A Culinary treat at the Galaxy Restaurant and Bar (Athens, Greece)

During our short stay in Athens, we were invited to dine at the Galaxy Restaurant and Bar located on the top floor of the Hilton Athens. After 40 weeks of eating the local foods of Portugal, Spain, France, Italy and Greece we were in the mood for something that would remind us a bit of home. The Galaxy Restaurant was the perfect choice as it had both international cuisine mixed with a touch of Greek.



Our hostess was so courteous and knowledgeable about the menu and ingredients. She spoiled us from the moment we sat down until the last second when we wobbled our over-filled stomaches to the elevator.   We were seated in the outdoor patio overlooking the majestic Acropolis ruins. All this view under the Athenian stars sipping on Greek wine, listening to good music and watching a fashionable crowd could not be beat.


Our meal started with a salad tree resembling an enchanted forest of delicious treats. It  consisted of crisp baby spinach leaves with prosciutto chips, walnuts, dried figs, local kalathaki cheese drizzled with a nutmeg vinaigrette.  In the land of Greek salads, this salad was a nice change. After finishing the salad we were presented with a plate of the seared tuna starter set in a slate board.  The sesame crusted tuna was served with snow peas, caviar, pickled pearl onions, black and yellow cherries and a truffle vinaigrette. It was the most perfect serving of seared tuna. Both in taste and presentation.


I thought we were done but it turns out that our meal was just getting started. Next we were served with another starter, the roasted fillet of grouper. It was artfully presented in a bed of squid ink couscous salad served with a vegetable pea puree and sun dried tomato olive oil. The combination of the couscous, its texture and colorful contrast with pieces of tender white grouper made for a visual and culinary treat.


The one page sushi options was the biggest welcoming surprise. There is nothing I crave more than a good serving of sushi, especially on a trip, and the Hilton Athens satisfied this craving. We were presented with a colorful array of sushi rolls. Options ranged from the crispy salmon roll to the classic spicy tuna roll. Sashimi and Nigiri were also available.  The rolls were presented on a large slate board arranged beautifully with rose shaped salmon sashimi and wasabi cubes in the middle. It tasted quite authentic with the perfect portion of rice and fresh fish per roll. It was the perfect way to satisfy my cravings.


After finishing off the sushi plate we were too full for words. But our hosts insisted on serving us more of their wonderful culinary creations.


The Galaxy Roof hot stone is something that should not be missed. There are two options: the sea food platter or the surf and turf. We opted for the surf and turf which consisted of pieces of top quality beef tenderloin and lobster tail. The meat was served raw in a dish and presented alongside a sizzling hot stone. Our server placed the meat on the stone to cook to perfection. There were side order options to go along with the hot stone meal of which we had an eggplant melange and a bowl of local greens only grown in the hills and mountains of Greece.


For dessert we had a little bit of everything including the frozen mojito cream with crunchy mint jelly, lime syrup and lemon sorbet. A tart dish perfect for those who love a tangy dessert; the milk chocolate mousse  bar with vanilla ice cream and berry coulis, great for us chocolate and berry lovers; the semifreddo amaretto with almond crocant and orange sauce; and a blueberry soup with lavender ice cream, meringues and strawberry froth. A colorful treat blasting with distinct flavors.

02-image_16 03-image_15The meal at Galaxy restaurant far exceeded our highest expectations. The food was divine, the view was breathtaking, and the service was excellent. If you want a great meal served alongside a great view with a hip ambiance then don’t miss the Galaxy on your next trip. 


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Hilton Hotel (Athens, Greece)

We arrived on a hot day in August appearing out of the subway station into a hazy fog and scorching sun that can bring anyone to their knees. Our hotel of choice was the Hilton Athens situated in the  Kolonaki district.




The hotel is very central within walking distance to the upscale shops, bars and restaurants of the Kolonaki neighborhood. The Evangelismos metro station is situated across from the hotel allowing for easy access to the major tourist destinations.



The hotel itself is everything you would expect from an upscale hilton. Great, friendly service with top notch facilities. We were generously given an executive suite overlooking the Acropolis from our room and access to the elegant Executive Lounge, with private check-in/out, in addition happy hour drinks and snacks available until late evening.


The bathroom was extremely clean and crisp with white and grey marble lining the counters and walls. Local Greek wine and a basket of fruits were waiting for us on our arrival. A top to bottom window opened up to a balcony overlooking the Acropolis in the distance. In the evening, the view turned magical with the golden lights of the acropolis reflecting from the distance.



