Ciao Italia is a place that I don’t get excited with but I always feel comfortable with because it brings back sweet memories. I started to visited it 15 years before for the simple reason it was very convenient after a long night out drinking because this place was open 24 hours. And that’s the main advantage of them still today, a nice place for an afterhour snack.
They also deliver food at home (9.00am-03.00am) but I prefer to go there when we need something like a pizza, spaggeti, the lovely gnocchi or a nice salad. The only complain is that their dishes used to be huge in early ‘00s but ok they are still big in size don’t worry
….we have to take care of our diet I know…. And of course now they also have what they call fitness menu… But please, don’t miss their yummy like hell chocolate croissant :) it’s probably one of the best in town.
There’s free wi-fi. Service is good and the prices normal.
The truth is that I prefer some old traditional patisseries to eat loukoumades but the last years there some new players in town. One of them is centrally located near Monastiraki square. Loukoumades is a small place that offers good variety, classic ones (2,50e), with honey and cinnamon(2.90e), with praline and almond(3,50e), with different ice creams (4.20-4.50e)
A different choice is to choose some that also filled inside, we checked the ones with chocolate (3.80e), but next time I should try some with lemon cream or masticha (3.80e)
They also have some ice creams, soft drinks and granites but this is a place dedicated to loukoumades.
There are 3-4 tables inside but most people just order and take away, you can actually see them preparing the loukoumades in front of you. By the way they use local honey which is always a positive bonus.
A little corner unseen in the Syntagma square, a safe and healthy haven away from the busy crowd and the polluted traffic
Fresh, natural products, bio & organic
mainstream dishes to put smiles on our faces
rich juices to recharge city strollers....and a lot more!
It is a mood maker!
Favorite Dish: Even non-vegans can enjoy a full flavour and rich meal.
I -not a vegan!- often order for work (they also make deliveries to SYntagma & Kolonaki)
but I also have dinner with firends at the place.
Melilotos (sweet clover) blooms in the heart of Athens
Ideal for visitors for eating after shopping and strolling in the city center and for locals to have a lunch break at work - they also deliver!- or to play the tourists in our own city at the week-ends!
The place is simple and clean, effortless, greek style with respect to food, resources and cooking:
Use of natural ingridients provided by owners' family and friends all over Greece
Basic cooking methods - no microwave!- handmade sauces and pies, no preservatives
Search of fresh, healthy materials in the Athens and all over Greece that bring the original smell and the full flavour!
Favorite Dish: There is a different menu every day !
Everything I tried was very well cooked and delicious
Want to find out what is so charming about Athenians crowding on stairsteps, sitting in the street to have a coffee or a drink ?
If you are a tourist you are bound to pass through those stairs at Plaka - next time stop and have a drink with us!
This is the café that I use to drink my Sunday hot chocolate. It’s very small with only 7 tables inside and some more outdoors. It has a big collection of coffees (several types of greek/turkish coffe, and many modern ones), several chocolates (I love the one with white and black chocolate mixed) etc Cafes/chocolates served with small cookies while beers or other alcohol drinks come with small pieces of cheese and jam!
I like the decoration, full of black and white pictures on the wall and many instruments on the opposite one (percussion etc), even at the WC you can see funny comics on the walls :)
the cafe no longer exists :(
I truly consider it a “Must Visit” and it is in my list among the Top 3 restaurants in Athens that combines high quality food, the portions are big and the cost of each dish is reasonable, not to mention the warm hospitality of the owners.
Trikyklo is for me the #1 Greek Mezedopoleio -a multi-functional kind of restaurant. I was telling the owners that besides the food that I love here is its quality, the character and style of the whole place.
It is very different to the normal restaurants, -not touristy at all, very popular with locals, but the tourists who come here are people who come because they have read reviews and know that this place guarantees authentic Greek food. They are the ones who appreciate all the above.
LOCATION: This is our 3rd visit and we did come here because it is an exceptional little gem and we happened to be staying at a neighbouring hotel –The Athens Gate. The 2 other times we came to the restaurant we took a taxi but this time it was so pleasant walking through the streets of Athens in the evening. The wild orange trees were in full blossom and there was a balmy aroma coming from everywhere while walking. Athens is so beautiful and inviting in spring! There are wild orange trees in nearly every neighbourhood.
It was only a 10 minute walk from our hotel!
**Be sure to check the Google map through the website of the restaurant. It is helpful a lot because the street where the restaurant is, happens to be pedestrian and the taxi has to drop you off a few metres away. It is situated next to the park of the hill of Lambraki on Pitheou Street, and the house is newly renovated, Classical, -a two storey building of 1931.
When you come here ask the owner to take you upstairs as well to see for yourselves its smart interior. Mind you, there is a huge pine tree just in front of its entrance in this quiet neighbourhood with no exhaust fumes and cars passing by making noise.
ATMOSPHERE: It is the unique, and the owners truly represent the authentic Greek hosts. Ask Panayiotis to recommend for you different dishes, rely on him and you won’t regret it. This is how it works with us when we go. There is a smoking and a non smoking room, both decorated with style and taste with touches of folklore.
I consider it a multi-functional (cultural in a way spot) because once in a while it hosts photography and private art exhibitions. Several bands who happen to be friends with the owners come here so there are times when there is also live music, there is a bar, and at the same time it functions as a Coffee shop.
I noticed that the restaurant is extremely friendly and very acquainted with locals in the round area and each time I am there I am amazed to see people coming in friendly groups, to celebrate an occasion, blow candles, or enjoy a special event with their friends. It is such a cozy smart spot that I wish I lived in that neighbourhood.
SERVICE: Impeccable service, and each time the owner explains what we are being served in detail which is much appreciated.
CUISINE: Greek authentic dishes. If they come in the form of ‘meze’ similar to the Spanish tapas they are in smaller portions. There is a huge variety of meze and I find it difficult to choose out of the 50…probably more different dishes. The owners know how picky I am and I totally trust them when they recommend something.
APPETISER: Well we were offered a shot glass of raki to start with, which was a nice treat and gesture from the owners. It was cool and refreshing. You usually find it in several Greek restaurants but quality of course differs. The one out here is truly the best. You see, the owners are passionate with good wine and they are picky.
MEZE: We wanted to taste some different dishes this time so we let Panayiotis recommend a few. Instead of Tzatziki which is excellent and we had it the previous time, we had a twist of Tzatziki with different ingredients this time. In the place of yoghurt it was a puree of white beans. You should try it….Yummy! -3.20 euros.
