The 10 Best Street Food Spots in Athens
Out and about in Athens, it’s noon and you are already struck with hunger from your walk around the city. Well, I’ve been there and it’s frustrating not knowing where to grab a bite and carry on with your sightseeing and wandering about. You are passing by so many nice restaurants and small, cozy tavernas, but you are in the mood of getting something on the go, so that you can make the most of your time in Athens. And I don’t blame you for that. To make things easier for you, here are the 10 best street food spots in Athens that I wouldn’t even dare think living without.
I am a burger lover and I don’t care if people know it! And if you are also in the mood for it, then you don’t have to search further. All you have to do is hit the Hot Hot burger bar and enjoy one of the most juicy and delicious burgers you have ever tasted. Or, as they say it, “We will rock you till the end!” and let me assure you that they do!
Pick one of their 16 burger choices, pick a burger size (regular, black angus, rib eye or the XXL), pick your bun (regular, brioche or whole-wheat). Perhaps add a bottle of water or a soda to your order. Once your order is placed, you pay and you receive your number along with the receipt. Stay tuned to hear your number from the speakers. You are now ready to delve into your burger! For the ultimate experience, you can also try the “Feelgood” style by ordering the burger you want on a plate with lots of homemade fries and 3 sauces for about double the price. But it’s totally worth it, if you ask me!
Open 24/7 and located at the center of Athens, the Hot Hot burger bar is the right choice for meat lovers and quality street food at any time of the day. With 11 more shops throughout Athens, one in Thessaloniki and one in Heraklion, Crete, you can be sure that you can enjoy your Hot Hot burger (or any other food of your choice) almost all over Athens. And if you still can’t find it, just ask a passer-by and he’ll know exactly where to direct you to!
Location: 2 Praxitelous str. & Kolokotroni, Athens
Opening hours: 24/7
Cost: from 2.30€ to 8.00€ (or check the menu)
Just a few meters down Kolokotroni street and near to the Hot Hot burger bar, you will find Etnico. The first thing that will wow you are its colors; and this until the very first bite!
This street food spot is for anyone that wants to taste the Latin American cuisine, but can’t afford the trip or would like to “give it a stir” and mix the exotic with Athens’s traditional side. You can choose from a menu with a variety of options: soups (red sweet pumpkin soup with ginger and cream), tortilla chips, salads, wraps and desserts. Try the juicy burrito, the chicken-filled chimichanga, the quesadilla, or the nachos with guacamole, ground meat, cheddar sauce, olive paste and sour cream.
Even if you are not that much into meat, they still have you covered. Pick something from the fasting menu, where meat is substituted by seafood and vegetables. You might want to try their falafels with Arabic pita, cucumber, eggplant and hummus, or their samosas with vegetables and pineapple sauce.
Whatever you decide to eat, make sure to accompany it with a glass of organic white or red wine, some sangria or a freshly made margarita.
Location: 22 Kolokotroni str. & Chavriou, Athens
Opening hours: 11 AM – 4 AM
Cost: from 3.10€ to 8.00€ (or check the menu)
There’s not much to say about Falafellas. This is the place that can be named as a “street food spot” and proudly reminds of one. You wait in line – especially during peak hours – and, once you reach the counter, you place your order. Everything then happens in a matter of minutes.
What should you order, however? Well, here there aren’t many options, but you get the best possible ones. You get to choose between two sizes of pita bread (pocket or giant) stuffed with falafel, lettuce, tomato, eggplant and hummus. You can also order meat balls in pita bread, which is a very decent and tasty option, as well. If they don’t ask you, then make sure to tell them how hot you want it: not at all hot, slightly, medium and extra are your options.
The menu might not be long, but the tastes will leave you speechless. And if you order extra hot, then speechless is definitely unavoidable. Learnt that the hard way!
Location: 51 Aiolou str., Athens
Opening hours: Monday to Thursday 11 AM – 11 PM | Friday and Saturday 11 AM – 12 AM | Sunday closed
Cost: from 2.50€ to 3.50€
This is a place to fall in love with. It is the delicatessen side of Athens’ street food cornucopia and my Achilles’ heel to my hunger. From mini to small, to even bigger sandwiches, you can find the most tasteful choices to pick from, made with the freshest and quality ingredients. And this is where it gets better: try something from the menu or experiment and create your own. Hopefully, you’ll know what you’re doing, just like the cooking masters behind Metropolis Sandwich. If you’re not sure what to get, then the experienced staff will help you choose among the plethora of options you have.
What I’ve tried and totally recommend: the Mediterranean sandwich with olive paste, the stuffed beef sandwich with gruyere Kalamata or the pork tenderloin sandwich with lola, tomato, caramelized onions, gruyere hard cheese and Dijon mustard.
Take your time and make your own: 1. Select one of the five bread types: the baguette brioche, the ciabatta white/multigrain, the homemade white/multigrain bread, the baguette Parisienne/multigrain or the German multigrain. 2. Pick some of the meats, cheese, vegetables and sauces to stuff it with. 3. Take it to go; or grab a seat to enjoy it even more.
Location: 9-11 Voulis str., Athens (near Syntagma Square)
Opening hours: Monday & Wednesday 8 AM – 6.30 PM | Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 8 AM – 9 PM | Saturday 10 AM – 6 PM | Sunday closed
Cost: from 1.80€ to 6.50€ (or check the menu)
India made its way to Athens and Mirch was born. Indian spices and tastes merged harmonically with the Athenian culinary tradition and more and more people head to Mirch to have a taste of the exotic Indian cuisine.
