Together with the Toques d’Or, the Greek Cuisine Awards went to restaurants and tavernas that serve modern and traditional Greek Cuisine. Whether you are traveling to Athens or to some other destination in Greece, keep this list to be prepared.
Modern Greek cuisine
No. 57, Megalou Alexandrou Str., Metaxourghio, Athens
In one of the most stylish and tasteful restaurants in Athens, Gikas Xenakis creates a unique Modern Greek cuisine repertoire, seasoned with creativity. Dishes such as the pumpkin mousse with chestnuts, apaki (a kind of cured meat) and truffle, or the slowly roasted lamb with “gigantes” beans, celeriac, caper, and yuzu play imaginatively with innovation and familiarity.
“Ekies All Senses Resort”,
The stylish all-day restaurant, a breath away from the sea, dresses up in the evening offering the award-winning Chef Dimitris Pamporis the opportunity to remember some of his iconic dishes, which are indicated on the list by the year in which they were presented. There are also some new dishes in the familiar, modern Greek style of the Chef.
“Mandraki Village” Hotel,
Chef Nikos Stavrakakis develops his technique with brio, performing increasingly well. His conceptual approach bears a genuinely Greek sign – in some dishes with a mood for fusion. The dishes that set the tone are the mullet-baklava with sweet-and-savoury crunchy filo pastry and fragrant sea fennel sauce, and the long-bill spearfish ceviche with a fantastic broth from stuffed cabbage leaves and pickled fennel.
Using excellent products of the Cretan land and sea that he sources from select small producers, Yiannis Baxevanis offers an intensely tasty cuisine, masterfully using an impressive wood burning oven. The velvety fish soup with seawater, the stuffed fish with herbs, and the smoked risotto with mushrooms are some of the restaurant’s standouts.
KENSHO FINE DINING
“Kensho Boutique Hotel & Suites”, Ornos, Mykonos
The restaurant of the brand new “Kensho Boutique Hotel & Suites” is a new entry in the Greek Cuisine Awards. In a setting with eye-catching design and exceptional elegance, it presents a Modern Greek cuisine characterised by a deep knowledge and creativity. The bold, yet refined Chef Yiorgos Stylianoudakis, a lover of research on Greek gastronomy and hard-to-find quality ingredients, delivers dishes that creatively blend tradition with modern techniques.
ΚΟΚΚΙΝΟ ΠΟΔΗΛΑΤΟ / KOKKINO PODHILATO
With last year’s success as its starting point, the cuisine that Gikas Xenakis created in the charming restaurant of Oia is revving up this year in the hands of Nikos Koutsoukos. Dishes such as the exquisite cod with garlic-and-potato dip and tomato jam; the caramelized chicken thighs in risotto; and the Macedonian halva mousse with spearmint-scented praline and lemon sorbet are expressions of the cuisine’s modern perspective in this atmospheric balcony.
ΜΑΡΙΝΑ / MARINA
This restaurant-benchmark of quality fish eating fish in Kassandra with the refurbished dining hall on the seafront never ceases to evolve. This year, among other things, we were thrilled by the crayfish carpaccio with basil and chili, the tuna ceviche, and the sautéed shrimps with the delicious bisque, and enjoyed fresh, ethereally fried mullet and grilled amberjack.
ΜΑΥΡΙΚΟΣ / MAVRIKOS
Chef Dimitris Mavrikos is a modern exponent of the cuisine of Rhodes, bringing tradition to the present. He seasons his creations with deep relish, giving them an almost exotic character with his choices. Dishes such as the “gigantes” beans with carob honey, the pickled eggplant, the goat with chickpeas, or the calamari with beetroot and saffron are expressions of an exciting Rhodian idiom.
“Hilton” Hotel, 46, V. Sofias Ave., Athens
Costas Spiliadis, a chef famous in New York and beyond, upholds the reputation and taste of fresh Greek fish. He does so in “Hilton” Hotel too, his base in Athens. The proper grilling, the exquisite fish tartare and sashimi, and some quality meat dishes place the “Milos” among the top restaurants of its kind.
The team of Yiannis Kioroglou, bound together as never before, turned “Mylos” into a benchmark in the gastronomic scene of Santorini. Dishes such as the pan-seared seafood with feta cheese “snow”; the smoked eel with white eggplant cream and green apple; and the veal cheeks with smoked potato puree and pesto from Santorini tomato paste express an essential modernism while being strongly rooted in tradition. (Adam Kontovas, a winner of a Greek Cuisine Award, will be the chef in the new season).
“Elounda Mare” Hotel, Elounda, Crete
In the garden of the renowned resort of Elounda, close to the sea, the elegant restaurant has been a success for years, offering a superb Modern Greek cuisine with Cretan touches. The acclaimed, award-winning Chef Antonis Petrelis and the kitchen crew create robust dishes, such as the whole meal lasagna with rooster and soft white cheese from Mt. Psiloritis, with taste depth and harmonious contrasts that smell like Greece.
