The many old arcades that can be found in the center of the Greek capital, Athens, contain small gastronomical treasures that are ready to be explored by locals and tourists. Follow us and take a ‘bite’ of some of downtown’s popular and traditional places.
- Traditional Ouzeri (16 Likourgou)
Also known as Chari’s Ouzeri, after the first name of the owner, the small store has been located in the arcade since 1962. A family run business that was started by Chari’s father as a grill, now serves seafood and fish meze starting early in the morning.
- Asylo (4 Themistokleous)
Famous among Athens University students, Giorgos, who runs the store, offers coffee accompanied by a puff pastry cheese pie from just eighty euro cents. In 2009 he bought the place but kept the old name, as he says that for him it is his own sanctuary (Greek: asylo).
- Ipovrichio (102 Aiolou)
A restaurant featuring Balkan cuisine, which delivers food served in porcelain dishes to all the surrounding office buildings. The underground restaurant is located in an arcade at Omonoia Square and run by Milen.
- Ara…Zo (16 Charilaou Trikoupi)
Already the name of the store — “arazo” means “relax” in Greek — predisposes the customers to relax and spend time in the store which resembles an old traditional coffee-house. There are black metal chairs, and old portraits hanging from the walls to accompany you while eating a generous portion of chick-peas or braised beef.
- Cythera (29 Kolokotroni)
Upon entering the store you’ll see a marble staircase leading to the offices, which, in the 1940s, were reportedly a dormitory where seamstresses lived so as to be close to the surrounding textile shops. Those stories now belong to the past and have been replaced by cheap coffee and rich meze platters served to customers.
- Kili…oikeion Gefseis (10 Karagiorgi Servias)
A paper board found outside the arcade promises tsipouro and meze for €3.80. Stelios serves coffee from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., while also preparing omelets, salads and small meze for surrounding offices and the neighboring Greek finance ministry.
- Ouzeri I Stoa (11 Themistokleous)
The arcade has been enclosed by windows since the 1990s and is always crowded by people enjoying seafood and meat dishes in the place which has been located there for over seven decades. Dionisis mentions that he cooks anything that pairs well with a small bottle of ouzo.
- Home Kitchen (64 Panepistimiou)
Having as a symbol a crown, the queen of the kitchen, Anna, claims to be in love with the area and the restaurant she opened one year ago. With a modern décor and many paper lamps hanging from the ceiling, the store serves burgers, pasta and salads prepared with love.
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