Greece’s capital city is most famous for its ancient cultural heritage, but Athens also has one of the most dynamic culinary scenes in the Mediterranean. Cosmopolitan Athenians dine out regularly in the restaurants and tavernas that crowd the trendy districts of Plaka and Psiri, and the city’s bars and distilleries fuel the buzzy nightlife.
I love to mix it up when I visit Athens, focusing on classic Greek cuisine in landmark restaurants for some meals and contemporary takes that surprise for other meals. I also prepare myself for late nights, because dining and imbibing flow easily into the wee hours in this vibrant metropolis. Here’s how to sample the best of Athens’ food and drink in three days.
Scorching summers mean late dinners and after-dinner drinks that can run until dawn.
If you only have time for one thing, make it street food in the bustling Monastiraki district.
You won’t need lunch after your morning food tour, but by afternoon may be feeling peckish. Sit down at a wine shop at the foot of the Acropolis for a guided tasting of leading Greek wines paired with traditional finger food, including cheese and cold cuts.
Start with a traditional Greek breakfast at the city’s bustling market. Join a guide at the best stands on Athinas Street and enjoy Greek yogurt, Greek coffee, sweet koulouri (sesame bread rings), and savory spanakopita.
Athens is surrounded by historic vineyards and olive groves that produce some of the country’s top wines and olive oils. Visit the family-run cellars and farm estates for tours plus wine and olive oil tastings.
Cap off your final day with a sunset cruise and dinner at sea. Landlocked Athens is just minutes from the coast. Set off in the late afternoon to admire the views from the water and tuck into a traditional Greek barbecue on board.