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Birthday dinner in Athens

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Dec 26th, 2013, 04:20 PM
  #1
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Birthday dinner in Athens

We will be arriving in Athens on my birthday, at the end of our trip (in January). We are staying at the Plaka hotel. Do you have any recommendations for a taverna with live music for dinner - good food but not expensive or flashy. Just a great atmosphere - not too touristy if possible.
Thanks
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Dec 27th, 2013, 01:25 AM
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Usually non touristy unpretentious taverns have live music on weekends rather than weekdays and are not located by the very city center.

If you like rembetika music, you may want to have a look on Tzivaeri on Kaesariani area http://www.tzivaeri.gr/ .

Meze place Osonoupo on the same district might fit the bill too.
If you ask your hotel reception, I'm sure they may assist you with recommendations and make arrangements.
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Dec 27th, 2013, 02:28 AM
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Interesting link from mariha, something for me to check out next time I am in Athens. KatPen, I hope you like to eat late. ;-)
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Dec 27th, 2013, 04:01 AM
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Hi, I live in Athens (Piraeus actually but some claim its the same) and I have some nice suggestions. You said you want something traditional and not touristy, live music, and good food. If you want something like that, you must get a bit off the beaten path, ofcourse. There is an exception, a taverna in Plaka called "Bakaliarakia o Damigos" (since 1865) but it has no live music. The fried Codfish is a must (Bakaliaros means Codfish in Greek). This is a Taverna popular among Athenians and Tourists, but now I will give you something truly hardcore. Its called "To Diporto" its a hundred year old taverna in the basement of an old Neoclassical house, absolutely cult. A bit difficult to find, some say it has no phone neither menu since the owner cooks something different every day but if you want to experience the real Athenian taverna, go. I think it has live music but not rebetiko. Another great taverna is "To koutouki tou Marathoniti" it has great food, and live music its a very nice and original place.

Now I am gonna give you some really nice articles for Diporto and To koutouki tou Marathoniti:

For Diporto: http://www.culinarybackstreets.com/athens/2013/diporto/

For To koutouki tou Marathoniti:
http://www.culinarybackstreets.com/a...u-marathoniti/

And some photos

Bakaliarakia o Damigos in Tripadvisor: http://www.tripadvisor.com.gr/Restau...ns_Attica.html

To Diporto: http://m.flickr.com/photos/stefanoga...9820/lightbox/

To koutouki tou Marathoniti: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-fHE5rXWHmE...0/PA051425.JPG

And the Tziaveri (mentioned by mariha2912) is a rebetadiko, it has no food and you will get culture shocked. Rebetadika are traditional after midnight "nightclubs". Ofcourse if you want to hear rebetiko, when you eat your food in a taverna.

Kali Orexi!
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Dec 27th, 2013, 04:26 AM
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One more great Taverna i would like to recommend is
Peinaleon in Exarchia, where there is always live rembetiko or other sorts of Greek music.

Unfortunately the website is in Greek only, but you will get the idea : http://www.peinaleon.gr
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Dec 27th, 2013, 06:29 AM
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Here is clausar's website in English:
http://translate.google.com/translat...-152-Athina%2F
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Dec 27th, 2013, 06:42 AM
  #7
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Thank you all and keep them coming. I am sorry we only have 3 nights in Athens as some of these look great. Heimdall, thanks for the translation and the note about eating late. I noticed a lot of the music only starts around 10:30. Showing my age here, but we never eat that late! Maybe we'll try - when in Rome (oh I mean Athens
Another thing that may be a problem is the smoke. I understand from some articles that no-one really enforces the law against smoking in restaurants, and that may be a big problem. But I am really looking forward to it all.
thanks again
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Dec 27th, 2013, 09:22 AM
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We Greeks eat really late... I think no other country eats as late as Greece. Most restaurants close at 12:30 in the night, and some tavernas close at 2:00. 9:30 is considered a normal time to start eating but 11:00 is also considered normal. In Athens, you are not allowed to smoke in a restaurant, but some tavernas still allow smoking illegaly, and in traditional tavernas like Diporto, smoking is for sure allowed but the doors and windows are open cause of the hight temperature during summer and that reduces the smoke. Most tavernas have a different place for smokers.
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Dec 27th, 2013, 12:41 PM
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If my memory serves me right, there was option for some food items on Tzivaeri such as pikoilia (different samples coming in large plate) of cheeses and meats but I haven't been recently. You are right it's not your typical tavern.