Try the chicken korma or the chicken tikka masala. Make sure to taste one of the tandoori dishes or the stuffed samosas, most known among the Mirch visitors and habitués. Or try the Indian souvlaki, the big nan bread filled with mixed vegetables and chicken tikka.
Spices, herbs, vegetables and fruit are the most common ingredients of the traditional Indian cuisine, mixed together with chicken and lamb. Curry is the most dominant ingredient to the dishes, the spice that brings India to your plate.
Location: 109 Ermou str., Athens (near Monastiraki metro station)
Cost: from 1.50€ to 9.00€ (or check their menu)
6. “Kostas” Souvlaki
It is a must and the meeting point for the lovers of the authentic and good souvlaki. Here you get the chance to taste the true pork souvlaki, handmade by Kostas himself with fresh ingredients (without tzatziki of fries, but with yogurt, tomato, onion and red pepper) and lots and lots of meraki (a word roughly translated into ‘passion’) since 1950. Not far away from Syntagma, at Pentelis Street, this is the place to look for, when in pursuit of the Greek traditional street food experience.
Location: 5 Pentelis str. and Mitropoleos (near Syntagma Square)
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday from 10AM to (around) 6PM
Cost: from 1.50€
7. Michalakopoulou Street Canteen (a.k.a. Vromiko Michalakopoulou)
Is it chicken nuggets you’re longing for? Or maybe the fries served on the side, topped with a huge amount of sauce? Perhaps the mouthwatering hot dog, stuffed with sausage -boiled, baked or fried (that’s your choice)-, boiled onions, carrot, cabbage, fries and mayo-based sauce that drips from every possible opening and all over the place. This is what makes it, indeed, vromiko (“filthy”)!
If you’re not that into chicken nuggets and hot dogs, then there are some options for you, but cannot be easily compared with the rich-flavored, old favorites of the menu. You could try a sandwich with souvlaki, tomato, fries and sauce. Maybe grab a portion of roasted chicken -nothing more, nothing else-, because, you know, you might be on a diet or simply trying to bulk up. And yes, I’m talking to you weight-lifters! So, you don’t have to worry for your late-night cravings.
Location: 38 Michalakopoulou str., Athens
Opening hours: 24/7
Cost: from 3.00€ to 7.00€
This tiny (14sqm) minimal, white and pink street food spot located in the heart of Athens is a 2017 entry by renowned Greek chef Vassilis Kalidis. Introducing the beloved Asian culture of Dim Sum, Pink Flamingo is ideal if you crave a steamed bao bun while you stroll around Syntagma.
When you get to the restaurant, you will be greeted by several lovely maneki neko (white Japanese cats beckoning with an upright paw) and a pink flamingo. You will be asked to fill in a small questionnaire (which is actually the food menu) and pick your one favorite Asian treats. The choices of dim sum are mainly three: pork and ginger, chicken and shrimps and a vegetarian one with yams, peas, lentils, sweet chili and peanut butter. The menu is completed by a dumpling soup, two bao choices (for meat lovers and vegetarians, changing every week), chinese beer, pink grapefruit soda and lemongrass ice tea.
Your lunch will be ready in minutes and served in traditional bamboo steamers that came straight from Hong Kong, as Vassilis brought them himself. If you choose to visit the place during summer, you will lucky enough to taste a special ice-cream dessert served on a stick next to a Thai fortune cookie.
Location: 2-4 Skoufou str., Athens
Opening hours: 12PM-12AM | Friday and Saturday 1PM – 1AM
Cost: from 4.50€
There is not much to say here. If you are Greek, then when you hear the word “koulouri”, you have only one picture in your mind. And when you’re looking for the real deal, you know where to find it.
At the scenic neighborhood of Psyrri, near Monastiraki station, you will find what you’ve been looking for. There, on one of the uneven, paved roads, just a few meters from Ermou street and somewhere along the way to the heart of Psyrri, you’ll come across what resembles to the Greek version of the well-known bagel, the so-called koulouri. Either for breakfast or snack, the place to buy the authentic and luscious koulouri is the bakery, to Koulouri tou Psyrri. Your choices many; your time valuable. Therefore, ask around, before you decide and pick one: the traditional one, the one with sunflower seeds, the crusty one, the one with reggato cheese, and many more. Perhaps you’d like a small sandwich. Even in such case, you are at the right place. And everything’s freshly baked.
Oh! Even if you aren’t anywhere near the region, make sure to look for small, yellow kiosks around Athens’s city center. There you will find a great deal of options, all coming straight from to Koulouri tou Psyrri. Don’t forget to ask your seller at the selling point.
Location: 23 Karaiskaki str. (near Monastiraki metro and train station)
Opening hours: Always open (but do get some time off, especially during holiday)
Cost: from 0.50€
Syntagma Square, around 12PM (almost noon). If you are like me, then this is the time that the clock strikes hunger, especially if breakfast time was at 8AM. Your options are limitless, yet you don’t know what to choose. One thing’s for sure: you want to eat on the go, exploring the city, without your stomach growling along the way.
Well, I’ve been there and I’ve got the perfect solution: Ariston on Voulis street. Since 1910, Ariston offers a wide range of pitas (pastry products/pies) with every possible stuffing: spinach and feta cheese, mushrooms, zucchini and feta cheese, eggplant, blue cheese, and many more. Your choices are not limited just to savory. Here you can also find sweet pies, for those of you who prefer sweet over salty.
The secret that makes Ariston unique is not simply the different tasty combinations the bakery offers. It is the unparalleled quality of the ingredients used that makes Ariston worth visiting again (and again and again…).
Location: 10 Voulis str. (near Syntagma metro station)
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday from 8AM
Cost: from 2.00€