In the heat of the summer, guests can also relax by the outdoor pool before freshening up and heading to the penthouse for drinks at the ever so fashionable Galaxy Restaurant and Bar.
04-P1040890 05-P1040891Dining:

The rooftop Galaxy Restaurant and Bar at the Hilton Hotel is a must for anyone who is staying at the hotel and all others who are looking for a night out on the town eating haute international cuisine. The indoor-outdoor bar/restaurant is split into two sections: the bar and on one end the restaurant. We opted to dine at the Galaxy Restaurant during our short trip in Athens and were not let down. In fact, it was one of the best meals we had during our trip in Europe. Wining and dining under the Athenian stars with a view to kill, things could not get better. (See Review on Galaxy Restaurant).



The next morning we enjoyed complimentary continental breakfast enjoyed in the large Byzantino restaurant. It was one of the largest breakfasts we had and featured both local greek flavours and international food. Service was as always immaculate and friendly.

The Hilton Athens is located at: 46 Vassilissis Sofias Avenue, Athens 11528, Greece
Telephone: +1 888-414-2018
Note: Our stay at the Hilton Hotel and all meals were complimentary. 


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Two Days in Athens (Greece)

Our Italian journey ended in Rome. From Rome we took an Easyjet flight to Athens, Greece. After one and a half months of traveling and sightseeing we were ready to relax and spend time on the sandy beaches of the cyclades but not before we paid our respects to my beloved city, Athens. Most people use Athens as a stepping stone to get to the islands, not taking any time to see the city. But for me Athens is a jewel in disguise waiting to be discovered.


Athens is a city that lies close to my heart. The first time my 21st self stepped foot onto the sun-kissed concrete city I felt like I was back in Tehran, Iran. A free Iran.  From the architecture, traffic, and landscape to the warm people and the amazing food everything for me was a gentle reminder of my motherland.  I was lucky enough to have travelled with born and raised Athenians who knew the city inside and out and as a result was given a thorough tour of the city and what it has to offer. Athens is comprised of old and new high rises, neoclassical houses, and incomplete concrete frames.  There is a certain orderly chaos that makes the city so charming.  Not to mention the people who are kind, giving and welcoming. The most welcoming hosts on our journey through Europe (after Turkey) making Greece again one of my top three destinations in the world. Here is a list of my favorite things to do and see in Athens.


1. Get lost in the oldest neighbourhood of Athens, the Plaka and shop for souvenirs and trinkets. Don’t forget to bargain your price down as bargaining is a way of life in Greece. Try to find your way to Byzantino (tel: (30-210) 324 6605). Here you will find handmade ‘museum-copy’ jewelry replicating ancient Greek pieces. You can be assured that nothing here is made in China as all is made in the Athens workshop of this family run business.

02-P1040897 2. From Plaka walk your way up the hills toward the “high city”, the Acropolis. Here you’ll see the Temple of Athena Nike, the Erechtheion (my favorite) and the Parthenon along with many pieces of stones arranged on the ground for eventual reassembly. The Count loved to re-live the history of the Persian kings burning the ancient city of Athens to the ground.

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3. Visit the Acropolis Museum and revel at thousands of years of history carved in marble. 05-P1040974

4. Spend the evening in one of the many outdoor cinemas nestled in parks and gardens around town. My favorite is the one located at the south side of the Acropolis, the Thiseion (tel: 30-210 347 0980).


5. Party it up in the lively Gazi district. It has been dubbed Athen’s coolest neighborhood with many bars, restaurants and live music venues.


6. For treasure hunting visit the Monastiraki flea market located in the Avissynias Square. You can literally find anything and everything from books to clothes to souvenirs.

08-P1040992 7. Since I am a foodie I never miss the opportunity to visit a city’s central market, in Athens that is the Agora market. Here you can get the freshest meat, fish and vegetables along with a lively setting with lots of yelling and bargaining.


8. Eat a Greek salad in one of the city’s many tavernas washed down by a souvlaki. Or vice versa.  10-P1050004

9. Spend the evening shopping, drinking and dining in the chic neighborhood of Kolonaki11-P1050008 12-P1050013 13-P1050027 10. Take the obligatory photo with the guards at the Parliament building in Syntagma square14-P1050057

Side note:  Since my last trip to Greece in 2007, the country’s economy has suffered. I was afraid that visiting the country would deplete me of my wonderful memories and sadden me at the state of affairs. What I found was a proud people keeping their head up and hoping for change to come. Living in the United States often we only see the worst headlines on the news. Many warned us to redirect our Greece trip based on the headlines to avoid being caught in strikes and violence. Yet, it was still as safe and friendly as ever. If tourists stopped going to Greece, Greeks would suffer even more from a decrease in one of their main sources of income, tourism. So my advice is: go to Greece and live the myth for yourself! It is no wonder that it was the home of the gods as there is a certain mystical sense of beauty and history at every turn.

