Tasting Souvlaki: Athens’ Top 5 Must-Try Spots for Authentic Greek Street Food

The only guide you’ll need in 2024 to taste the best souvlaki in town!

When it comes to Greek cuisine, few dishes embody the essence of the Mediterranean flavors as perfectly as souvlaki. A tantalizing combination of grilled meat, fresh vegetables, and aromatic herbs, souvlaki is a beloved street food that has captured the hearts and palates of locals and visitors alike. In Athens, the capital city where ancient history meets vibrant modernity, finding the best souvlaki spots can be an adventure in itself. Here, we explore five establishments that promise an unforgettable culinary journey through the tantalizing world of souvlaki.

1. Kosta

A Timeless Classic

Nestled in the bustling neighborhood of Monastiraki, Kosta’s Souvlaki has been a favorite among Athenians for decades. What sets Kosta’s apart is its commitment to tradition and quality. Using only the finest cuts of meat, marinated to perfection with a blend of Greek herbs and spices, every bite of souvlaki here is a symphony of flavors. The meat, whether it’s succulent pork or tender chicken, is grilled to perfection and served with freshly baked pita bread and a generous helping of tzatziki. With its unassuming charm and mouthwatering offerings, Kosta’s Souvlaki is a must-visit for any food enthusiast in Athens.

2. Bairaktaris

A Taste of History

Located in the historic Plaka district, Bairaktaris is more than just a souvlaki joint; it’s a cultural institution. Founded in 1879, this legendary eatery has been serving up authentic Greek cuisine for generations. While their menu boasts a variety of traditional dishes, it’s their souvlaki that steals the show. Made with premium cuts of meat sourced from local producers, Bairaktaris’ souvlaki is grilled over an open flame to achieve that perfect charred exterior and juicy interior. Pair it with a glass of ouzo for the ultimate Greek dining experience and soak in the rich history that permeates every corner of this iconic establishment.

3. O Thanasis

Where Quality Meets Quantity

Tucked away in the lively neighborhood of Psiri, O Thanasis is renowned for its no-frills approach to souvlaki. Here, simplicity reigns supreme, with the focus squarely on the quality of ingredients and the skill of the grill masters. The portions at Thanasis are famously generous, ensuring that even the heartiest appetites leave fully satisfied. Whether you opt for the classic pork souvlaki or the equally delicious chicken or lamb, each skewer is a testament to the restaurant’s commitment to excellence. Add a side of crispy fries and a dollop of their homemade tzatziki, and you have a meal fit for the gods.

4. O Kostas

A Hidden Gem

For those willing to venture off the beaten path, O Kostas is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. Tucked away in a narrow alley near Syntagma Square, this tiny eatery may be easy to miss, but its souvlaki is impossible to forget. O Kostas takes pride in using only the freshest ingredients, sourced daily from local markets. The result is a mouthwatering masterpiece of grilled meat, wrapped in warm pita bread and garnished with onions, tomatoes, and a drizzle of olive oil. It’s simple, yet sublime, and a true testament to the beauty of Greek street food.

5. Savvas

A Modern Twist

In the heart of Athens’ vibrant Kolonaki neighborhood, Savvas offers a contemporary take on the classic souvlaki experience. Here, traditional recipes are given a modern twist, resulting in dishes that are as innovative as they are delicious. From the succulent pork souvlaki infused with Mediterranean spices to the mouthwatering vegetarian options featuring grilled halloumi and roasted vegetables, there’s something for everyone at Savvas. Pair your meal with a refreshing Greek salad or a side of crispy zucchini fritters, and prepare to be transported to culinary heaven.

Bonus: Your Home Away from Home in Athens

After indulging in the delectable souvlaki delights of Athens, you might find yourself wishing for a cozy place to rest and recharge. Look no further than our cozy Athens apartment, conveniently located in the heart of the city. With spacious accommodations and a private swimming pool, it’s the perfect home away from home for your Athenian adventure.

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In a city brimming with culinary delights, sampling the best souvlaki Athens has to offer is a rite of passage for any food lover. Whether you prefer the timeless charm of a historic eatery or the innovative creations of a modern hotspot, these five establishments promise an unforgettable gastronomic journey through the flavors of Greece. So, grab a skewer, take a seat, and prepare to indulge in the irresistible allure of Athenian souvlaki. Opa!

I'm a musician from Apulia with a big passion for Athens, travelling and digital communication. You can find me on Linkedin or at iunco.jobs@gmail.com!

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