-tasking prowess at this new proposition on international foodie hub Nikis Street. A chilled all-day hang for delicious “fusion cuisine” delights built on seasonality, under the helm of head chef Nikos Mikropoulos and his team of five accomplished chefs. Wake up to the day with exotic indigenous coffee blends from Ethiopia or Costa Rica and a New Orleans beignet; brunch on pancakes or a ripper of a steak sandwich; while Happy Hour may see you imbibe on a cool cocktail enlivened with Grandma’s Jams from Ikaria.
33 Nikis st. and 3 Nikodimou st. Tel +30 690 752 6839
7 Cactus Street Deli
A cornucopia of Greek delicacies that adds up to a culinary roadmap of succulent tastes and textures from different corners of Greece. At this popular Koukaki hangout, you’ll encounter an ever-changing menu of gourmet tarts, sandwiches and deli dishes to transform your brunch and lunch prospects. Here’s but a sampling: corn bread with caramelized onion, Evritania, Naxos Graviera & tomatini; meatballs with ouzo, mint and Syros Parsley Salad; or potato salad with prickly pear, sun-dried tomato and herbs. A lovely garden space completes the package.
7 Dimitrakopoulou st. Tel. +30 21 3045 2865
Pangrati’s considerable stable of gastro-temptations has been boosted with the arrival of Monsieur Cannibale – a modern cuisine offering that’s fast becoming a brunch champion (as well as a reliably good spot for dinner and coffees). Their creatively original cocktails and cut-above pizzas are earning them star reviews and a loyal fan base.
2 Profitou Ilia sq. Tel +30 21 0752 6130
Cherchez la Femme
Honest bites from the sea and land at great prices are the name of the game at this homey Greek bistrot with the welcoming vibe of yia-yia’s high-ceilinged living room. Chef Andreas Lagos’ succinct menu abounds with quality local ingredients from around Greece: traditional loukoumi from Syros, Naxian fried potatoes, meatballs and ladotyri cheese from Smyrni served with lemon marmalade. Imbibe on bottled tsipirou from Zacharia, Pyros, and Kardasi while you contemplate their scrumptious retro cake options such as the chocolate-baked Alaska with red berries.
46 Mitropoleos, Syntagma, Tel. +30 210.322.2020
Don’t let the focus here on street food – Greek and Italian to be precise -mislead you. Here is an inviting gourmet hub, with the feel of an “indoor garden”, where you’ll stop by for a speedy caffeine fix but feel inspired to linger instead over chef Gabriel Nikolaidis’ sinfully good nosh or a relaxed after-work tipple. Highly-rated come Italus’ morning offerings of an open croissant with fried egg, avocado and feta, as well as the bagel with prosciutto and panino. The classic sweet cannolo gets a delicious do-over here, filled instead with beef from Drama, caramelized onions and cheddar. Pizzas meanwhile resemble a crispy double tortilla stuffed with a mixture of cheese and adorned with sausages, cheeses, eggs, whatever your heart desires. And we haven’t even started yet on how great the desserts are..!
Eleutherios Venizelos, Kallithea. Tel: +30 210.951.2341