A local food menu in Zohos restaurant in Plaka Athens Greece

Best Local Greek Food in Plaka, Athens: 6 Must-Try Restaurants

Searching for best local Greek food in Plaka? An Athenian reveals 6 hidden gems you can’t miss in Athens’ heart!

Plaka is the ultimate hotspot of Athens, a gem of a neighborhood that is a must-visit.

With its picturesque alleyways, low-rise houses, stunning neoclassical buildings, significant monuments, beautiful cafes, and restaurants—all with a view of the Acropolis.

A picturesque small street in the amazing neighborhood of Plaka in Athens Greece.

However, Plaka is also a very touristy area.

What does this mean?

It means that if you decide to dine here, you must be especially careful not to end up paying dearly for a bland, hastily prepared menu made specifically for tourists.

Don’t worry, though.

As an Athenian, I can recommend the restaurants with the best local Greek food in Plaka, where you won’t feel like just another tourist.

But first, some important advices for eating like you deserve in Athens’ hear.


Beyond the Tourist Traps Tips: Eat Like a Local

A traditional Greek chicken souvlaki plate in a restaurant in Plaka, Athens.
  1. Ignore all restaurants with a “barker” outside inviting you to sit. These are the most touristy with supposedly traditional food, but in reality, they are simply unacceptable.

  2. Prefer taverns or restaurants in the smaller alleyways. Plaka is not just its main streets—Adrianou and Kydathineon. There you will usually find the most touristy cafes and restaurants. However, the real treasures are hidden in the smaller lanes.

  3. Check the menu and reviews on your mobile before sitting down in any restaurant.

  4. Choose restaurants that don’t have everything on their menu (from souvlaki to pizza and from moussaka to fish). A small, focused menu indicates that the chef knows how to do a few things really well.

Before we continue, be sure to check out our comprehensive guides to enhance your Athens trip:

  1. Navigate with Ease: Discover the most reliable Uber services in Athens.
  2. Your Ideal Stay: Explore the top 10 neighborhoods for the perfect accommodation.
  3. Best Day Trips: Enhance your visit with the 5 best day trips from Athens.

Moreover, you can always explore Athens’ food scene with a local. Two tours I recommend are the highly rated “Athens: Gourmet Food Tour” and “Athens: Street Food Tasting Tour“.

And now, it’s time for specific recommendations.


Authentic Restaurants in Plaka With the Best Local Greek Food

Grande Dame

Wooden chairs and tables, and black-and-white tiles in the interior of the must-try Grande Dame restaurant in Plaka, Athens.

First on the list of the best local Greek food in Plaka, Athens, is Grande Dame.

A restaurant where high gastronomy meets tradition.

Located on the outskirts of Plaka, away from its overly touristy parts, you’ll love it in a beautiful neoclassical building from 1817.

The old black-and-white tiles on the floor contrast with modern lighting fixtures, art deco furnishings, and photographs by Denis Brasilier on the walls.

The menu playfully incorporates traditional ingredients with a modern culinary twist.

Grande Damme winks at the Athenian tavern, elevating flavors with a clearly more creative disposition.

A roasted fish fillet served on a bed of greens and white sauce, from the menu of the Grande Dame restaurant.

The menu is relatively small, with options for both meat and fish.

The Athenian salad with marinated sea bass stands out.

Must-tries include the shrimp saganaki with tomato sauce or alternatively the lemon barley with shrimp.

If you prefer meat, then the oven-roasted lamb with dried apricots, hot peppers, and couscous is a must-try.

All desserts are made on-site and are also worth trying.

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Taverna Saita

People dining outdoors under tents at Taverna Saita on a clear day, in Plaka, Athens.

A genuinely traditional Greek tavern that could not be absent from the best local Greek food in Plaka, Athens.

An underground tavern that opened in 1970 in a building from 1900.

Although located on Kydathineon Street, one of the most touristy streets of Plaka, it is not just another tourist tavern.

It is a favorite spot for locals who prefer it for its honest and traditional Greek cuisine.

Here, the food is simple and tasty without fancy decoration and sophisticated combinations.

You will eat local Greek recipes at their best.

A delicious Greek salad featuring tomatoes, cucumbers, green peppers, onions, olives, and feta cheese.

Try the stuffed cabbage leaves with rice and minced meat, fried zucchini, fresh fried potatoes, baked eggplant in the oven with tomato and onion.

For mains, try the lamb chops and pair them, if you wish, with fresh greens and beets.

There are also cooked dishes depending on the day you visit.

But the must-try dish at Taverna Saita is the cod skordalia—a traditional Greek dish of fried cod accompanied by a mash made from garlic and potato.

Pair it with wine or ouzo to get into the spirit.

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Zohos

A beautifully decorated dinner table at night in the garden of Zohos, one of the best local Greek food restaurants in Plaka, Athens.

I would be the last to recommend a restaurant inside a hotel, but for Zohos, I’ll make an exception.

Hidden in the courtyard of the Electra Palace in Plaka, this is a wonderful, lush garden of a renovated neoclassical building.

Inside the garden, there’s a greenhouse where, among the plants, tables are set up for dining under appropriate lighting.

The philosophy here is small plates (meze) that complement your wine or any other drink.

Here the wine list makes a difference with more than 60 labels.

The mezes include familiar dishes of Greek cuisine: marinated anchovies, eggplant salad, spicy cheese dip, spinach pies, and cod croquettes.

