When traveling to Athens, this unique European capital, you want to go where the locals go, eat as the Greeks eat and enjoy your visit to the fullest! The best way to achieve that is to start your day with an authentic Greek breakfast! There is a common misconception that a typical Greek breakfast is made up of a cigarette and coffee, but in reality, a traditional Greek morning meal includes a wide variety of Mediterranean foods and ingredients. Having the luxury of being wealthy of quality ingredients, the Greek cuisine is considered to be one of the healthiest around the world.
Here is a list of the most common food items, Athenians choose to eat for breakfast and where you can find them.
Photo: iFeel Athens
As in most cuisines, eggs are a classic breakfast ingredient and an integral part of many Greek breakfast recipes. A very popular and quick plate is “Greek-style fried eggs,” and by Greek-style we mean using plenty of olive oil! Another alternative to this common dish is the “Sunny Side Up Eggs,” which are fried on only one side, with the yolks remaining cold and runny. iFeel Cafe Restaurant in the picturesque neighborhood of Psirri, in the center of Athens, is the perfect place to enjoy your morning meal as it offers a generous breakfast menu, with a variety of egg recipes to choose from. You can try scrambled eggs with chive, eggs cayana with fresh tomato and oregano, Greek-style omelets, or egg-white omelet with grilled vegetables for a healthier choice.
Photo: Fresko Yogurt Bar
Plain Greek yogurt is a snack packed with nutrients that has many health benefits. It is eaten for both breakfast and dessert and used in several recipes. If you take a stroll around the city center, you will find numerous yogurt bars and kiosks in almost every street corner serving yogurt in all of its forms. Fresko Yogurt Bar in Dionysiou Areopagitou, close to the Acropolis area, is a “must” when visiting Athens as it serves one of the best quality frozen yogurts and smoothies of the city! You can taste the traditional one made from local cow milk, or try between sheep or goat milk flavor. With tons of toppings to choose from such as honey, hazelnut, almonds, chocolate chips, handmade marmalades or sliced fresh fruit, Fresko Yogurt Bar is an excellent breakfast spot!
What is a Greek breakfast without its traditional tyropita? Tyropita is a homemade cheese pie with filo pastry and it comes in many different forms and variations. Filo pastry is regularly used in Greek cuisine, as pies are an all-time favorite food for the Greeks. Although there is no place in Athens that does not serve pies, there is one particular place you can’t miss! In Meliartos, located in Ermou, the most crowded street in the city center, you can taste delicious handmade pies in both savory and sweet flavors. Feta cheese pie, spinach pie, yellow kasseri pie, vegetable pie as well as baklava, bougatsa (cream pie) and galaktoboureko (milk pie), three of the most famous desserts made from filo pastry, are some of the many choices you have.
Influenced by the western cuisine, Athenians are big fans of pancakes, and they have integrated them into their morning routine. They are a great choice for breakfast, especially during the weekend! One of the best places to taste some of the most unique, delicious, American-style pancakes in Athens is Melinikon, the Greek Pancake House. Found on Skoufa street in Kolonaki, it serves a wide range of pancake flavor combinations, including eggs, bacon, cherry tomatoes and mustard or chocolate, cheese cake, tiramisu and banoffee.
5. Greek coffee
Coffee is an essential part of the Greek culture. A whole ritual comes with it, from how the coffee is prepared to how it is served and drank. Authentic Greek coffee is commonly cooked in a briki, a small copper or brass pot and served hot, in a cup. Locals drink their coffee adding homemade cookies or sweet biscuits on the side. In the streets of Plaka, in the heart of Athens, there is an adorable, picturesque café called Yiasemi, where you can relax during morning hours, enjoying your coffee along with some of the most traditional, handmade Greek breakfast snacks. Its cozy and quiet atmosphere will make you fall in love with this place!