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Athens Restaurants Offer Meals Both Satisfying and Affordable



Lunch or dinner, local specialties or ethnic cuisine, traditional or innovative, Athens offers you the choice of enjoying a delicious meal without spending much in multiple versions. Join the Athenians, who recently have rediscovered the joy and the necessity of spending less on entertainment, and now prefer the value for money restaurants more than ever. The choice is wide and includes French crepes in many versions,  like those at Au Grand Zinc,  savory or sweet,  accompanied with kir or cider, , excellent Spanish specialties at Paella Barcelona, in Pangrati,  served in a friendly atmosphere, with paella in various tastes top of the list,  Greek and French cuisine at Ama Lachi, in Exarcheia,  in two separate restaurants in the same building, simple, contemporary  dishes with affordable and good quality selections of beer, wine and cocktails at central Makalo, close to Syntagma,   an interesting menu at collectively run punk bistrot Holy Goat, in Petralona,  timeless value at Olymbos Naousa close to Syntagma, delicious falafel and other specialties, at reasonable prices at Babaganush, traditional Greek cuisine developed to a new level at Zampano, 7 Food Sins is friendly and welcoming gastro pub with creative cuisine, Taqueria Maya serves Latin American specialties at reasonable prices


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Olymbos Naousa
Photo courtesy of Nelly Paraskevopoulou


Easy to access, very near Syntagma, this historic restaurant opened in Thessaloniki in 1927 and more recently in Athens, where it is a favorite with shop owners and people who work close by, especially for lunch. The simple, delicious tastes are always popular and the prices are reasonable. In the summer months enjoy your lunch under the cool awning. Home made Greek traditional cooking, with specialties like schnitzel with chips or rice, stuffed tomatoes and zucchini, moussakas, tasty appetizers, fresh salads, excellent spinach with rice, chick peas, and for dessert dont miss the creamy yoghurt with quince jam.

Recommended for Best Value because: Favorite hangout for people working or visiting in the area

Nelly's expert tip: Traditional and popular Greek cuisine in the center of Athens

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Ama Lachi
Photo courtesy of Ama Lachi


Ama Lachi, which translates into Whatever, is situated in a historical building with a lovely garden on Kallidromiou street in the neighborhood of Exarchia. Two young girls, with unique personalities, decided to give new life to the space, creating a multispace of taste and culture in this bohemian district of Athens. Nefeli welcomes you at the entrance from Kallidromiou street and guides you to the upper floor, where traditional Greek dishes are served, or if you prefer you can taste real Greek coffee in the retro style coffee shop. Violette welcomes you at the entrance on Methonis street, which leads to the lower floor of the building, and where authentic French cuisine is served, in a bistro atmosphere. The coffee shop is open Tuesday to Sunday 11.00 to 18.00 hours

Recommended for Best Value because: Traditional Greek and French cuisine in two restaurants in the same building

Nelly's expert tip: Two restaurants in one building, each with its own unique style

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Taqueria Maya
Photo courtesy of Taqueria Maya


Taqueria Maya was created with the aim to offer fresh, everyday food like that found on the streets of Latin America. Tacos, burritos, bowls, quesadillas, Cuban sandwiches and salads which are prepared daily, accompanied with aqua frescas, juices, margharitas, beers and soft drinks. At Taqueria only authentic ingredients are used in the preparation of the dishes, which are all made on the spot. The maize flour used for the tacos is from non GMO cultivations in Italy and gives the tortillas a unique taste. The bread for the Cuban sandwiches is made with flour from the region of Pindos in northern Greece. The meat is marinated and slowly cooked until it reaches the desired tenderness. Most of the legumes, cereals and vegetables are organic and there are several choices for vegetarians. The prices are very reasonable and the atmosphere warm and friendly.

Recommended for Best Value because: At Taqueria only authentic ingredients are used in the preparation of the dishes

Nelly's expert tip: Delicious Latin American specialties at reasonable prices

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7 Food Sins
Photo courtesy of Constantine Mitilineos/ 7 Food Sins


Located in an atmospheric neoclassical building in the picturesque neighborhood of Plaka, 7 Food Sins also has a charming courtyard where you can relax and enjoy your meal. Brunch is served from 9 a.m to six p.m. and includes delicious specialties such as Greek on Grill, which is the famous choriatiki salad on the grill, mouthwatering meat balls with cheddar cheese and jalapeno peppers, crispy moussaka bars, and the extraordinary Inside Out Souvlaki, with the pita made from mince meat. Before or after your brunch taste the excellent espresso. The menu is curated by chefs Tasos Stefatos and Constantine Chronis, who after 6 p.m. suggest even more tasty dishes, all prepared with high quality ingredients. Accompany your meal with one of the 8 draft and more than 60 bottled beers from all over the world, or wine from the selected list, in this friendly gastro pub.

Recommended for Best Value because: 7 Food Sins also has a charming courtyard where you can relax and enjoy your meal.

Nelly's expert tip: A friendly and welcoming gastro pub with creative cuisine

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Zampano
Photo courtesy of Zampano


A new entry on the gastronomy map of Athens. Inspired by the main character of Federico Fellini's masterpiece "La Strada," Zampano takes traditional Greek cuisine to a new level with modern, creative elements always based on fresh, seasonal ingredients from all over the country. The extensive list of wines will satisfy even the most demanding wine lover. They have carefully selected the best wine-making producers from around Greece to bring customers the finest and most representative varieties. If you are in a funkier mood, the fully equipped bar has an extensive list of cocktails and spirits.

