Breakfast in Athens: A Light but Tasty Affair

Breakfast at the hotel where you are staying is definitely a good idea, but maybe some days you might like to change and try something different. Cafes, bars  and restaurants also offer an interesting and gratifying meal to start the day and keep your energy up until the usually late lunch. Depending on the area where you are staying and your budget, choices can vary from luxury venues like the Hilton, with an exotic Chinese breakfast, to enjoy at Byzantino or outside on the Terrace,  buffet with Greek products and homemade jam at Saint George Lycabettus, with a panoramic view of the city, traditional Greek breakfast with regional specialties at the Acropolis Museum Restaurant, English breakfast at very reasonable prices at The Handlebar in Psyrri, an interesting menu for breakfast and Sunday brunch at New Taste, a satisfying breakfast at Mama Roux in downtown Athens, varieties of tea and delicious dishes at elegant tearoom To Tsai in Kolonaki, baguettes and fruitsalad at urban chic Prytaneion in  Kolonaki, or more affordable places like Hip, near Syntagma specializing in pancakes and various egg dishes, warm croissants and American breakfast  at Jimmys coffee shop on pedestrian Valaoritou street.   

10 The Handlebar
The Handlebar on a quiet side street in Psyrri opened initially as a meeting place for cyclists, where they could also have their bike serviced at the next door bicycle shop. Soon however it was discovered by many and has become extremely popular as an all day spot. Events and races are often organized by cycling fans. The Handlebar serves tasty cuisine inspired by British tastes, with dishes such as kedgeree with smoked trout, freshly baked scones with homemade jam, a variety of sandwiches and flapjacks with raisins, just to mention a few. Enjoy a healthy breakfast with yoghurt with honey, fruit and nuts, hot buttered crumpets, scrambled egg and salmon muffin, or French toast with fresh fruit. The menu includes a vegan on the go lunch box with healthy snacks. (211 4093002)

9 To Tsai
To Tsai, the Greek word for tea, is an exclusive tea room and bistrot on a quiet street in Kolonaki. Situated in a high ceilinged, cool space, Tsai serves unique qualities of tea in the traditional way. The menu includes delicious specialties such as fresh salads, cold sandwiches, various tarts and special sweet and savory tastes based on tea, curated by chef Jean Pierre Jaclot. Ideal for breakfast all year round and Sunday brunch (not in the summer months), for a light lunch, for afternoon tea, or for a cocktail in the evening, Tsai also offers tea tasting, Chinese tea ritual and musical evenings. Must tastes are the French onion soup, Annas apple pie, the cheesecake, and some of the favorites on the brunch menu are cold soup with ginger and carrot, pancakes with cinnamon and raisins, the tart with almonds and raspberries, just to mention a few. (210 3388941)

8 Mama Roux
Mama Roux is the place to start your day; Go for fluffy pancakes, greek yoghurt with fruits, bagels, fried or scrambled eggs accompanied by a generous glass of fresh juice �always with a twist-, tea or coffee. Breakfast is served every Monday- Saturday from 10:00-12:30. It is followed by a lunch service of multicultural plates; Delectable salads, mexican wraps and tacos, falafel, pasta, noodles, tandoori chicken, classical burgers, inspired by Mid Eastern, Asian, Mexican and Syrian cuisine. There are ample options for vegetarians. A wide variety of desserts such as Cr�me Brulee, New York cheese cake, Lemon pie and more, complete your meal. Mama Roux serves selected beers and wines. A full range of mouthwatering cocktails is offered; Happy hour - every Tuesday-Friday from 19:30-21:30. On Sundays, from 12:30 to 18:00, an American style brunch is served with Eggs (benedict, florentine, scrambled, omelettes), Pancakes, Croque Monsieur, Croque Madame, New York bagels and lox etc, paired with tempting cocktails. The theme at Mama Roux is to offer high quality foods that the owners and staff know and love, from their lives their work and from travels; the menu is drawn from several cultures. The prices of the food and drinks are moderate. The menu is typified by high quality ingredients and hand made food, but there is a determination to keep prices down while upholding this commitment to 'doing it right.' (21 3004 8382)