“Revithokeftedes” it is actually ‘falafel” They were soft and tasty inside….I asked for some Tabasco chilly sauce and sprinkled a few drops on top. Outside they were crunchy just like I have them at home. Highly recommended! They cost 4.90 euros.
“Risotto Thalassinon”. You should definitely try the Seafood risotto. It costs 6.50 and I consider it a “must” try dish. It is made with rich seafood broth and it is amazingly tasty with several mussels and shrimps mixed in the risotto.
“Gavros Marinatos” –marinated anchovy….it was mouthwatering! I wanted to have the whole dish to myself. -5.60 euros.
“Sardela sharas” –grilled sardines were the day’s catch so fresh and tasty. Juicy inside and had the aroma of fresh sea! Exquisite!-6.20 euros.
We also had a pickled pepper filled with cheese. It is another meze of the Greek cuisine. It was refreshinly delicious. Personally I prefer this to any other kind of salad. It was juicy, light and nutrient….simply loved it. -4.00 euros.
The very last dish was “Marathopita” –A Fennel pie. It is traditional –I believe it is well know in Crete and it is very thin but so aromatic. –Delicious. It is indeed a delicacy. -4.20 euros
We accompanied all the above with “Roditis” distilled in Nemea. –viologiki kalieryia (no preservatives) and it comes in a carafe as well. It costs 7.00 euros the kilo. I am very picky when it comes to wine and I tried it first before giving the order.
“Roditis” is one of the most popular Greek varieties and it is perfect when cool with a characteristic acidity, usually combined with aromas of citrus and tropical fruit. The specific one was perfectly matching with what we had.
DESSERT: We had “psimeni raki” a liqueur-like raki, much sweeter than the one we had as an appetizer, ideal to accompany any dessert.
We had “glyko koutaliou” and “halvas”. -2.60 euros each. (Halvah –a sweet made of semolina cooked in honey or sugar syrup). Now –glyko koutaliou is a home made delicacy in syrup and we were brought two kinds to taste. It was ‘melintzanaki’ and ‘kydoni’…in other words it was a dessert made of baby aubergine and the second one was quince. All three were so tempting!
The owners are devoted enthusiasts of good food themselves so this and only this can be a guarantee of a superb cuisine. Their love for good food and good company resulted to this amazing multi cultural spot which I consider a hidden gem. I can easily call it a gem because it is, and the other reason is that it is not a touristy spot and it will never be….otherwise it will lose this precious character that has for years now.
High Quality products, it is actually a Package that has it All –Hospitality, Exceptional cuisine, Professionalism and Amazing people!
**By the way, the owners speak English as well.
Thank you guys for the excellent quality you offer. You deserve every credit because you are simply wonderful. Keep the good work up! I highly recommend it as the first choice of a Greek restaurant.
We spent a whole week in Athens and Alatsi was one of my three restaurant choices on this trip. It is a well known restaurant not only to Athenians but to tourists and travelers as well, -located by the Hilton…just a two minute walk.
The New York Times recommends it as one of the places to be visited in Athens. The Executive Chef Dimitri Skarmoutsos was out of the Restaurant the night we were there and I have to admit I was kind of disappointed.
The owner is the well known journalist Mr. Theodorakis –he was present the night we were there and I had the chance to meet him as well.
AWARDS: It was the year 2005 when Alatsi was launched and ever since it has received one “Gold Chef’s Hat” and six “Gourmet” awards for the quality of its cuisine and service.
With all the above, it has become a popular spot where some of the city’s exclusive people frequent here –intellectuals, businessmen, politicians and artists.
Have in mind that you should consider making a reservation especially on weekends. We arrived at 8:00pm –the restaurant was about 30% full, but after 9:30 it was almost full….and it was a weekday!
ATMOSPHERE: Alatsi means “salt” in Cretan dialect and the whole place is Cretan-flavored, from the interior colour –that of Knossos, photos from the island’s landscape on the wall, to the ancient bed frames that form the stair railings.
The interior is casual and simple but elegant at the same time.
CUISINE: The restaurant serves rustic and hearty Cretan dishes and everything is cooked in virgin olive oil, freshly picked herbs –this is partly where the excellent taste comes from. (Free range chicken and domestic meat). The taste and combinations were outstanding and everything comes from the distinguished team of Chef who is inspired from authentic Cretan recipes who uses exclusively indigenous ingredients. I found the food divine and delicious. It was presented with the artistic flair of nouvelle cuisine -interesting dishes from the Cretan tradition updated to suite modern taste.
**The menu list changes at regular intervals!
STAFF: Staff was mainly busy especially after 9:30 I cannot speak highly of them all. The majority looked amateur and I kept watching how they approached the guests. There was no smile, as if they were doing their job mechanically. Of course I cannot say anything negative for Yiota our waitress who was just the opposite from the rest of the girls. She proved to be our attentive hostess, eager to oblige the guests in her wing.
Michali our sommelier was just as good, knowledgeable and professional. He would explain with detail all about each dish and indeed I want to thank them both.
As a person who is on the go all the time, traveling a lot and writing, visiting countries, mixing with locals, tasting all kinds of different…sometimes weird cuisines, I consider myself a good restaurant critic and a food enthusiast with much taste and experience. I have visited 37 countries so far, the majority of them several times and I have learnt to appreciate good food. I am after quality and taste and I am extremely picky! Cretan cuisine is one of my favorite, it is popular worldwide, nutrient and very tasty!
We started with a glass of cool raki ….how could we start otherwise!
A jug of pure virgin olive oil, so aromatic that you could drink it, fresh bread, rusks and very tiny black olives which I am sure were wild, were brought to us to accompany our raki.
I asked and tried the restaurant’s red wine, I found it perfect for what there was to follow and we had a carafe of that.
STARTERS: Next we had 2 pieces of Kaltsouni. Traditional Cretan pies filled with goat cheese and mint and each piece costs 2.00 euros. Yummy!
We tried different salads which are my favorite! We had Taramosalata (fish roe salad) It was so tasty that words fail me.
Stewed split peas with caper leaves, black olives and onion. In Greek it is ‘Fava’ it was amazingly delicious –a savory dish!
