Pasta (makaronia/μακαρόνια in Greek) is one of the most popular foods in the world that started in Italy and conquered the planet. In Athens, as in every European capital, there are hundreds of places to try a plate with pasta. From fast-food chains to Michelin-starred restaurants, the choices are endless. In this article, we present 4 of our favourite places for pasta in the city and some of their dishes that we single out.
Akakios (Ακάκιος): Away from the Italian trattoria, Akakios is a suggestion for the Greek version of pasta. Inspired by the monk Akakios, the restaurant with the heavy wooden tables, candlesticks and the staff in monk robes resembles the interior of a Greek monastery. The cuisine is based on the Greek gastronomic tradition and offers familiar and traditional flavours. Here you will not find parmesan or prosciutto, but pecorino of Amfilochia, katiki from Domokos, papardelles from Andritsaina and smoked pork from Trikala. The most special dish is “pecorinada” (freshly boiled spaghetti stirred into a whole head of pecorino cheese before being served with the addition of pepper to your plate). We also distinguished from the dishes the spaghetti with osobouko (pieces of beef with flavoured sauce and pecorino) and the pappardelle with zucchini cubes, caramelized onions and smoked pork. The appetizers of the menu are also very good, but they lag in relation to the quality of the main dishes.
Akakios (Ακάκιος): Agias Triados 1, 175 64 Palaio Faliro
Maltagliati: This trattoria at a beautiful welcoming house with a garden and with several years of tradition in the gastronomic scene of Athens continues to serve fresh pasta, always maintaining excellent quality. In Maltagliati you have a choice between five types of traditional pasta fresca : fettuccine, linguine, casarecce, maltagliati and ravioli. The ingredients and flavours that these five types of pasta are combined are exceptional and the tasty result in all cases is unique. We tried and distinguished fettuccine with zucchini, saffron and sour cream, “maltagliati al ragu” (with chopped pork, porcini mushrooms and truffle oil) and ravioli with spinach, ricotta, sage and pecorino. But in addition to the pasta dishes on the menu, there are also special appetizers such as “mozzarella in carozza” (fried mozzarella stuffed with mushrooms and prosciutto), as well as desserts such as a well-made classic tiramisu.
Maltagliati: Terpsitheas 16, 175 63 Palaio Faliro
Belpaese: This small Italian restaurant, with owner and cook an Italian, just a few metres from the Acropolis Museum in a pure tourist area is a hidden gem worth discovering. In the well-kept and warm place, you will taste excellent pasta dishes, made with organic Italian flour. Except for the flour, all the ingredients they use are organic while the Italian products are imported from Italy and from selected producers. Τhe pasta dish “trenette tartufo e funghi” with freshly sautéed mushrooms, sour cream and truffle is probably one of the best pasta dishes we have tasted lately [photo at the top]. We also tasted an excellent traditional carbonara with guanciale, egg and pecorino romano and linguine “limone e rosmarino” (fresh pasta, butter, rosemary, lemon juice and black pepper). They also make authentic Italian pizza with dough as thin as necessary, excellently cooked, and full of flavour (you could eat it even without any topping).
Belpaese: Athanasiou Diakou 6, 117 42 Koukaki
Mailo’s – The Pasta Project: Mailo’s is a proposal different from the previous three. We visited it for the first time during the lockdown period and it is the ideal combination of the “magic” of Italian gastronomy with the street food culture. The pasta is made in front of you with the “fresh pasta machine” and is cooked as soon as you order them. There are three types of fresh pasta (rigatoni, casarecce and campanelle) and the combinations you can order are specific but all excellent. Between classic tastes like carbonara and “mac n cheese”, and other original ones like Philadelphia chicken (with Philadelphia sauce, chicken, broccoli and sun-dried tomato pesto), the choice will be difficult. This is the best place in Athens for pasta on the go and a value-for-money suggestion for quality street food. The success of the project is evident with eight more locations (via franchise) throughout the city.
Mailo’s – The Pasta Project: Patriarchou Ioakim 39, 106 75 Kolonaki
The quest for the best never ends. We are sure there are more places to be discovered out there.