Olive Magazine's round-up of the very best budget restaurants in the Greek capital, include Cookovaya, Kriti, Chryssa Chryssa, Stani and To Mavro Provato. These places offer traditional Greek dishes cooked in modern style, from feta pie with sesame and honey to fresh tzatziki with slow-cooked roast beef and octopus carpaccio.
The financial wrangling may be continuing in Greece but, for travellers, the situation is clear-cut: go now and you can enjoy both a cheap holiday, and the satisfaction of helping local businesses (and the people who rely on them). With that in mind, here are five great places to eat out fabulously on a budget in Athens.
Through an unassuming arcade in a slightly down-at-heel part of the city, Kriti is a family-run restaurant serving dishes from Crete. Cooked in a tiny kitchen by one Mrs Katchoulis, take your pick from fabulous ribs with red peppercorns and spicy sauce, smoked apaki sausage, feta pie topped with sesame and honey, Dakos salad (a crispy barley rusk base with fiery red tomatoes, galomyzithra cheese, and crettama, a Cretan sapphire), fried stuffed olives and plates of creamy, soft cheese from Sitia. A selection of plates to share costs around € 15 pp.
5 Veranzerou, Kanigos Square. Tel: +30 210 382 6998
2) Chryssa Chryssa
Well-known chef and owner Chryssa Protopapa lost her previous restaurant earlier in the crisis but after saving for several years she has now opened this simple, subtle treasure. Think refined traditional Greek cuisine – country-style knotosouvli (spit-roasted chicken) with roasted pies and fresh tzatziki, and slow-cooked roast beef with smoked eggplants. Nothing costs more than € 9. Pictured top is Chryssa Chryssa's Saganaki feta cheese pie.
4 Artemissiou. Tel: +30 210 341 2515.
This stunning restaurant is the lovechild of five of the city’s best chefs who’ve joined forces in the kitchen to produce food they describe as ‘bright and clear without adornments’. The menu changes twice a day, the catch is from the Mediterranean only and everything is made in-house. Food is cooked in a wooden oven and on a charcoal grill and includes the likes of charred octopus or sea bass carpaccio and ergolavos dessert – almond biscuit, almond cream and strawberry compote. A three-course lunch costs around €
20 pp. 2A Chatzigianni Mexi st. 11528. Tel: +30 210 723 5005.
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By: Audrey Gillan