A meze plate featuring local Greek food such as shrimps, small sausages, and souvlaki at Zohos restaurant.

Highlights include the onion pie, the traditional bread, and the goat cheese with roasted walnuts and a truffle vinaigrette.

The approach to cuisine is clearly creative with ingredients from various regions of Greece.

The menu is small and targeted, which definitely counts in its favor.

However, visiting Zohos is a unique experience mainly because of the entire environment: a unique setting carefully detailed.

Therefore, it could not be missing from the list of the best local Greek food in Plaka, Athens.

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To Kafeneio

The interior of the traditional Kafeneio restaurant, featuring old wooden chairs and tables, in Plaka, Athens

Back to simplicity with an unpretentious small tavern serving traditional Greek cuisine.

To Kafeneio is located in a small alley in Plaka, right under the Acropolis.

It is a real hotspot on the culinary map of Plaka, having been there since 1836.

The space inside is simple, traditional, with a wooden floor and a fireplace.

However, if the weather is good, you will definitely sit outside at the tables on the pedestrian street.

The spot is beautiful.

Here too, the menu philosophy is mezes (small plates) in their simplest and most traditional form.

Traditional Greek dakos salad with chopped tomatoes and crumbled feta cheese on a crisp barley rusk, garnished with a single olive.

Crunchy meatballs, handmade cheese pie, leek pie, pork sauté with mushrooms, spicy pastourma pie.

There are no main courses, so order plenty of mezes and accompany them with wine, beer, or tsipouro.

For dessert, homemade chocolate log awaits you.

Although it is not a restaurant with creative pursuits, the honest and simple food combined with the wonderful location makes it a must.

It is no coincidence that locals love it.

So, it rightly earns a place in our food guide as one of the best Greek restaurants in Plaka, Athens.

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ROH

A luxurious dining setting with red velvet chairs around a table with elegant dinnerware, framed by a grand mirror at ROH restaurant in Plaka, Athens.

From simplicity, we move back to luxury and aristocracy.

That’s how you feel dining at Roe, seated in velvet armchairs with glossy chandeliers hanging above you.

A wonderful old mansion in the Square of the Filomousou Eterias in Plaka.

Vintage decor, baroque elements, and neoclassical touches compose a scene from another era.

The menu has a clearly creative disposition but is based on traditional ingredients.

Thus, you will taste veal with celery root purée, slow-cooked goat with thyme, chickpea stew with beef sujuk, and cauliflower in the form of couscous.

A variety of savory and sweet meze plates featuring local Greek cuisine at ROH restaurant.

However, you can also go earlier, have your coffee, eat brunch, or simply order your cocktail.

Don’t forget to try the desserts.

The ekmek and saragli are interesting choices and absolutely traditional.

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The Zillers Pastry Bar

The glass storefront door of The Zillers Pastry, with its name displayed on the door.

And since we started talking about desserts, we couldn’t leave out Zillers Pastry Bar from the best local Greek food in Plaka, Athens.

A restaurant just for desserts.

Pastry chef Giorgos Platinos promises to tickle your palate with desserts of another level.

Rice pudding flavored with sweet anise and vanilla, with apricot compote and almond sorbet.

Crème brûlée with vanilla cream and chocolate, and coffee ice cream.

Chocolate with caramelized pecans, saffron, and orange.

I could write for hours, but it’s another thing to be there and taste them.

These are not just sweets.

It is a five-star haute pastry menu with unexpected combinations and flavors.

Best local Greek food in Plaka: A lemon sweet from the menu of The Zillers Pastry Bar.

You can also buy sweets for home or the road.

But if you sit down, you will enjoy a much greater variety of desserts.

You can also try the unique experience of a seven-stage degustation menu that starts with savory flavors and ends with the much-awaited sweets.

Oh yes! Zillers Pastry Bar is clearly the sweetest way to conclude our food guide with the best local Greek food in Plaka, Athens.

Bon appétit!

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A Summary of the Best Restaurants in Plaka

I hope this guide helps you enjoy the best local Greek food restaurants in Athens.

If you want to explore the local food scene, it’s worth joining the “Athens: Gourmet Food Tour” or the “Athens: Street Food Tasting Tour“.

For more fun ideas, check out my reviews of the best tours in Athens, where you can find wine tastings and cooking classes.

And don’t forget to look at my lists of the finest baklava and local desserts, the best rooftop bars of Athens, and the best authentic taverns.

Make Your Trip Easier

Accommodation
I always book my accommodation with a reliable service like Booking.com. Besides their price guarantee, you can rest assured that you will have 24/7 support in the event of any problems with your hotel. Always make sure you read reviews from other guests before booking.

Airport Transfer
If you want to get to and from Athens Airport with peace of mind, I recommend pre-booking your taxi with Welcome Pickups. Their flat rate is a few euros more expensive than random taxis, but they are totally worth it. They use local English-speaking drivers, wait for you at the arranged meeting point, even if your arrival is delayed, and introduce you to the city along the way.

Flight
Don’t forget to use Skyscanner before booking your flights as it compares different airlines to provide the cheapest and fastest solutions. Moreover, you can save a lot of money if you are flexible with your dates.

Travel Insurance
Nobody wants to think about all the things that could go wrong on a trip. However, these things can happen, so do not miss taking out travel insurance: SafetyWing is the one I use, as its plans are affordable and can save you a lot of trouble.

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