The Top Thing to Eat: Athens


Traditional Greek Dishes in Athens

Moussaka: A hearty Greek favorite

If you're visiting Athens, you must try the beloved Greek dish, Moussaka. This hearty casserole is made with layers of eggplant or potato, ground meat (usually beef or lamb), and a creamy béchamel sauce. It's then baked to perfection, resulting in a deliciously rich and flavorful dish. The combination of flavors and textures in Moussaka is truly a delight for the taste buds. It's a must-have when exploring the local cuisine in Athens.

Souvlaki: The iconic Greek street food

When in Athens, you can't miss trying Souvlaki, the quintessential Greek street food. Souvlaki consists of tender skewered meat, typically pork or chicken, grilled to perfection and served on pita bread. It's then topped with tzatziki sauce, tomatoes, onions, and sometimes fries. The combination of juicy meat, tangy sauce, and fresh ingredients makes Souvlaki a mouthwatering treat that you can enjoy while strolling through the bustling streets of Athens.

Spanakopita: A delicious spinach and feta pastry

Another traditional Greek dish that you must try in Athens is Spanakopita. This delightful pastry is made with layers of flaky phyllo dough filled with a savory mixture of spinach, feta cheese, herbs, and onions. Spanakopita is baked until golden and crispy, creating a delightful contrast between the buttery crust and the flavorful filling. It's a delicious option for vegetarians and a perfect savory snack to enjoy while exploring the city.

In summary, when visiting Athens, make sure to indulge in these traditional Greek dishes. They represent the rich culinary heritage of Greece and offer a taste of the local flavors. From the hearty Moussaka, to the iconic Souvlaki, and the delicious Spanakopita, each dish showcases the unique ingredients and techniques that make Greek cuisine so special. So, don't miss out on these mouthwatering delights during your trip to Athens.


Seafood Delights

Fresh seafood options in Athens

Are you a seafood lover? Then you're in for a treat in Athens! The city is famous for its fresh and delicious seafood options that will leave you craving for more. Here are some must-try dishes during your visit to Athens:

Grilled octopus: A tender and flavorsome delicacy

One of the most popular seafood dishes in Athens is grilled octopus. Tender, flavorful, and perfectly cooked, the grilled octopus is a delicacy that you should not miss. The octopus is marinated with olive oil, lemon juice, and a variety of herbs and spices, then grilled to perfection. The result is a dish that is both tender and packed with flavor. It pairs perfectly with a glass of local wine and is often served as an appetizer in many traditional Greek taverns.

Saganaki: Pan-fried cheese with a crispy exterior

Another mouthwatering seafood dish you must try in Athens is Saganaki. This dish consists of pan-fried cheese with a crispy exterior. The cheese is usually feta or kefalograviera, which is lightly coated in flour and then fried until golden brown. The result is a dish that is crispy on the outside and gooey on the inside. Saganaki is often served with a squeeze of lemon juice and pairs well with a glass of ouzo, a traditional Greek anise-flavored spirit.

So, if you're a seafood lover, make sure to indulge in these delightful dishes during your visit to Athens. Whether you choose to try the grilled octopus or the saganaki, you're in for a culinary treat that will leave you satisfied and wanting more.


Sweet Treats and Desserts

Loukoumades: Deep-fried dough balls

When in Athens, you must try the delicious Greek dessert known as Loukoumades. These delightful bite-sized treats are made by deep-frying balls of dough until they are golden brown and crispy on the outside, then drizzled with honey syrup and sprinkled with cinnamon. The combination of the warm, fluffy dough and the sweet syrup creates a divine taste that is truly irresistible.

Baklava: Layers of flaky pastry and honey

Another must-try dessert in Athens is Baklava. This traditional Greek pastry consists of layers of flaky phyllo dough filled with a mixture of crushed nuts, such as walnuts or pistachios, and sweetened with a generous amount of honey syrup. The texture of the crispy pastry, combined with the rich and nutty filling, makes Baklava a truly indulgent treat that will satisfy any sweet tooth.

