It is this time of the year that I have been receiving mails asking for suggestions for food in Athens and beyond. Mails that I enthusiastically answer including places I have visited and I have been totally satisfied by three parameters: quality, innovation and attitude. I would happily add the wine list in there if it is an interesting one, although I have to admit that in most places the ''bring your own bottle'' policy works nicely.
So here we go with some of my favourite places to eat in Athens and beyond. Order is alphabetical and I will be happy to update this list if something new comes up. (Updated August 2017)
Over-delivering in terms of quality and value modern smart Greek restaurant with a very good wine list (available to see one online though I think vintages need to be updated). Not to miss: Mixed Greens Pie, a modern interpretation of a classic Greek dish. Lovely both in summertime and winter.
One of the best sea food places in the city with a casual spirit and fascinating cuisine. Wine list can be improved. Not to miss: Native oysters and sea urchin pasta. Summer and winter.
Smart - casual meat place and the ultimate destination for meat lovers featuring the best cuts of meat. Not to miss: Pasta bolognese with black angus beef. Some interesting good value Californian choices from the sommelier Panagiotis Barbitsas and very straightforward BYOB policy. Best in winter.
Recently moved to the northern suburbs of Athens, this restaurant elevates baos, burgers and street food to another level. Chef Ilias Skoulas is one real genuine character. Prepare yourselves for the unexpected. Not to miss: The baos and the burgers are top here.
Proper sea food place with delicious food. Very good wine list (available online). Not to miss: Calamari ala carbonara with parmesan, pecorino & guanciale. Summer and winter.
Stunning location, exquisite Asian sea food and superb wine list by sommelier Dimitris Manolakos. Not to miss: Spicy chili crab. Glorious in summertime.
Top casual meat destination with ''Tiffany's'' lamb chops. Very friendly service working nicely with families. Summer and winter.
Nobu's restaurant in Athens combines hard to beat scenery and very detailed Japanese cuisine with top quality ingredients. Justifiably expensive, Omakase menu though offers good value for money options. Professional service by sommelier Marianna Lanara.
Smart place with cozy atmosphere where Japan meets Greece. The result is delicious. Interesting wine list. Not to miss: Nolan Fried Chicken and buns with pork cheeks.
Another very good casual sea food place with excellent quality and value for money. Wine list offers some good options yet can be definitely improved. Not to miss: Orzo pasta with cuttlefish
The best restaurant in the country with an extensive and detailed wine list. Farm pigeon is brilliant but the same applies to many other dishes. ** Michelin/formal. Winter and summer (best).
12 seat Japanese restaurant that offers some unique dishes and flavours. Needs patience for booking but is worth trying. Entry level wine list. Winter.
Classic smart option for meat in the centre in a restaurant with a warm - bistro character. Very good wine list with some fascinating choices from South Africa. Not to miss: Tartar Fassone Piemontese
Top expression of Greek cuisine here with fabulous white grouper cooked in its broth ‘fricassée’. Many wine choices from an excellent wine list. Great location especially for summer. Formal.
Top location especially for summer time with gorgeous dishes and an interesting wine list. Not to miss: Poached egg with smoked eel. Semiformal. * Michelin
Thessaloniki (hope to grow this list soon)
Cosy place with fresh seafood and salads. Not to miss: grilled scallops and salad of critamo (cripple) with tomatoes. Some nice selections by the glass.
The ultimate sea food destination in Cephalonia with tables on a platform, hanging literally over the sea. Not to miss: Try the seafood pasta with razor clams alongside a local Robola wine or a dry rose.
Owner Marinos Souranis is a very passionate person that shares with his customers his love for raw fish, characterful local cheeses and fresh fish and prime cuts of meat that he meticulously prepares in his Josper oven. Success for Marathia came because of this special focus in local ingredients and the extra care the staff pays to every little detail. Try everything! Great wine list with a fine selection from wines from Tinos and the other Aegean islands.
Belle epoque atmosphere and fine dining in one of the most stunning locations in Greece: the verandah of historic Posidoneion hotel. Chef Stamatis Marmarinos, offers creative contemporary Greek cuisine infused with local gastronomic traditions and ingredients. Proper wine list and service. Not to miss: An ‘Athenian’ in Spetses, Red hot chilli saganaki and Red mullet with skin.