Greek ramblings
taverna
anapetralona restaurants

We stayed in an apartment in Ano Petralona for two weeks in December 2008, 2009 and 2012 and visited a lot of the local tavernas.

There are some excellent tavernas in this area, which is only a 15 minutes walk or so from Thissio tube station. They are cheaper and better quality than the Plaka tavernas, as well as having more Greek life and a more neighbourhoody atmosphere.

This is an up and coming area, and in December 2012 there were several new tavernas and cafes, and the area seemed to be flourishing despite difficult economic times in Greece. The main street is Troon - a pleasant street with trees and a mix of old neoclassical buildings and modern apartments. Walk along this and you'll go past most of the tavernas. It's worth continuing for 5 minutes or so and turning left on Dorian, which will take you to Melina Mecouri Plateia, a small square with several bars and tavernas.

To Therapevtirio

41 Kydantion, Ano Petralona

December 2012 cost 25 euros for chickpea soup, cabbage and carrot salad, beetroots and a beef casserole, wine and a glass of ouzo. December 2009 cost 34 euros for carrot and cabbage salad, horta, roast chicken, chicken casserole in red wine, and wine . .

tavern

This taverna is close to our apartment in Ano Petralona. Kydantion runs between Troon and Trion Ierarchon. The Therapefterio is on the top left corner as you come up Kydantion from Troon.

There used to be several other tavernas on Kydantion, but there seems to have been a consolidation of tavernas on Troon, and the Therapefterio is now the only one in this street.

We visited this 4 times during our stay in December 2008, went several times in 2009 and returned regularly in 2012 - it is a bit of a favourite.

We like this one because it is quite traditional, neighbourhoody, friendly and has good food at a reasonable price. It's a very relaxed place to eat in a very Greek atmosphere.

taverna

They don't usually bring a menu, but recite a list of everything they've got. They divide this up into fish, grills and cooked dishes and you choose from these catagories before moving on to salads and starters.

They are friendly and encouraging of our Greek attempts - patient about repeating things for us and explaning what they are.

If you're here in the summer then there are more tourists around and at any time of year they will happily do it in English and provide menus.

It is basically one big fairly unadorned room, with seating area outside along the pavement. In the winter they have a wood burning stove, which whacks out an enormous amount of heat. It makes the whole room very cosy, but you'll slowly grill if you sit too close!

It tends to get busy at weekends, holidays, lunchtimes and in the evenings after 9pm. However there always seem to be at least a few people in here whatever the time of day. People come in on their own for a quick meal, or will stay for hours over a glass of wine. In Greece you never try to shift people on, however busy the taverna might get - basically you've secured the right to sit there for as long as you fancy.

The age range seems to edge towards the older, but there is generally a mix of people, older and younger, groups and couples.

They are well known for their fish, do the usual grilled meat and a great range of cooked dishes.

There are always some good vegetarian options, like gigantes, chickpea stew or rice and spinach.

They do a really good plate of boiled vegetables - you can take your pick from whatever is in season - and a mixed cabbage, carrot and lettuce salad, which is quite substantial.

Tsipouradiko tou Apostoli

43 Troon, Ano Petralona

Keftedes, horta, cabbage and carrot salad, skordalia (garlic sauce), fried peppers and wine were 30 euros in December 2012

meze

This is a popular meze place. People come for long Sunday lunches, that start around 2pm and stretch on into the early evening, and a new crowd then arrives to fill it up in the evening.

It's on your left as you go down Troon, and has seats out on the pavement as well as a reasonably large inside. The inside is quite minimal and plain, white walls with old cigarette and drink adverts as decoration and traditional style tables and chairs.

When we were here in 2009 it was a very old fashioned ouzerie, and the main customers were older men - the re-vamp feels typical of how Petralona is developing and changing.

We had a very nice meal here, and enjoyed the food and the relaxed atmosphere. It feels a little like a cross between a restaurant and a pub - people come and have a few dishes with a drink, and stay for ages.

Around 4 or 5 dishes will make a decent meal. You choose these from a big selection, and can mix and match as takes your fancy. It's easy to make a very tasty vegetarian meal. The portions are quite large, and the prices good.

It's just across the road from the Pleiades, another popular meze place, and on sunny days the pavements outside both are full of people.

Antali

Troon, Ano Petralona

Potato salad, spicy feta dip, green salad, grilled chicken and wine cost 26 euros in December 2012

taverna

This is another meze place, also on your left as you go down Troon. It's a couple of blocks beyond To Apostoli.