Galaktoboureko: Creamy custard pie

If you're a fan of creamy desserts, then Galaktoboureko is the perfect choice for you. This delicious dessert features a layer of creamy custard encased in flaky phyllo dough and topped with a sweet syrup. The custard filling is made from milk, semolina, sugar, and eggs, creating a velvety smooth texture that melts in your mouth. The combination of the creamy custard and the crispy pastry makes Galaktoboureko a delectable dessert that is sure to impress.

Whether you have a sweet tooth or simply appreciate delicious desserts, Athens offers a variety of treats that will satisfy your cravings. From crispy Loukoumades to rich Baklava and creamy Galaktoboureko, these desserts are sure to leave a lasting impression on your taste buds. So, next time you visit Athens, be sure to indulge in these delightful sweet treats and experience the mouthwatering flavors of Greek cuisine.


Hidden Gems and Local Favorites

Psarotavernas: Authentic seafood taverns

When in Athens, indulging in the fresh and flavorful seafood is a must. To experience the real taste of the sea, head to Psarotavernas – authentic seafood taverns that are beloved by locals. These taverns offer a wide variety of seafood dishes, from grilled fish to seafood pasta, prepared with the freshest ingredients sourced from the nearby Aegean Sea. Don't miss the chance to try classic Greek dishes like octopus in red wine sauce or sardines marinated in lemon and herbs. Psarotavernas not only provide an exceptional dining experience but also allow you to immerse yourself in the vibrant local culture.

Local farmers' markets: A hub for fresh produce

For foodies and enthusiasts of fresh, organic produce, exploring the local farmers' markets in Athens is a delight. These markets offer a wide range of seasonal fruits, vegetables, aromatic herbs, and traditional Greek products. The Varvakeios Market, also known as the Athens Central Market, is a bustling hub of colorful stalls where you can find everything from locally grown olives and cheeses to fragrant spices and honey. Stroll through the market, interact with the friendly vendors, and let the enticing aromas guide you to some of the best ingredients Athens has to offer.

Plaka neighborhood: Exploring traditional Greek restaurants

When it comes to experiencing the traditional flavors of Greek cuisine, the historic Plaka neighborhood is the place to be. Nestled in the shadow of the Acropolis, Plaka is rich in charm and home to numerous authentic Greek restaurants. Wander through the narrow cobblestone streets and discover taverns serving mouthwatering dishes such as moussaka, souvlaki, and spanakopita. Don't forget to indulge in the delightful meze, a selection of small dishes perfect for sharing. Plaka offers a picturesque setting to enjoy a leisurely meal while immersing yourself in the local atmosphere.

In conclusion, Athens offers a plethora of culinary delights. From the authentic seafood taverns to the vibrant farmers' markets and the traditional Greek restaurants in Plaka, you can embark on a culinary journey that will leave you wanting more. So, pack your appetite and get ready to savor the flavors of Athens like a local!


Creative and Modern Athenian Cuisine

If you find yourself in Athens, get ready for a culinary adventure like no other! The city is bursting with innovative chefs and trendy restaurants offering a modern twist on traditional Greek cuisine. Here are some top food experiences you simply can't miss.

Experimental Greek fusion dishes

Imagine a delicious blend of traditional Greek ingredients with international flavors and modern techniques. Athens is home to a thriving food scene that celebrates culinary creativity. Visit one of the many restaurants serving experimental Greek fusion dishes and prepare to be amazed. From octopus carpaccio with chili-lime dressing to lamb moussaka with a modern twist, each dish is a unique interpretation of traditional flavors. Be sure to try restaurants like Funky Gourmet or Spondi for an unforgettable dining experience.

Trendy rooftop bars and restaurants

For stunning views of the city while enjoying a delicious meal, head to one of Athens' trendy rooftop bars and restaurants. These establishments offer a combination of great food, trendy ambiance, and breathtaking vistas. From traditional Greek cuisine to international flavors, you'll find an array of options to satisfy your taste buds. Grab a cocktail and soak in the panoramic views of the Acropolis and the city skyline. Some popular rooftop spots include Galaxy Bar at Hilton Athens and A for Athens.

