NileGuide Expert Says:
A peek inside offers an entire gallery of famous Greek movie stars and celebrities who have once upon a time been a customer.
2 Monastiraki Square
10555 Athens, Greece
tel: 30 210 321 3036
NileGuide Expert tip:
Pork souvlaki is juicer than chicken, but both are considered more hygienic than the gyro which is a combination of meat and therefore more difficult to regulate in quality control.
The side of Monastiraki square that meets Mitropolios and Ermou is constantly in a haze of smoke from grilling meat dusted with oregano and paprika. It is souvlaki row, where tourists and locals will frequently go for their traditional Greek street food from some of its oldest vendors. Bairaktaris is one of these, dating back from 1879, but don't expect a remarkable meal to accompany the legacy. The only difference between a plate (ten euros) and a take away pitta (1.70 euros) is whether or not you're going to sit or stand, as any table requires you to order the more expensive plate. Quality wise, Bairaktaris is not considered the worst, or the best, but the atmosphere is certainly the most nostalgic of its competitors. Kids enjoy the noise and animation, not to mention the fried potatoes, but the better, more economical solution is to make use of the fast window where they pass out souvlaki or gyros and you eat it directly. To do it like a Greek, eat it in the off hours between meals or late at night after indulging in the city's famous nightlife. It's the perfect food to sober up with and send you home for rest.