The Couscous was unbeatable not only to the taste but nicely presented, colorful and nutrient! (mini pasta) mung beans and Cretan herbs. Each of the above cost 6.50 euros.
We also had a portion of Fried potatoes –at 6.50, served with cheese or staka.
We had two more starters at 9.00 euros each. “Graviera Saganaki (fried gruyere with carob flour, oats, poppy seeds and homemade sweet quince. I loved this contrast, kind of peculiar but interesting.
“Kapnisti melintzana me syglino” in other words, Smoked eggplant with siglino (smoked pork), caramelized onions and staka. It was juicy and flavored but too rich for my taste, however my husband liked it a lot.
One of my favorite was Liver! -A nutrient dish full of flavor and color. I can admit that I am not that crazy about liver but this was beyond my expectations. An amazingly rich and flavorful, nicely cooked. I consider it a very good dish.
“Kalogeriko Macaroni” the Whole Grain Pasta with olives is another dish I highly recommend if you are fond of pasta. It was flavored with fresh marjoram, cherry tomatoes, sun dried tomato and fresh goat cheese.
“Stewed Octopus” with pearl onions. It is hard to believe that this is a frozen product and I could bet that it was fresh. I still remember its texture. It was tender and juicy, full of flavor! All three cost 11.50 each.
Michali the somellier suggested that at this point we could taste the Cretan beer (Charma) at 4.00 euros a glass, so we gave it a try. It was good, so refreshing and never regretted it.
“Gamopilafo” is at 16.00 euros and it is the traditional Rice pilaf as prepared for Cretan weddings with chicken and lamb. It is made with rich meat broth and sheep-milk butter. It had a creamy consistency full of meat flavor. I consider it a “must”. It was heavenly!
The very last and a favorite dish was “Kotsi” at 16.00 euros. The secret of this exquisite dish is that it is cooked slowly for hours! No matter what I write to describe it words fail me. I dare say exquisite!
DESSERT: Desserts cost 7.00 euros and if you have a sweet tooth I recommend the Traditional Cretan pie with goat cheese. “Sfakiani pita”
We accompanied desserts with ‘rakomelo’ …like liqueur.
Out of curiosity I tried the Tratitional Greek dessert with wheat, pomegranate seeds, walnuts, sesame seeds and black raisins. Greeks might be surprised to hear that I am referring to “Kolyva” –a dessert given at church when somebody dies! Yes, it is a fact here. However, I have to admit that I was totally disappointed. I found them bland not to mention that out of the whole portion there were only 3 seeds of pomegranate. I am extremely fond of kolyva but not these!
“Loukoumades” (donuts with honey) They were supposed to be very crunchy. On the contrary, the ones we had were soft like sponge and we were disappointed!
For this reason I asked for something refreshing and I highly recommend the Rose Ice Cream. I had it plain but it is usually served with Chocolate with chocolate syrup and Yogurt with honey and walnuts.
And an unexpected surprise treat from the restaurant was the complimentary Cretan raki to take home….for our digestion! Indeed this was a nice gesture truly appreciated!
SERVICE: The service we had was very attentive and nice. The clientele was chic and stylish. The atmosphere was cozy and casual.
The food was authentic, eclectic, hearty and delicious with one or two exceptions.
It is really a great restaurant. The culinary Cretan courses we had were exquisite, prepared from pre ingredients with a refined intensity of flavors for the tongue and the most delicate presentation for the eye.
Last but not least I ought to state that customers have the alternative of a cheaper lunch menu which is at 15.00 euros. ( it includes starters, a main dish and dessert).
There is the Dinner menu of 17.00 and 20.00 euros respectively -contact the restaurant for details.
I highly recommend Alatsi for a friendly gathering, a romantic outing or a special occasion.
NEW ADDRESS: Tzougri is owned by George Partsalakis, the famous and well known Greek actor and his son Manolis. He is really a beloved actor for Greeks and I cannot imagine anyone here who does not know him and his excellent acting.
The old Tzougri restaurant used to be at Thysio but recently has moved to Halandri. Luckily I decided to call and reserve a table thus I found out about the new address because changes are not as yet made on the net.
BUILDING: It is an imposing two storey modern building made of glass and steel and upon entering on the right hand side there is a bar and right opposite the entrance an open kitchen where you see all the chefs at work!
The interior is surprisingly warm and cozy with a sense of theatricality. The interior stone walls add style and character and are decorated with huge photos of distinctive personalities like Katrakis, Alexis Minotis, El Greco and posters highlighting the Crete’s beauty. The restaurant has dim lighting fixtures, creating a unique ambience with an imposing wooden staircase leading to the upper floor. Of course the interior décor is not yet finished at this point as it is only recently that they moved here.
We had the chance to chat a lot with the owners and Mr. Partsalakis was telling us that ever since he remembers himself he is out creating with his mind, soul and hands. His need to communicate with people was one of the reasons he became an actor after all, because “theatre means civilization” he stated.
I was curious and asked what the word Tzougri really means, so this is what the people of Crete call the peaks of the high cliffs where the Cretan wild goats ‘cri cri’ pasture.
Tzougri is the owner’s new creation and for him it is like inviting people at his home for a chat and good company.
Wine and good food helps people come closer. The owners are true-bred Cretan, hospitable and open-hearted so besides hospitality and exquisite taste expect to taste Traditional authentic Cretan recipes here with no twists! You don’t come across this authenticity in many restaurants here in Athens even though their owners like to call them such.
PRODUCTS: Every product used here comes daily directly from Crete, and when I got the menu list in my hands and read all those names of dishes I knew that I certainly need to come back. For an exception I asked to try several in smaller portions –something like ‘pikilia’.
OUR MENU: We were offered ‘raki’ to start with –the Cretan traditional drink. It was cool and nice.
Salads vary between 7.00 euros to 9,50 (mixed salad with grilled veggies, pine cone seeds and balsamic sauce). We did not bother with salads other than the boiled Stamnagathi (7.00 euros) which is commonly used in Crete. It used to be foraged only in the wild in the cooler seasons but in recent years it is being cultivated successfully in Crete the year round. It comes directly from Crete and I urge visitors to try it. It is nutrient, light and unbeatable.
Instead of bottled wine we preferred Cretan red wine which was brought in a carafe. It was just as good and we did not get dizzy at all even though I know that Cretan wines are really strong.
