After our successful articles for the “4 of the best restaurants for casual dining” and “4 of the best places for pasta” in Athens, our team decided to present our favourite 4 places for ethnic food in the city. In this article, we present 4 restaurants, where you could taste the cuisine of the country they represent in its most authentic form. Visit these places without prejudice and discover a whole new world of tastes and flavours.
Seoul House Restaurant: The restaurant has existed in Athens since 1984, but in recent years has become widely known to the public after its relocation to Palaio Faliro. Here you will try only authentic Korean cuisine, which differs significantly from the cuisines of other countries in the Far East. It is a combination of spicy and sweet flavours. The special thing about the restaurant is that here you can enjoy Korean barbecue. At the specially designed tables with a central hearth, you will cook yourself chopped pork pancettas and marinated pieces of beef, which you will then wrap in soft lettuce leaves along with sesame sauce and fresh vegetables (the staff is helpful in explaining the process). Also, in addition to the barbecue, you should try the traditional bibimbap rice (rice with mixed vegetables and fried egg) and pa jun (Korean pancakes with spring onion). Also, an excellent choice is a soup with stuffed dumplings. And of course, your meal should be accompanied by soju which you drink plain (or in beer as is customary in Korea). Generally, a visit to Seoul Ηouse is a unique experience and an introduction to a relatively unknown cuisine that is worth discovering. [See also photo at the top of the article]
Seoul House Restaurant: Zisimopoulou 40, 175 64 Palaio Faliro / Athens
Namaste Indian Restaurant: Although there are many good Indian restaurants in Athens and Indian food is a favourite choice for Athenians, Namaste is a special case. Its owner was born in Nepal and by opening the restaurant in Athens he wanted to convey the philosophy and tastes of his country. His restaurant presents the classic Indian cuisine enriched with the dishes of this unique mountain country. The flavours are authentic and refined with meticulous quality ingredients and authentic Indian spices. So here you can taste an excellent chicken tika or old-style chicken curry but at the same time, unique dishes such as lamb shahajahani (with creamy sauce, cashews and saffron) and the Nepalese bans called sherpa mo mo (steamed buns filled with minced meat dipped in sesame sauce). Finally, excellent accompaniments are the rice biryani and the traditional fresh-baked bread naan (in several tastes). The restaurant is quite warm and modern with a large open kitchen where meals are prepared and the staff is extremely willing to help you with the dishes and combinations of the relatively large menu. In general an unforgettable tasting experience in the favourite neighbourhood of Koukaki.
Namaste Indian Restaurant: Lempesi 12, 117 42 Koukaki / Athens
Mamacita – Taquería y Coctelería: Mamacita, located in the popular neighbourhood near Syntagma Square with many ethnic restaurants, is not yet another Mexican restaurant but a complete dining experience in a beautifully decorated space, which will surely catch your eye while passing by. Here you will taste all the well-known Mexican dishes executed perfectly and with a subtlety and precision in the balance of flavours. The classic burrito is delicious and served in seven variations. Also excellent are the chicken fajitas (with peppers and onions, accompanied by cheddar, guacamole, pico de gallo, sour cream and small tortillas) and the burritos barbacoa, one of the restaurant’s specialities, in which they have beef cooked in beer, rice, guacamole, pico de gallo, cheddar and sour cream. And because Mexican food without cocktails is not possible, Mamacita offers excellent cocktails to accompany your meal. Mamacita is by far the best Mexican restaurant in downtown Athens.
Mamacita – Taquería y Coctelería: Apollonos 9Β, 105 57 Syntagma / Athens
Mesopotamian Kebab Restaurant: Hidden in the streets of Vyronas, this neighbourhood restaurant is a real find. Although it is presented as a place that serves kebab, it is a unique restaurant with delicious authentic Kurdish cuisine. It is a family tavern of Kurdish immigrants who cook and serve the dishes of their place of origin. Apart from the excellent kebab dishes in various combinations (such as αdana and ali nazik) here, you will try the best hunkar begendi (braised beef with eggplant puree) in Athens, but also very good manti (boiled beef dumplings with yoghurt sauce) and perde pilaf (rice with lamb and almonds). However, you should not worry because whatever you order from the menu will be great. The owners are hospitable and willing to explain the dishes to the customers. In the end, they always serve as dessert a mouthwatering kunefe (kadaifi with cheese and syrup). This restaurant is a real hidden gem, which you must discover before the rest of the city finds out the secret.
Mesopotamian Kebab Restaurant: Amaseias 16, 162 31 Vyronas / Athens
And as we always say, the quest for the best never ends and there are more places out there we have to discover.