With Athens as my first stop in Greece and only having a couple of nights, I made it my mission to try some of the best Greek restaurants recommended from real locals. It can be easy to get pulled into the cheesy Greek fast food take outs, but heed my advice and suss out authentic cuisine. I can certainly say my new friend Sebastian from Belgium and I were very impressed with some of the places we tried!
My favourite place of all had to be the dinner we ate at a gorgeous little restaurant called Mamas. The menu offers pictures of the the dishes along with the name to help you make your decision and boy, let me tell you, we wanted to try everything! In the end we settled on sharing a few plates so we could sample more dishes.
We started with sardine salad and then had a main of octopus tentacle with black eyed beans and the slow cooked beef, cheese and vegetable pot. The meat from both the seafood and the beef was melt in your mouth delicious and of course the meal wasn’t complete without some local wine.
(Dinner has arrived, what could be inside??)
(Delicious beef pot of goodness uncovered!)
I’ve always been a lover of white wine, but my tastes have broadened with travel and now I quite often pick red to drink with a meal. I have to say though, from sampling both at Mamas, the white was the standout of the two. Both Sebastian and I agreed it was the superior choice with our mainly fishy meals and not overly heavy red meat dish, so we grabbed a jug and got merrily tipsy!
Just a side note, they don’t serve the wine in wine glasses. You get given little glass cups, meaning you’re drinking much quicker as it was a sweet wine and felt like you were drinking out of a water glass! Our bellies were quite full, but we weren’t done yet as the dessert stomach had to be satisfied.
We moved onto the little dessert cafe next door called Lukumades. This cafe serves a few options, but the best to try are the little pancake balls of deliciousness, coated in either a preselected arrangement or you can choose a mixture of your own toppings including sauce, ice-cream, nuts etc. These desserts are becoming more chain like all over the world now, but is a popular dessert in Greece as suggested by our guide so we gave it go. Sebastian decided on the strawberry cheesecake topping and I had the Gold Medal. I certainly felt like I was winning with this dessert!
(Gold Medal – Warm pancake balls with cookies and cream ice-cream, Nutella sauce and crushed pistachio nuts)
I’m sorry that my images are dark and terrible, but even still you can see how delicious this treat is! if you see a Lukumades on any of the islands you visit (pretty sure there is one in Athens, Rhodes and Crete) you will be praising the heavens above for whoever created this sweet dish!
Once you’ve dined until your heart is content, the morning after a detox might be necessary. I found this fantastic juice bar near Syntagma Square. I have forgotten its name, but it is next to the cafe called Mr Baker (great home made bakery with yummy cookies!) on the Main Street the buses drive on. They had over 50 juice options that range from cleansing your body, to help you stop smoking, to improve mental health and so on and so on. It was so cool to read about how the different Vitamins and minerals help your body and I went for a yummy smoothie with a mixture of blueberries, strawberries, honey, yoghurt etc. and was thoroughly happy with my choice!
Of course whilst in Greece you are bound to eat lots of gyros and souvlaki, but don’t get stuck eating it for every meal just because it’s cheap! It’s worth it to spend a bit more money on quality food and why wouldn’t you when Greece has such great seafood to offer! At Mamas, the meal split between us only cost €15 which is relatively well priced for what we got! Trust me, your tummy will be happy with these suggestions.
♥ Love from Leah