14 July 2024
Food and Drinks

Rediscovering Traditional Greek Cuisine in the New Eateries of Athens

The culinary landscape of Athens is a vibrant tapestry of old and new, where traditional Greek flavors intertwine with modern culinary trends. Amidst the bustling city streets, a wave of new eateries known as “taverneia” has emerged, each dedicated to serving up the kind of food that warms the soul and evokes memories of home-cooked meals. These establishments are not focused on impressing visitors with elaborate presentations or fancy ingredients but rather on offering simple, delicious, and affordable dishes that celebrate the richness of Greek cuisine.

One such eatery that has captured the hearts of locals and visitors alike is Koutsou & co, located in an arcade near Syntagma Square. Chef Argyro Koutsou’s passion for traditional Greek cooking shines through in her daily-changing menu, which features dishes like lentils, trachanas with Tinos sausage, rabbit with potatoes, and fresh peas. The cozy atmosphere of the restaurant, with its simple tables covered in linen tablecloths, provides the perfect setting for customers to enjoy a leisurely lunch break. Koutsou’s mission is not only to offer a taste of real Greek cuisine but also to challenge the stereotype that traditional Greek food is limited to gyros and moussaka. Through her culinary creations, she hopes to introduce visitors to the wealth of traditional Greek recipes and ingredients that often go unnoticed.

In the Neighbourhood of Kypseli, another kitchen that has been making waves is Lotza, where locals and visitors gather to savor classic Greek dishes like meatballs with freshly cut potatoes, hilopites with cheese, pastitsio, and open onion pie. The kitchen’s focus on using fresh, seasonal ingredients sourced from local producers sets it apart from traditional fast-food establishments, offering a more wholesome and flavorful dining experience. The team behind Londza aims to bridge the gap between fast food and traditional Greek cuisine, emphasizing the importance of quality ingredients and careful preparation in every dish.

At Goldie, chef Chrysta Gerakopoulou showcases the best of Greek cuisine through her daily menu, which features dishes like freshly caught mackerel from Tinos, wild artichokes, and baked fennel marathoriza. Gerakopoulou’s commitment to using fresh, locally sourced ingredients and her creative approach to traditional recipes have made Goldie a favorite among diners seeking a modern twist on classic Greek dishes. Similarly, in the Neighbourhood of Kypseli, Danae and Maria Panagiotidi have taken over their family’s kitchen, preserving its traditional charm while adding seasonal and vegetarian options to the menu. By focusing on fresh, locally sourced ingredients and collaborating with small producers, the Panagiotidi sisters have breathed new life into the kitchen, attracting a new generation of diners while maintaining the loyalty of long-time customers.

The resurgence of traditional Greek eateries in Athens reflects a broader trend towards celebrating the art of home cooking and the joy of sharing a meal with others. Inspired by a desire to provide simple, well-cooked dishes that evoke a sense of comfort and nostalgia, these new kitchens offer a taste of the past with a modern twist. As Argyro Koutsou eloquently puts it,

”The kitchen is a dish – simple yet complex, caring and nurturing. It is a place of comfort and connection, where we come together to enjoy good food and good company.”

Through their dedication to preserving and elevating the flavors of traditional Greek cuisine, these new kitchens are redefining the dining experience in Athens, offering a taste of home in every bite.

This article was inspired by the original piece published on Gastronomos.gr, highlighting the resurgence of traditional Greek kitchens in Athens and the growing appreciation for simple, flavorful cuisine.

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