Like the other meze places in Troon, it seems to be doing good business, mainly with younger people. It's smaller and somehow more traditional in its general feel than To Apostoli, with the staff more engaged and friendly.

There is a cosy room inside for the winter months, and tables spread down the pavement outside during the summer or sunny winter lunchtimes.

The food is really tasty. Each dish is quite small, but also cheap, so you can have more of a variety for the same money.

On balance we liked this better than To Aposotoli, though both are very nice.

Sinekia

Troon, Ano Petralona

Corgette keftedes, grilled chicken, potato salad, plate boiled vegetables and house wine were around 35 euros in December 2009

new

This taverna used to have two small outlets - one in Kydantion and the other on Troon. In December 2012 we discovered that it had consolidated into one large taverna, with fancy doors and a flash frontage.

It's on your left shortly after the pedestrian part of Troon ends, opposite a little cafe.

We haven't yet got round to trying it in the new venue. This is partly because it was closed a lot, only opening on Saturday nights and the holiday lunch times.

It was also because when it was open it didn't have many people in it, and seemed rather cavernous and empty even when a few tables were taken. Along with most other people, we were more attracted to the smaller meze places mentioned above. It might be more appealing in the summer.

However, when we did eat here in 2009 we really liked the food. Here's what we said:

food

The corgette keftedes - little cakes of potato, corgettes and herbs which have been fried - were really good, as was the potato salad with spring onion.

The plate of boiled vegetables was plain, but really good quality veg (the corgettes were particularly delicious, for some reason).

You can eat these plain, sprinkled with lemon juice, or go for tstaksiki or skordalia (a garlic sauce) to liven them up

To Kappari

36 Dorion, just round the corner from Platia Melina Mecouri, Ano Petralona

Dec 2012: beetroot, yogurt and walnut salad; cabbage and carrot salad; spicy chicken with rice and a chicken fillet, plus wine = 35 euro

kappare taverna

A lively local restaurant with good food, a pleasant atmosphere and friendly staff. Its off the beaten track enough not to get many tourists, and feels a very local and Greek place to eat.

It's slightly more expensive, but only by a few euros.

In the winter they dont seem to have menus in English, and the menus are quite complicated because of the unusual variety and type of food. We speak enough Greek to be able to manage, but its very likely that the staff could do it all in English if required.

This place seems to get going from around 8pm although it will really start to fill up around 10. You get a mix of ages with young people, couples, family groups and groups of friends. As well as a medium sized room there is a courtyard, which in winter is protected with plastic so still warm and useable.

The food is all very tasty, and tends to have a slight twist to traditional Greek food, as well as variations on greek staples eg a beetroot salad where the beets are chopped and mixed with yogurt and walnuts so they are more like a chunky dip. The salads are good, and the portions generous it would be easy to have a good veggie meal here from a couple of starters.

They offer you a free sweet at the end of the meal - if you accept you'll need to have some room left after your meal as this is a large chunk of chocolate brownie and scoops of vanilla ice-cream.

Weve been here several times and always enjoy it.

Vasilis

80 Dimithondos, Ano Petralona

December 2012 cost 25 euros for cucumber and tomato salad, horta, fava, grilled chicken and wine. We were given some halva at the end of the meal.

vasillis taverna

This taverna is in an old building on Dimifondas, close to the Thissio end of Troon in Ano Petralona. Its an old fashioned taverna serving grills, salads and starters.

There is just one large room, decorated with a variety of photographs, objects and pictures in a style often used in traditional tavernas.

In the winter there is a wood fire, and in the summer they open up a roof terrace which we are told has a view across to the Acropoli.

fava and horta

It is run by an old couple presumably Vasilis and his wife who are very friendly and welcoming. They dont speak any English, and there isnt a menu as such.

Vasilis brings around a printed sheet with the (fairly short) list of all the dishes they have, and goes through this with you, or leaves it on the table for you to fill out. However this process doesn't seem to be necessary with most of the other regulars who came in, as Vasilis seemed to have a good idea of what they might want before they'd even sat down.

The food is tasty, substantial and cheap and this is a really good basic, old fashioned taverna.

The downside is that it always seems to be empty were not sure why as it's a good place to eat. We've been here several times and have always been on our own, or with a couple of other people. It's hard to work out how they are managing to survive on so little custom, although it is possible that it does get busier in the summer months, and that the roof terrace attracts people.