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Athens is the capital city of Greece, a country known for its culture and history. The history of the Ancient Greeks is well known around the world, with many tourists choosing to visit the country for that very reason, due to the heritage sites and landmarks that are still on show there. Athens is one of the most visited cities in the world, with flocks of visitors heading there each year. Greek food has become rather popular in many cities across the world in recent years, however, if you're looking for authentic Greek food, then you should head to Athens itself. Not only is it a fantastic city culturally, but also has lots of food and drinks experiences for foodies to try.

The Most Authentic Greek Food in Athens

Below, we take a look at some of the most authentic dishes that you must try if you are visiting Athens.

Moussaka

Moussaka is one of the most famous Greek dishes in the world. It is a baked dish that typically consists of aubergines, minced beef, tomatoes, cheese and a layer of béchamel sauce. As such, it's one of the top things to try in Athens, with lots of restaurants and cafés serving the dish in the city. Spices such as nutmeg and cinnamon are often added, and the dish also sometimes contains potato. Some of the top places in Athens to try moussaka are Arcadia Restaurant & Lithos Tavern.

Saganaki

Saganaki is a term for fried cheese in Greek. Cheese is very popular in Greece, with goats cheese being a particular specialty. However, the cheese usually used to create Saganaki is a hard cheese (for example, gruyere), which is fried to give the cheese a crunchy crust for texture. Despite the hard nature of the outside of the dish, the inside should melt and have a gooey feel to it, making for a nice contrast with the crunchy crust. It's often served as an appetiser in Greece, with some good restaurants in Athens including Efcharis Restaurant & Tavern Klimataria.

Tzatziki

Tzatziki is a dip that is usually served alongside other food, rather than something that would be eaten on its own. Whilst the recipe can differ, it usually consists of a form of salted, strained yoghurt mixed with other things, like cucumbers, olive oil, garlic, salt and mint. Different spices and herbs may also be added at times. In Athens, Tzatziki is generally served with bread or other small dishes and is very easy to make at home, although foodies should also try the proper Greek version. Tzatziki is served at most restaurants specialising in traditional Greek food, including Kalamaki Bar & Taziki's Mediterranean Cafe.

Greek salad

Greek salads have made their way into other countries and are one of the most famous types of salads around, with many varieties existing in the UK & the USA. In Greece, a Greek salad is known as Choriatiki/Horiatiki, and generally consists of feta cheese, tomatoes, cucumber, olives & olive oil. Again, Choriatiki is quite common in Athens, but it's something any tourist should try, particularly on a hot day when you might not want to eat anything too heavy. Some places to try Choriatiki in Athens include Pame Tsipouro & Opos Palia.

Greek wine

There are lots of vineyards and wineries in Greece, partly due to the Mediterranean climate the country has. Athens itself is surrounded by lots of vineyards, with most of them also having something of a historical background to them. The region of Attica (which Athens is part of) contains around 16,000 acres of vineyards, with several places also conducting wine tours and tastings for tourists. Most of these vineyards are within driving distance from Athens, so if you're looking for a unique experience near Athens, then look no further than a local vineyard, for example, The Papagiannakos Winery, which also conducts local wine tours.

Fish Soup

With its coastal setting, Greece is in a perfect location to take advantage of the fishing waters nearby. As such, seafood and other fish dishes can be quite popular, with fish soup being a particular delicacy, depending on the season. Recipes differ, but Greek fish soup usually contains lemon and vegetables to bulk it out, alongside a selection of fish and seafood. The Aegean Soup is a particular favourite in the area, containing a rich, tomato mixture alongside the fish. Atlantikos serves a fantastic fish soup in Athens.

Cheese

As previously stated, cheese is rather popular across Greece. Feta is one of the main cheeses made in the area and is included in many local dishes from the area, such as the aforementioned Greek salads. It's usually kept in big barrels full of brine, which helps the cheese to keep its fabulously tangy flavour. Another popular cheese in Athens is the hard cheese graviera, which is often also used to make saganaki. These are just two of the cheese varieties that are made in Greece. There are also many local cheesemongers in the area where tourists can try cheeses made in Greece - check out Provence Deli or Aretoúsa to try something a little different from the norm.

Gyros

Gyros are one of the most famous dishes to emerge from Greece, often found in Greek restaurants outside of the country too. A gyro is usually made from pork or chicken and is a little similar to a kebab, with the meat being cooked on a vertical rotisserie. It's usually served in a wrap or flatbread, with vegetables/salad and Tzatziki usually added. Gyros are frequent in Athens and are a common street food staple - tourists can check out Savvas Restaurant or The Station.

Baklava

Baklava is a sweet dish that is very popular in Greece. Whilst its origins are uncertain (some claim the dish originated in Turkey), it's still considered by many to be a traditional Greek food. Baklava is made up of filo pastry, with the filling usually consisting of honey, nuts and sometimes Greek yoghurt. It's the perfect food for anyone with a sweet tooth - there are plenty of restaurants serving baklava in Athens, but some favourites include Smyrni Baklava & Karavan.

Food and Drink Experiences in Athens

If you're interested in visiting Greece and love your food, then check out some of the food and drink experiences in Athens on our website today.

6 of the Best Restaurants in Athens

While some traditional Greek food experiences in Athens take place on the streets or thanks to traditional home cooking, here we look at modern fine dining in this article 6 of the Best Restaurants in Athens

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