“For the full experience, order some kokoretsi and kontosouvli, a lettuce salad with spring onions and dill, and half a litre of their house red.”
Vlachika is in the southern suburbs of Athens (a good 45-min drive from the city centre) and if you visited a century ago you’d find nothing but shepherds grazing their sheep. Nowadays, you’ll find a stretch of rustic, grill house tavernas, all lined up in a row. Don’t be surprised if, outside one of these, you see a man dressed up in a traditional evzone-looking costume, wearing the pleated white skirt and pom-pom shoes, beckoning customers in with a shepherd’s crook. Although over the years, many of the restaurants on this strip shut down, Tsolias has endured. This is the place to taste a perfectly slow-cooked, spit-roast lamb, just like the one Greeks eat on Easter Sunday. For the full experience, order some kokoretsi and kontosouvli, a lettuce salad with spring onions and dill, and half a litre of their house red. If you’re visiting during summer, why not start your day at a nearby beach of the Athens Riviera and stop here to satisfy your cravings on your way back to the centre. You’ll be in good, local company.