We had a round barley rusk ‘Ntakos’ with freshly cut tomato, virgin olive oil, ‘mizithra’ cheese, and tiny small black olives. -5.50 . The barley dako was indeed tasty. It is the ubiquitous Cretan snack ….you should try it!
I highly recommend ‘kaltitsounia’ home-made pastry pies. We tried those with fresh Cretan white cheese (myzithra) and mint, and the ones with wild green leaves –fennel weed etc. I loved both but the ones with green fennel and fresh onions were truly traditional and very aromatic.
Both cost 5.50 each.
You cannot leave without tasting ‘Apaki’! It is a gourmet traditional Cretan delicacy made of smoked lean pork. It reminded me of the Cypriot ‘lountza’. This is at 6.50 euros.
Snails - this is another Cretan characteristic dish. (Fried snails with a touch of vinegar and on the island they are called “Hohlii Boubouristi”. The rosemary herb was so aromatic, snails were superb and I asked for a second dish….simply delicious! The dish costs 8.00 euros.
Out of the 13 main dishes we had 3. I could not leave without tasting “Gamopilafo’ which is served the moment it is cooked! This was at 14.50. It is extremely delicious and a ‘must try’ by all means! It is the Cretan pilaf –in other words it is rice in broth of lamb, goat or chicken, dipped in stakovoutiro (a local kind of butter from milk crest). It is heavenly!
The next dish …well, I had never in my life tasted such tasty piece of meat. It is sauti baby lamb cooked for hours and in very slow fire to become tender. It was accompanied by baked potatoes. I cannot find words to describe this exquisite dish. Even the adjective I use sounds too little! In Greek it is called “arnaki tsigaristo”.
I also recommend that you try the hand-made “skioufikta zymarika” –sauce from grilled domatini and dry cheese. Cost 9.50
I seldom like pasta but I loved these!!
DESSERT: The list of desserts included 5, but we really wanted to taste something really special and unusual for us.
The owner suggested that we try the restaurant’s cheese cake and ‘loukoumades’ which are accompanied with ice cream. We skipped the ice cream and had loukoumades in syrup which were crunchy and mouthwatering. As for the cheese cake….well it had nothing to do with the usual cheese cakes we usually have.
This particular one was made from barley-rusk as the base, Cretan cheese, topped with tomato dessert. I had never heard of tomato dessert before but we both loved it!
Loukoumades were at 5.50 euros and the cheese cake costs 6.00 euros.
THE CHEF: I went to the kitchen to meet the Chef who is Emmanuel Houlaki and congratulate him for the authentic dishes and his cuisine. We had a little chat but he was really busy because customers kept coming in (Greeks eat late). I will definitely like to return. There is plenty of an outdoor seating under the jasmine and the owner was telling us that very soon they will open the doors and extend the dinning space outside. Imagine having all these amazing dishes under the shade of a huge jasmine!
I highly recommend Tzagri. Everything was of excellent quality and original taste. Each and every dish was delicious, the ingredients fresh and it certainly worth a visit.
It is advisable to book a table before going especially during weekends because the restaurant is quite popular.
Tip: There are a number of dishes ideal for vegetarians as well.
The New Summer a la carte menu is based on Authentic Greek Traditional Cuisine. Salads and starters vary from 8.00 to 14.00 euros. The Chef was telling me that they choose the best seasonal quality products from different parts of Greece and they try to include as much as possible organic products of the finest and freshest produce.
Risotto and Pasta dishes vary between 12.00 to 15.00 euros.
Meat dishes –grilled chicken breasts cost 15.00 and the grilled baby veal steak with mixed grilled salad served with BBQ sauce and village fried potatoes is at 21.00. The most expensive one is the beef fillet flavoured with fresh butter, served with grilled baked potatoes and two meat sauce (Jack Daniels & BBQ) for 27.00 euros.
The Fresh Salmon fillet costs 23.00 and the Fresh Sea bream Fillet with saffron sauce –served with potatoes, celery and carrots costs 26.00 euros.
Desserts cost 8.00 – Choice of Kayak Ice creams, Orange or Walnut pie and Ice Cream, Chocolate Souffle with Ice cream, Caramel Fudge Cheese Cake, etc.
Wine by Glass (5.00 – 7.00 euros)
Bottled White wine varies, starting from 16.00 to 28.00 euros.
Red Wine varies from 18.00 to 39.00 euros.
The catalogue is long with popular local names of wineries …and not only!
The View: I have never before been to a restaurant as close to the Acropolis as this one -Listed as #4 Roof Top Views of the World! The view is spectacular no matter what time of day or night you come here. It is no need to get out searching for a restaurant with a view if you have all this at the place where you stay!
TIP: Between us, restaurants in the touristy area of Plaka are not only expensive but a rip-off. At the same time you cannot be sure of the quality of food offered. I am talking about the spots where tourist agencies book to host tourists and you don’t see Greeks around. Try to avoid them!
The view of the city from the hotel's Roof Top is possibly the BEST in the whole of Athens.
When the word “Byzantino” comes to my mind I instantly think of consistency in quality and service, consideration, adaption to the new gastronomic and social trends.
The restaurant combines a touch of glamour with modern design. It is available for lunch or dinner and it also serves brunch on Sundays.
It is another favourite meeting spot of the Athenian elite since 1963. I know from friends who come here at least once a month who time and again speak highly of its rich buffet options. The restaurant is focusing on Greek and Mediterranean cuisine.
I am not that fond of buffets and I did not have the chance to have lunch or dinner here but I had breakfast the two days we were staying at the Hilton.
Breakfast at Byzantino is rich and sumptuous and there is an open kitchen where the guest sees cooks at work. The buffet has everything for everyone enough to fill you up till dinner. The quality is great and the coffee is really strong and hot just I prefer it.
The Galaxy has opened for winter for the first time this year and it is as always an unbelievably hot spot. Athens looks as beautiful as ever from up here -the 13th floor and the place has a trendy vibe and an unparalleled ambience. Its chic and contemporary decor, plush wooden decking and the glass-top bar makes it distinct. If you come here after dark you will see it transformed into one of the Athens’ most fashionable destination. It has glamour and style with different events taking place every now and then making it a popular haunt for local celebrities. It is a steady value among the Signature dining spots of Athens.
The ceiling resembles the bright galaxy: stars, planets, flying-saucers, an “explosion” of colours in a fascinating set. The large mirror placed behind the bar broadens the view, while the dashing lights above add an Italian elegance.
