Whether you want eggs benedict, Greek yoghurt, or a stifado burger, Athens has the brunch to match your midday breakfast cravings.
By Katherine Whittaker
If brunch is your favourite meal, we’ve got some news: Athens is very into midday breakfast. Perhaps it’s because all meals start a bit later here than in most places, or maybe it’s because breakfast foods are a perfect way to ease the hangover after you’ve seen the best of Athens’ nightlife. Whatever the reason, you’ll find everything from classic eggs benedict to breakfast sandwiches starring Greek meats and cheeses. Here are a few of our favourite options.
Breakfast in burger form at Beauty Killed the Beast.
Courtesy: Beauty Killed the Beast
Beauty Killed the Beast
Beauty Killed the Beast is a great brunch option for just about anyone. They not only have some traditional options like shakshuka and savoury waffles, but chef Gabriel Nikolaidis has also come up with riffs on Greek classics like the stifado burger, slow-cooked beef and onions with the consistency of a pulled pork sandwich and a taste close to southern barbecue. The food is great, and while it can get a little crowded, it’s worth the wait. The restaurant (and at night, the bar) sits in a beautiful renovated house in Keramikos, and the interior decor is worth checking out. At the bar, you’ll find a glass floor over a verdant basement garden, and plenty of contemporary art on the walls.
This corner site in Koukaki (a former car repair shop) is perfectly placed for people-watching (or nursing a hangover), while you enjoy a flat white, detox smoothie, and croque madame. There are benches and tables outside in warm weather and the large, light-filled space is cosy and abuzz all year round. It morphs into a bar as evening falls, if you happen to end up spending all day here.
What better way to start the day than with a stack of pancakes?
Courtesy: Nikos Maliakos
When the weather is nice, make sure you go to Latraac for your brunch fix. Their menu is simple and mostly sandwich-focussed, but the ingredients feature Greek products like apaki (cured pork from Crete) and syglino (smoked pork from Mani), as well as kaseri and halloumi cheese. You’ll also find the standard brunch fare: scrambled eggs, pancakes, and boiled eggs. The café is really an add-on for the skaters who whizz up and down the half-pipe in the courtyard. If you go in the winter, call ahead; in theory, it’s open Friday-Sunday but the opening hours are a little erratic.
A chic newbie on Kolonaki’s leafy Kapsali Street earning kudos for its excellent all-day brunches. The menu is packed with so many novel temptations that you may find ordering a struggle (or maybe that’s just us!). Yoghurt parfait with avocado, blueberries and thyme honey? Porridge banoffee with choc flake and peanut butter? Whole wheat crepes with flax seeds, organic eggs, prosciutto and asparagus? They’re just some of the possibilities. You’ll also find top notch smoothies (we loved the Greenμe with avocado, pineapple, kale, coconut water, lime and honey) or kickstart your day with a naughty-but-nice cocktail like the Breakfast Mojito. Half a dozen elegant tables fan across the pavement. Inside, there’s about the same number again, plus a cheery communal bench on blonde parquetry floors. The décor has the svelte and sunny vibe of an L.A. boutique. It’s a mainly local older crowd (cosmopolites and off-duty urban professionals) with prices befitting this posh neighbourhood. Booking ahead is a smart move on weekends.
Just behind a small park on Spirou Merkouri Street in Pangrati lies Hippy3. By "lies" we mean exactly that: this all day café-bar oozes a laidback, anything goes vibe that encourages lingering as long as you like over a coffee. But what we think the place is best for is its brunch. In a neighbourhood saturated with similar hipster-friendly establishments, Hippy3 is the real deal when it comes to eggs 'n' things. Their scrambled eggs, flatbreads, croque madame and pancakes are among the tastiest Pangrati has to offer—and the most affordable, too. Pair any of these dishes with a strong espresso or a mint flavoured lemonade as you work on your laptop along with the rest of the digital nomads in there. But whatever you order, do not leave Hippy3 without trying the carrot cake.
You’re spoiled for excellent brunch options in well-heeled Kolonaki (it’s no fun designer shopping or gallery hopping on an empty stomach!). But you can pretty much always count on this upbeat and eco-friendly casual dining classic, on Kolonaki’s main Skoufa Street strip, to deliver the goods. Comfort eating and clean cuisine go hand in hand here; so you've got all bases of brunch covered. Tread lightly with an egg white omelette of spinach, peppers and coconut oil. Tuck into smoked eggplant with bolognese and tomato yoghurt sauce. Or jazz up your avo toast with a bio egg, some haloumi cheese and Cyprus smoked pork. Top tip: their delish spinach dip with artichoke and crumbled pita goes well with anything and everything.
All right, we’ll admit, there’s nothing like a real New York bagel, but New York Sandwiches provides a decent substitute, and lots of other options for hungry brunch-goers. It’s very classic and straightforward, including omelettes, several varieties of eggs benedict, and even steak and eggs. It has a location in Syntagma and another in Ambelokipi. They’re both open until midnight, so if your breakfast cravings hit you late, you’re in luck.
“They’re open until midnight, so if your breakfast cravings hit you late, you’re in luck.”
Come to Queen Bee to satisfy your croissant cravings.
Courtesy: Queen Bee
On the hunt for a good croissant? The best one in Athens is at Queen Bee in Kolonaki. It’s a little pricey, and fills up fast—especially on weekends—but it’s worth the splurge. Besides the croissants (which you should try no matter what), there are lots of other pastries, from pain au chocolat to feuillete. You’ll also find a mortadella sandwich with fleur de sel and the Queen Bee club, starring delicious prosciutto from San Daniele. There's a distinctly New York vibe to this place: the brunch menu was deigned by Sal Lamboglia of Bar primi and the For Five coffee beans come straight from Brooklyn. Oh, and the people-watching is excellent too.
If you’re in Pangrati and looking for a simple but straightforward brunch, or even just a snack and a coffee, Ohh Boy is a must. You can pick from different types of cakes and pies, or go all out with a giant sugar-dusted brownie. If you’d prefer to sit and enjoy something a little more healthy, enjoy porridge covered with fresh fruit and chia seeds, or different types of yoghurt (also covered in fruit).
This is yet another perfectly Instagrammable spot to get brunch, from the beautifully lit patio space to the sleek metal trailer. The menu itself shows a bunch of different influences, from the Kingston fried chicken and fish taco to bao buns and Greek blue crab salad. Brunch is only available here on weekends.
This jazzy bistro is located on the ground floor of City Circus, a slick hostel with huge personality. As well as a young, cosmopolitan crowd from the rooms upstairs, you’ll find local regulars who come back again and again for the great-value brunch. On Sundays, your eggs benedict, avocado toast, and smoked salmon bagels are served with a side order of live gypsy jazz. The Bloody Marys are good, too.
Frater and Soror serves up plenty of Instagram-worthy brunch goodness.
Photo: Orestis Seferoglou
Frater and Soror
When this all-day restaurant first opened in late 2018, images flooded Instagram feeds, and for good reason—the multi-storey space, decor and food are all picturesque. The brunch menu is determined by what’s in season, and currently you can get flatbread covered in minced meat, tomato and mozzarella, pancakes, and a cream-filled croissant. You can enjoy your brunch inside the jazzy interior or better yet, look for one of the café's tables across the street, at the lovely Proskopon Square.