Breakfast in Athens, a Light and 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 a traditional 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, warm croissants and American breakfast  at Jimmys coffee shop on pedestrian Valaoritou street, excellent Sunday brunch at City Bistro in Spirou Miliou arcade close to Syntagma, Malconi's is popular point for Sunday brunch in Kolonaki, with delicious specialties, brunch at New York Sandwiches is famous, with pancakes with homemade caramel butter and banana a favorite, Sunday brunch at Safka is an event with delicious items on the menu, English breakfast at The Handlebar on a quiet side street in the neighborhood of Psyrri

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 freshly baked scones with homemade jam, a variety of sandwiches and flapjacks with raisins, cheddarmelt with sausage, 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)

Safka restaurant serves contemporary nordic cuisine offering a high level culinary experience. Chef and co-owner Samu Koskinen creates innovative dishes based on French cuisine with nordic flavors and inspired by Greek and Scandinavian ingredients. The interesting menu includes dishes such as salmon and horseradish mousse, marinated turnip, radish, with crisp malt, and mouthwatering desserts. The menu changes our menu every 2 - 2.5 months , always following seasonal produce. Their signature dish is the house smoked salmon Finnish style and of course reindeer in various ways depending on the time of the year. Wine tasting events take place regularly twice a month during most of the year. Sunday brunch is an event with delicious items on the menu: omelet with reindeer and spinach, scandinavian pancakes with home made strawberry jam, blueberries and honey, potato skins, smoked salmon mayo and cured reindeer shavings, just to mention a few. Kids love the hamburgers, the eggs benedict, omelets and pancakes, and can play safely in the enclosed yard. (210 5243340)

New York Sandwiches
New York Sandwiches in the neighborhood of Ambelokipi serves some of the most delicious burgers in Athens, in an environment which will remind you of New York. The burgers are made with 100% premium beef, hand formed and griddled to perfection. Try the 5th Ave Pastrami burger with melted emmenthal cheese and pickles, or if you prefer a snack, the New Yorker mini burger with melted cheddar cheese, lettuce, onions, tomato and mustard, ketchup and mayo sauce, is ideal. The Bronx sandwiches are also delicious, such as the pepperoni sausage, the chicken parm or the veggie mushroom. The menu includes many special dishes, all freshly prepared, and at very reasonable prices. Brunch at New York Sandwiches is famous, with pancakes with homemade caramel butter and banana, bagels, burgers, soup, and eggs in many variations. (210 7778475)

Italian taste is always a favorite and Malconis in Kolonaki is an excellent example. Open from morning to night, this ultra chic locale, with minimal, artistic decor, offers an inspired menu based on contemporary Italian cuisine. Enjoy your beloved spaghetti or a wonderfully thin pizza, fresh aromatic salads, classic tagliatta, the avant garde dishes cooked in sous vide, the heavenly coconut mousse for dessert. Recent additions to the renewed menu include mesclun salad with fruit marinated in honey and lemon, white fish tartare with quinoa and wakame, bresaola with shitake mushrooms. Gluten free choices include all dishes with meat and fish which are prepared with natural broth, spaghetti with fresh tomatoes, penne with veal fillet, parmesan sauce and fresh marjoram, veal carpaccio, fish tartare. During the warm season meals at Malconis are served outside, in an internal patio or on the sidewalk. All time favorites are the pizza cooked in the traditional oven and the home made gnocchi. Sunday brunch is a major event and recent additions to the menu include delicious specialties such as bagels with jambon fouet and brie or smoked salmon and avocado. Definitely try the panini with chicken or roast beef, and the new entry club sandwiches classic or with seafood, cucumber, mango and spicy mayo. The must taste eggs benedict can also be enjoyed with green tea hollandaise, crab meat, shrimps and avocado. The scrambled eggs with bacon or salmon are an all time classic favorite and the pancakes with maple syrup and red berries or praline and banana are by far the best dessert. (210 7248920)

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, omelets, scrambled eggs, 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)

City Bistro
In the famous arcade of Spirou Miliou, just off Voukourestiou street, City Bistro has been renewed, with a warm, simple and welcoming bistro atmosphere. The attractive space, the decor and lighting create the ideal environment to enjoy your coffee or drink any time of the day. The atmospheric arcade, reminiscent of Milan, is rendered even more suggestive with the melodies which range from the musical Motown to Amy Winehouse. City Bistro is the perfect place for an excellent Sunday brunch, which includes delicacies such as scrambled eggs, pastries, club sandwiches and a varied buffet. For high quality in relaxed surroundings, it is definitely a top choice in the new urban neighborhood of central Athens at City Link. (210 3211315)

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, such as Cereal (oats) and raisin from Corinth with fresh cow's milk, Greek pancakes with grape molasses and tahini, Two fried eggs with prosciutto from Thrace, Olives from Kalamata with small rusks from the island of Tinos. 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 9000915)

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 a healthy breakfast one can choose between delicious tastes such as home made green cake with stevia, oatmeal and goji berry muffins, brown multigrain bread with butter, jam and honey; egg white scrambled eggs or omelet. (210 3273100)

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. Sunday family brunch at La Suite Lounge is an event which includes a varied buffet with fresh salads, bagels, fresh fruit juices and the impressive chocolate fountain. For those who prefer the a la carte menu, there are choices such as pancakes with maple syrup, eggs benedict with salon or bacon, french toast with banana and chocolate chips, golden eggs in love, La Suite juicy burger and many more delicious tastes, at very reasonable prices. At the kids corner, activities, games, gifts and many surprises for the children. 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)

Hilton Athens Byzantino
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. Enjoy a traditional breakfast from the buffet with omelets, scrambled eggs, pancakes with hazelnut filling, cereal, porridge, muesli, pastries, yogurt and many more delicacies. The Greek breakfast includes traditional tastes such as bougatsa- thin pastry filled with cream; feta cheese with olives, tomato and rusks; kalitsounakia- small cheese pies based on a Cretan recipe; and delicious rice pudding. 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

The Handlebar 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: British, European, Vegetarian
Neighborhood: Psirri
Safka 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: European, Scandinavian
Neighborhood: Downtown
New York Sandwiches 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Burger
Neighborhood: Ambelokipi
Malconis 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: European, Italian, Pizza
Neighborhood: Kolonaki
Jimmys Coffee Shop 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: Coffee Shop, European, Greek, Italian, Mediterranean
Neighborhood: Syntagma
City Bistro 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: European, Mediterranean
Neighborhood: Syntagma
Acropolis Museum Restaurant 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: European, Greek, Mediterranean
Neighborhood: Acropolis
New Taste 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: European, Mediterranean
Neighborhood: Syntagma
St George Lycabettus 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: European, Greek, Mediterranean
Neighborhood: Kolonaki
Hilton Athens Byzantino 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: American, Asian, European, Greek, Mediterranean
Neighborhood: Ilissia
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