Think Athens’ street food game is all about souvlaki and gyros? Think again. With a variety of influences, the colorful street food scene of the Greek capital has seen a rise in innovative, tasty joints selling delicious, cheap and healthy options to cater to all tastes. Here are some of the top choices for street food in Athens.
To Souvlaki Tou Kosta (Kostas)
Restaurant, Fast Food, Mediterranean
The Greek street food par excellence, souvlaki is impossible to leave off such a list. Our favorite is definitely To Souvlaki Tou Kosta (or Kostas, to many), a small souvlatzidiko that has been in business since 1946. Famous for its juicy, mouthwatering souvlaki and homemade tomato sauce, the souvlaki at Kostas is the perfect example of street food done right.
Tucked away on the corner of a quiet street, Feyrouz is an unassuming hotspot for oriental-infused street food in the capital. Forget the traditional spanakopita and try the vegetarian lahmatzoun or the fatayer, a distant cousin of the Greek spinach pie, seasoned with sumac and red pepper. The fresh salads and daily soups are also a must-try. End it all with a tzezerie, small carrot dough bites with nuts and coconut.
Reviving all grandma’s recipes from the early 20th century, Kioftes is a charming little bright spot where kioftedes (meatballs) are king. Plunge into the nostalgic past of Smyrna and taste these delicious meatballs served with side dishes like hand-cut fries and mint-infused tomato salad. The menu also includes Greek coffee roasted on a hovoli, and traditional desserts.
The desire for something other than souvlaki may lead you to try Street Wok, an Asian food joint specializing in stir-fry, with three branches in Athens. A first in Greece, Street Wok innovates with a three-step concept: you choose your own ingredients (noodles, white or brown rice, veggies and sauce) and your food is cooked right in front of you. Simple, fast and delicious!
Restaurant, Sandwich Shop, Street Food, Mediterranean
A recent food trend to hit Greece, falafels are a welcome and refreshing alternative to the ubiquitous gyros and cheese pies in Athens. Head to a pioneer of the trend, Falafellas, on Aiolou Street. You may need to be patient, as there’s often a 15-minute wait for your falafel sandwich, but the wait is definitely worth it.
Hot dog fans, please gather around. We present you Chef and the Dog, a takeaway food bar where you can taste creative hot dogs. Besides the traditional version, Chef and the Dog sells German-style dogs with sauerkraft, Korean-inspired sandwiches with kimchi and even a Mexican version with spicy jalapenos. If you’re not after meat, Chef also serves a few other options including salads and fries.
Next to the Mitropoleos Cathedral, Grexico has brought Mexican flavors to Athens. With a menu of tacos, burritos, quesadillas, fresh salads and tasty lime margaritas, Grexico caters to vegans and vegetarians too, and is a serious player in Athens’ food scene.
Restaurant, Fast Food, Central American, Middle Eastern, $$$
A real ambassador of world cuisine, Etnico takes you on a culinary journey to distant, exotic destinations through its food. Try a chimichanga or a falafel sandwich or even a delicious quesadilla, and wash it all down with a fresh juice. Healthy, tasty and delicious, the menu takes you to the four corners of the world. What are you waiting for?
Bringing eastern flavors to the northern suburbs, Gözleme, in Kifissia, serves the Turkish pancake-style treat, which can be filled with meat, cheese, spinach or tahini. But it doesn’t stop there. It serves a variety of healthy food options like fresh fruit and veggie juices, salads, vegetarian soups and also breakfast dishes like handmade cereal bars and yogurt with oats and nuts.
For a Columbian/Venezuelan lunch, Los Loros is the place to go. Specializing in arepas (corn pockets stuffed with savory fillings) and empanadas (the Colombian version, usually with meat and potatoes), Los Loros also serves local dishes such as pabellon criollo (rice, beef and a mix of black and white beans) or even scrumptious buñuelos (doughnut balls). Conveniently situated near Syntagma Square, this is a place we are sure you will remember.