Where to Splurge in Athens
For many tourists, Athens represents nothing more than a fling prior to hitting the Greek Islands, but you’re making a mistake if you don’t spend more than a few days in the capital city to sample the jaw-dropping fare.
One of the best restaurants in the city, the Michelin-starred Varoulko is known for its flawlessly-prepared seafood. Chef Lefteris Lazarou meets with fisherman at the Piraeus market daily, creating a menu based on the freshest seafood he can find. Try the ethereal twice-cooked octopus and the simple layered demitasse cups filled with shellfish, fin fish and saffron essences. The restaurant’s rooftop patio, with its unparalleled view of the Acropolis, may be the best place to watch the sun set over this ancient-meets-modern city.
Akti Koumoundourou 52, Mikrolimano, Piraeus, Athens, Greece; +30 210 5228400; varoulko.gr
Located in the trendy Kerameikos neighborhood of Athens, Funky Gourmet offers an avant-garde take on traditional Greek flavors and ingredients, with a level of creativity that’s unparalleled in this city. The Michelin-starred chefs prepare a few different tasting menus, ranging from 4 courses to more than a dozen, each available with great wine pairings. There’s an inviting art deco-style lounge on the ground floor, and an intimate 30-seat dining room entirely enclosed in glass on the first floor. With such limited space, reservations are essential.
13 Paramythias Street, Kerameikos, Athens, Greece; +30 21 0524 2727; funkygourmet.com