The second night of our stay at the Hilton we dined here and we noticed several changes since our last visit and I have to admit that the winter look adds more to its glamour. Whether the guest comes here for a drink, or to dine, it is as always an “out of this world” experience. The place keeps busy welcoming new and old guests, the view is enchanting and Galaxy has the unique ambience and the tranquil lighting to make guests indulge in the musical choices of the DJ. -instantly be transported by the exhilarating view of the Acropolis and the city of Athens. It is a favourite hangout point of celebrities and citizens of the world. The lights of the city become one with lights in the ceiling and it feels as though you are travelling the capitals of the world.
In summer it prides for its amazing open-air terrace, the outdoor barbeque with the chef’s experienced team is one of the most important advantages of the restaurant.
Bar: The Bar has a unique setting and guests can savour a speciality cocktail, try the amazing Sushi, the delicious finger food and pick something from the rich selection of international beers and spirits. Early evening brings a cool, eclectic clientele who know the place well, being one of the trendiest spots in Athens.
Restaurant: Its authentic Classic Mediterranean Cuisine is fused with an international modern flair. The cuisine prides for its amazing Sushi and Japanese combinations of specialties as well.
In case of dining now that it is still cold and the seating plan is indoors, there is a choice between the sections overlooking the Acropolis, the Sushi bar where you can see the Chefs in action, a table with a view of the lights on the Avenue below and the Athens Tower.
The atmosphere in the restaurant is unique and it is the ideal place to share special moments with your other half. The first glass of champagne was the start to this trip of taste and challenge.
The food and everything we had was divine and after the third dish I felt the need to meet the Executive Chef and personally congratulate him on his cuisine and new post. I lately do this a lot, but only when I truly enjoy the food -I want to know the person behind it. Although Mr. Melemenis is humble as a person, I tried to dig a few things out of him the next day when we met for a cup of coffee so I had the whole picture then. I was impressed but it is a fact that he joined Hilton Athens team with distinct culinary mastery. When somebody admits that he has turned his love for cooking which was his hobby into a career, this is a guarantee for the highest standards.
Well, the catalogue was long and had some tempting choices, but what I really wanted to try most here were some Starters and the Sushi. As a person who is on the go all the time, travelling a lot and writing, visiting countries, mixing with locals, tasting all kinds of different food I want to consider my self a good restaurant critic with much taste and experience. You see, with experience comes confidence. I learnt to appreciate good food and I am very picky, although at home I eat very light and healthy nutrient food.
Being fond of Sushi, having tried it in Asia at first years back, then in the States, in Europe, Qatar and Cyprus, and lately in some of the best ranking signature restaurants of Athens, I grade the new Chef’s Magi/Year of the Dragon with an A+! This without exaggerating! Honestly it was the very best we had ever had. The Chef’s shrimp tempura (14.00 euros) was accompanied with avocado, cucumber, mayonnaise and chilly pepper, and on the side we had the Wakame salad out of the Japanese combinations & specialties list of the menu. (14.00 euros) The Magi came in 8 pieces, it was nicely presented on the platter and it truly exceeded our expectations in taste. –An excellent dish to be considered!
When I asked Yianni the sommelier to recommend a wine with a crisp and refreshing taste he suggested the Moschofilero Mantinia. When I am out in a restaurant and try different dishes I always love to have a matching wine with the specific dish. So, we had this for 13.00 euros the glass. It is a wine with surprising freshness with a wild floral intensity creating unexpected pleasure on the nose and palate.
Out of the Starters list we had the Jamon Iberico and assorted green salad for 21.00 euros and the first on the list with the Starters –the Roasted red beets for 14.00. I can totally live on salads and I loved the combination of this one. It is totally a nutrient dish of baby rocket, dried cranberries, Ricotta, and pickled pearl onions in red wine vinaigrette. Both were luscious salads. (Galaxy offers interesting choice of Vegetarian food as well).
Well, our next starter was a marvel. It was so tempting and I kept looking at it for seconds as if it was a piece of art -so colourful! It is a dish I highly recommend to everyone who appreciates good food. I even expect comments on this specific dish if you ever try it. So ask for the Smoked Salmon “Mezzaluna”, it only costs 19.00 because it is a starter but I could have it as my main dish and buy it for more! (vodka and black pepper infused with salmon reduction, black caviar and salmon roe)
We had two glasses of ‘Biblia Chora’ wine. It is an aromatic and fruity wine with rich flavour, and I come across it in most restaurants in Greece and Cyprus lately.
The last delectable starter we had was the Roasted grouper fillet, flavoured with lobster - spinach béchamel, lobster glaze and foam for 24.00. It was fresh, tender as it should be and juicy.
We accompanied the above two starters with a wine I am really fond of and we have it in our home wine collection as well. We were positive when the sommelier suggested it even if we had to pay 14.00 euro the glass. It was ‘Samarometra’ –a wine that on the palate offers a rich mouthful, with refreshing acidity and floral finish. It has an intense fruity character displaying aromas of tropical fruit and grapefruit. Indeed this was another successful match.
Now, for the end to sweeten our tooth, the Chef suggested that we try the 1st and 3rd on the list desserts. I could not believe my eyes when the Crème patissiere was brought to us. Presented in a clay flower little pot (see the photo) although a bit too sweet for my own tastes though people who have a sweet tooth will adore this dainty morsel.
I had the Whipped goat cheese, rhubarb, strawberries, with cocoa nibs.
What a heavenly desert, light and simple just like I expected it to be! If you see the picture you will totally agree with my choice! Along with dessert we had each a Greek Mastic Liquer. (12.00) If you have never tried tasting mastic before I urge you to do it and probably buy some from the duty free shops before returning to your country if you are a tourist. It is an excellent gift.
The Main Courses list include several interesting dishes ranking between 26.00 euros the cheapest – Mediterranean braised lamb shank, the Grilled chicken breast “Pot au Feu” for 28.00, Black Angus beef burger for 38.00, the Grilled Scottish wild salmon for 30.00….and this is probably what I want to try when I ever return. The most expensive dish is the Chef’s Cut Omaha Nebraska grain fed T-bone steak 600g for 58.00.
A guest can buy Cigars as well, starting from 11.50 the Montecristo #5 the same but #2 for 24.50 and the most expensive one is at 39.50 –the Trinidad Robustos.
