I have a well-documented soft spot for Cretan food, and I have a couple of favourites around the city, including Rakoumel in Exarchia. This family-run place is really the full package: amazing food and drinks, great atmosphere and wonderful live music—I love coming to the rebetika nights here. If you come during the Saturday farmer’s market, try to snag a streetside table and get ready to people-watch over small plates of great food and raki. Lots of raki.
I had been looking forward to going to Phita for months. Pretty much since the day it opened, I was salivating over my friends’ photos (one of them went once a week through July). When I finally got to try it for myself, it did not disappoint. Think old-school taverna food, like wilted greens, grilled mushrooms with shaved cheese piled on top, and mussels doused in a buttery, garlicky broth (eat ‘em with your hands), but with a few non-traditional twists, like fried cod sitting on a bed of garlicky beans and beetroot puree. They also have a great drinks list. My suggestion? Get the house red wine. It’s rich and complex and less than €3 a glass.