IT: Known as (or named to be) the “IT” place where locals and jetsetters convene, this on-trend, all-day hangout is located in upmarket Kolonaki. Branding itself as a health-conscious eatery, everything on the menu – from its breakfasts to all-day salads – use the best of local produce. The Seasonal Greens with Mizithra Cheese (€7) featuring baby zucchini and a very flavoursome tomato vinaigrette are locally-sourced and inspired. Wonderfully sautéed, the greens melt in the mouth and pair very well with a slice or two of Betty’s homemade pumpernickel and cornbread. Also not to miss is the wonderfully tasty Handmade Traditional Pie with seasonal greens, feta and pine nuts (€7.50). Its fresh and fragrant dill seasoning is irresistible. The selection of Greek wine on the menu is very good, including a bold but inviting Sauvignon Blanc. Also fun are the cocktails. IT has a lovely laid-back, al-fresco vibe and a modern aesthetic.
Malconi’s: Italian restaurants seems to be a favourite in Athens and Malconi is one of its finest examples. This is the place to be seen, according to a local, so it’s worth booking in advance and nabbing a table outside along the pavement if you can. It feels very chic inside and offers an inspired menu based on contemporary Italian cuisine. Their pastas are a must, particularly the Bucatini Basil Pesto (€14) served with cherry tomatoes, zucchini, pine nuts and a scoop of stracciatella making it the creamiest pasta dish around. Utter indulgence.
Philos: Ohi Day (Greek Independence Day) makes for the perfect opportunity for a leisurely brunch in the centre of Athens and on my visit, luckily, Philos was open. Located in a neoclassical building in Kolonaki, Philos instantly impresses with its elegant meets industrial design: think neo-classical townhouse, with vintage tiles and raw concrete walls. Popular with influencers, fashionistas and locals, this place is always full so it’s worth booking a table. As well as specialising in eggs and their signature super-indulgent pancakes, Philos does flawless coffee and tasty buddha bowls. It’s worth sharing a few dishes with a friend and spending a long afternoon here, before a spot of browsing in Kolonaki’s many lovely boutiques.
Warehouse: This friendly café-cum-wine bar offers a range of tasty dishes (including a delicious Green Salad with grilled manouri cheese), great coffee from local roaster Wise Cup and a spectacular selection of wines (though not the sweet Greek sparkling variety!). In the evening, it’s very popular so it’s worth booking and sampling your way through the wine list.