Where to eat with your feet in the water in Athens in September
Want to keep the summer feeling alive in September? Athens Insider culls the best addresses where you don’t just have a sea-view perched a few metres above, you can dip your toes in the water. From fine dining bastions to simple seafood eateries on the sands, here’s our pick of 12 restaurants where you can sink your feet in the sand and toast summer in September.
With sailing boats swaying to the gentle rhythms of a gentle autumn breeze, fishing boats plying their fresh catch, you could be led to believe that you’re on an island where time stands still, and the day is punctuated by the squawking of seagulls and of the clanking of anchors being dropped. Welcome to Varoulko Seaside which promises a luxury dining experience with the award-winning chef Lefteris Lazarou and his talented team still surprising us with exceptionally inventive dishes after 33 years in the business, in a setting that can only be described as ‘an eternal, insouciant summer.’ Take a mid-day break from work, savour a langourous meal, you will thank yourself for your mini-vacation!
Varoulko: Akti Koumoundourou 52, Mikrolimano. Tel: +30.210.522.8500, Book here: varoulko.gr
Aperanto Galazio – NAOOB
Aperanto Galazio – NAOOB: Decades ago, when the Nautical Sports Club of Vari and Varkiza was established, there were only a few boats but several hungry sailors. Over the years, a classic fish taverna emerged modestly feeding the locals, but now called Aperanto Galazio – ΝΑΟΒΒ, specialising in freshly caught fish, unfussy service and sand in your toes. The tables are on the beach. Great for kids.
Aperanto Galazio – NAOOB: Off Leoforos Athinon-Sounion, Varkiza, +30 21 0965 5951. Book a table now.
Taverna 37, perched on the water at the Four Seasons Astir, serves unpretentious Greek seafood treats and taverna fare with flair. The taramosalata is perfectly buttery and briny, the grilled fish, deboned and drizzled with extra virgin olive oil. Nothing speaks more to Greek cuisine as fresh, lightly seasoned vegetables and grilled fish – celebrated here in all its refined simplicity. The only music here is that of animated crickets and of waves gently lapping the shore. What’s not to love?
Taverna 37: 40 Apollonos Street, Vouliagmeni. Tel: + 30 210.896.1000. Book a table now.
Zen Beach: You want to spend a day by the beach in comfort, but without breaking an arm and a leg? Zen Beach is your answer. And the food here is simple, delicious and affordable! A crisp white, a crunchy salad, superfoods-laden dishes and barefoot at your table. Need we say more?
Zen Beach: Telos Vakhou Street (ex) Niirides, Kavouri, Vouliagmeni. Tel: +30.210.967.0096. Book a table now.
Privilege Beach Club
At Astir Beach, dining options include waiter service to parasoled sunbeds by Privilege Beach Club. The newly launched Privilege Beach Club promises Mediterranean cuisine with a twist, cocktails on the water and downtempo dance music by DJs. Waiters ply light salads and drinks to keep you and your family fueled up at your sunbed or at the restaurant.
Privilege Beach Club: Apollonos 40, Vouliagmeni. Tel: +30 210.89.01.619. Book a table now.
At 40Forty, at Astir Beach, succumb to the pleasures of day-to-dusk beach-side dining. Now in its fifth year, 40Forty has established itself as the go-to place for accessible, gourmet meals. Revel in the barefoot luxury of watching the sun dip into the horizon while sipping a cocktail. Book ahead to access the restaurant, even after the beach is closed to the public at 8pm.
40Forty: Apollonos 40, Vouliagmeni. Tel: +30 210.890.1619. Book a table now.
Garbi, one of the oldest seafood destinations in Vouliagmeni, started life as a humble eatery for fishermen in 1924, and fast gained a reputation amongst celebrities and tourists. When the restaurant had to relocate from the current Astir Beach in the late ‘50s, it moved to Kavouri, where it is run today by founder Petros Garbi’s three daughters and their children. With a passion for food and hospitality (the staff here uncannily remember your name and culinary preferences), Garbi attracts not just locals from the southern suburbs, but from all over Athens.
Garbi: Iliou 21, Vouliagmeni. Tel: +30 210.896.3480. Book a table now.
At Blue Fish, Chef George Oikonomidis reworks the magic with which he wooed tourists and locals in Naoussa on Paros and brings his unique brand of Mediterranean-Japanese seafood cuisine. Its stone walls, white tables and rustic décor sets the tone for an unhurried meal. This is the closest you can get to having a meal on the water and the food here is a delightfully engaging play on textures and flavours. Perfect for pre-or post-swim meals or indeed, in between dips. At night, the water lights up into an inviting, translucent turquoise. Magical!
Blue Fish: Leoforos Poseidonos 4, Vouliagmeni. Tel: +30 210.967.1778. Book a table now.
Moorings at the Astir Marina is a good pit stop for coffees, cocktails and gourmet meals with a side-order of yacht-envy. Work out your excesses by strolling along the harbour and taking in some serious eye-candy – no leaky fishing boats here, just gleaming, million-dollar sleek yachts.
Moorings: Marina Vouliagmenis, Vouliagmeni. Tel: +30 184.108.40.2069. Book a table now.
Krabo is not just a great hang-out for an island-in-the-city vibe, it is a delightfully secluded bay, ideally designed for an all-day beach experience. Equipped with sundecks, this is where sophisticates come to play. Stay on for sundowners and thoughtfully crafted meals.
Krabo: Thespidos, Vouliagmeni. Tel: +30 210.896.3309. Book a table now.
Ark: For a swish dining experience, by the water, look no further. This is where southerners convene for cocktails and spell-binding views. Acclaimed chef Yiannis Baxevannis’ award-winning cuisine matches the stellar setting. Expect imaginative cocktails, curated wine-list, personalised coffee-blends to complete your waterfront fantasy.
Ark: Grigoriou Lampraki 2, Glyfada. Tel: +30 210.894.8882. Book a table now.
Coyoacan Playa: Everything here exudes beachside indulgence. A play on Mexiterranean flavours, the décor here is distinctly bohemian. Reminiscent of a beach club in Ibiza, come here dayside for a dip and a sip, stay on for a tantalising meal and be prepared to party till the wee hours.
Coyoacan Playa: Varkiza Coast, Vouliagmeni. Tel: +30 694.866.8855. Book a table now.