Damigos has a great reputation indeed.

Petros I know Piraeus has some interesting options too, like the place behind the port near Tsamadou/Triton hotel (the name escapes me right now...?)


The problem is too many options too little time lol
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Dec 27th, 2013, 02:21 PM
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Yes, Piraeus has some great tavernas indeed but its a different city, and not close to Plaka ofcourse. Anyway, some nice tavernas in Piraeus are, "To Eidikon" a little cult gem a former grocery store, it has no food exactly just mezedes like cheese, fried liver, meatballs, olives etc, but the best in this taverna (it actually is a mezedopoleion) is the 1900s atmosphere. Another great taverna in Piraeus is "To Yperokeaneion" a little taverna with great food and very atmospheric. Then there is a fish taverna from the island of Kassos called "To Akri" which has really nice fish, very popular among the Pireotes next to the sea. And for the absolute Rebetiko experience, the most original as Piraeus is the birthplace of Rebetiko (thousands Minor Asians refugees settled in Piraeus after the Destruction of Smyrna and wrote music and songs about the lost homeland) but sadly is closed during the Summer, I had to mention it.

An article on Piraeus tavernas:
http://www.culinarybackstreets.com/athens/2013/piraeus/

To Eidikon (Its in Greek):
http://m.gastronomos.gr/#/estiatoria...ion-To-Eidikon

To Yperokeaneion (In Greek too):
http://www.athinorama.gr/tributes/pe...ace.aspx?id=70
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Dec 27th, 2013, 03:13 PM
  #11
 
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OP will be in Athens at the end of january, not in the summer.
The options of finding a good place to eat are endless but when it comes to music things will be more difficult...

I am not quite sure Rembetiko will be something a non Greek ear will like.... and OP will rather want to stay in the centre, than going all the way to Piraeus at night.

Psirri, located next to the Plaka hotel is an area with restaurants some of which have live music.
Athens will be not full of tourists at the end of January anyway. Just avoid Kalokerinos with it's touristy food and dances that the reception will most probably recommend to you.
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Dec 27th, 2013, 05:54 PM
  #12
 
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I agree that Rembetiko will not go over with the unfamiliar ... sometimes one encounters a taverna where people sing "village music", old and lovely ballads, but this is not programmed it is just a lucky happening...
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Dec 27th, 2013, 11:29 PM
  #13
 
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Oh, I just noticed that you are going in January, for some reason I thought June... If you want to listen to live music, you must leave Plaka. First of all, no original taverna has village music (or village dances, thats humiliating and the dancers are not even Greek...), only the touristy ones, village music and dances are done only during celebrations and in a square. In original tavernas, there is only bouzoukia (rebetiko). To Koutouki tou Marathoniti, is exactly what you need, it has great food, atmosphere, live rebetiko, and no tourists.
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Dec 28th, 2013, 01:34 AM
  #14
 
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To Eidikon is where the cheese advertisement with Petros Philippides was filmed, isn't it? Akri is a personal favorite of mine, haven't been on Yperokeanion.
I think those lack of the live music element though?

I think Piraeus and other areas are not so far away from city center, half an hour taxi ride is time and money well-spend if one wants to explore a different, more authentic aspect of wider Athens area.
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Dec 28th, 2013, 06:28 AM
  #15
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Thanks Petros. We actually leave in a few days so I will keep an eye on this. To Koutouki sounds great but the article you posted says it only has live music on weekends. We will be there Tues - Thu but I will check it out (if I can convince my fellow travellers that there will be smoke everywhere).Clausar I started this post exactly because I was wary of what the hotel would recommend. I just want to have fun and not waste an evening in a tourist hangout when there is something more authentic hiding around the corner (or further afield).
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