You haven’t truly experienced the Athenian good life until you’ve notched up a long Sunday lunch by the sea.

By Amanda Dardanis

Timing is Everything

There really is nothing better than a slow lunch on a beautiful Sunday.

Photo: Manos Chatzikonstantis

Tastes from the sea with a side order of ancient ruins at Elias fish taverna in Cape Sounion.

Photo: Manos Chatzikonstantis

The More the Merrier

"Ordering can be a protracted and unruly business. Sometimes the waiter will even order for you."

That’s an Order!

A Fishy Business

Fish at Sardelaki in Vouliagmeni.

Photo: Manos Chatzikonstantis

An armful of seafood temptations at Elias fish taverna.

Photo: Manos Chatzikonstantis

6 Seaside Sunday Lunch Staples

A Word on Wine

A Sunday lunch by the sea without the conversational accelerant of wine (or ouzo)? Unthinkable. Large groups generally order the house wine, called hima, by the kilo or half kilo (miso kilo) in a carafe instead of by the bottle.
Don’t say: Signomi, mallon iparhei mia tripa stin karafa mas (Excuse me, there must be a hole in our carafe).
Do say: Allo ena, parakalo (One more, please).

The Battle for the Bill

When the bill arrives, a lengthy battle of wills usually ensues over who will pay. Even in these financially-strapped times, Greeks will apply their time-honoured powers of negotiation for the privilege of being the one to hand over their credit card. Someone will eventually surrender with the promise of “getting it next time.”
Don’t say: Who’s got a calculator so I can divide the bill?
Do say: Put your wallet away! I’m insulted.

A Tip on Tipping

A 10% tip is generally considered very fair (although not widely practised by locals who usually just round up the bill to the nearest ten—i.e. for a €45 bill, they’ll leave €50).

Who wouldn't want to have a Sunday lunch when it looks like this?

Photo: Manos Chatzikonstantis

Top Athens Riviera Restaurants

Upscale

Sunshine on Sundays at Ithaki.

Photo: Manos Chatzikonstantis

Mid-range

A full table at Garbi.

Photo: Manos Chatzikonstantis

Budget

Sardelaki me Thea is a perfect budget-friendly dining choice.

Photo: Manos Chatzikonstantis