Lunch in Athens: It's an Occasion to Relax

Athens offers a choice of restaurants for lunch which can vary from the very reasonably priced to slightly more expensive, with menus which satisfy any preference. Want to taste something new?  try the nouvelle cuisine of Tzitzikas and Mermigkas or Mono close to Syntagma.  Prefer to stick to traditional Greek cuisine ? opt for Olymbos Naousa in the city center, or Seychelles in Metaxourgeio.    Addicted to healthy food? Makalo and Mama Tierra  are ideal.  Those seeking a rich and varied menu will prefer Agora Select close to the Hilton,  whilst a favorite in the shopping district is  Miniatoura. Try alternative street food at Etnico on Kolokotroni street and Italian specialties at Tuttitalia on Valaoritou pedestrian street.  The easiest to access neighborhoods are the center from Syntagma to Omonoia, Kolonaki and Plaka, which can be reached on foot if you are staying in downtown Athens. Be prepared to spend some time at the restaurant, meals are a ritual in Greece and are enjoyed in a restful atmosphere, tasting every bite, trying different plates, asking the waiter for advice on what to choose. You will notice that the locals, even in a big city like Athens, always welcome this pleasant break in a busy day.

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...  Read More

Photo courtesy of Etnico

Street Food philosophy meets the avant garde public in a new meeting point in downtown Athens at Etnico Alternative Street Cuisine restaurant. Tastes from India, Mexico and the Middle East, falafel, chimichangas and vegetable samosas, a large...  Read More

Miniatoura, which means miniature, is a small, cozy restaurant in downtown Athens, very close to the shopping district, favorite hangout both for passersby, shop owners in the area, groups and families. Since 2002 when they first opened, this...  Read More

Mama Tierra
Photo courtesy of Mama Tierra

Mama Tierra (Mother Earth in Spanish) is a new vegetarian and vegan restaurant in downtown Athens which serves quick, healthy meals all day. One of the main reasons for which Mama Tierra was created was to show the wide public the large variety...  Read More

Photo courtesy of Tuttitalia

Tuttitalia restaurant is situated on Valaoritou pedestrian street in the center of Athens and offers an authentic experience of Italian cuisine. In this warm, friendly and elegant space, the Italian chef prepares specialty dishes at trattoria...  Read More

Photo courtesy of Seychelles

Seychelles restaurant in the center of Athens, in the downtown neighborhood of Metaxourgeio is a pleasant surprise and became immediately popular on opening. The attraction of the place is not the exotic tastes as one would imagine judging from...  Read More


Tzitzikas and Mermigkas is on central Mitropoleos street, just a few paces from Syntagma and very close to all the major attractions in Athens. Relaxed and casual atmosphere, inventive cuisine and interesting selections from all over Greece are...  Read More

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...  Read More

Mono in Plaka, very close to the Athens Cathedral, is a gastronomic reference point in town, with chef and owner Vasilis Vasileiou and his team creating original and delicious dishes. The space has a warm and welcoming atmosphere, with a stained...  Read More

Agora Select is a classic all day meeting point at Ilissia, with emphasis on carefully selected fresh and local products offered in abundant portions as well as affordable prices. The menu includes many choices and is based on Greek cuisine...  Read More


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