Athens’s exciting food scene is always expanding, with new restaurants constantly popping up in all corners of the city. And when it comes to eating healthy, the Greek capital boasts a number of places that invest in organic, high-quality products. Browse through our guide and discover the best farm-to-table restaurants in town.
Greece takes pride in its tasty Mediterranean cuisine that heavily relies on fresh local produce. Some chefs will even take that extra step of sourcing organic ingredients straight from local farmers, making sure their dishes don’t contain unnecessary additives. The following farm-to-table restaurants in Athens give the word “flavour” a new meaning – read on and get ready for dinner.
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The chef of this homely restaurant in the area of Koukaki, Giorgos Gatsos, was taught the art of cooking by monks on Mount Athos, Greece’s large monasterial community which is revered in the Eastern Orthodox world. He went on to create Fabrica tou Εfrosinou, a space with minimal tables, wooden chairs and understated decor – except for the bronze chandeliers – to honour Mount Athos as well as Saint Efrosinos, who is known as the patron saint of cooks. Gatsos prepares his dishes based on traditional recipes and flavours coming from northern Greece, using organic produce provided by suppliers from all over the country. Don’t miss the delicious chips from Sparta paired with soft touloumoturi cheese from Kozani or the mushrooms sautéed with wine and onions.
A place to stay, a restaurant and a deli all at once, Ergon House – right by the sumptuous Metropolitan Cathedral of Athens – encapsulates all that is great about Greek hospitality. It’s dubbed the “first foodie hotel in the world” and it’s no wonder why. In here, you can spend hours chilling out by a 200-year-old olive tree in the Agora – the Greek market – or have one of the chefs prepare a dish just for you right on the spot. They’ll be picking the ingredients from Ergon’s on-site deli, butcher’s or fishmonger’s. Or you can even pick those yourself and start cooking alongside the chef. Ergon also houses a garden where they grow seasonal herbs and vegetables, while most of the foods sold or served here are organic, sourced from all over Greece. To make the most of the experience, stay the night in one of the beautiful suites.
Vegetarians and vegans have found their sanctuary in the heart of Athens. Avocado is as green as its comfy furnishings that invite foodies to taste all kinds of flavourful organic treats, with avocado – naturally – being the star of the menu. The dishes are heavily influenced by Mexican and Spanish cuisine, next to some Italian options – think risotto with edamame, avocado, pine cone and dill, spaghetti with Bolognese sauce made of organic tofu puree, and the classic hummus with avocado and cherry tomatoes as a starter. Pair your meal with a glass of organic wine and be sure to order one of their luscious smoothies and carrot desserts.
It doesn’t get more farm-to-table than this little eatery in the centre of Athens, which doubles as a grocery shop. Green Nature’s products and dishes are certified organic, and there are so many to choose from. Take your pick from sandwiches, salads, soups and “comfort” dishes, along with a variety of pasta and pizzas, or buy fresh produce to cook your meal at home. The ingredients and recipes come from all over the world, so you’re meant to find your favourite right there on the menu. Among the highlights are the legume salads, the mushroom soup, the baked omelettes and the traditional desserts that echo those found in cute little villages on the Greek islands – the apple pie with nuts, the rice pudding and the home-made creams and ice cream are irresistible.
Mix Mother Earth’s finest ingredients with some great recipes and a lovely, unassuming space in central Athens, and you get Mama Tierra. The restaurant serves vegetarian and vegan food which can equally be appreciated by meat lovers. Most of their products are organic and come from local growers, in an effort to celebrate Greece’s fresh produce. Chef Polash Alam’s menu is inspired by the flavours of the Mediterranean, Latin America, the Middle East and Asia. The dishes here are on the gourmet side, including options such as a mushroom burger, vegetable paella and organic quinoa with pesto. Wash them down with a glass of smooth organic wine from Lemnos or a pint of beer.
You’re meant to feel like a star in this cool restaurant in the posh Kolonaki area. Open since 2008, Nice n Easy remains a favourite among Athenians. The ‘50s Hollywood stars decor on the walls is in no way kitschy – it rather exudes old-world glamour which is also reflected in the dishes. These are based on classic Mediterranean recipes but with a modern spin. Try the Marlon Brando burger with organic beef from the Arcadia region, cheddar cheese and caramelised onions, or the Frank Sinatra Black Angus tagliata with marinated grilled zucchini, rocket and truffle oil. All dishes are made from pure, organic, seasonal ingredients of high nutritional value – you will find their exact nutrients noted on the menu, along with the calorie intake for each. There are a few vegetarian options, as well as fish and sushi.
The food in Melilotos is so good, you will actually have to call beforehand and reserve it – that’s right, you won’t just be booking your seat, but your dish too. This family restaurant, which sits in the bustling area of Monastiraki, prepares different dishes every day which sell out pretty quickly, so make sure you stay on top of the daily menu and act fast. Melilotos gets all of its organic produce from small family farms based all over Greece. The focus here is placed on traditional Mediterranean flavours and classic Greek recipes that never fail to impress. Order the pappardelle with pork tenderloin bites, fresh mushrooms and escargots and, for dessert, the bergamot.
If you had a wishbone, would you wish for a delicious meal? Probably not, but that’s exactly what you’ll get in Giantes – meaning wishbone in Greek – a hip restaurant that lies in the edgy area of Exarchia. Its courtyard, with the tall trees, the metal tables that come with jars of flowers and pastel-hued chairs, and the mosaic tiles, echoes a much older, more romantic Athens. Dive right in and get ready for a culinary adventure. Traditional Greek recipes are given a modern revamp, resulting in succulent dishes, such as the smoked mackerel with black-eyed peas, the pork shank with beer sauce and baby potatoes, and the carrot soup with ginger. Most ingredients used are organic, as is the lovely sauvignon blanc that will perfectly complement your lunch.
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