Out of the list of Cognacs and Brandies the cheapest is Metaxa 12* Dry at 16.50, Martell Cordon Bleu at 36.00 with the most expensive one being the Louis XIII, Metaxa AEN at 107.00.
In all it was an exquisite dinner. From the style and ambience of the elegant dining room to the delivery of unparalleled service, the dedication to detail, makes dining at the Galaxy an experience to be cherished. The same passion is applied to sourcing fine quality ingredients and in the design of exciting new twists to contemporary Mediterranean cuisine. Congratulations to the new Chef and the people involved in the cuisine and restaurant.
If you are after good food, the highest quality and taste, this is the right spot for you. Enjoy every bite and let the menu and music travel you as we did !
We were in Athens for a couple of nights celebrating my birthday staying at the Royal Olympic hotel. We tried the signature gourmet restaurant of the hotel and we were definitely not disappointed but this second night we wanted something different and simpler. We were after authentic traditional Greek cuisine and I knew that we won’t be disappointed if we came here. So, here we are once again and this time we want to try some other dishes that we missed on our previous visit.
We came by taxi from the hotel and it cost us something like 3.50 euros. You see the restaurant is not too far from the hotel and if it was summer we could have come here on foot.
The restaurant is located just behind the Divani Caravel Hotel and in short distance from the Hilton in a small side street. The name Dimitris and Grigoris is on a much smaller rectangle sign high on the side of the wall, but what is highlighted is “Taverna” on the wall above the entrance as if this is the name of the restaurant! If you come here for the first time have a look on the main photo posted on TripAdvisor. It shows clearly the entrance and the sign of the restaurant so you can’t miss it!
Because I have been here and I know that it is a tavern that won’t disappoint the guest I urge tourists who are in the area to try it. It is the best alternative to save money and at the same time enjoy some good quality food. Before ordering extremely overpriced and barely average room service at any of the neighbouring hotels consider getting takeaway food from here…or come to the restaurant and enjoy your lunch instead of taking it up to your room! I bet you will be back the next day for more.
It is obvious that the two brothers continue to represent their family’s passion for excellent service and love for what they do. You see the tavern belonged to the boys’ father and the recipes are a well kept secret many of them coming from the boys’ grand mother. You will love the excellent food here whether you are a tourist or a local. Mind you, the tavern is a popular spot for Greek cuisine lovers, travellers, tourists, artists, even politicians. A tourist should avoid restaurants where you see no locals dining. The truth is that Greeks love good quality food, they are picky, they don’t like to be ripped off and they will return when they are satisfied. This is the case with this amazing little tavern.
On this second visit I felt as if it was yesterday that I dined here and we came early before other customers. By the time we left the restaurant was full…you see Greeks like to dine late. The boys make you feel like home indeed. Mind you, there are not many restaurants where you can feel this warmth of hospitality and it counts a lot to me who as a writer I am after promoting and highlighting the positive things of this country. Well, this humble little tavern is one of those gems that can make a Greek feel proud.
I had a look on the menu list but I also asked Dimitri to recommend something good for us. The boys always recommend great combinations out of the innovative dishes so we relied completely on them.
The starter was simply amazing! Tiny Cretan tomatoes in virgin olive oil sprinkled with oregano. What a taste and flavour indeed!
We had some amazing fried cheese which comes in sticks. This costs 3.50 and my favourite salad of the Cretan traditional grasse for 6 euros and is well known to Greeks –the Stamnagathi salad! Don’t leave the restaurant without trying it. It only costs 6 euros and it is superb.
The Tower of fried veggies came as a surprise to me. It included everything I love. It is another delicious grilled salad, nutrient, light in calories and full of vitamins. It included grilled zucchini, eggplant, pepper, carrots, and pleurotus mushrooms. All these for 7 euros.
The staffed vine leaves ‘gialantzi’ is another traditional Greek dish. We had 2 pieces out of the whole portion just to taste and we found them amazing. The normal portion costs 5.50. They were in yoghurt sauce sprinkled with virgin olive oil.
We accompanied our food with some red wine and to be honest I still remembered the quality of the restaurant’s red wine that we tried last year. The glass costs 2.50 euros but we had a ½ litre carafe for 4 euros only. The wine is great with an unbelievable ruby colour.
Dimitri and Grigori suggested a platter of mixed grilled which included grilled liver, steak, lamp chops, kebab, pitta bread, and fried potatoes. All these for 17-20 euros for 2 persons.
We did not ask for a dessert but we were brought the most amazing dessert I had for weeks. It was grilled quince with yoghurt and it came to us as complimentary. It was light in calories again, nutrient and amazingly delicious. In the menu list this costs 4.50 euros.
I wanted to have some idea of other dishes on offer here and the Tenderloin costs 9.50, Fried lamb liver for 2 costs 12 euros. The Veal Steak costs 14.50, and Cis Kebab is at 8.50. Any beer is at 3 euros and the Millefeuille is at 6 euros.
I highly recommend the restaurant to anyone who is after homemade tasty Greek food in amazingly reasonable cost. It is a guarantee that you won’t be ripped off. The excellent quality of each and every dish is high and the hospitality and service are beyond compare. It is cosy, and very simple inside. Although smoking is allowed yet you cannot feel the smoke at all because of the ventilation fan. I consider it a hidden gem, and it was Tuesday night and by the time we left there were none of the tables free.
I believe with the economic crisis in Greece where everything is considered, this little gem is highly appreciated by all -whether Greek or foreigners.
I can’t say enough about Vezene! I am very picky when it comes to food and this restaurant did not disappoint us at all. It has an elegant atmosphere and reminiscent mood of New York bistros -the style of Italian restaurants.
We dined here a couple of days ago while staying at the Hilton. It is actually across the street on a serene little lane. As always I like to recommend one or two restaurants in the area where we stay because I know that several guests like to taste something different besides the cuisine of the hotel they stay at. So, this restaurant is my alternative if you happen to be staying at the Hilton or any neighboring hotel.
It is a Bistro type of restaurant with beef and seafood ruling the menu with a feel of urban. An all-steel bolted wood brick oven coexists with induction cook tops and a red vintage Berkel meat slicer –a harmonious culinary marriage of tradition with technology. An in-house dry aging meat cooler holds the keys to the depth of flavour, -a guarantee for delicious meal. The atmosphere has an energetic vibe and the long menu list tantalizes the appetite!