ΠΑΠΑΪΩΑΝΝΟΥ / PAPAIOANNOU
No. 42, Akti Koumoundourou,
The leading restaurant for fish eating in Attica banks on the highlighting of the subtleties of the sea cuisine by the virtuoso Yiorgos Papaioannou and the excellent quality of the ingredients. The modern concept of the sea cuisine finds a place in the chef’s palette with creations borrowed from the “raw” logic. Based on the masterful handling of the pan and the grill, “Papaioannou” constantly progresses, maintain a high level of technique and taste.
ΤΗΛΕΜΑΧΟΣ ATHENS / TELEMACHUS ATHENS
10, Panepistimiou Str. (in the arcade), Athens
In Panepistimiou Street, charcoal and rotisseries now rule in the arcade that once housed the legendary ouzo bar of “Apotsos.” Yiorgos Tsiligiris brings premium meat eating to the centre of high-class Athens. In the luxurious, urban-style dining hall, apart from premium meat (in terms of race and aging), he serves black pig “kontosouvli” and “kokoretsi,” namely spit-roast variety meats.
ΑΘΗΡΙ / ATHIRI
No. 15, Plateon Str., Kerameikos, Athens
Both the intimacy and the feeling that the taste of tradition brings on are there, and so is the modern concept along with up-to-the-minute techniques. The dishes of Alexandros Kardasis continue to charm with their beautiful directness and Greek soul in a restaurant that has been making history for years in the field of friendly gourmet.
ΑΛΕΞΗΣ / ALEXIS
“Sani Resort”, Sani, Chalkidiki
The unpretentious fish tavern of Alexis Lakkas that sets its tables beneath the trees, opposite the marina of the “Sani Resort” hotel, professes the charm of simplicity in the best way. Fresh salads, delectable meze dishes and fresh fish that is fried with mastery and grilled with precision are always there for you. And if you are lucky, you’ll get some hard-to-find seafood delicacies you’ll never forget.
Regency Casino Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki
In his summer “outfit,” Chef Apostolos Altanis proposes Greek dishes with a modern perspective. The lush garden, the discreet musical accompaniment, and a good wine list make dining out an open-air pleasure.
Don’t be misled by its name. “Argentina” is a classic fish tavern in the harbor of Kolimbari and is one of the few good places of its kind. The family that runs it has a tradition in dealing with fish and everything they suggest is worthy of attention. From among the ready-made fish dishes, the grouper with orzo pasta stands out.
22, Xanthoudidou Str. & Radamanthyos Str.,
Old Town, Rethymno
On the right side, romance with candles; on the left side, an ultra modern décor with traditional elements; in the middle, an impressive, green courtyard. In the kitchen, Yiorgos Stylianoudakis, experienced and creative, “rereads” the traditional Cretan cuisine with a contemporary mood and the result is delectable. The place boasts an excellent wine list with 400 labels and a cellar where tastings take place. High-level service.
ΓΑΣΤΡΟΔΡΟΜΙΟ ΕΝ ΟΛΥΜΠΩ / GASTRODROMIO EN OLYMPO
36, Aghiou Nikolaou Str., Litochoro, Pieria
Andreas Gavris is the keeper of taste in a region where quality restaurants are hard to find. He suggests – with remarkable persistence in fact – dishes that combine taste adequacy and simplicity that allows their understanding without ever becoming simplistic. The masterly handling of the high-quality ingredients justifies the guest’s choice.
6 ΚΛΕΙΔΙΑ / SIX KEYS
“Six Keys” Hotel, Kallifteri Beach, Afissos, Magnisia
Grilled pie with a lace-like filo and a super fragrant stuffing of herbs and creamy white cheese; pork shoulder with orange confit that slowly cooks in oil for six hours; crunchy kataifi with a hint of coconut and lime, served with cinnamon ice-cream, milk caramel sauce and rose preserve: the cooperation of Dionysis Zacharopoulos with Yiannis Baxevanis gives off a lovely smell of Greece.
FEEDέΛ URBAN GASTRONOMY
1, Ktena Str., Athens
In a secret garden of downtown Athens, Leonidas Koutsopoulos makes real Greek food with an unconventional approach. Iconic local ingredients, modern techniques, and inspiration from the cuisine of the East are recast into an urban mould and connected with the light touches of a well-balanced modernity. The elegance, taste and Greek character are apparent in all dishes.
ΘΩΜΑΣ / THOMAS
18th km. of the Amyntaio-Kastoria Road,
A Greek cuisine that often draws inspiration from the local Macedonian tradition and relies on carefully selected ingredients. Modern approaches and classic forms that keep tradition alive make up a compelling whole that proposes dishes worth trying.