Recommended for Best Value because: Zampano takes traditional Greek cuisine to a new level

Nelly's expert tip: A wine bar and restaurant in the neighborhood of Psyrri with attractive atmosphere

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Baba Ghanoush Falafel Shop
Photo courtesy of Baba Ghanoush


A small and cozy vegan and vegetarian restaurant, located in the urban neighborhood of Varnava Square, in Pangrati, with very reasonable prices, Baba Ghanoush serves falafel on a pita or a plate, hummus, babaghanoush, delicious salads, homemade fries and lemonade with mint and ginger. Also, soup and dessert of the day. According to legend, baba ghanoush, which literally means pampered daddy, was conceived by a member of the royal harem, hence the pampering, and now, centuries later, it's the customers' turn to be pampered by the delicious food and friendly service. Our favorites include salads with beluga lentils with tomato, spring onions and white cheese and the quinoa, cherry tomatoes, sweet corn, radish, avocado, roasted spring onion.

Recommended for Best Value because: A small and cozy vegan and vegetarian restaurant in the neighborhood of Pangrati

Nelly's expert tip: Delicious falafel and other specialties, at reasonable prices

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After Mexico City and Barcelona, Timo and Beatriz opened their tiny, bright red Spanish restaurant in Pangrati, aptly named Paella Barcelona. In the warm interior and outside on the pavement during the spring and summer months, excellent Spanish specialties are served in a friendly atmosphere. Paella is top of the list, in various tastes: with seafood-shrimps, squids and mussels- with meat-sausage, chicken and pork, or with vegetables. All paellas are accompanied with fresh salad with balsamico. The menu also includes a delicious plato iberico, with jamon serrano, fuet, queso and pinchos. The aromatic homemade sangria is definitely worth trying . Recent additions to the menu include delicious spicy tapas with chili, beans, guacamole, small pies with beans, cheese and spicy sauce, pinchos with salmon, jamon and meat, also Mexican specialties

Recommended for Best Value because: This restaurant makes you feel so welcome you dont want to leave

Nelly's expert tip: A delicious taste of Spain in Athens at reasonable prices

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Makalo initially owed its name to a specialty of Northern Greece, a sauce similar to bechamel with garlic, parsley and sweet paprika, which usually accompanies meatballs, fish, eggs and cheese. However the word also means surprise or miracle in some African dialects. The menu is based on value for money dishes prepared with seasonal products and respect for each ingredient. Simple, contemporary dishes with affordable and good quality selections of beer, wine and cocktails based on the principle of food matching and homemade drinks. Some delicious dishes are lahmanjoun with veal mince, in pitta bread with yoghurt and tomato, pesto of grilled pepper with tagliatelle, feta cheese and almonds, salmon fillet with courgettes sauteed in wine, lemon and fennel. Delicious warming soups in winter and traditional cooking all year round, with specialties such as home made pies, mini kebab, steaks with Corfu soffrito sauce, shrimps with lentils, bulgur and basil. Vegetarians will also find many tasty dishes to their liking. Easy to access, very close to Syntagma square and Plaka, Makalo is open all day for coffee, lunch and dinner. Customers will find several gluten free dishes such as salmon fillet with sauteed zucchini, veal with beetroot, a variety of salads and dishes which can be prepared on the spot following your preferences.

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Au Grand Zinc
Photo courtesy of Nelly Paraskevopoulou


Au Grand Zinc is probably the best place to eat authentic French crepes in Athens. The owner learned the art and secrets of the perfect crepe during his sojourn in Paris from the local experts and brought this delicious dish to Exarcheia twenty five years ago. The cozy locale reminiscent of a French bistrot is simply decorated with art posters and the name derives from the original zinc covered bar in French creperies. Savory or sweet, the crepes are reasonably priced and satisfying, accompanied with kir or cider and come in many varieties. The favorites are the classic tastes such as cheese, ham, mushrooms and chocolate with walnuts for dessert, but there are many more choices: chocolate with banana, honey with walnuts, chocolate with strawberries topped with vanilla or chocolate ice cream. Top choices from the savory list are crepes with spinach, chicken with bacon, tuna and blue cheese. Enjoy!

Recommended for Best Value because: The savory and sweet crepes are delicious and the atmosphere is understated French bistrot

Nelly's expert tip: Authentic French crepes in delicious tastes in a cozy environment

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The Holy Goat
Photo courtesy of The Holy Goat


Holy Goat restaurant chose its name from a well known Greek short story, written in 1931, by Giannis Skaribas and is a space which combines a bucolic atmosphere with elegance, elements of finesse side by side with the punk scene in a Brooklyn neighborhood. Even though this might seem a contradiction, it is not. In this punk bistrot, food and music are a ritual. Holy Goat is run by a collective of twelve people, and the space is designed for those who enjoy food, unique tastes, good wine, and a friendly atmosphere. The cuisine is Mediterranean with elements also from other countries, prepared by cooks who have travelled widely and like to share their experience. A collective of professionals, with imagination and creative spirit, who created a special place in the neighborhood of Petralona. Very good value for money.

Recommended for Best Value because: An interesting place with an original atmosphere and excellent food

Nelly's expert tip: Value for money in a collectively run punk bistrot in the neighborhood of Petralona

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Meet Nelly Paraskevopoulou

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...  More About Nelly

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