Where to eat ! Greek Gastronomy
The reason we have included this page is because the most important part of the day is to find the right tavern for a leisurely lunch in Athens or in the country.
Cuisine of Greece:Gastronomy
For anyone visiting Greece for the first
time, the colors, sights, sounds, smells and most of all the
delicious flavors of Greek food are a revelation. The Greek
cuisine is significant for its honesty, its healthy indifference
to food fads or trends and its ability to promote a feeling
of well-being to everyone around the table. Apart from the weather,
the food you eat on holiday is a major factor in how much you
have enjoyed the experience.
On this page I would like to share some of the wonderful Greek recipes I have come upon, from family members, from neighbors, from friends and some which I have tried/adapted for myself. I hope, that for those of you who spend their holidays in Greece, it will bring back the flavor of the country to you!
For those who have never had visited but would like to experience the true flavor of Greece I hope that these recipes will encourage you to visit and see for yourself. Greece is a sea-faring country with charming mountain ranges and small fertile plains. The smell of the sea blends with the smell or rigani (Greek oregano, much stronger and more pungent that the Italian variety) and thyme from the mountains. A mountainous range lies across a large part of mainland Greece and much of the terrain is barren. This is the case on many of the islands as well. Hence there is very little good grazing land which makes it difficult to raise cattle. Consequently, in Greece beef is not traditionally eaten very much and olive oil replaces butter. Sheep and goats are more easily raised and so lamb is the most popular meat and the milk of sheep and goats are turned into a plethora of delicious cheeses. Poultry is also abundant and pigs are bred in most parts of Greece. Hen's eggs are common and are particularly used to thicken sauces and soups - a specialty being the egg and lemon sauce (avgolemono).
Fruit and vegetables grow in abundance
and can be bought cheaply at local markets on the mainland or
from the farms and and small vans that go around many of the
islands selling their fresh produce. Furthermore, herbs and
fruit growing wild on the mountains and in the countryside can
be freely picked and fish can be pulled from the sea with a
simple line and hook. With very little effort you can really
eat extremely cheaply and healthily. The people of Greece are
warm, generous and hospitable. Food has always been a part of
this hospitality and you couldn't visit a Greek home without
being offered something to eat and drink. It would be rude not
to offer something to a guest and equally discourteous to refuse.
The Greek lifestyle and the seasonal availability of ingredients are reflected in their national cuisine. If you should ever be invited to an authentic Greek table you would have great difficulty overcoming the surprise brought about from the bombardment of sensations and tastes. Most importantly, however, eating in Greece is a social occasion. For more information visit our recipes.
MORE THAN JUST TAVERNS
Hardly any other country has developed as many different types of Restaurants as Greece. Some serve nothing but fish dishes, others only have meat on the menu. Some specialize in one single dish. The same think applies to drinks.
There are many choices of cuisine as there are restaurants, and finding one that suits your palate will be a pleasant experience. From the cozy Greek "taverna" to the numerous ethnic restaurants you can be sure that every last taste bud will be smiling. And, of course, we'll show you where to get a generous taste of the best Greek wines! Many historic sources such as old texts and depictions on ancient ceramics seem to prove it: Wine has been a basic ingredient of the Athenian way of life for a very long time. The region of Attica is actually one of the oldest wine-growing regions of the world. Vintners have been providing the Athenians for thousands of years with their elixir.
While visiting Greece, you should definitely take advantage of tasting the Mediterranean cuisine! The Mediterranean diet is highly recommended worldwide not only for its amazing tastes but also for its health benefits! It is a fact, that this dietary model will prevent you from several chronic diseases and also increase your average age of living! All you have to do is to discover these magical tastes. Try the extra-virgin olive oil, the olives, the green vegetables -raw in a salad or stuffed as a main dish- the fresh fish and seafood, the lamb, the wine, the different cheeses, especially the feta cheese, the home made bread, the honey and all the local desserts that vary from place to place.
You should certainly have lunch or dinner in a typical tavern serving traditional Greek fare. All around Attica, you will find eateries called "ouzeri". They serve a variety of appetizers called "mezedes". Different small dishes with delicious treats of the Greek cuisine. Try them all and be sure to accompany them with a small bottle of the liquor ouzo. Fresh fish and seafood can be found in one of the numerous fish restaurants in Piraeus popular choice is also the seafood restaurants located in the picturesque fishing harbor of Mikrolimano and the coastal suburbs of Attica, such as Faliro, Kavouri, Vouliagmeni, and Sounio
A variety of tempting gourmet
restaurants or ethnic restaurants featuring cuisine's from all
continents is also available, for more sophisticated outings.
The most popular dining destination for visitors is Plaka, featuring
many taverns and restaurants. Elegant restaurants can be found
in Kolonaki or Psirri region in the center of Athens, as well
as in the suburbs of Kifissia, Glyfada and Vouliagmeni. People
not worrying about a high cholesterol level should head to a
A variety of tempting gourmet restaurants or ethnic restaurants featuring cuisine's from all continents is also available, for more sophisticated outings. The most popular dining destination for visitors is Plaka, featuring many taverns and restaurants. Elegant restaurants can be found in Kolonaki or Psirri region in the center of Athens, as well as in the suburbs of Kifissia, Glyfada and Vouliagmeni. People not worrying about a high cholesterol level should head to ahasapotaverna (a butcher's tavern) The best-known areas where the meat-lovers gather each Sunday are Fili, on the foothills of mount Parnis or VlachikaVarion the sea side road that leads to Varkiza, where you will find dozens of taverns -one after the other! - specialized in tasty meat dishes. Try out the lamb and the yogurt made of sheep milk.
When to eat!
Greeks tend to eat late, and they seldom eat light. Restaurants are usually open from about noon onwards for lunch and from seven o'clock for supper, but that is usually to catch the tourist trade -owners know the Athenians will not be out in force for some time. Many of the day's specials are prepared in the morning or at lunchtime and a dish such as moussaka may be served lukewarm rather than piping hot - but that is the Greek way. Typical for this hedonistic city are late dinners at 9 p.m. and nightclubs that fill around midnight. Several factors make dining and partying so pleasurable in Athens. First of all, is the extremely contagious joy of Athenians themselves as they savor their food, dance on any occasion, sing or chat endlessly.
Finally, the pleasant weather allows for dining and partying outdoors, most of the year. What better way to end the day than dining under the stars either beneath the Acropolis or on the Attica seashore? We said it before and we will say it again: The possibilities in Athens are endless and will certainly satisfy all your wishes! All that is left for you to do is to "steal" a few days and come for a visit!
You can view our portfolio of photos at http://www.panoramio.com/user/45649/tags/Greek%20Food