If you want to turn up the ante on your food experience, here’s our pick of the best upscale restaurants in Athens. Athenian chefs seem to be getting much more in tune with their culinary roots and the shift could very well be inspired by the high quality local produce available. The restaurants listed below have been tried and tested by us and carefully chosen to provide you with a very special gastronomic experience. Kali Orexi!
Our pick of the best upscale restaurants in Athens
(in no particular order)
Kolonaki – Hilton district restaurants
A firm favourite among well-heeled Athenians and the international jet set, Papadakis was established by celebrity chef and national icon Argiro Barbarigou. Set at the base of Mount Lycabettus and beneath the orange trees of Kolonaki, you will dine al fresco in summer or indoors in the homely dining room on cooler days. Baked eggplant, spinach pie drizzled with honey and their signature salad with xinomizithra (sour, white cheese) are some examples of the starters. The seafood pastas are the showstoppers and the reason you come here, with Barbarigou’s signature sauces that are so light and delicate. The ‘psarosoupa’ or fish soup in winter is a must.
Open and for lunch and dinner, bookings recommended. Closed for the majority of August every year.
Address: 47 Voukourestiou & 15 Fokilidou Streets, Kolonaki. T. +30 210 360 8621
For the taxi driver: Eστιατόριο Παπαδάκης, Βουκουρεστίου 47 & Φωκυλίδου 15, Κολωνάκι
Cookoovaya opened its doors in late 2014 and is the brainchild of five esteemed Athenian chefs. With its open plan kitchen and upscale modern dining room, this is one of the restaurants in Athens setting new trends in food and service. Authentic dishes oozing with Greek flavours and lots of originality such as the minced beef pie served with organic egg and yogurt or giouvetsi (orzo) with beef spare ribs. The menu is divided into cooking methods such as ‘in a saucepan and casserole’ or ‘on a skewer’ and in true Greek style, most dishes are designed to share.
Open for lunch and dinner. Bookings recommended.
Address: 2a Mexi Hatziyianni. T. +30 210 723 5005
For the taxi driver: Eστιατόριο: Kουκουβάγια, Μέξη Χατζηγιάννη 2α
The combination of Japanese and Peruvian cuisine known as Nikkei has become the latest gastronomic sensation to hit Athens and this hip and stylish resto-bar in the upmarket district of Kolonaki, was the first to open its doors in 2015. Proving it has what it takes to stick around, head chef, Thanos Stasinos presents a well-balanced menu of Peruvian cuisine paired with sophisticated Japanese flavours with dishes designed to share, such as the pachamanca chicken with oyster sauce, lime and fava. The sensational cocktail list sets off the menu and atmosphere. Nikkei moves to its outdoor venue during the summer months, also in Kolonaki. Open Tue – Sat 8:00pm – 2:00am. Bookings recommended. T. +30 210 723 9366
Address: 3 Leventi St, Kolonaki
For the taxi driver: Νικκει, Λεβέντη 3, Κολωνάκι
Address for the Summer venue in Athens below (operating from May to October)
Address: 10 Xanthippou St, Kolonaki (Dexameni Square)
For the taxi driver: Ξανθίππου10, Κολωνάκι (Πλατεία Δεξαμενής)
Having opened its doors in 2013, Stinking Bishop has remained a firm favourite with locals. Named after the famous cheese from England, Stinking Bishop is perfect for lunch, dinner or for some casual cheese tasting and wine. A smart minimalist interior is complimented by attentive and knowledgeable staff who will guide you through their selection of more than 50 Greek wines.
Open for lunch or dinner, bookings recommended
Address: Corner of Spefsippou and 36 Loukianou Streets, Kolonaki. T. +30 213 026 3656
For the taxi driver: Eστιατόριο ‘Stinking Bishop’, Spefsippou ke Λουκιανού 36, Κολωνάκι
Situated at the top of Lycabettus Hill, Orizontes offers a panoramic view of Athens, extending from the Acropolis to the port of Piraeus. The menu includes an expansive Mediterranean offering using top quality produce and flavours from all over Greece. The feta cheese from Epirus served in dough and drizzled with thyme infused honey, is a nice way to start your meal. The seafood is always of the highest standard.
You will need to take the funicular or cliff railway to get all the way to the top and return down again. You should request a table on their outside terrace (weather permitting) when making your reservation.
Open for lunch or dinner. Bookings essential.
