My favourite places to eat in Athens and Thessaloniki
20 May 2017

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. Order is alphabetical and I will be happy to update this list if something new comes up.

Aleria

Overdelivering 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. 

Argoura

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. 

Food Mafia

Now in the centre of Athens, I have to say that I enjoyed it more when it was in Glyfada. Wine list can be improved. Not to miss: The baos and the burgers are top here. Mostly for winter. 

Iodio

Proper sea food place with delicious food. Very good wine list (available online) with only objection it is provided from just one supplier. Not to miss: Calamari ala carbonara with parmesan, pecorino & guanciale. Summer and winter.

Kohylia (Gran Resort Lagonissi)

Stunning location, exquisite Asian sea food and superb wine list. Not to miss: Spicy chili crab. Glorious in summertime.  

Kritikos

Top casual meat destination with ''Tiffany's'' lamb chops. Very friendly service working nicely with families. Summer and winter.

Nolan

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.

Psarades

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

Dry and Raw by Drakoulis

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 there and very straightforward BYOB policy. Best in winter. 

Spondi

Possibly 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). 

Sushimou

12 seat Japanese restaurant that offers some unique dishes and flavours. Needs patience for booking but is worth trying. Entry level wine list. Winter.

Telemachos Athens

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

Tudor Hall 

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. 

Varoulko Seaside

Top location especially for summer time with gorgeous dishes and an interesting wine list. Not to miss: Poached egg with smoked eel. Semiformal. * Michelin

Last but not least one restaurant from Thessaloniki hoping to grow this list soon. 

Glykanisos

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. 

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