Greek cuisine will not be alien to your taste – that is if you are already got a taste of Italian, Turkish, Balkan, and Levantine cuisines as they share the same characteristics. The way the Greeks cook is believed to have greatly influenced that of the Western cookery’s way. Its delicacies have evolved along its 4000 years of culinary tradition and history.
One common characteristic of most Greek delicacies is the use of olive oil. Produced from olive trees, this oil is prominent all over the regions of the country and which thus give its dishes that distinctive taste. Though barley is grown in the country, wheat is considered to be the basic grain. And if you are a vegetarian, you will surely be delighted to know that many of the dishes in the country have vegetables as their main ingredients. Among the important vegetables in Greek delicacies are eggplant, tomato, green beans, potato, okra, onions, and green peppers.
For flavor, Greek cuisines make use of mint, oregano, onion, garlic, bay laurel leaves, and dill. Fennel seed, thyme, and basil are also used to complete the country’s sumptuous dishes.
Meat products in Greece are said to have uncommon taste – as related by many tourists – mainly for its terrain and climate that proved favorable for tending sheep and goats. If you are a cheese lover, you might be ecstatic to get a taste of Greek cuisines cooked with various cheese types, such as Kasseri, Feta, Kefalotyri, Anthotyros, Mizithra, Metsovone, Manouri, and Graviera.
The Greeks love to eat! You should therefore not be surprised to see many of them dining out, especially with their range of sumptuous delicacies. All around the country are Estiatorio and Taverna that are all ready to serve affordable yet great-tasting Greek delicacies that locals and tourists alike would sure appreciate.
Curious about tasting Greek delicacies in a Greek city? Let these restaurants treat you for a great Greek dining!
Alatsi, which is owned by journalist Stavros Theodorakis, is a favorite among top journalists and politicians in the – the so-called crème-de-la-crème in Athens. it serves Cretan delicacies, including kaltsounia which are small pies with beef and wild greens slowly stewed in Cretan pasta and wine. This Syntagma Square-located restaurant is ideal for those who are willing to splurge for their meals. It is open daily, except on Sundays and mid-August.
The Butcher Shop
Persefonis 19, Gazi
This upscale restaurant is like a paradise for the carnivore as it serves meats in the most superb way. Among their customer favorites are their gigantic hamburgers, sausages, and steaks. The crispy home fries and cold cuts are worth the try as well. You will also get a wide wine selection in the restaurant which is just perfect for your meaty meal.
Effroniou 5-7, off Rizari, Pangrati
Despite the Italian-sounding name, Fatsio is an old-fashioned restaurant which boasts of its home-style Greek delicacies. Don’t miss to try their soufflé which is a variation of baked macarani and piece made more interesting with beef slices, ham pieces, and eggplant and tomato sauce topping. Although meals are a bit expensive, Fatsio assures the dining experience is worth every cent you spend.
Vasileiou Megalou 50, Rouf
While the first three restaurants cater for the upper class, O Skoufias does for the middle class. With dishes served for affordable prices, this restaurant is considered by many to have some of the best food in town. It’s a pretty taverna with menus looking like those of Greek school children – royal blue lined notebooks.
Xiromerou 20, behind the Errikos Dynan Hospital, Ambelokipi
To Kainari is another mid-range restaurant in Athens. Aside from its good-tasting Greek dishes, you will also be fascinated with the restaurant’s odd collection of mementos and photographs adorning its walls. Bouyiourdi, which is spicy sausage with peppers, tomato sauce, and peta cheese, is among the many favorites in the restaurant.
Monastiraki Sq. 2, Monastiraki
Perfect for those looking for an economical yet great-tasting meal, Bairaktaris will thrill diners with its painted wine barrels, still photos of Greek film stars, and pictures of politicians who dined in the restaurant. Try their magirefta (dish cooked on top of the stove) and beef kokkinisto (beef stewn with red sauce) for something interesting.
To Steki tou Ilia
Eptachalkou 5 and Thessalonikis 7, Thission
To Steki tou Ilia is ideal for those who are into thick-cut fried potatoes and fresh-grilled lamb chops! This classic taverna, aside from serving sumptuous meat dishes, is budget-friendly as well making them a favorite among those who are traveling in a budget.
Whether you are in Athens for the first time, or are just coming back, these restaurants and the rest not listed here will be a great way to enjoy the gastronomy of the city.