Gourmet Greek street food

When in Athens, don't miss the chance to indulge in the city's mouthwatering street food. Greek cuisine is renowned for its delicious and flavorful street food options. Try the famous souvlaki, a skewer of succulent grilled meat wrapped in pita bread and topped with tzatziki sauce. For something different, try koulouri, a sesame-seed covered bread ring that is a popular grab-and-go snack. And of course, don't forget to taste the iconic Greek desserts, such as loukoumades (honey-soaked dough balls) or baklava (layered pastry filled with nuts and honey). Head to the bustling neighborhoods of Monastiraki or Psiri for a wide variety of street food delights.

Whether you're a foodie or simply love good food, Athens has something for everyone. From experimental Greek fusion dishes to trendy rooftop bars and gourmet street food, the city's culinary offerings will leave you craving for more. So, get ready to tantalize your taste buds and explore the vibrant food scene of Athens!



In conclusion, Athens is a food lover's paradise with a rich culinary history and a wide range of delicious dishes to try. From traditional Greek fare to contemporary fusion cuisine, there is something to satisfy every palate. Whether you are a meat lover, seafood enthusiast, or vegetarian, Athens has a variety of options that will leave you wanting more. So, if you find yourself in this vibrant city, make sure to indulge in the top dishes mentioned above and explore the local food scene to truly experience the diverse and flavorful Greek cuisine.

Overview of the top dishes to try in Athens

When it comes to food in Athens, there are a few must-try dishes that should be at the top of your list:

  1. Souvlaki – This popular street food consists of grilled skewered meat, usually pork or chicken, served in a pita with tomatoes, onions, and tzatziki sauce.

  2. Moussaka – A classic Greek dish made with layers of eggplant, potatoes, and ground meat, topped with a creamy béchamel sauce and baked to perfection.

  3. Spanakopita – A savory pastry filled with spinach, feta cheese, and herbs, wrapped in flaky filo dough and baked until golden brown.

Tips for exploring the Athenian food scene

To make the most of your culinary adventure in Athens, consider the following tips:

  1. Visit local markets – Explore the vibrant Central Market and browse through the stalls to discover a variety of fresh produce, cheese, olives, and other Greek delicacies.

  2. Try a food tour – Join a guided food tour to learn about Athens' food culture and taste a wide range of dishes from different neighborhoods and eateries.

  3. Visit traditional tavernas – Experience the warm hospitality of a traditional Greek taverna and enjoy authentic dishes made with local ingredients.

Discovering the diverse and flavorful Greek cuisine

Greek cuisine is known for its fresh ingredients, flavorful herbs, and Mediterranean influences. Apart from the famous dishes mentioned above, be sure to try other Greek specialties such as tzatziki, dolmades, Greek salad, and loukoumades (Greek honey dumplings). Don't forget to pair your meal with a glass of ouzo, a traditional Greek spirit.

So, get ready to tantalize your taste buds and embark on a culinary journey through the streets of Athens. Whether you are a food enthusiast, an adventurous eater, or simply someone looking to savor the flavors of Greece, Athens is sure to leave you craving for more.

Some of the links provided are affiliate links that I earn a commission for, on any purchases made, at no extra cost to you. This helps me immensely to continue to do what I love.
I am a participant in the affiliate programs including CJ, AWIN and Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. Affiliate programs are designed to provide a means for creators and publishers to earn fees by linking to merchant websites. Thank you 🙏


Explore Related stories

The Top Thing to Eat: Quebec City

Poutine Poutine, oh glorious poutine! If you’ve never heard of it, you’re in for a treat. This Canadian comfort food is the stuff dreams are…

The Quebec City Travel Guide:

Introduction to the City of Quebec Welcome to the beautiful city of Quebec! Nestled along the banks of the St. Lawrence River, Quebec is a…

Getting Around Quebec City

Overview of Getting Around Quebec City Welcome to beautiful Quebec City! Whether you’re a local or a visitor, it’s important to know how to get…

Getting Around Istanbul

Popular Modes of Transportation in Istanbul Istanbul, the vibrant and bustling city that straddles two continents, offers a plethora of transportation options for locals and…

The Top Thing to Eat: Istanbul

Sultanahmet Koftecisi: The Best Kofte In Istanbul If you’re visiting Istanbul and you’re a fan of delicious, juicy meatballs, then you absolutely must make a…