7 Hip Cafe
Hip Cafe is a centrally located all day lounge cafe/restaurant close to Syntagma, operating from very early in the morning with excellent breakfast and brunch until late at night for dinner and drinks. Fresh salads with a modern twist and delicious ingredients, main dishes which include traditional Greek and selected international dishes and an excellent wine list. Don miss the cheesecake with honey. The decor in pale lemon and sky blue is especially attractive. The location is perfect for a meeting with friends during a shopping break, while strolling around the neighborhood or for a quiet dinner. Free wi-fi is an extra plus (213 0154698)

6 Prytaneion
Favorite hang out for businessmen, journalists, politicians and jet setters, Prytaneion on the pedestrian street of Milioni in Kolonaki and also in Kefalari and Golden Hall shopping mall, is an establishment in itself. The Kolonaki venue is located in a two storey neoclassic building and operates on three levels. Works of art by famous Greek artists embellish the stone and wood interior. Sitting outside in the warm months is a pleasant way to pass the time while enjoying an excellent meal. Gastronomy and ambience combine to create a quality atmosphere. Prytaneion breakfast menu includes hot or cold coffee or cocoa, with warm French croissants, baguettes with salmon, turkey, mozzarella and prosciutto, homemade cheese and spinach pie, omelet with frankfurters, fresh orange juice or seasonal fruits, and fruit salad. (21 0364 3353)

5 Jimmys Coffee Shop
Jimmys coffee shop is an all time classic in Athens since 1981 and has been named the outdoor press room in Valaoritou. Jimmys opens at 6.30 in the morning and many long distance travelers go there for a hearty breakfast with freshly brewed coffee and warm croissants, American breakfast with juice and omelet, and a variety of sandwiches with salmon, prosciutto, turkey, grilled vegetables. Lunch is also an enjoyable occasion here, with specialties like home made pies, traditional Greek dishes, and the famous lemon pie for dessert. Jimmys has a standard faithful clientele who appreciate the unchanging quality and is a favorite hang out for the press, businessmen, intellectuals and artists. (210 3610444)

4 Acropolis Museum Restaurant
At the restaurant of the Acropolis Museum traditional Greek breakfast is served every day until noon. Enjoy home made marmalades, yoghurt with thyme honey, milk pie, fried eggs with smoked ham, omelet with gruyere and many more tasty dishes. On the second floor the restaurant with a large verandah and a panoramic view of the Acropolis and other ancient monuments, serves a variety of warm dishes based on traditional recipes which are renewed according to the season. Some of the specialties to try are handmade trachanas (a variety of pasta) from the region of Epirus, with mushrooms, tomatoes and gruyere cheese from Ioannina, liver with red peppers from Florina and orange and for dessert rice and milk with cinnamon. The menu also includes a plate of the day prepared with recipes from various regions of Greece, like Cephalonian meat pie with fresh oregano, smoked ham from Mani, baked sardines from Serifos with garlic and rosemary. Special affordable menus for children include homemade pasta with fresh skinned tomatoes and cheese or hamburger with french fries. On Friday evenings the restaurant stays open until midnight, with a special regional menu, and all other days until the museum closing hours. (210 9000900)

