For centuries the Greek taverna has always remained the same, a place where a small group of friends, surrounded by cigarette smoke would gather to eat, drink and be merry.
Derived from the Latin word ‘taberna’ meaning stall, shed or hut, the traditional Athenian taverna flourished in the Byzantine period where a combination of food and wine would be served on a regular basis for the enjoyment of people.
Giorgos Pittas in his book “The Athenian Taverna” describes these establishments as places where poorer Athenians would head to drink wine drawn from wooden barrels, matching this with easily prepared dishes including small fried fish or chicken stomachs.
Some popular Athenian Tavernas to visit include:
Opening in 1932, the taverna became a popular hangout for artists, composers, writers, and politicians due to its vicinity to Omonia Square. Their speciality is their fish soup, consisting of chunks of grouper in a seafood broth which is wonderfully paired with ouzo.
Operating in the same location since the 1920’s this family run taverna has a glass floor allowing guests to see the old wine barrels in the basement. Whilst the dishes served are few, each one is memorably delicious.
Ta Filetakia Tis Dafnis
The city of Dafni, home to several gastronomic restaurants, houses this taverna opening in 1966. A mandatory destination for meat lovers, its pork and chicken fillets, village style sausages and french fries bring guests to its doors.