Where to eat !
The reason I have included this page is because the most important part of the day is to find the right tavern for a leisurely lunch in Athens or in the country. With all there is to do in Athens it is inevitable that sooner or later you'll have a huge appetite. It's easy to eat a poor meal in Athens - certain places in the Plaka spring to mind - but it is just as easy to make every meal a memorable one. Some places are low on sophistication, but great on atmosphere, price and hearty traditional food. There are hundreds of reliable medium - priced places too, and an ever increasing number of new restaurants with chefs attempting to blend traditional Greek cooking with the latest world trends.
For anyone visiting Greece for the first time, the colors, sights, sounds, smells and most of all the delicious flavors of Greek food are a revelation. Greek cuisine is significant for its honesty, its healthy indifference to food fads or trends and its ability to promote a feeling of well-being to everyone around the table. Apart from the weather, the food you eat on holiday is a major factor in how much you have enjoyed the experience.
On this page I would like to share some of the
wonderful Greek recipes I have come upon, from family members, from
neighbors, from friends and some which I have tried/adapted for myself.
I would also like you, the reader, to add your favorite recipes with
some comments about them. I hope, that for those of you who spend their
holidays in Greece, it will bring back the flavor of the country to
For those who have never visited but would like to experience the true flavor of Greece I hope that these recipes will encourage you to visit us and see for yourself. Greece is a sea-faring country with charming mountain ranges and small fertile plains. The smell of the sea blends with the smell of rigani (Greek oregano, much stronger and more pungent that the Italian variety) and thyme from the mountains. A mountainous range lies across a large part of mainland Greece and much of the terrain is barren. This is the case on many of the islands as well. Hence there is very little good grazing land which makes it difficult to raise cattle. Consequently, in Greece beef is not traditionally eaten very much and olive oil replaces butter. Sheep and goats are more easily raised and so lamb is the most popular meat and the milk of sheep and goats are turned into a plethora of delicious cheeses. Poultry is also abundant and pigs are bred in most parts of Greece. Hen's eggs are common and are particularly used to thicken sauces and soups - a specialty being the egg and lemon sauce (avgolemono). Fruit and vegetables grow in abundance and can be bought cheaply at local markets on the mainland or from the farms and and small vans that go around many of the islands selling their fresh produce. Furthermore, herbs and fruit growing wild on the mountains and in the countryside can be freely picked and fish can be pulled from the sea with a simple line and hook. With very little effort you can really eat extremely cheaply and healthily. The people of Greece are warm, generous and hospitable. Food has always been a part of this hospitality and you couldn't visit a Greek home without being offered something to eat and drink. It would be rude not to offer something to a guest and equally discourteous to refuse.
The Greek lifestyle and the seasonal availability of ingredients are reflected in their national cuisine. If you should ever be invited to an authentic Greek table you would have great difficulty overcoming the surprise brought about from the bombardment of sensations and tastes. Most importantly, however, eating in Greece is a social occasion. For more information visit our recipes from Greece page. Check our Greek desserts recipes.
Hardly any other country has developed as many different types of Restaurants as Greece. Some serve nothing but fish dishes, others only have meat on the menu. Some specialize in one single dish. The same applies to drinks.
There are as many choices of cuisine as there are restaurants, and finding one that suits your palate will be a pleasant experience. From the cosy Greek tavern to the numerous ethnic restaurants you can be sure that every last taste bud will be smiling. And, of course, we'll show you where to get a generous taste of the best Greek wines! Many historic sources such as old texts and depictions on ancient ceramics seem to prove it: Wine has been a basic ingredient of the Athenian way of life for a very long time. The region of Attica is actually one of the oldest wine-growing regions of the world. Vintners have been providing the Athenians for thousands of years with their elixir.
You should certainly have lunch or dinner in a typical tavern serving traditional Greek fare. All around Attica, you will find eateries called "ouzeri". They serve a variety of appetizers called "mezedes". Different small dishes with delicious treats of the Greek cuisine. Try them all and be sure to accompany them with a small bottle of the liquor ouzo. Fresh fish and seafood can be found in one of the numerous fish restaurants in Piraeus popular choice is also the seafood restaurants located in the picturesque fishing harbor of Mikrolimano and the coastal suburbs of Attica, such as Faliro, Kavouri, Vouliagmeni, and Sounio A variety of tempting gourmet restaurants or ethnic restaurants featuring cuisine's from all continents is also available, for more sophisticated outings. The most popular dining destination for visitors is Plaka, featuring many taverns and restaurants. Elegant restaurants can be found in Kolonakior Psirri region in the center of Athens, as well as in the suburbs of Kifissia, Glyfada and Vouliagmeni. People not worrying about a high cholesterol level should head to a hasapotaverna (a butcher's tavern) The best-known areas where the meat-lovers gather each Sunday are Fili, on the foothills of mount Parnis or Vlachika in Vari on the sea side road that leads to Varkiza, where you will find dozens of taverns -one after the other! - specialized in tasty meat dishes. Try out the lamb and the yogurt made of sheep milk.
Greeks tend to eat late,
and they seldom eat light. Restaurants are usually open from about noon
onwards for lunch and from seven o'clock for supper, but that is usually
to catch the tourist trade -owners know the Athenians will not be out
in force for some time. Many of the day's specials are prepared in the
morning or at lunchtime and a dish such as moussaka may
be served lukewarm rather than piping hot - but that is the Greek way.
Typical for this hedonistic city are late dinners at 9 p.m. and nightclubs
that fill around midnight. Several factors make dining and partying
so pleasurable in Athens. First of all, is the extremely contagious
joy of Athenians themselves as they savor their food, dance on any occasion,
sing or chat endlessly. Secondly, the perfect scenery. It could be a
traditional tavern located in a vine-covered backyard in Plaka,
a seaside fish restaurant in a small picturesque harbour, or a restaurant
on a hilltop, offering a panoramic view of the "never sleeping"
city of Athens. The possibilities are endless. Finally, the pleasant
weather allows for dining and partying outdoors, most of the year. What
better way to end the day than dining under the stars either beneath
the Acropolis or on the Attica seashore?
You can view my portfolio of photos at http://www.panoramio.com/user/45649/tags/Greek%20Food
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