Photo: Manos Chatzikonstantis

Spend a day eating your way through Athens from morning until, well, morning, without breaking the bank. Here’s how to snack your way through the day at the city’s most affordable places.

Mama Psomi is a great way to kick off 24 hours of eating.

Photo: Manos Chatzikonstantis

Breakfast

Bel Ray, where hipsters meet for brunch in Koukaki.

Photo: Amalia Kovaiou

Lunch

You won't regret some midday loukoumades.

Photo: Thomas Gravanis

Dinner

Whether you decided to sleep off those doughnuts or work them off on a wander through Plaka or Exarchia, dinner time is here. Just behind City Hall on Platia Theatrou, Klimataria is a classic Greek taverna with barrels of wine in the indoor seating area. The home-style food will give you a taste of some of Greece’s most classic recipes, from gemista (stuffed tomatoes and peppers) to slow-cooked lamb. But it’s not just the food to look forward to here. The live Greek music is also a great reason to go. Bands set up on a stage in front of the wine barrels and play well into the night. Diners often get up and dance.

Klimataria is the kind of classic Greek taverna you shouldn't miss.

Photo: Amalia Kovaiou

After-dinner snack

After you dance your way through dinner, you’ll be ready for a night on the town. The Keramikos-Metaxourgio neighbourhood nearby is a great area for both cheap drinks and snacks. Athenians like to accompany their ouzo, beer, or cocktails with nibbles. Kafeneio Louis is an informal local hang-out with inexpensive beers and sharing plates, like beetroot and potato salads, cheese, and sausage. But this place is also known for its jazz music. It’s small, so it gets crowded quickly, but that’s all part of the atmosphere there.

Equally small and cosy, To Laini is a Cretan bar and restaurant just a five-minute walk away. Everything sticks with the Cretan theme: from the music (which is often live) to the alcohol. Make sure to try some tsipouro, or raki, a strong, clear spirit that Cretans love, made from leftovers in the winemaking process. Since raki is best paired with seafood, order the mussels and a traditional Cretan dakos salad, made of hard rusks topped with grated tomato, soft goat’s cheese, and plenty of olive oil. Give the juices some time to soak into the rusk; it’ll make it easier to bite.

"Kafeneio Louis is an informal local hang-out with inexpensive beers and sharing plates. To Laini is a great Cretan restaurant just a five-minute walk away."

Grab a couple friends and prepare to spend all day at Louis.

Photo: Katherine Whittaker

Post-midnight hangover helper

We can feel the hangover melting away with this grilled souvlaki.

Photo: Georgios Makkas

Brunch

When you’re ready to start your day, you’ll want to begin with brunch. Latraac is one of Athens’ best—and most interesting—brunch spots. It’s a cafe, bar, and a skate bowl when the weather is good. It serves breakfast all day, so no matter what time you jump out of bed, there will be hot breakfast sandwiches waiting for you, but they’re not your standard egg and cheese. The menu highlights apaki, a Cretan cured pork, and syglino, smoked pork from Mani, as well as haloumi and kaseri cheeses. Or skip the sandwich and get a stack of pancakes. 

If you’re not heading to brunch on a weekend, we’d recommend Spiti Mas. The name means “our house,” and the decor reflects this: if you want, you can even have breakfast in bed.