Address: Access via Funicular: Corner of Ploutarhiou & Aristippou Streets, Kolonaki. T: +30 210 72 27065
For the taxi driver: Tελεφερίκ Λυκαβηττού, Πλουτάρχου και Αριστίππου
Syntagma – Plaka – Acropolis restaurants
You’ll find Strofi in an old mid-war mansion at the foothills of the Acropolis, in the surrounding and elegant suburb of Thissio. With a mesmerising view of the Parthenon, this is a part of old Athens that should be experienced with a superb wine list and the traditional tastes of Greece. Opening in 1975, Strofi is one of the long-standing Athenian restaurants, offering traditional Greek cuisine. You’ll find all your favourites, keftedes, dolmades, mizithra cheese pies and moussaka. An extensive list of grilled meats, fresh fish and seafood. The wine list is a good introduction to Greek wines. Open for lunch and dinner. Bookings recommended. Closed Mondays. T. +31 210 9214 130
Address: 25 Rovertou Galli, Athens
For the taxi driver: Στροφή, Ροβέρτου Γκάλι 25
Brothers, Spiros and Chrysanthos Panas have recently revamped this iconic venue that has hosted the rich and famous since 1939. Today, visitors can enjoy its art deco finishes for a Sunday brunch or afternoon tea (its bakery items are all made on site). Located close to Syntagma Square, in the upscale area of the city centre, it is surrounded by luxury boutiques. The extensive menu, created by renowned chef, Nikos Skiliras offers everything from sushi to traditional Greek dishes such as “lahanodolmades”, cabbage rolls stuffed with minced meat and drizzled with an egg and lemon sauce.
Address: 9 Voukourestiou and Panepistimiou St, Syntagma
For the taxi driver: Βουκουρεστίου 9 & Πανεπιστημίου, Σύνταγμα
Set in a neo-classical building, the dining room inside and small courtyard outside are warm and welcoming with quirky art installations. The two talented chefs, Giannis Baxevanis and Ilias Gogos, have created a generous a la carte menu with oversized portions. A six or eight course degustation menu is also available starting at 55 euros (excluding wine). The salads are delicious and the orzo with veal fillet medallions is a stand out. More than 40 varieties of wine are listed from small to large producers around Greece.
Open for lunch and dinner, bookings recommended during the summer months.
Address: 48 Nikis St, Plaka. Τ. +30 210 322 2839
For the taxi driver: 2 Μαζί, Νίκης 48, Πλάκα
Eat @ Miltons
Eat at Miltons is a first class culinary experience. Set slightly back from the busy pedestrianised area of Plaka, you can dine al fresco in summer or on cooler days, indoors in their beautiful dining room. The service is attentive, knowledgeable and very capable of pairing the extensive international wine list to complement your food choices.
Signature dishes include the “astakos makaronatha” (lobster pasta) for two or the slow cooked lamb (for two) that is carved table-side. The traditional moussaka is made fresh while you wait. Must leave room for the exemplary dessert selection.
Open for lunch and dinner. Bookings are recommended during the summer months.
Address: 91 Andrianou Street, Plaka. T. +30 210 324 9129
For the taxi driver: Eστιατόριο Μίλτονς, Αδριανού 91, Πλάκα
Seaside – Vouliagmeni
Ithaki’s seaside location overlooking the Saronic Gulf is truly magical. With an impressive list of visiting celebrities including Bill Clinton and Sean Connery, Ithaki is one of the most established restaurants in Athens. The Mediterranean menu is infused with French and Japanese influences with black cod marinated in miso or the Chateaubriand for two. A well-stocked wine cellar and a knowledgeable sommelier is also on hand. A pleasant retreat out of the city centre and ideal for a long lunch or dinner.
Open for lunch and dinner. Bookings recommended
Address: 28 Apollonos St, Vouliagmeni. T. + 30 210 8963747
For the taxi driver: Eστιατόριο Ιθάκ, Απόλλωνος 28, Βουλιαγμένη
Michelin starred restaurants in Athens
There are five Michelin starred restaurants in Athens. Considering they’ve been given the highest order in gastronomy, there’s not much more for us to say! Bookings are essential.
Funky Gourmet (2 Michelin stars). Adventurous high gastronomy in a fabulous location.
Essential details: +30 210 524 2727 | 13 Paramythias & Salaminos, Kerameikos
Spondi (2 Michelin stars). Contemporary French cuisine and a long standing Michelin rated restaurant in Athens.
Essential details: +30 210 756 4021| 5 Pironos, Pagrati
Hytra (1 Michelin star) received its first Michelin star in 2010 and offers an exemplary fine dining experience, with dramatic Greek influences. Read more about Hytra here.
Essential details: +30 217 707 1118 | Syggrou Avenue, Athens
Botrini’s (1 Michelin star). Creative cuisine with excellent ingredients and execution.
Essential details: +30 210 685 7323 | 24 Vasileos Georgiou, Chalandri
Varoulko Seaside (1 Michelin star). The first restaurant in Greece to receive a Michelin star, you will find elegant seafood dishes overlooking the sea.
Essential details: +30 210 522 8400 | 52 Akti Koumoundourou, Mikrolimano, Piraeus
This post was not sponsored in any way and as always all opinions are our own.