To Steki tou Ilia

Address: Eptachalkou 5, Thisseion, Athens, 11851, Greece
Telephone: +30 210 345 8052

- Budget

4.4

The quintessential taverna on a peaceful pedestrian street near the Parthenon.

When I’m feeling nostalgic for bygone Athens, I always come to this old-time taverna. Tucked away in the backstreets of Thisseion, with tables beside the train tracks, it’s a quietly romantic spot. It’s close to all the major tourist attractions, but has a real insider feel. Reliable food, affordable prices, and an unpretentious atmosphere make this a great stand-by.

 

Food and drink
4
90%
Service
4.3
90%
Food and drink
4
90%
Value for money
4.7
90%
Ambience
4.8
90%
Location
4.8
90%

Food and drink

This is very much a place for carnivores.Chef Ilias’ signature dish is grilled lamb chops, or paidakia (be sure to pronounce this pa-ee-dakia; otherwise it means little children). They’re fatty and chewy, but utterly addictive. You must eat them with your hands, like everyone else. The house wine is rough and ready.

 

Recommended dishes

As well as lamb chops, the bifteki (meatball) is juicy and minty. Side dishes are taverna staples: chips, fava (split pea puree) and horta (boiled greens – much tastier than it sounds).

Ambience

Village tavern from the 1930s. Tables inside are hunkered beneath barrels of wine. Wafts of grilled meat from the barbeque whet your appetite. In fine weather, tables spill across the pavement into the churchyard. Crickets chirp in the trees overhead. Everyone comes here, from tycoons to taxi drivers. It’s also popular with performers from the Athens Festival (the Herod Atticus theatre is a 10-minute stroll).

Service

Most of the middle-aged waiters have been around forever. They may be a little jaded, but they always manage to deliver under pressure.

Location

Far from the madding crowds, but just around the corner from Dionysiou Arepoagitou, the pedestrian boulevard that runs around the Acropolis. The quiet pedestrian street is lined with lovely neoclassical houses. It’s less than five minutes walk from Thisseion train station.

Price advice

€10-20 per person with house wine.

Tables to book

Pretty much all the tables are the same. Even if you have to wait for a table, you won’t mind lingering outside on summer nights and soaking up the scene.

 

Branches

Due to popular demand, Ilias has opened a second outpost at 7 Thessalonikis (+30 210 342 2407).

Recommended for

  • Backpackers / Students
  • Couples
  • Families with teenagers
  • Families with younger children
  • Mature travellers
  • Chilling out
  • History

Details