3 New Taste
New Taste restaurant at the recently inaugurated New Hotel on Filellinon street is not only a culinary but also an artistic experience. The impressive decor includes old furniture creatively recycled, combined with ultramodern effects, which create a hip but warm atmosphere. Chef Steven Frost has created a simple but excellent menu based on Mediterranean cuisine with contemporary cooking and presentation. Most of the ingredients are organic and the bread comes in a wide variety, prepared daily on the spot. Some of the most popular choices are the white fish carpaccio, the burgers from wagyu beef and of course the delicious desserts, cheese cake, lemon pie, home made ice cream and sorbets. At New Taste and Art Lounge most plates on the menu are gluten free, and those which contain croutons or pita bread can be adapted following customers request. Special dishes can also be prepared, such as gluten free pasta or bread, with previous notification. Sunday brunch at New Taste is popular in town and includes specialties such as eggs Benedict with prosciutto San Daniele, scrambled eggs on toast, with prosciutto or salmon, pancakes with maple syrup, burgers, sandwiches and much more. For breakfast one can choose between delicious tastes such as home made pies, cereals, granola, home made bread and viennoiserie, non fat yoghurt with honey, oatmeal muffins, cake with green tea and stevia, just to mention a few examples. (210 3273100)

2 St George Lycabettus
Start the day with breakfast on the 6th floor of St. George Lycabettus hotel, with a traditional Greek menu and a breathtaking view of the city. The buffet includes traditional products from all over the country, homemade pastries and marmalade, thyme honey, a great variety of cheese and for those who prefer the classic menu, there is the American style breakfast. St. George Lycabettus is located in Kolonaki and has been a landmark of Greek hospitality for many years. A remarkable view of the Acropolis and a panorama encompassing the whole city can be enjoyed from the top floors. (210 7416000)

1 Hilton Athens
Breakfast at the Hilton Athens is a unique experience, popular with Athenians and guests. The Byzantino café is the perfect place to start the day, especially after a night of entertainment and this classy, elegant locale always has something new to offer clients. Recently the menu has included Chinese buffet breakfast, with fried rice, noodles, dim sum with shrimps, chicken or vegetables and Chinese pancakes, to enjoy with soya sauce and jasmine tea or soya milk. For those who prefer something more traditional, the buffet offers omelets, scrambled eggs, pancakes with hazelnut filling, cereal, porridge, muesli, pastries, yogurt and many more delicacies. Byzantino is open also for lunch and dinner and Sunday brunch is especially popular. Enjoy your breakfast in this luxurious ambience with a view of the city and get the feeling of cosmopolitan Athens. If you prefer sitting outside, the Byzantino Terrace is also ideal for a coffee served with home made desserts, tasty snacks, Hilton Classic signature dishes, healthy smoothies and more. Free wi-fi is also available. (210 7281000)


Born and bred in Athens, Nelly went on the move after finishing high school and spending some years working in textiles.  For her, Italy was the next chapter. But, after 12 years, it was back to beloved Athens where she writes for magazines and her own shopping blog that illustrates her passion for discovering everything new in Athens, from fashion to food, but also searching for genuine tradition. Nelly finds that Athens is a wonderful place to live. It combines history, sunshine, a relaxed atmosphere.  When she's not writing or surfing, Nelly keeps searching for new views of old places to photograph. 

Read more about Nelly Paraskevopoulou here.

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Maps and Directions

1
The Handlebar 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: British, European, Vegetarian
Neighborhood: Psirri
2
To Tsai 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: European, French
Neighborhood: Kolonaki
3
Mama Roux 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: Asian, Ethnic, European, Latin, Mediterranean, Mexican, Middle Eastern, Vegetarian
Neighborhood: Monastiraki
4
Hip Cafe 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: Coffee Shop
Dining Options: Delivery, Take Out
Neighborhood: Syntagma
5
Prytaneion 10Best List Arrow
Dining Options: Bar / Lounge
Cuisine: European, Mediterranean
Neighborhood: Kolonaki
6
Jimmys Coffee Shop 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: Coffee Shop, European, Greek, Italian, Mediterranean
Neighborhood: Syntagma
7
Acropolis Museum Restaurant 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: European, Greek, Mediterranean
Dining Options: Family Friendly
Neighborhood: Acropolis
8
New Taste 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: European, Mediterranean
Neighborhood: Syntagma
9
St George Lycabettus 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: European, Greek, Mediterranean
Neighborhood: Kolonaki
10
Hilton Athens 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Asian, European, Greek, Mediterranean
Neighborhood: Ilissia