Home to famed philosophers, Greece is known for its stunning ancient civilisation, mythology and being the birthplace of democracy. It also has a lot to offer when it comes to food.
Has Greek food always piqued your interest? Want to know more about the tastes and culinary traditions of the cradle of Western civilisation? Don’t know where to start? Let us help you.
Tantalise your taste buds as you explore some of the most well-loved cities in Greece with this handy guide.
1. M-Eating (Mykonos)
We’ll have to bestow the first spot on this list to M-Eating - the restaurant locals and tourists all agree is the best in the whole of Mykonos. Its= menu is an amalgamation of head chef and founder Panagiotis Menardos’ love for the Cyclades islands, and it definitely shows in his cooking.
Except for lamb, all the ingredients—meat, cheese, vegetables, even mushrooms—are sourced from the Cyclades (group of Greek islands located at the southeast of mainland Greece). The ingredients are transformed into modern takes on Mediterranean cuisine that don’t just look good but also taste divine. Among all the dishes, the standouts would have to be the Mykonion Onion Pie (EUR16, S$22.80) and the Sous Vide Lamb (EUR60, S$85).
Considering the popularity of this place, reservations are very much necessary, and well in advance too. Can’t say we didn’t warn you!
Address: Kalogera 10, Mikonos 846 00, Greece
Opening hours: Opens daily from 7:00pm to 1:00am
2. NOA Greek Restaurant (Mykonos)
Combining culinary heritage and contemporary innovation, resulting in a unique take on haute cuisine, NOA is one of the top restaurants to visit in Greece.
Should you choose to dine al fresco, the restaurant’s rooftop view will grant you sights of the horizon where the sun sets over the city. You’ll be able to enjoy the rich Mediterranean flavours and farm-to-table ingredients meticulously selected by its executive chef.
For starters, look out for the Beef Giouvetsi (EUR35, S$49), a delectable beef stew that comes with a generous portion of freshly-cooked orzo pasta. After which, you can enjoy an indulgent serving of Galaktoboureko (EUR17, S$24), a dessert pastry that offers the magic taste of semolina custard.
The service at NOA is top-notch, with staff ensuring that guests and diners get the best experience and hospitality. This has got to be a must-try and must-visit spot in your travel itinerary for Greece.
Price range: EUR18 to EUR100 for mains (S$25-S$140)
Address: Myconia Kyma Resort, Mykonos Town, 846 00
Opening hours: Opens daily from 1:00pm to 11:30pm
3. Lithos Tavern (Athens)
Just a few minutes’ walk from the popular Museum of Illusions in Athens is Lithos – a seafood lover’s paradise. Recently renovated into a cosy space, patrons can pick the freshest catch from an open fish display showcasing the range of fish and seafood available for the day.
In Greece, locals have great respect for their food – part of the culture is in practising simplicity in cooking. The owners of Lithos pride themselves in knowing how to let the ingredients shine, without compromising on the fine-dining tradition of exquisite taste.
Be sure to try the fresh grilled fish, delicious wine-cream sauce with mussels and the moussaka. It also has a wide selection of quality meats and poultry for meat lovers far and wide. Don't miss the Tomahawk Pork Chop (EUR16.90, S$22), and Leg of Lamb (EUR18, S$25)!
Price range: EUR13 to EUR39 (S$18-54.70)
Address: Aisopou 17 Psirri, Athens Greece
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday - 5:00pm to 12:00am, Sunday - 1:00pm to 12:00am
4. Matsuhisa Athens (Athens)
Japanese celebrity chef Nobu Matsuhisa has had several restaurants bearing his name around the world, including Greece. You wouldn’t think that a star chef from Japan could make Greece his home, but you’d be surprised!
Borne out of the expertise and refinement of Japanese cuisine, along with the richness of Greek tradition, Matsuhisa Athens brings the two together in harmonic fusion.
For a true taste of luxury, order a glass of wine together with its signature miso-marinated black cod (EUR60, S$83) as you admire the view of the ocean. Opt for some delicious Wagyu Sashimi (EUR100, S$140) or some Octopus Carpaccio with Dry Miso (EUR36, S$50). Matsuhisa is a short walk from the Temple of Apollo Zoster.
Price range: Omakase menu starts from EUR180 (S$250.49), while a la carte dishes cost between EUR11 and EUR-100 (S$15-139)
Address: 40 Apollonos Street, Vouliagmeni, Athens 16671 Greece
Opening hours: Monday to Friday - 7:30pm to 12:30pm, Saturday - 1:30pm to 1:00am, Sunday - 1:30pm to 12:30am
5. Tavern Klimataria (Athens)
For authentic Greek food, dine in a traditional tavern at Klimataria. It’s a family-run restaurant, so you can expect a taste of home. Its decor is tasteful and warm, enough to welcome visitors from all over the world. It is famed for its traditional Greek dishes like Beef Kokkinisto (Greek-style beef stew).
While the tavern does not feature a very wide selection of food items, its prices are reasonable and the food is unabashedly authentic. Following the ethos behind Greek cooking, Tavern Klimataria crafts its dishes in harmony with the environment, explaining its choice of simple cooking with quality local ingredients.
You can find a great variety of affordable roast meat, local home-made dishes with fresh ingredients, fresh seafood from the wide region of Halkidiki and freshly-cut salads by local farms. Some of its rustic menu highlights include spit-roast kokoretsi, and traditional Greek sausages.
Price range: EUR8 to EUR16.00 for mains (S$13-S$28)
Address: Theatrou Square 2, Athens 105 52 Greece
Opening hours: Monday to Tuesday - 12:00pm to 11:30pm, Wednesday to Saturday - 12:00pm to 12:00am, Sunday - 12:00pm to 12:00am
6. Varoulko Seaside (Athens)
Seafood lovers, take careful notes: this place takes pride in serving the best seafood. Varoulko is popular amongst tourists and locals alike and its Michelin star is testament to the quality of the food. Enjoy the view of the vast ocean as you wine and dine. The focus is on superb quality fish – you can choose from an extensive à la carte or a tasting menu of the day’s specials.
On top of having a wide selection, it has clear allergen labelling on the menu - talk about attention to detail! The restaurant is near the Piraeus lighthouse, so you can enjoy some sightseeing before or after lunch.
Have a taste of the sea with prawns drizzled with wine sauce, garlic and parsley (EUR19, S$26) and the Grouper with risotto and shiitake mushrooms on Amaretto sauce (EUR30, S$42).
This restaurant is highly raved about and is a culinary experience in Athens. Visit Varoulko for modern Greek cuisine at its best.
Price range: EUR120 to EUR150 (S$168-S$210) per couple (including wine servings).
Address: Koumoundourou Coast 54-56, 10435 Peiraeus
Opening hours: Opens daily from 1:00pm to 12:00am
There you have it! A quick guide to the gastronomic paradise that is Greece. Greek food may look simple, but with its colourful ingredients and simple preparation, these Mediterranean flavours sure pack a punch.
When visiting and sightseeing in Greece, local cuisine is a must-try for all. Whether you are travelling alone or with a friend, make sure to bring your cameras and snap some beautiful pictures of her famed blue and white backdrops for memory's sake. We hope that this list of restaurants aids you in your planning process!
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