There is no corner without graffiti (photo: Walla! system, Mira Eitan)
Athens in winter, especially in the days around the end of the civil year, is a friendly, beautiful and delicious candy.
Every corner of the city is decorated and illuminated, the red Halablob pots (Christmas stars) and citrus trees bloom in every corner and add beautiful color to the city.
The tourist sites are still full, but not too much, and the tour between the neighborhoods, each of which is an interesting world in itself, reveals to the visitors a unique human, social and cultural fabric like no other.
The food is fun and the alcohol unique to the region is accessible, available and delicious.
The charm of Athens is revealed on a tour of its neighborhoods, which are dominated from above by the world heritage site, the Parthenon, which is considered the pinnacle of Greek architecture and a symbol of democracy.
Each neighborhood in the city has its own special character, the Plaka is classic and well-kept, lively and touristy, full of shops and taverns, Pesiri is full of life and bustle, with a lively and young nightlife, Monstraki is bustling with life, shops and cafes, Enpiotika is peaceful and calm like an ancient Greek village, Exarchia is anarchic and kicking, Kolonaki Luxurious and modern, and every possible corner and wall in the city is covered in graffiti.
One of the oldest distilleries of Athens (Photo: Walla! System, Mira Eitan)
The markets in the city are crowded and interesting, headed by the meat and fish market and their surroundings, the busiest commercial area.
The complex is not recommended for the faint of heart, the sights are not always simple, but outside there are plenty of food stores, meat, cheese, wine and alcohol, spices, vegetables and fruits and more.
Another market worth visiting is the flea market.
Sunday is its big day, with activity on the upper floors and basements of the shops, but it is partially open and a little less crowded the rest of the week.
In restaurants, bars and cafes you will always be greeted with a glass of water and a smile.
And on the menu you can always find the alcoholic drinks special to the region, a celebration for alcohol lovers, especially due to the cheap prices.
Ouzo, the Greek anise, Tsiporou, a kind of local grappa in two versions, slightly sweet with anise and dry without anise, Retsina, and an abundance of wonderful wines from all regions of Greece and on the side matured local beers such as Mithos, Vergina and Alfa.
A special drink that I tasted in the shop of one of the oldest family distilleries in the city, Brettos, is Recomello, which is made of raki, honey, cinnamon and cloves, a sweet and good ending to a meal.
In the distillery shop you can also find ouzo, brandy, tsifuro, chewing gum and liqueurs produced on site.
In addition, Athens is full of good cocktail bars, some on the rooftops of the city and all overlooking the Acropolis.
Any restaurant, all year round.
Opening a Greek table (photo: Walla! system, Mira Eitan)
Greek food and wine occupied an important place already in ancient culture.
"The beginning of all pleasure is the pleasure of the stomach," said Epicurus, and mythological stories commemorate the popular grain goddess Dimitra and wine god Dionysus.
Greek cuisine is simple and unsophisticated, yet extremely delicious.
It starts with the coarsely chopped Greek salad (choriatiki) with a block of feta cheese on top, terme (the Greek ikra), fava (the Greek 'hummus', made from yellow peas) and tzatziki, which are served in every restaurant, all year round.
Other common foods are stuffed vine leaves (dolmads), horta - steamed greens, mosca, sagnaki - the fried feta cheese, and the wonderful thick local yogurt, which even appears in desserts topped with fruit jam.
And of course the souvlaki skewers and gyros (the local shawarma).
Sweets lovers will find a wide selection, with Lokomades donuts at the top, and other types of almond, nut and other cookies.
The queue is scary, the value is worth it.
kostas souvlaki, Athens (photo: Walla! system, Mira Eitan)
The best and most authentic souvlaki skewers in Athens.
The daily long line is a bit scary, but the value is worth it.
A small counter with very few seats, where Costa grills the pieces of meat on a hot plancha and wraps them in pita bread soaked in olive oil with red sauce, sweet and spicy, onion slices, tomato and chips.
Simple and delicious to God.
Kostas Souvlaki Pl.
Agias Irinis 2 Monastiraki
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Tis Teatrou to steki
At the foot of the hotel where I stayed (Soul Hotel, located right in the center of things, thanks to Itamar for the recommendation) you can feel like a local.
This is a tavern on a side street close to the market, a kind of workers' restaurant with great maztes, sardines, anchovies, seafood, meatballs and other delicious and incredibly cheap delicacies.
Tis Teatrou to steki, Theatrou 7
A small popular and authentic fish and seafood restaurant.
Great and smiling service, the food is not sophisticated, but very fresh and tasty.
Sardines, anchovies, seafood, various fish and more.
Atlantikos, 7 Psirri
The prices are ridiculous.
Greek salad in Athens (photo: Walla! system, Mira Eitan)
A traditional tavern, close to Omonia Square, where traditional Greek music shows take place on weekends (a large part of which we know thanks to Polykar, Aris Sun and others).
