Must Try Greek Specialties In Athens

Greece has an array of delicious specialities for you to try
Greece has an array of delicious specialities for you to try | © Steve Outram / Alamy Stock Photo
Maria Kostala

Whether you prefer a fine-dining experience or the vibrant flavours of a local taverna, Athens has something for every taste. While there is certainly a wide range of Greek specialties, the following are particularly delicious. We’ve also included a selection of the best restaurants, where you can try these tasty dishes for yourself.

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This is the perfect appetiser for cheese lovers. The yellow, hard cheese (one of many kinds, such as kasseri or gruyère) is fried in a specific way that creates a crunchy crust. When you bite into a saganaki, the taste of the melted cheese inside is simply mouthwatering.

Saganaki, grilled Graviera cheese

1. Fava, Vlassis Restaurant

Restaurant, Mediterranean, Greek, Vegetarian

An indoor dining area at Vlassis restaurant with a checked-tiled floor, tables with white table cloths and a wooden staircase
© Lonely Planet / Getty Images
Fava is a creamy starter that originates from the island of Santorini. Fava is the Greek term for yellow split peas (not broad beans, which are also commonly known as fava beans). Fava comes in many shades, with the most common being a sunny yellow. It’s drizzled with olive oil, onions and is vegan friendly. Vlassis Restaurant specialises in traditional Greek cuisine of the highest quality and presents each of its dishes in a beautiful manner. Either try their lavish dish of the day or pick one of the flavourful appetisers, hot dishes, fresh salads, or irresistible desserts. Fava is one of the many spreads that Vlassis Restaurant prepares, and you really should try it.


Spanakopita is very similar to a spinach pie. It’s an authentic and fresh pastry full of vitamins. Spanakopita is a filo pastry filled with spinach, different kinds of herbs and cheeses, spring onions, eggs (to bind the ingredients), and olive oil.

Spanakopita, Greek spinach pie with feta cheese and filo party


Greek cuisine includes many different kinds of fritters: cheeseballs, courgette balls, meatballs or potato balls. But, tomato balls are sweet, soft, full of herbs and, of course, lycopene. Usually served with a yoghurt sauce, this specialty, originating in Santorini, is definitely one to savour.


In some recipes, Moussaka is a marriage of eggplant and potatoes, with minced meat underneath and an indulgent serving of béchamel sauce on top. This dish can also be occasionally suffused with spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg.

Moussaka on table of traditional restaurant on Crete


Different variations of gemista exist in Greek cooking, such as stuffed tomatoes, courgettes, and peppers filled with rice, herbs, spices, pine seeds, and tomato sauce. Each gemista dish is baked in the oven and served with crispy potatoes, as well as drizzled with olive oil and any leftover tomato sauce. In some restaurants, it may also be accompanied with Greek yoghurt on the side.

Gemista, stuffed tomatoes and peppers

2. Briam, Acropolis Museum

Cafe, Restaurant, Greek

Acropolis Museum Restaurant
Courtesy of Acropolis Museum. Photo Giorgos Vitsaropoulos.
Briam is a roasted selection of simple Mediterranean ingredients, including seasonal vegetables such as eggplant, peppers, courgettes, potatoes, cherry tomatoes, shallots, carrots, and garlic mixed with herbs and topped with a fresh and vibrant tomato sauce. It is mostly considered a summer dish and can be enjoyed with a block of salty feta cheese, and a slice of crunchy bread. The restaurant at the Acropolis Museum offers an array of salads, starters, snacks, main dishes, and sweet courses based on local specialties. You can enjoy a delicious version of briam with baked eggplants, tomato sauce, and gruyere, all while admiring a stunning view of the Acropolis. The restaurant also has a tasty menu for children.

Fancy discovering more Greek dishes? Check out our guide to where to find the best gyros in Athens, the best street food spots in Athens, or discover delicious Greek donut balls.

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