Lily’s Favorite Places to Eat in Greece
[Article written by CYA Fall ’22 Student and MediaLab intern, Lily Grochowski.]
Living in Greece means having a surplus of food options, both in your neighborhood and outside. Personally, this was my first time living in an apartment with a kitchen and being able to cook my own meals outside of the CYA-provided lunch. However, eating out occasionally not only helps immerse you in the culture and broaden your tastebuds but also helps support the businesses that help keep you fed! So, here are some of my favorite places I’ve eaten all across Greece…
I’ve gone to Hippy3 for brunch twice now and am never disappointed by their fried eggs and sweet potato fries. The eggs and fries are oven baked together and then topped with ranch dressing with a side of toast. This is the kind of melts-in-your-mouth food that reminds me of home but is also so distinctly unique. Hippy3 also offers a good deal of vegetarian options, especially after brunch!
Conveniently located just a two-minute walk from CYA, Cupola is an Italian restaurant that has been a consistent favorite between my friends and me. We find that we can never go wrong with the Margherita pizza or truffle risotto, although there are plenty of other options. Cupola’s location mixed with its vibrant outdoor atmosphere makes for a perfect night out with friends for either casual or formal occasions.
This taverna is definitely more on the touristy side but, hey, we all have to indulge in those sometimes. Cave of Acropolis is seated right below the Acropolis, outside of Plaka, and outdoor seating provides a view of the Parthenon! Tavernas like this are perfect after a day walking around Plaka or Monastiraki with friends, as it gives you the opportunity to try and split a variety of traditional Greek dishes while relaxing for an hour or two. To me, you can never go wrong with a taverna so we loved sitting here and watching the sunset as we ate. Additionally, some nights they offer live Greek music in the dining room and invite you to stay after your meal to listen and dance!
Honestly, I never thought I would find myself falling in love with sushi while in Athens but Taiyo is one of my go-to restaurants on days I don’t know what to eat. About a twenty-minute walk from CYA or available for delivery on Wolt, I find myself ordering their 1+1 happy hour deals more than I’d like to admit. However, the food is fantastic and reasonably priced and this became a quick favorite.
Baba Ghanoush is a vegetarian and vegan restaurant that, just like its name, has amazing baba ganoush. I personally love their four dip plate which comes with pita, baba ganoush, hummus, muhammara, and harissa. They also have falafel, falafel with pita, salads, and so much more. Even if you’re not vegetarian or vegan, Baba Ghanoush has amazing food you’ll find yourself wanting more and more. Even better, they also deliver on Wolt so you can order it straight to your apartment and enjoy it in the comfort of your home!
Mr. Crepito is a chain all around Athens that makes crepes. After a long day, I found myself ordering a crepe on Wolt as a reward. You have the ability to have one of their specialty crepes or customize your own, which I always opted for the classic: Nutella, banana, and strawberries. Mr. Crepito was one of the only places I could find with strawberries out of season so I had to take advantage of it! The crepes are a great price and a decent size, a perfect sweet treat to end the day with. This is another place you can either find scattered around Athens or get delivered via Wolt!
Monastiraki is home to some of the coolest places I’ve seen in Athens, such as Little Kook, and Fairtytale is no exception. They pride themselves on being ‘The most Instagrammable place in Athens’ and I think they live up to the claims. Not only is the entire building beautifully decorated, from the exterior to two floors of unique designs, but the food and drinks are wonderful and incredibly unique. Their food and drinks are on theme with the restaurant and encapsulate a vibe so perfectly that makes it such a fun and unique experience you won’t have elsewhere.
Outside of Athens:
Τα 5 φφφφφ is a tavern-style restaurant in the town of Metsovo. I went here on an optional trip with CYA and this might’ve been my favorite place I’ve seen and favorite place I’ve eaten. You have the unique experience of using placemats as a plate. Traditional Greek food is served with their specialty being their grilled local meats and local cheeses. At the recommendation of our professor, my friends and I got the hot local cheese and were in awe at how delicious it was. Afterwards, I found myself wanting to bring a wheel of it home just so I could have it again! The other food was amazing and something I haven’t had again, including this vinaigrette, nut, and fruit salad we got.
Το Γνήσιον is a wine and cheese-tasting restaurant, also located in Metsovo! Located right in the center of the town, my friends and I split the platter for 4 people and it was perfect. We had an assortment of meats, cheeses, fruits, and more, most of which were local to the area and things we probably wouldn’t have tried elsewhere. It was an easy way to have a relaxed but fun, classy night and taste some of the local options!
Πανελλήνιο is a restaurant part of a hotel in Kalamata, a city we visited with CYA on our trip to the Peloponnese, but that was still open to everyone. They had a variety of dishes such as pasta, salads, pizzas, and more. I got a spinach and arugula salad with carrot, apples, pine nuts, prosciutto, and parmesan, a combination I never would’ve thought to try but it was delicious! After a long night of exploring the Peloponnese it was exactly what I needed and my friends loved their food too. We had a beautiful outdoor seat, not too crowded, and right on the waterfront with plenty of cats roaming around.
Endochora is a restaurant on the island of Andros that I visited on an optional trip with CYA. They are famous for their seafood and pasta since Andros has a heavy fishing presence. I got cheese ravioli with tomato basil sauce and although it felt a bit weird eating Italian food during one of my first weeks in Greece, it was still amazing and one of the best ravioli I’ve had.
Athens and Greece as a whole have so many amazing restaurants I didn’t have the chance to mention or haven’t had the pleasure of trying yet. Restaurant and food culture, especially the relaxed and slower pace compared to American times, was one of the biggest culture shocks I had upon arriving here but it honestly has been one of my favorite things. Sitting with people you love and conversing over a meal without the looming sense of needing to be out as quickly as possible is so refreshing and makes for much more genuine and heartfelt interactions in my opinion. In my last few weeks, I hope to try as much as I can but either way, the food I’ve tried here is something I know I’ll be missing the second I’m home.
[Article written by CYA Fall ’22 Student and MediaLab Intern, Lily Grochowski.]