Athens, city that that helped lay the foundations for western civilization, leaves a lot to be unearthed in present times. There are historic spots galore where institutional democracy was formed, and temples dedicated to the worship of iconic gods and goddesses. From music and dancing, an ancient linguistic tradition, and phenomenal cuisine, Greek culture itself is something quite distinct. We have compiled a list of the 10 oldest restaurants in Athens, which will give you a taste of all three.
Located near Syntagma Square, Doris is one of Athens’ oldest restaurants that will offer you a traditional culinary experience with a laid-back ambiance. It is a hole-in-the-wall sort of place where you can find simple, quality Greek fare. Everything is homemade from scratch, and ingredients are well sourced. Here, you will find menu items like herring, stuffed grape leaves, tarama, and roasted eggplant. The staff is old-school (they dress in white collars and bow ties) but also very friendly. They also have air conditioning in the summertime, a major plus when things heat up. It is a quiet place that is frequented mostly by locals rather than tourists.
Doris, Praxitelous 30, Athens, Greece, +30 210 323 2671
Taverna Sigalas is a kitsch Greek tavern located in an old building in the Plaka district. For one hundred years, the same family has been running this place. Clad in blue and white paint, the interior is filled with old photos of Greek movie stars, and the air is filled with the sound of old Greek ballads and sometimes even a live accordion player. As for the food, you will find tasty stews, gyros, and other Greek homemade delights. Taverna Sigalas stays crowded throughout the day with Greek families and locals (some of whom love to sing along to the music), despite its central location and proximity to the subway.
Taverna Sigalas, 2 Plateia, Athens, Greece, +30 210 321 3036
Damigos is a family-run restaurant located in a basement, equipped with a squat wood stove and a large old stone pillar at the center. It is the perfect spot to enjoy a meal on a cool day because the atmosphere is quite cozy. Another old-school trademark of Damigos is that the wine is still stored in large barrels, which you can see from the dining area. The wine itself has been made on the family’s vineyards since 1835. The menu features stews, traditional Greek salads with feta, codfish, roasted veggies and fresh breads, all at reasonable prices.
Damigos, Kidathineon 41, Athens, Greece, +30 210 322 5084
Located in an old mansion, Psaras Fisherman’s Taverna is the oldest restaurant in one of Athens’ most historic districts, Plaka. It has an authentic Greek ambiance with stonewalls and a large hearth at the interior, as well as a lovely garden for dining alfresco. They also offer live music every night. The restaurant is popular with prominent locals, and is a great spot to dine if you’re looking to escape the more touristy spots in the neighborhood. You can sample a number of traditional Greek dishes here including dolmades, anchovies, grilled Greek cheese, prawns, and desserts.