Though historically a working-class neighborhood, Petralona today is considered a hip, bohemian community where living, drinking, and eating is easy. Here is a small selection of the eateries available in this alternative district.
Established around 1930, Taverna tou Oikonomou specializes in home-style cooking, offering an authentic Greek restaurant experience. Locals travel from across the city to eat in this special place where the extensive menu of traditional, freshly made Greek recipes includes beef stew, roast lamb or even braised veal. Wash your dinner down with an ample supply of wine or ouzo, and you’re set. Caring about their community, Oikonomau donates any leftover food to local people in need at the end of the day.
A recent addition to the dining scene in Ano Petralona, To Kreas (Meat) is a paradise not only for meat lovers but also vegetarians. Indeed, while meat is the star of the restaurant, the menu also includes delicious veggie alternatives. If the weather allows, make sure to visit the small rooftop and enjoy the view. You won’t regret it.
Rantevou is a small mezedopoleio (a spot where tapas-style food is served) where you can sample delicious Greek and Asian-inspired mezes that you can enjoy with tsipouro, ouzo or even Greek beers from small local breweries. While you’re at it, make sure to try their falafel, which can be ordered to go in a sandwich – perfect for a quick lunch. As Rantevou is quite popular, expect to wait for a table, but you will quickly understand that it is worth it.
Blue Bamboo was the first Thai restaurant in Petralona, and most likely one of the first establishments to introduce Thai cuisine to locals. As such, the place does a terrific job; the curries, chicken satay, mango salad, and pad Thai are all tasty and vibrant. Add to this a simple and warm atmosphere plus an excellent cocktail menu, and you will easily understand why it is a favorite. But come early if you want to secure a table – Blue Bamboo fills up fast.
Even though it’s been around for two decades, To Tzipouradiko Tou Apostoli is still as welcoming and inviting as ever. Conveniently located opposite the open-air cinema Zefyros, where you can score vintage and art movies, this small eatery is a family affair, with a pleasant staff and a simple yet satisfying menu. Big on fish and meat, along with a good selection of ouzo and tsipouro, this place will satisfy all of your cravings, whether you want a good kebab platter, grilled octopus or calamari, cooked according to traditional recipes. Fair warning, though, as lunches easily turn into dinners when you’re sitting on the terrace.
Right in the heart of Petralona, Chez Lucien is a small, neighborhood French bistro that proves French food doesn’t necessarily mean expensive and snobbish. French owner Chef Lucien shows his magic in the kitchen while his lovely Greek wife plays hostess and welcomes the guests in perfect French or Greek. Standout options include the gratin dauphinoise, the salade de chèvre chaud (goat cheese salad), and the crème brûlée.
Wearing many hats, Theio Thragi, also known as The Holy Goat, is a restaurant offering gourmet food at reasonable prices as well as an excellent bar where you can sample unique creations. Food-wise, the creative chef uses familiar ingredients and turns them into innovative and original dishes where flavors and textures are kings, perfect when you want to try something new and different. Theio Thragi is where you’ll feel like a regular from the get-go and will want to stay until closing time.
Back in the days when Petralona had hardly any dining options, Kappari was there, and years later, it is a well-known, must-visit spot guaranteed to sate your hunger. A few items on the menu deserve a mention, such as the Kappari salad, the grilled kalamari as well as the mouthwatering pork leg. Perfect for a cozy winter dinner, or a warm summer lunch, Kappari tends to fill up quickly, so make sure to book ahead of time.
Located in the heart of Ano Petralona, Xrysa Xrysa is named after owner and chef Chryssa Protoppapa and presents creative combinations of traditional Greek products with successful results. With minimalist décor, a well-stocked wine list, and an innovative menu, you are sure to feel like royalty while dining here.
While Ano (Upper) Petralona is a popular dining destination, Kato (Lower) Petralona has stayed a bit under the radar. Among its offerings of dining, one place clearly stands out. Draped in red on a street corner, Andaman, with its tropical rooftop jungle and its Asian-inspired interior, is a Thai joint. Offering a winning combo of delicious food and excellent cocktails, you’ll want to visit Andaman over and over again, especially in the summer when the rooftop is one of the best places to be in the city.