Eating. It’s one of the best parts of travel as far as I’m concerned. There are always new tastes and surprises, and often a completely new food that becomes a repeated treat during my stay, and a special memory.
So, drawing on our experience in Athens, here is where I would choose to return to if we are lucky enough to find ourselves back one day:
Plaka Steps and Anafiotika Cafe
These restaurants are on the edge of the picturesque Anafiotika (See my Anafiotika in Photos), on the slopes of the Acropolis. Because of the location, on the slope, this pedestrian street is made into steps up the hillside. Cafes line both sides of the street, with seating arranged creatively (and at times compactly) right up the steps.
This all combines for a very unique dining experience. The steps are lively with people passing through, eating, and just lounging and chatting over a beverage, seemingly from early lunch and on through the evening.
We settled ourselves in at Anafiotika cafe, and enjoyed shaded rest from our touring, drinks, and a quite excellent Greek Salad and Pizza. (Pizza may not sound very Greek, but it was definitely tasty!)
Go to the Anafiotika Cafe Website Here
Restaurant Row – Dia Tafta
I always like to find the nooks and crannies where there are several restaurants in one area. That way, I can browse the menus of the places that look good, and let my mood and selection make the final decision on what I eat at the moment.
On Adrianou, just outside the Athens Agora, is a line up of sidewalk cafes and restaurants giving you plenty of options for a good meal and an excellent location to rest if you have been wanding the Agora in the hot sun.
We chose Dia Tafta for our lunch, and had a lovely, quiet meal with lots of people watching to keep us entertained.
Go to the Dia Tafta Restaurant Website Here
Cafe Latifis – View of Acropolis
Cafe Latifis was an accidental find on my part. It was my last afternoon in Athens, and I had been wandering Plaka. A little shopping, into an art gallery, taking pictures. Right about the time I just really wanted to sit down to rest my feet and have something to drink, I came upon this friendly little stop.
I sat in a sidewalk seat and had myself an iced coffee, that was sort of a frothed iced mocha. The cafe was a great place to watch the world go by, and the iced coffee was a creamy treat. But then, seeing my camera, the nice guy waiting on me told me I had to come with him upstairs and see the view.
The upstairs terrace has a great view of the Acropolis. Someone was already sitting in the prime seats for the view, so my server and I just made friends and started chatting. Then we were taking pictures, and generally having a fun & goofy time with the people there. It was a treat I hadn’t expected when I stopped to rest my feet!
Quick Frozen Yogurt Stop
We really lucked out because Fresko Yogurt Bar was right around the corner from our hotel, on our way into Plaka each day. The selection of different frozen yogurts is wide, and then there are a number of toppings and additions you can choose to put together into your own unique frozen yogurt or smoothie treat.
It gets hot and dry and dusty in Athens, so this little stop to cool down is especially inviting. I, personally, recommend the Mandarin-Lemon smoothie. Very refreshing!
Athens Gate Hotel
We were fortunate enough to be staying at the Athens Gate Hotel, which made dining at the rooftop hotel very convenient. But even if we hadn’t been staying in the hotel, I would recommend the rooftop restaurant for both the view and the food. However, this is not a budget-travel option, but more on the pricier end. It was worth the splurge though, so consider it.
The exterior walls of the restaurant are all glass, and a terrace surrounds them So it’s really hard to get a seat, whether inside or out, where you can’t see the view. Plus, the location of the hotel provides a view of the Acropolis on one side, the Temple of Olympus Zeus on the other, Mt. Lycabettus in the distance to one direction, and Athens all the way to the sea to the opposite direction. The view alone is worth dinner here.
Athens Gate Hotel Restaurant, however, doesn’t disappoint in the food department either. In fact, it’s a wonderful meal, and we had to go back a second time and do it again while we were there. I talked at length about the food and the magical tomato chutney in this post reviewing the hotel, and I’m not a tomato chutney person!
For a handy traveler’s map of our favorite stops in Plaka, see our post: Map of Top Things to Do
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