Food and Drink in Athens
In the past decade Athenian restaurant culture has upped its game. Along with the wonderful traditional family-owned tavernas serving local fare, Michelin-starred venues have been reinterpreting Greek favorites with creativity and aplomb to increasingly discerning crowds.
Chef Alex Tsiotinis is regarded as a rising star of Athens's food scene, and he's in full creative flight at CTC. Book ahead for an artfully presented six- or nine-course tasting menu that might include his signature corn and lobster velouté or lamb ravioli.
Ergon Greek Deli + Cuisine
This slick food store-restaurant, which has outposts in London, Miami and the Greek islands, has built its reputation by sourcing the country's best traditional produce. Regional dishes are made with flair: the likes of a pilaf of Grevena wild mushrooms and Mytilini cheese, say, and Cretan tomato salad with Santorini capers.
Fabrica tou Efrosinou
Traditional Greek cooking is taken up a notch with modern flourishes and artisanal and organic produce at this taverna in Athens's latest hot neighbourhood of Koukaki. Expect the likes of slow-cooked claypot honey pork kotsi, a carrot salad with walnuts and Turkish delight, and good house-made wine
Cocktail and Wine Bars
Athens' vibrant bar scene has flourished. The Clumsies is open all day but shines at cocktail hour, when staff are let loose with bespoke concoctions developed in the lab upstairs. The El Draque Mojito, for instance, comes as a toothbrush with edible mint and apple toothpaste. On a bigger scale but just as much fun is Noel, a warren of drinking nooks off a central arcade with good food, interesting cocktails and a permanently festive vibe. A session at Vintage Wine Bar & Bistro is a crash course in Greek viniculture. It claims the world's largest by-the-glass wine list (500 at last count, half of them Greek) and has an extensive menu and 1960s French-bistro ambience.