Athens

by Andria Mitsakos

Sep 2013

Andria traces her roots to some of history’s most adventurous, hospitable people – the Greeks. She now carries that passion and curiosity worldwide, consulting clients with publicity, design, marketing and communications. She maintains her own lifestyle website, Wanderlista.

 

The perfect breakfast

Greeks don't eat breakfast, but after leisurely mornings working and speaking to my Asia clients, I head out to visit all of my vendors for Dea Rosa and Wanderlista, and, while walking through Plaka, I tend to head over to my friend Harris's spot, Malotira, a tiny deli packed with Cretan specialities (Harris is from Crete). I'll sit with him and catch up over a coffee and a gorgeous cheese pie that he imports from the island itself.

Your favourite home delivery

Avocado. Owned by Eraj (also owner of NYSY yoga and pilates studio across the street), the super serene spot sets the standard for stunningly fresh and inventive vegetarian cuisine. My standard order is a go Green Juice, the Gratitude Salad made with quinoa, walnuts, avocado and fresh parsley, and the Forrest Burger (made with mushrooms) with gluten-free bread. It's beyond. The Mother Earth Spinach Tart is divine as well and should always be ordered as it works for any meal day or night. When I'm away from it for too long, I go through serious withdrawal for Avocado fare; for me it's an institution. I probably eat here at least five times per week. Both in the restaurant and delivery.

Your best kept secret place

Second only to my rooftop overlooking Akropoli (my #1 secret place), is TAF, an art gallery/coffee shop tucked down a lane in Monastiraki. There isn't a view, but you enter through an old door, and once you're inside, it's like being on a movie set. The courtyard and surrounding home (it was a tenement house so each of the former "rooms" displays various artwork) plays host to evolving art exhibitions and serves some of the best coffee in the city. The rooftop is open from around April through October and on sunny winter days. If you exit and take a right walking out to Ermou St, then visit the antique shop on the corner as the family that owns it has reasonable prices and I always pick up something when I pass by here.

The Sunday lunch

Melilotos, a small restaurant located on an unassuming road in between the centre and Monastiraki. The restaurant used to be based in Plaka and was delivery only, but to the plying of their clients, they finally opened a permanent location. The daily specials are always a go-to (I recently had a savoury trout tart that was one of the best dishes I've had anywhere in the world) as are the grilled sardines served with a delicious beetroot tabouli salad. Order the house wine. Super great value as well.

The dinner with friends

Dinner with friends is always at my house, as I love to cook, but if we decide to head out, then it's to Mama Roux, a restaurant just off Platia Irini. The varied menu satisfies tastes from Moroccan to Mexican, and I always order the shrimp tacos. Nice margaritas here too. The kitchen is open late, and there is outside seating throughout the year.

If you lost your keys, in which hotel would you spend a night?

Two options: Hotel Grand Bretagne is the most classic and iconic address in the entire city. I lived there for two months before taking an apartment in a nearby neighbourhood. The rooftop is beautiful, and the spa is divine. The entire team there is governed by an inherent hospitality that is unmatched. Alternatively, I can always knock on my friend John Consolas's door…he owns the most darling B&B in Plaka called the Alice Inn. Plus, he has a set of my keys.

 

Photo credit: Peter Wesley Brown

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