Athens is a city full of contrasts. This is true for travelers too, especially when it comes time to choosing a place to sit down and lunch. Most tourists visiting Athens tend to stick to the areas near the acropolis, that offer the standard take on Greek fare for moderate to high prices, but if you look a little farther out from the comfort zone there are some really great, inexpensive and simple local favorites to enjoy.
Often, when travelling I scour travel blogs for food recommendations. I look for out-of-the-way local favorites and unusual experiences. This is how I heard about Evripidou Street, which is just south of Athens Central Market. Evripidou Street is the place to find seeds, legumes, spices and rare herbs. This neighborhood is mostly populated with foreigners from the east, (China, Pakistan and India) and is a unique experience. Note, as I didn’t, that most of the shops are closed on Sunday, so we settled for lunch rather than browsing through aromatic shops packed full of brightly coloured spices.
Evripidou Street is also known for “Telis” the famous Greek restaurant known for having the best “hirino brizoles” (pork chops) in Athens. For over thirty years Telis has been serving loyal patrons a very limited menu and is a local favorite. There is a written menu, albeit small and all in Greek. Our waiter came over, took our drink order and then raised four fingers, one for me and each of my companions. He then whisked away to return with four giant traditional Greek Salads (tomato, green pepper, cucumber, oil, feta) and four plates overflowing with Pork Chops and Fries. Not “What would you like” but “How many are you.”
We then were offered a traditional dish on the house which was fantastic. (I guess we looked enthusiastic) Tomatoes smashed and spread thin, feta and hot peppers baked with olive oil and served with bread.
A very modest Taverna, Telis does not have much atmosphere – simple and no frills, it has that delightful “hole-in-the-wall” decor that generally indicates the possibly of a good feed. Very Clean, Very bright, un-adorned with tables and chairs and not much else. A few spots to sit outside.
For Athens on a Budget, you could do much worse. One plate of Heaping Pork and Fries is 8 Euro.
86 Evripidou Street