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.
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).
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).
Most of the middle-aged waiters have been around forever. They may be a little jaded, but they always manage to deliver under pressure.
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.
€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.
Due to popular demand, Ilias has opened a second outpost at 7 Thessalonikis (+30 210 342 2407).
- Backpackers / Students
- Families with teenagers
- Families with younger children
- Mature travellers
- Chilling out