Holiday dinners—whether they be a Christmas Eve revegion or just a nice night out on your days off—don’t have to be all pomp and circumstance (and anxiety-inducing bills!). Why not venture out of your comfort zone and try something out of the holiday box? Below are our four recommendations for where to have an alternative holiday outing in Athens in a venue that’s cozy, fun, and won’t break the bank.
If you love traditional Greek tavernas, head to Tsobanakos (Anakreontos 2; 2107248441) in Kaisariani. This taverna has no printed menu, just their house speciality of perfectly grilled lamb chops and a daily-changing array of homemade comfort dishes, from lahanodolmades to snails to meat soup. Bask in the warmth of the fireplace and admire the smorgasbord of Greek antiques that decorate the walls. Bonus: They have a working jukebox!
Also in Kaisariani, Beer Garden Ritterburg (Ethinkis Antistaseos 214 & 2as Μaiou 12; 2107222235) is one of the city’s oldest and most authentic German restaurants, dating from 1974. Aside from a wide range of beers and wursts, they serve dishes like svartzvalntente (grilled pork fillet with mushroom sauce) and spätzlepfanne (handmade pasta with bacon and blue cheese sauce). They even have an entire menu dedicated to different kinds of schnitzel; try the wiener schnitzel made from veal for a decadent treat.
Meanwhile up in Anoixi, Osteria Trattoria Da Michele (Leoforos Marathonos 61; 2108140525) is a hidden gem of an authentic trattoria that’s also an Italian deli/dry goods store. The portions on their daily-changing menu are huge, and their selection of rare cold cuts, sauces, cheeses, biscuits, and liquors is even huger. Indulge in gnocchetti with robiola cheese, a refreshing caprese salad, or a heaping carbonara or ravioli with slow-cooked beef cheek. Top it all off with an Aperol spritz. Tip: This place is hidden inside a small shopping center—from the parking lot, go past the supermarket and other stores, and a small sign will guide you to a courtyard space where it is.
Finally, if your idea of a good holiday meal is a lighthearted brunch, head to 10/09 Deka Enatou (Charokopou 143; 2111822692) in Kallithea. This bistro is decorated like a colourful vintage home and their dishes are equally home-y. Try the Matia Mou Psimena platter with fried eggs and bacon or a sandwich with handmade dough. Fans also love the frosted carrot cake and the cheesecake made with honey instead of sugar. Bonus: At night, they serve cocktails and freshly baked bruschettas.
Here’s to a very Happy Holidays to you and your loved ones—‘tis the season to go out and make happy memories!