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Traditional Athens Food

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Cuisine is an integral part of any local culture, and no trip to Athens is complete without tasting the traditional Athens food. This directory offers information about the traditional dishes and drinks available in Athens to help visitors better understand the local food culture and make an informed decision when trying them.


  • Feta (φέτα): a brined curd cheese traditionally made in Greece from sheep's milk, or from a mixture of sheep's and goats’ milk.
  • Graviera (γραβιέρα): a cheese from Greece made from sheep’s or cow's milk.
  • Kasseri: a medium-hard pale yellow cheese made from unpasteurized sheep milk with very little, if any, goat's milk mixed in.
  • Kefalotyri (κεφαλοτύρι): a hard, salty yellow cheese made from sheep milk and/or goat's milk in Greece and Cyprus.
  • Kolokythoanthoi: zucchini flowers stuffed with rice or cheese and herbs.
  • Meze: small dishes, hot or cold, spicy or savory. May include: sliced hard-boiled eggs, garlic-bread, kalamata olives, etc.
  • Olives in olive oil: olives and olive oil.
  • Saganaki: pan seared cheese. Kefalograviera, kasseri, kefalotyri, or sheep's milk feta cheese.
  • Spanakopita: savory pastry with a filling of chopped spinach, feta cheese (sometimes in combination with ricotta cheese), onions or scallions, egg, and seasoning.
  • Tiganita: courgettes, aubergines, peppers or mushrooms.
  • Tiropita: layered pastry food, made with layers of buttered phyllo and filled with a cheese-egg mixture.
  • Tzatziki: Greek yoghurt, cucumber, garlic, olive oil, mint.


  • Avgolemono: egg-lemon' soup, chicken or other meat, vegetable, or fish broth thickened with eggs, lemon juice, and rice.
  • Fakes a lentil soup and one of the famous everyday Greek soups, usually served with vinegar and feta cheese.
  • Fasolada: dry white beans, olive oil, and vegetables.
  • Magiritsa a Greek soup made from lamb offal.
  • Patsas (πατσάς): soup made of lamb or beef tripe.
  • Psarosoupa: fish soup with eggs and lemon.
  • Revithia: chickpea soup with onions.


  • Greek Salad: tomato salad with cucumber, red onion, feta cheese, and kalamata olives, dressed with olive oil.
  • Horta: steamed spinach, greens from vegetables like beets, as well as dandelion greens and nettles.
  • Lachanosalata: cabbage salad, very finely shredded cabbage with salt, olive oil, lemon juice/vinegar dressing.
  • Patatosalata: potato salad with olive oil, finely sliced onions, lemon juice or vinegar.
  • Taramosalata: taramas mixed with either bread crumbs or mashed potato, and lemon juice, vinegar and olive oil.

Main courses

  • Fasolakia freska: fresh green beans stewed with potatoes, zucchini and tomato sauce.
  • Gigantes: baked beans with tomato sauce and various herbs.
  • Giouvetsi: lamb or veal baked in a clay pot with Kritharaki (orzo) and tomatoes.
  • Kleftiko: lamb prepared with cinnamon sticks, onions, tomatoes and spices.
  • Lachanodolmades: cabbage rolls, stuffed with rice and sometimes meat, spiced with various herbs and served with avgolemono sauce or simmered in a light tomato broth.
  • Moussaka: layered meat and eggplant casserole, topped with a béchamel sauce or egg custard which is then browned in the oven.
  • Pastitsio: a baked pasta dish with a filling of ground meat and a Bechamel sauce top.
  • Soutzoukakia Smyrneika (Smyrna meatballs): large meatballs with cumin, cinnamon and garlic, served in a tomato sauce.
  • Yemista: baked stuffed vegetables.


  • Diples (Δίπλες): a dough rolled into long, thin strips, fried and folded in hot oil and then dipped in syrup or warm honey.
  • Galaktoboureko (γαλακτομπούρεκο): custard baked between layers of phyllo, and then soaked with lemon-scented honey syrup.
  • Kolourakia: butter-based pastry, traditionally hand-shaped, with egg glaze on top.
  • Kourabiedes: butter cookies (biscuits) that resemble light and airy shortbread made with the addition of almonds.
  • Moustalevria: a sort of pudding made of grape must mixed with flour and boiled until thick. Sometimes it may contain almonds or walnuts.
  • Tsoureki: a sweet bread formed of braided strands of dough.

Fast food

  • Souvlaki: (Σουβλάκι; lit: 'skewer') Anything grilled on a skewer (lamb, chicken, pork, swordfish, shrimp). Most common is lamb, pork or chicken, often marinated in oil, salt, pepper, oregano and lemon.

Street food

  • Bougatsa: breakfast pastry consisting of custard, cheese, or minced meat filling between layers of phyllo.
  • Gyros: meat roasted on a vertically turning spit and served with sauce (often tzatziki) and garnishes (tomato, onions) on pita bread.

Drinks (Non-alcoholic)

Drinks (Alcoholic)

  • Metaxa (μεταξά): a blend of brandy and wine made from sun-dried Savatiano, Sultana and Black Corinth grape varieties blended with an aged Muscat wine.
  • Ouzo (ούζο): an anise-flavored aperitif that is widely consumed in Greece and Cyprus.
  • Retsina (Ρετσίνα): white (or rosé) resinated wine made of Savatiano grapes with Assyrtiko and Rhoditis sometimes blended in.


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