What I really enjoyed was the fact that every single dish served here is made on the spot from scratch, and every dish has its unique taste and ingredients. You hardly see this happening nowadays! We loved its cozy atmosphere, its warm contemporary design, and the fabulous culinary creations that can please the most demanding guest.
Ari Vezene –a chef-restaurateur is the owner and designer of this amazing spot. His primary objective was to create a crystal clear identity of informal, unpretentious and unobtrusive elegance. The colours of the sand otherwise the perfect Beige monopolize the interiors in the form of authentic natural Italian cow skin leather, oak wood surfaces and most importantly hand applied eco friendly Persian Khorasani grained texture materials. The dimmed filament adds an extra orange color, giving the customer the illusion of dining under the streetlights. “Authenticity and originality are what I am after” these words come from the owner through the short chat we had that night.
I recommend that you make a booking before you come here especially if you plan visiting this place during the weekend. Some friends who come here often were telling us that it is daily packed with businessmen, sophisticate crowd of Athenians and several knowledgeable tourists from the round hotels. Well, it was exactly what we came across when we got here. The restaurant is quite popular and even though it was a weekday it was almost full. The space in the room is not that big, yet we were sitting in comfort and even though at the other end some people were smoking, the restaurant has good ventilation and the non smoking area was extremely clear.
The obvious specialization here is in meat, yet you can find delicious seafood dishes in interesting tasteful starters. We had several of those.
We had a paper bag with different interesting kinds of bread, crispy rolls, pop-over. This last one was exceptionally good and looks like muffin.
Don’t leave without tasting the Shrip Fritta. It was heaven! We have never tasted something similar. It was shrimps in thyme honey, pecans, wasabi cream and chilli flakes. –The cost 16 euros.
We had the Black Beluga lentils for 12.50, (Exarcho’s smoked Salmon, red onion, datteri, feta, but this dish did not excite us that much. It was nicely presented and the salmon was amazing but lentils were too hard.
We had the Scallop Capesante Al Forno for 5.50 the piece which were irresistible. (chives, guanciale iberico, chilli garlic, Alba truffle oil). Worth a try!
We had the Beef Tartar for 16.50. My husband liked it because he is after meat -I tried it though out of curiosity. I liked its slight sour –quite interesting taste that matched so well with our wine.
We had the Alpha Rose –Ktima Alpha for 29 euros the bottle. It comes from Amyndeon viticulture zone. It has a bright rose colour with saumon hints, fruity nose with rich expression. It is quite full, fat but balanced with long aftertaste. It was really nice and matching with what we had, with aromatic complexity. (Xyromayro 50%, Syrah 50%)
The other starter, -and I love the idea of starters myself, was the Mini Wagyu Burger. Meat lovers will love this. I only tasted it again out of curiosity but it is worth a try for those who love meat. It costs 4.50 (Wagyu Chuck Flap, brioche, foi gras, onion marmelata.
The last starter we had was the Beef Bone Marrow –Os Moelle De Boeuf. 12.50 euros. It was an interesting dish, that again excites meat lovers but I have a way to appreciate good food even if I am not after meat. I have travelled a lot and have become a food travel enthusiast and want to believe I am a good restaurant critic as well, with much taste and experience through the 37 countries I have already visited and plan to double in the coming years. I gained confidence through this experience so I can enjoy everything some more others less. The Beef Bone Marrow was accompanied by sour dough bread, pickled porcini, mustard, and parsley salad. I am sure it is another interesting dish to consider.
We finished this amazing trip of tastes with two highly recommended dishes from the main menu. The one was the Braised Oxtail Youvetsi in Nebbiolo for 18.50. It was simply yummy! (24hr slow braised buffalo oxtail and cheeks Sementine (100gr), aged piave vecchio cheese, and marjoram. Anything that is cooked slowly deserves every credit. It was exceptional and certainly worth to try.
The last dish which was out of the Beef menu was the Onglet. It might cost 23.50 but it pays for the money. (Hanging Tender, Marinade: green apple –soy- shallot ) It is so nicely presented in a cast iron pan straight from the fire! It is another dish not to be missed.
The dessert list included a Banana pie, Amedei Toscana chocolate, Key lime pie for 9 euros each, and gelato of the day for 3.50 a scoop.
Although we were just the two of us, we wanted to try something really special and ignored the price which was 31 euros…but the portion is for 4 persons in reality.
We had the ‘Deal Closer’ which was a –mountain of Madagascar vanilla ice cream, bitter chocolate tart, macademia nuts, gianduja flakes, fudge and rivers of butterscotch flowing all over it. The taste and flavours of all what I mentioned above, makes it exceptional and worth trying, and it comes with a huge butcher’s knife to handle it!
We had no idea how to serve it, and the waiter explained that we don’t move the knife on top we just take spoonfuls out of this –mountain of ice-cream! It was a bit sweet, but it worth the extra calories just for a try and the fun! It was an arresting spectacle on our table, highly recommended!
I found the wine list long and interesting with wines coming from Greece, the U.S.A., South Africa, and Europe. Price varies with the cheapest starting from 15 euros to 363 a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon Schafer –U.S.A. 2003.
Champagne starts from 28, to 1.400 –Krug winery, Blanc de Blancs-Chardonnay.
If you happen to be in Zakynthos and visit the little island of Meganisi between May to October, don’t miss the Trattoria Vezene restaurant. It is just as good, popular for its cozy atmosphere and its northern Italian Seafood. Our daughter visited it last summer and it is from her that I heard about the Vezene in Athens! It is surrounded by jasmine, basil and lavender and it faces Onassis’ Scorpios.
In all the Vezene of Athens is a Signature restaurant of excellent cuisine and interesting tastes of high gastronomy. Guests can find dishes not to be found anywhere else with plenty of complex tastes that strangely highlight the characteristics of each ingredient.
Last but not least, the prices are reasonable enough considering the quality of the food.
One of the 3 days I was in Athens on a business trip I spent two nights at the Hilton. I grabbed the opportunity to visit Milos which is situated within the premises of the Hilton but mind you it is totally a different business. I happened to meet years back the owner Mr. Spiliadis in New York at a party gathering but I have close friends here in Athens who kept telling me for years that I should visit the “Estiatorio Milos” one day when I come to Athens.
