Enjoy dinner al fresco at The Old Taverna of Psaras | Courtesy of The Old Taverna of Psaras
Looking for a place to relax and refuel after a day of sightseeing in Athens’s old town? Discover the best restaurants in Plaka, from traditional Greek cuisine to Mediterranean-Japanese fusion.
With eateries that have been an integral part of the Greek capital’s culinary scene for almost half a century, along with newcomers that have breathed new life into the historic neighbourhood, the village-like Plaka district is a gastronomic haven. Whether it’s gourmet deli treats from Warehouse CO2 or the catch of the day from BlueFish, these seven restaurants are guaranteed to satisfy your appetite and provide the perfect ambience for an evening in the shadow of the Acropolis.
MONO Wine restaurant draws on Greek, Mediterranean and Latin American cuisine Courtesy of Mono
7 Food Sins
Restaurant, Greek, $$$
Upscale gastropub 7 Food Sins is set in the heart of Plaka | Courtesy of 7 Food Sins
Housed in a two-storey Neoclassical building that dates back to 1890, 7 Food Sins combines the relaxed and unpretentious atmosphere of a pub with the refined flavours of a high-end restaurant. This stylish Greek gourmet gastropub, set in the heart of Plaka, boasts a menu packed with gourmet dishes – think scallops with fennel, and guinea fowl with Jerusalem artichoke. The restaurant’s chef, Dimos Samourakis, creates seasonal menus using only local ingredients, with the menu changing every three months. The restaurant’s terrace offers a captivating view of the charming neighbourhood, while its peaceful courtyard is the perfect place to unwind. In 2019, 7 Food Sins won the Michelin Bib Gourmand award.
The menu at MONO centres around seasonal and organic ingredients | Courtesy of MONO
Conveniently located next to the Cathedral of Athens, MONO Wine restaurant lies in the heart of the city centre. The creative force behind the restaurant’s elaborate and decadent menu is renowned chef Vasilis Vasiliou, while his wife, talented sommelier Giota Vamvaka, curates the restaurant’s refined wine list, which includes Greek grape varieties as well as Italian, Spanish and French wines. The menu changes twice a year, always featuring seasonal and organic ingredients. “My inspiration comes from Greek and Mediterranean cuisine, but I am also influenced by the flavours of Latin America,” says Vasiliou, adding that his summer menu features always lighter dishes, with fruits being among the main ingredients, while in the wintertime the emphasis lies on bringing out the rich taste of the meats. Housed in a fully refurbished old Plaka mansion, MONO features two rooms – stylishly decorated in burgundy and blue tones – while in the summer months it also serves diners al fresco.
Warehouse CO2 is known for its impressive wine list | Courtesy of Warehouse CO2
Founded in 2017, Warehouse CO2 is the younger sibling of much-loved Exarchia eatery Warehouse. The restaurant’s key strength is its extensive list of champagnes and sparkling wines including prosecco, moscato d’asti, and franciacorta from Italy and cava from Spain. The dishes here have a gourmet touch, featuring cold meats, premium cheeses and delicatessen products. The beef fillet carpaccio with truffle oil, lemon and rocket is the signature dish of the chef, Vasilis Geogleris, while the meat platters are the perfect accompaniment to a glass or three of sparkling wine. “We bring out the taste of our dishes by combining cured cheeses, umami-rich foods including truffle, ceviche and tataki with traditional products such as tomato jam. Our aim is to create a bistro-style restaurant where the use of high-quality ingredients is always the top priority,” says Geogleris.
The decor at Mamacita is as vibrant as the food | Courtesy of Mamacita
With mouthwatering quesadillas, flavourful fajitas, fresh salads and ice-cold margaritas, Mamacita brings a taste of Mexico to the heart of Plaka. Everything in this recently opened restaurant is colourful. The blue and pink furniture, multicolour light fittings, LED cacti and pink ceiling come together with impressive murals on the walls to create a youthful and fresh atmosphere. The restaurant’s speciality is the barbacoa beef burrito, expertly cooked by chefs Pepe and Josue, while Christian and Mauricio are always busy behind the bar preparing sangria jugs and frozen margaritas.
The Old Taverna of Psaras boasts a charming terrace | Courtesy of The Old Taverna of Psaras
Founded in 1898, The Old Taverna of Psaras has been welcoming guests to its Neoclassical building in the heart of Plaka for over a century. Nowadays, the taverna is known for its traditional Greek dishes and charming rustic ambience, but in the ’50s and ’60s it was a popular hangout spot for local and internationally renowned figures such as George Seferis, Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh. It is said that in a letter to George Seferis, the intellectual George Katsimbalis mentions that, “All these foreigners gather at Mr George’s tavern and ask me to buy them dinner”. Standing at the intersection of Erechtheos and Erotokritou streets, The Old Tavern of Psaras is surrounded by elegant buildings and scenic cobblestone streets, while its rooftop terrace overlooks the Acropolis.
Elegant BlueFish specialises in creative Mediterranean-Japanese fusion | Courtesy of BlueFish
Following the opening of the first BlueFish restaurant on the island of Paros in 2015, along with BlueFish Vouliagmeni on the Athenian Riviera, chef and entrepreneur George Economides opened BlueFish Athens Plaka in 2018. The menu here marries the cuisines of the Mediterranean and Japan in an innovative fusion. BlueFish doesn’t serve whole-fish dishes; instead, Economides uses different parts of the fish for his gourmet creations. In an interview for magazine Nou-Pou, Economides says that he decided to learn more about Asian cuisine when he hosted the personal chef of a Malaysian businessman in his kitchen, and was amazed upon seeing the chef skilfully cutting up a Greek fish to make sashimi.
Strofi combines traditional dishes with a stylish interior | Courtesy of Strofi
A player on Athens’s culinary scene since 1975, Strofi remains a top choice for tasting authentic Greek and Mediterranean cuisine in Plaka. Fried feta cheese in filo pastry with honey, pork fillet stuffed with dried tomatoes and gruyère cheese and a wide list of grilled meats and fish are among the highlights of this historic restaurant’s menu. While its dishes remain loyal to traditional Greek recipes, the restaurant’s interior design is rather more modern and chic than the menu might suggest. Situated right across from the sacred rock of the Acropolis, Strofi boasts a spectacular view of the Greek capital’s most renowned landmark.