Beyond the classical Athens, guests are now spoiled with a variety of culinary experiences as the new gastronomy scene offers more than just top chefs and trendy restaurants. Architecture meets food creativity and styling, the new restaurant concepts are worth exploring and among my favorites are the below:
Funky Gourmet is located in downtown Athens, at Kerameikos and needs no further introduction for the gastronomy lovers. With a plethora of awards and 2 Michelin stars, is a small restaurant with a great Greek contemporary cuisine. Set in a refurbished neoclassical building, the décor is minimal in grey and dark colours so the food is at centre stage. The menu is avant-garde, based on traditional recipes and the chefs mission is certainly to create emotions and memories from a unique Athenian culinary experience. My favourites in the menu are Lahanontolmas, the silence of the Lamb and Melomakaron for desert!
Spondi is located at the heart of Athens in the area of Pagrati and next to Panathenion marble Stadium. The building is a classical structure, which features elements of classical and modern era, where the stone blends in with fine furniture and fabrics. A highlight is the internal courtyard, which has a homey elevated ambience from spring till early autumn. The menu changes according to the season, so the Chefs always use fresh produce. The plates offer a combination of tradition and creativity, and my favorites are Veal Sweetbread, the Sea Bass and of course the Black Chocolate with Rum Zacapa. The restaurant has been awarded 2 Michelin stars and many international awards.
Milos is cited on the ground floor of Hilton Hotel in Athens. The ambience is modern with neutral colors while during spring and summer there is an outdoor area, which is highly recommended especially during the evening. The menu follows tradition while the main ingredients are fish, seafood, honey and salt from Cythera. My favorite dishes are Salmon tartar and Grilled Octopus with fava beans and capers form Santorini.
Homey is a home base restaurant opened by Chef Barbarigou’s daughter Constantine in the residential area of Chalandri, a northern Athenian suburb. The interior design is contemporary with minimal lines and shades of grey. The menu is traditional Greek using local products and ingredients, while every day the menu includes homemade recipes such as fasolakia, mousakas and gemista. The wine list is surprising extensive with some of the best Greek wines while the cocktails are also raising the tempo. A trendy spot with a warm atmosphere home away from home.
Spiti (which in Greek means home) is a restaurant with a specific mission: To make guests feel totally at home. The design is modern with open spaces, a cocktail bar and a cozy garden. The menu is based on Greek traditional dishes but with a modern twist and a few Italian influences (pizza is amazing). The staff is super friendly, the perfect hosts.
Psomi kai Alati (in Greek means bread and salt) is the name of the restaurant created by Chef Loukakos in the heart of Chalandri area in Athens. The décor is modern and simple, with bright colors, which create a happy ambience. The menu is based on traditional Greek recipes and changes every 3-4 months while best sellers include the kourkoubines and the giouvetsi. At Psomi kai Alati there are weekly cooking lessons also which have become very popular for Greeks and travelers. Lessons also include the recipes of the signature dishes of the restaurant.
Π Box is based in Kifissia area in the most commercial street and is a trendy destination. The menu is based on Simple ingredients, unique international tastes with a Greek twist while the friendly atmosphere and comfort has made it a popular meeting destination throughout the day from lunch to dinner and drinks. Popular dishes are the chicken tandoori and the spaghetti vongole.
Maria Nikolakaki is Managing Partner at Beyond Spaces Villas.