“Domotel Kastri” Hotel, 154, E. Venizelou Ave. & Romylias Str.,
Nea Erythrea, Athens
Classic dishes such as pie with greens, stuffed cabbage leaves and artichokes “à la polita” are there, slightly “tweaked.” Chef Alexandros Charalampopoulos has shown his talent by working systematically on the modernization of Greek cuisine. He continues in the restaurant of the “Domotel Kastri” Hotel for the second year, with an even more impressive streak of creative, highly expressive dishes with nice ideas, high-level technique, and a very clear Greek identity.
ΚΟΝΤΟΣΩΡΟΣ / KONTOSOROS
Xino Nero, Florina
Skillful and daring in his views, Nikos Kontosoros continues his course in a “difficult” area for gastronomy of high pretensions. The taste adequacy of the dishes he proposes has turned his restaurant into a magnet for the lovers of taste, who travel dozens of kilometers to enjoy his cuisine.
ΚΡΗΤΙΚΟΣ / KRITIKOS
No. 49, Eolou Str., Kantza
Premium quality meats, mostly of Greek origin, are grilled expertly by Nikos Dogiakis, who delivers intensely savoury dishes that everyone relishes. Whoever has tried the lamb chops of the “Kritikos” knows what we are talking about.
ΜΑΡΙΓΟΥΛΑ / MARIGOULA
An unexpected culinary experience, able to make you change your route to enjoy it, awaits you in Polygyros. Dishes such as the calf’s heart with soy and smoked paprika sauce, the cod meatballs with hot sauce and bergamot jam, and the cuttlefish with capers and mashed potato with hartwort express an approach to cooked and meze dishes with imagination and peculiarity.
ΜΠΟΥΚΑΔΟΥΡΑ / BOUKADOURA
Elia Coast, Nikiti, Chalkidiki
On the seafront, at the coast of Elia in Nikiti, Ms. Yota offers a series of dishes with an airy flavour but also with strong traditional elements. She also proposes a unique collection of unusual, original liqueurs and pickles. An ideal place to try excellent Greek cuisine and enjoy goodies that are hard to find.
ΝΑΟΥΜΙΔΗΣ / NAOUMIDIS
Aghios Panteleimonas, Florina
Angelos Naoumidis progresses year by year and fully lives up to the reputation of his restaurant on the banks of Lake Vegoritida. Excellent handling of freshwater fish (from the lake, of course) and dishes that go beyond fish eating and have a strong Greek sign.
ON THE VERANDAH
“Poseidonion Grand” Hotel, Spetses
On the most stylish verandah on the island of Spetses, the award-winning Chef Stamatis Marmarinos presents a very personal, Modern Greek cuisine. Based on the local character of ingredients and the local culinary tradition, which he uses as his “canvas,” he “embroiders” his cuisine with up-to-the-minute techniques and a fresh look. The result? Impressive dishes with a strong Greek character.
ΤΑΣΟΣ / TASOS
No. 6, Phaethonos Str., Nea Krini, Thessaloniki
Mrs. Kyriaki Toptzi is not just in the kitchen. Some people say that she is actually “inside the fish” at the moment when it receives the caress of the fire. Without an extensive list of appetizers, with the pan and the grill prevailing, be it fish or shellfish, “Tasos” proposes unique culinary pleasures.
“Costa Navarino” Hotel, Pylos, Messinia
For another year, Chef Dimitris Melemenis places emphasis on dishes with a strong stamp of both quality and Greek character. The high-quality base ingredients, which are often produced in farms within the compound, and the unique culinary approach give a result that highlights our culinary tradition in the eyes and the palate of the guests of the “Costa Navarino.”
“The Zillers” Hotel, 54, Mitropoleos Str., Athens
Konstantina Faklari returns to the award-winning team by signing the specialties of the restaurant of the namesake boutique hotel, which made its debut last summer in a terrace opposite the Acropolis, with a down-to-earth gourmet profile. Since then, it has performed increasingly well in terms of taste and refinement and leaves a very pleasant aftertaste with original desserts.
“Amirandes” Hotel, Gouves, Iraklion, Crete
There has been a change of guard in the kitchen, with Chef Vangelis Fronimakis in charge of the team now, but the results are equally remarkable. The cuisine maintains its Greek character, with an unmistakable stamp of the Cretan gastronomic tradition. The creative flair and capacity to handle traditional local products bring a Greek Cuisine Award for another year.
ΧΡΥΣΟΣΤΟΜΟΣ / CHRYSOSTOMOS
Defkalionos & Ikarou Str.,
The taverna of Chrisostomos Orfanoudakis, located at the edge of the Venetian harbor of Chania, is a constant exponent of authentic Cretan cooking. It has a neat interior, and a small flowery terrace for the summer; the bread, and the meat are baked and roasted in the wood-burning oven; and the casseroles, which come is generous portions, bear a clear local sign and are full of taste.