Simple and tasty food, at funny prices and cheap alcohol.
Authentic Greek dishes such as slow-cooked lamb casserole, fresh fish and seafood and grilled meats.
On the days of the performances, the starting price is 25 euros per person, but there is not much chance to exceed it.
The great music continues throughout the evening and the audience sometimes joins in singing and dancing.
Klimataria, 2 Platia Theatrou
A lovely Greek experience.
Athens (photo: Walla! system, Mira Eitan)
Aylh - Yard restaurant
While touring the city in the evening, we discovered a lively courtyard, waited in line in the narrow corridor and arrived at a very narrow and simple local restaurant, which also provides great basic food and alcohol and a charming, simple and authentic Greek experience.
Keep in mind that the house cats can sometimes share the chair with you.
Aylh, 12 Ag.
Skewers, great kebabs and extremely cheap gyros are served in fast service, in the middle of the busy street, right next to the busy road, and everything is very tasty and teaches a lot about the everyday local food.
Bouloukos, Athena 53
Market with meat (photo: Walla! system, Mira Eitan)
On a street corner in the Psiri neighborhood, close to the market, there is a wonderful modern restaurant-deli offering authentic Athenian food with an homage to the ancient delicatessens of Turkish Anatolia, foods brought by the immigrants, combined with a variety of deli products.
Betrayy: hot and cold mazdas, stews, a great variety of sausages and cheeses and changing special dishes.
Pastroma in several variations, mortadella with pistachio, Greek prosciutto, grilled Sagnaki cheese and many other wonderful delicacies, and at the end a lovely dessert of thick yogurt topped with carrot confit.
A good place to buy souvenir delicacies before returning home.
Ta Karamanlidika Tou Fani, 52 Evripidou (Corner of Socratous)
In the spice market, Athens (photo: Walla! system, Mira Eitan)
An elegant and luxurious fish and seafood restaurant, located in one of the most beautiful places, in Microlimano Marina in Piraeus.
The first restaurant in Greece to receive a Michelin star for local Greek Mediterranean food.
Classic cuisine, fine dining, high and expensive, incredibly delicious.
For those who feel like changing the authentic local menu.
Wonderful calamari pasta, black risotto with shrimp and squid, fresh fish with pesto risotto, crabs and more.
The wine menu is huge and fine.
Varoulko Seaside, Akti Koumoundourou 54, Piraeus
Vintage Wine Bar
Excellent modern wine bar!
A large and excellent wine menu, with the best offerings of the local wine industry, and an emphasis on wonderful small boutique wineries and organic and natural wines.
The wines are poured through a corkscrew that draws the wine from the bottle without damaging the cork, leaving the wine in its natural state in the bottle, thus allowing tasting of a wide range of wines (also possible in half glasses).
The food is based on small local producers and growers.
Delicious and creative dishes.
The service is very professional and smiling.
Highly recommended for wine lovers.
Vintage Wine Bar, Mitropoleos 66-68, Plaka
Vintage Wine Bar, Athens.
Spectacular wine menu (photo: Walla! system, Mira Eitan)
One of the best places for sweets and breakfast pastries.
A traditional milk bar, which also sells wonderful yogurt from sheep's milk, and a variety of delicacies, cakes and desserts based on the purity of yogurt and milk, all handmade.
Stani, 10 M. Kotopouli street Omonoia, Athensstani 1931.gr.
A unique cafe, with a charming design, which also functions as a nursery and also has designed items for sale.
Instead of different and interesting spaces, a tall green space, vegetation hanging from the ceiling, versatile seating, a small and pleasant yard, lounge chairs and flower pots.
On the muesli menu, sandwiches and more, very tasty.
Sarri 50, Minu, Athens
A great place to stop for coffee and a morning pastry on the way, when in the window of the cafe/bakery you can watch the baker stretching the dough to make the wonderful local pastries.
Filo doughs, savory or sweet, great bugatsa, cheese and spinach pies and much more.
Creme Royale, 37 Athenas
Great local pastries.
Creme Royale, Athens (photo: Walla! system, Mira Eitan)
In the Aiolou pedestrian street in the heart of the Plaka is located one of the establishments where you can eat the Greek dessert of the same name.
Small donuts dipped and filled with honey and cinnamon or chocolate, pastry cream, pralines, fruit or cheese, coated with sugar granules.
Any local spice is possible.
Elixir, Athens (photo: Walla! system, Mira Eitan)
A well-known spice shop, where you can find every possible local spice.
Ground oregano or in dried branches, which is used both in the Greek salad and in the souplaki.
Thyme honey and grape honey, orange jam with oregano, ben yin vinegar, manually distilled ouzo and much more.
Elixir, Evripidou 54