A few years after the great success that the restaurant achieved in Montreal there was the Milos in New York, the 3rd in the Las Vegas, part of The Cosmopolitan, -a new hotel-casino. The specific one which is located in the Athens Hilton was opened prior to the Olympic Games in 2004, and since last May there is a 4th one in South Beach, Miami, -an amazing bar and shop with Greek Products and take-away food. The next is probably going to be in London soon.
The word ‘Estiatorio’ in Greek means Restaurant and I remember a friend asking the owner why ‘milos’ and he replied that it was a random choice. He was looking at a map of Greece trying to come up with the name that was sweet, short and pleasing to the ear that foreigners would be able to pronounce with ease. Milos means ‘windmill’ and also the island of Milos in Greece. Now what all these ‘Milos’ Restaurants have in common are the universal values the owner ascribes to which are present in all 4 restaurants. Hospitality, a warm atmosphere, generous spaces and sharing and is true that we Greeks put the food in the middle of the table and share it, unlike many other cultures.
Now if I have to describe the atmosphere and room I can say that I found it impressive just as the menu. High ceilings and marble floors set the stage for the minimally decorated main dining room.
A Chef’s table within the open kitchen serves as a perfect setting for intimate group dinners. I guess it can be a unique dining experience for up to 6 guests as I saw it, situated inside a glass-enclosed space within the kitchen -a direct contact with the Chefs. It is something I lately came across in two or three restaurants in Doha and Cyprus.
There are the options of Private dining as well, available in the main dining room and outdoor while larger parties of up to 50 guests can be accommodated in the stunning private room. The outdoor garden overlooks the pool but since it is still chilly outside we dined inside this time. I truly long to dine out there by the pool when it gets warmer – I am sure it will be cool and romantic.
What impressed me most were the fresh vegetables and fish on display the moment we stepped in. Naturalism is a lifestyle in Milos that dares to put ‘a small street market’ into a luxury restaurant, creating school internationally.
All 4 Milos pride in achieving and maintaining a level of excellent quality as the Chef Mr. Koskinas was telling me. Their commitment is to serve the very best Mediterranean cuisine at its best. I came here as a ‘food critic’ in a way. I have tested the limits of my palate several times. Training the palate is like exercising a muscle and I am able to detect the subtle nuances of flavour and seasoning in food. For years through my extended travelling I have been trying anything I came across no matter how strange or foreign it seemed. I am very picky and a good food lover and I scrutinize food when I visit a restaurant in an attempt to help my readers know if they will enjoy the food or not.
With the first bite I knew here from the very beginning that raw seafood is untouched and fresh! By the time we left I could admit that there might be many authentic Greek food & Seafood restaurants in Athens but Milos ranks among the top 3. It brings a uniquely sophisticated and refined approach to the Grecian culinary tradition, restoring its deserved place among the great cuisines of the world.
We wanted to try a few raw (sashimi-kind) at first so we started off with some oysters. They cost 3.00 euros each. Wow! I could not misdoubt its freshness. The oysters were full and alive with a heavenly taste.
Assyrtiko/Malagouzia, was the bright blond with greenish glints dry white wine we had to accompany our starters. -7.50 per glass. An amazing aroma of exotic fruit with citrus, peach, jasmine and herbs. Its first sensation renders a softness, -rich and harmonious with pleasant vividness and lemon finish.
We had the urchin salad which is at 15.50. It is a dish I love because every summer I pick them out of the sea myself. It excited my palate and had the whole dish to myself. So fresh and yummy and I love everything as it comes from the sea with no additions for extra flavour! We ordered the ‘Raw range’ -carpaccio for 16 euros. It came in with different flavours (lemon + thyme, chilli + lime, yuzu + dill). We accompanied this with 2 pieces of raw Crayfish. Again, I had both! They were so fresh and tempting, tender and flavourful. I am sure that Seafood connoisseurs will adore this restaurant.
I could not believe that I would have liked that much the next dish which was cuttlefish with ink risotto which was my husband’s choice –at 17.00. Certainly count this in –I highly recommend it. I cannot remember tasting something similar! We also tried the Grilled Cuttlefish for 12.00 euros. It was so juicy and tender!
We had a glass each of Sauvignon Blanc Escapades for 10.50. You should certainly try this wine. We have had it back in a winery in South Africa where I spent one and a half months and instantly recalled memories. It is one of my favourite, characterized by aromas of green pepper, asparagus and exotic fruit. In the mouth it is light, balanced and fruity, with a long lasting after taste.
We had 0.750gs of Fried Skaros for 52.00 euros and accompanied this with some tomato salad and feta cheese but I tried the Boiled Greens which is ‘Stamnagathi’ for 7.00 once again at lunch the next day. I preferred it to the Half Tomato salad (6.50) we had that night. Stamnagathi is a very popular Cretan kind of green salad which I always have it with no oil/salt or flavours. Just have it steamed and straight as it is in the mouth. It is such a nutrient and healthy salad! Well, regarding the grilled fish we had, we had it sprinkled with lemon and virgin olive oil and freshly cut parsley and capers. It was a marvel! Skaros is one of my favourite fish. It is described by the ancient Greeks as the parrot fish which is grilled whole, guts and all –of course here this was not the case!
Our delectable banquet finished with some dessert accompanied with dessert wine, coming from Santorini. (Sigalas Visanto) -9.50 per glass. It combines the sweetness of overripe grapes with the acidity of Assyrtiko giving an elegant and delicious taste.
Milos prides itself on the clarity of its food, following an edict of perfect simplicity to preserve each ingredient’s distinct flavour and nutritional value. As a person who values good food I highly recommend it. It might be kind of pricy but it pays for the exceptional quality and impeccable service.
The staff was a bunch of professional youngsters, very charismatic, warm and helpful. We had everything without having to wait long and it is indeed a pleasant scene seeing happy faces all around. The restaurant was almost full but they were there with several others to meet the needs of their demanding guests. I remember well Vasili, Costa, Anna and Elena and through this critique I feel the need to thank them for their amazing and very attentive job. They were wonderful and excellent hosts!
Cheaper alternatives of dining are the set menus of course. The Corporate Event and Dinner Menu cost 35.00 and 45.00 euros respectively. There is a great variety of not only Seafood but Meat dishes as well. Guests can choose between the Black Angus Rib, Filet, Grilled chicken, or Lamp chops and so many more.
I had heard that Milos is a good restaurant but I found it Outstanding.
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