8 New Restaurants to Visit in Athens, Greece, in 2018
Bao buns are among the newest food staples invading the Athenian food scene | Courtesy of Mr Pug's Canteen
In recent years, there has been a strong expansion of the Athens food scene, with newest additions showcasing flavours from across the world. Here are the latest exotic addresses you should visit on your next trip to Athens, when you feel like travelling without stepping on a plane.
Mama Roux’s sister establishment, Po’ Boys is the brainchild of Chef Vassilis Sporos and owner John Higgins. The duo had always wanted to introduce Southern flavours to the Greek capital, which led them to participate in the Christmas food market which was held in Kotzia Square in 2016. Given the tremendous success, the two finally gave it a try and established Po’ Boys in the hip area of Psyrri. The southern barbecue joint serves short and spare ribs, briskets and pulled pork, in burgers or as a main dish, with other southern-influenced side dishes, including gumbo and mac’n’cheese. End your exploration of the American South with delicious treats such as beignets (doughnuts), sweet pies and tarts.
Halandri has already proven that it is perfect for drinks with friends, but now it is also a place to sample authentic Belgian waffles. Located next to Agios Nikolaos church, Belgà gaufrerie & café is where you can savour Belgian waffles, just like those you would eat while roaming around the Grand Place. Pair it with toppings such as lemon pie, fruits, powdered sugar, pralines or the beloved speculoos, a spiced cookie common in Belgium and the Netherlands. Belgà also offers scrumptious ice cream, as well as coffee and tea. Can you tell we are in love already?
Piraeus is just a ferry-ride away from Athens and makes a great day trip. Once you are there, let your senses guide you to Che, a Latin American cantina housed in a former school. This colourful establishment, which comprises a stunning courtyard bar and a restaurant, has quickly become a hotspot for enjoying delicious cocktails and food from across the ocean. Try the picanha, the pollo asado (roasted chicken) or the refreshing ceviche. Wash it all down with cocktails made with exotic ingredients. We guarantee you will feel like staying there forever.
Barrio, in the Kerameikos/Gazi area, is already well-known across town, so much so that this cool hangout, which combines the flair of a restaurant and a bar, opened its street-food joint in Piraeus, in the Troumba area. Barrio Street serves tasty and unique street-food options, such as bao burgers, raclette with baby potatoes, salads and a collection of soups. A new address to add to your contact list in case your ferry gets delayed.
Bao buns are having a moment in Athens and we couldn’t be happier. One of the first spots to introduce it was Mr Pug’s Canteen, in Halandri. Showcasing the deliciousness of this humble, airy and fluffy Asian staple, Mr Pug’s offers a wide array of fillings, allowing you to taste the quality of the bread and the richness of the ingredients, carefully selected and prepared by the expert chefs. End on a sweet note with a serving of tasty churros.
If you are looking for a touch of the exotic, look no further than Metaxourgeio, where behind a garage door you will find an indoor beach bar, exotic plants, surf boards and colorful décor. Welcome to the Big Kahuna, a restaurant-cum-bar where you can enjoy delicious burgers, presented in a variety of flavours. The menu includes tasty appetisers, desserts and of course, cocktails. Once you’ve eaten there, you’ll ask yourself how you have lived so long without a place like this.
Hawaiian poké has arrived in Athens. This dish, originally from the Pacific island, is what that dreams are made of and a healthy choice when it comes to street-food. Started by a group of childhood friends, Poké Hawaiian Sushi is tucked between bars and restaurants in the pedestrianised Petraki Street. Indulge in a delicious bowl of goodness with names evoking exotic beaches and discover the humble fish salad, which also includes vegetarian options.
Flamingos have been a serious trend in recent years and it comes as no surprise that it would be the main theme of this literal hole in the wall dim sum spot. Quirky and cute, Pink Flamingo Dim Sum is the place to pop by to enjoy delicious dim sum, a food staple which was virtually unknown in Greece. Born from the mind of Vassilis Kallidis, Pink Flamingo, surrounded by other Asian establishments in the vicinity of Syntagma Square, seduces crowds with its simple menu. There are bao buns and dim sum stuffed with traditional fillings as well as a few vegetarian surprises, including sweet potatoes or lentils. Moreover, the Kawaii décor gives us all the feels.