Situated by the sea in the marina of Agios Kosmas, ENOA is part of a truly strange neighborhood. There are a couple of nightclubs, some cottages and the enormous, badly lit rowing and sailing buildings that have been left to molder after the 2004 Olympics – but mostly the feeling is of an abandoned wasteland by the sea. Continue »
Articles by: Despina Trivolis
Dimitris Kotsaris was more proselytizer than baker. Rather than a flour-dusted apron, this mild-mannered gentleman would wear elegant suits to meet with journalists, bearing two or three kilos of his famous whole-wheat bread as a gift. He was an ardent believer in the medicinal qualities of bread and preached widely that good bread promoted good health, once even taking his case to Harvard, where he delivered a talk about the role of well-made loaves in healthy diets. Continue »
Dear Culinary Backstreets,
My family is traveling to Athens in October. Some of our friends have told us that Athens is not very child-friendly and that the only places that cater to children are international fast food chains. Is this true? Are there any other options for those of us who do not want to eat American-style fast food? Continue »
To Triantafilo tis Nostimias restaurant would be impossible to find if someone didn’t tell you it was there. Although just a five-minute walk from busy Syntagma Square, it is hidden in an arcade on the rather unappealing Lekka Street. Despite the central location, the downtown Athens standout remains largely unknown and is not even included in most Athenian food guides. You truly have to be a local to come here. Continue »
The blackboard hanging outside Dexameni’s cramped kitchen reads, “Kindergarten-Bar-Nursing Home,” the title jokingly bestowed upon the café by the eminent novelist and poet Alexandros Papadiamantis. He was among the literati who made Dexameni their regular hangout shortly after it opened in the early 1900s – so regular that the place ended up serving as a home-away-from-home for all stages of life. Continue »
It’s a long drive from Athens to Perama, the westernmost terminal of the port town of Piraeus, and the payoff is, at first sight, minimal. To the left is the port’s industrial zone – a forest of blue and orange cranes that tower over the sea. To the right is a stretch of industrial wasteland: old electricity plants, derelict factories, walls with enormous graffiti celebrating Piraeus’s very successful team, Olympiacos, and then a jumble of recently built high-rise buildings on a rocky hill. Continue »
Piraeus holds the distinction of being Greece’s biggest port, as well as the largest passenger port in Europe. Although it is a mere 20-minute train ride from downtown Athens, most Athenians think of Piraeus with a reverence reserved for a foreign country. There is just something almost mythic about this ancient port, which has been in existence since the 5th century BC – the famous opening line of Plato’s Republic is, after all, “I went down to the Piraeus yesterday.” Continue »
Editor’s note: In this post, Culinary Backstreets’ Athens correspondent, Despina Trivolis, reflects on the recent demise of two of her city’s oldest restaurants.
Our colleagues in Istanbul often lament that their favorite local, traditional eateries are being pushed out and replaced by impersonal Westernized food chains. Here in Athens, it’s a whole different story. Longstanding, locally owned venues are closing down one after the other these days. Continue »
Dear Culinary Backstreets,
I keep hearing about the wonders of Cretan cuisine, but is it really any different from regular Greek cooking? And is there anywhere nice to try it in Athens?
The fashion for Cretan cooking took Athens by storm right before the start of the financial crisis. Nobody knows exactly what brought it on. Continue »