Athens fast food restaurants are essential in a city where time and energy is given to either lunch or dinner, but never both. The human tummy still wants a little nibble sometime in the interim; not to mention that with the current economy, cheap eats are essential for reasons other than hunger. Shoppers, tourists, businesspersons and other hungry souls choose daily, at unusual hours, from a bevvy of fast food eateries in the form of street kiosks, cantinas, gyro
stands, bakeries and small cafes offering sandwiches, tiropita
- all of which are represented on our Athens fast food top ten list and without ever resorting to the golden arches (even if they're right there in Syntagma Square
The reason there isn't a heavier concentration of arches, kings, or colonels is Greece's very own Goody's which, on the contrary, is readily available in any corner of the Athens city center; it's top on our fast food list partly for that very reason but mostly we love that they use olive oil in all of their cooking, emphasize tradition in their menu, and offer huge loaves of freshly baked breads and large squares of feta with their salads. All the while they still provide familiar hamburger and french fry combo meals (some with a plastic toy) that give a sense of peace to kids and other picky eaters. The one on Stadiou Street is ideal if you're in the area of Syntagma heading toward Kolonaki for shopping.
Tramezzini, Makriyianni 3, Brigante and Everest all represent the "fast food cafe" category that has a heavy dominance in Athens' overall fast food category because it combines two things Athenians love best: greasy pastries and coffee. Everest is one of the biggest chains in Greece and offers consistent quality and low prices at all hours of the day. We love Tramezzini for being cheap, easy and classy, all at the same time with wine that can be ordered by the bottle and gourmet, three-bite sandwiches for around 2-3 euros a pop.
The quintessential experience of fast food in Greece involves grilled meat, garlicky tzatziki
sauce, and toasted bread. Thanasis is one of the most famous gyro
places of Athens but is frequently crowded for the same reason. It pairs well with a day of rambunctious touring and bargain-hunting in the Monastiraki flea market
. Swanky Kremmidi- meaning "onion,"gives a pretty good stick of souvlaki
and is a great place for a late night hunger-buster while making the rounds of Gazi
nightclubs. To Pio Katharo Vromiko- or "The Cleanest Dirty in the City"- is a smart commercial spin on the classic late-night Athens meal of a giant toasted sandwich full of meat and pickled vegetables. Call it a hot dog if you wish, but it would be an understatement. The one in Psirri
is noisy but fun after the 2am hour when bars are starting to encourage their patrons to leave.
Lastly, don't underestimate the power of a good bakery in Athens. Ariston's is the perfect place for snagging a warm, buttery tiropita
, or any other number of stuffed filo pies. They're filling and come in under two euros, perfect to carry you from midday to 9pm, the hour the Athens dinner bell finally starts to ring.
Italian Deli and wine shop near the Acropolis...
17 Iraklitou, Kolonaki
Stylish souvlaki joint fit for an urbane Gazi-ite...
Monastiraki, just off the northeast corner of Monastiraki Square
Nostalgic Athenian establishment for Gyro and Souvlaki... read more
Fast food, fast coffee, cheap prices... read more