Hello and welcome to a topic full of my opinions,
observations and hopefully your gastronomic delight. I have over 30 years of first
hand experience with Greek Food. On this page I'll
discuss the broader issues of Food in Greece and let you decide where to go
to from here. For those of you in
hurry I'll put some major issues here.
Are you an avid non-smoker? Greece recently passed a law requiring non-smoking areas in restaurants and bars. Greece has to match EU laws in order to get money from the Union. It is flagrantly ignored by everyone including politicians and police! Sorry! On the plus side, in summer, one usually eats outside in Greece so the smell is diminished or not an issue. In case any one out there cares: I have quit smoking. It will be 5 years soon! Other people's smoke in indoor restaurants can and often is annoying. No fear as In season its always salubrious enough to always eat outside!
Many Greek restaurateurs live and work for the tourist euro so hours are much more flexible than they used to be in places that are known tourist haunts. In fact on really touristy islands like Mykonos, Santorini, Rhodes, Kos, Skiathos and similar many of the restaurants are a seasonal phenomenon and closed in winter.
Traditional Estiatoria or Restaurants usually serve lunch between 1 pm and 3 pm and dinner 9 pm to 1 am but even they are of course, open 'all day'.
There is usually a menu posted by the entrance informing prospective patrons of the dishes available, the category of restaurant Lux, A - D. and the prices and often translated into English, French or German.
Above is a menu that's a bit different and of a restaurant which i recommend called the One and Only or in Greek the "Monadikos'. Click it see it larger. If you take the tram from Syntagma Sq to Phaliron and get off at the last stop the Monadikos is a block or two further up and really excellent and quite inexpensive.
This particular culinary delight is a combo of Cypriot and Greek cuisine so its a bit spicier than your typical Greek fare. Greeks are not used to spicy food - just like their inordinate fear of drafts (as in open windows) they abhor hot food which, I personally love! Greeks really are wimps in this respect and to each his own and pass the tzatziki and teero-kaf-teri please! (Tzatziki is a garlic, cucumber and yougurt spread of mid-eastern origin and Tiro Kafteri is a very mildly spicy cheese spread.)
In the summer when most of you will be in Greece you'll notice that real resident Greeks tend to eat dinner late, maybe because it stays hot until after sunset 9:15 PM. Consequently you'll rarely find them eating before 10 PM or later. When they do finally start to eat, they stay at the table for a couple of hours usually, eating, drinking, chatting, gossiping, smoking, making eyes at your companion, whatever. Of course many sit-down establishments open earlier for foreigners so you can basically eat whenever you get hungry.