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The Hungry Nomad’s Guide to Athens | Greece


After living in hot and lively Athens on and off for almost four years, I’m now on to new adventures. About high time for a small, and very personal, guide to my favorites in the city! Also, just in time for Tala’s visit and I can’t wait to see how she will experience the city and what she will add to this list.

I absolutely loved living in Athens, it’s such a bubbly, messy and creative city. Times have changed though in the last years and I’m so happy that the owners of my favorite places are still going strong. If I would have to say why I would recommend most of the places below, it’s because they are lovely people (do take your time to chat with people here), they promote either local produce or local design, and usually give a modern twist to Greek tradition which I thoroughly believe in and, not unimportant, enjoy immensely. Most are located in amazing central spots, aren’t ‘touristy’ and simply serve great stuff. All of these are based in or very close to the centre (no suburb recommendations, sorry!). Thus, easy to find if you’re in town only for a couple of days or great to frequent if you’re staying here for a longer time, as I have done. Do wander the backstreets of Athens, you’ll surely find many more hidden gems.

I hope this guide will help you explore and love this city with all its contradictions as much as I do.

Acropolis & around

Filistron | Restaurant

Apostolou Pavlou 23 (in between Acropolis & Thissio Metro stations)

Close to one of the oldest open-air cinemas in the centre of Athens, an upscale tavern with great versions of traditional Greek food (pictured is the delicious Greek bottarga with dried figs & cream cheese), good wine list and the absolute best view of the city. Do make a reservation for the roof terrace (not open in winter), it’s one of the few places in Athens that needs one. Open for dinner only.




Fabrika Arts & Crafts/PSIT Jewelry/Sous-Sol Furniture & Lightning | Shops

Veikou street 9/6 (Acropolis Metro station)

Our little neighborhood behind the Acropolis is up and coming. More and more little independent shops have opened, offering you great hand-crafted alternatives for the traditional souvenirs. If you’re lucky, you’ll stumble upon one of their street parties!




Gelatopoli | Ice Cream & Coffee

Dionysiou Areopagitou 8 (Acropolis Metro station)

Close the new Acropolis Museum (which I believe we will continue to lovingly call the ‘new’ museum forever), simply sweet ice cream and delicious fair-trade freddo cappuccinos that are very reasonably priced for this area. Do try iced coffees if you’re in town during the summer. The Greek generally prefer ‘frappes’ made with nescafe, but I personally like either iced espresso or cappuccino. When you order, add whether you want it sweet, semi-sweet or without sugar and you’ll be sipping your favorite cold coffee in no time.



Makriyianni 3| Coffee Shop & Sandwiches

Makriyianni 3 (Acropolis Metro station)

Click on the link to check out an earlier post I wrote about our favorite neighborhood cafe. In the past years it has been surrounded by new cafes and bistros, but we still return to this lovely shop.

Fresko | Dessert

Dionysiou Areopagitou 3 (Acropolis Metro station)

With frozen yoghurt being the hype for a couple of years now (and being mainly very disappointing), Fresko serves actual Greek yoghurt with your choice of traditional Greek spoon sweets. Do ask to sample all their different yoghurts, you’ll be surprised by the flavors.


O Takis | Bakery & Sandwiches

Misaralioutou 14 (Acropolis Metro station)

Known by virtually everyone in the center of the city, Takis is hands down the best bakery in town. A family store for generations, they serve absolutely amazing traditional fare such as cheese pies, koulouria and little bread rolls with olives and feta, but also delicious carrot cakes, rye bread, sandwiches with grilled veggies and fresh croissants oozing with chocolate. Go early in the morning before it’s all gone! Usually closed for holidays a few weeks in August.



Monasteraki & Plaka

TAF (The Art Foundation)| Art & Coffee/Drinks

Normanou 5 (Monasteraki Metro station)

The door always seems closed, but push it open and you’ll find yourself in a lovely courtyard surrounded by tiny traditional houses filled with ever changing art exhibitions. During the day it’s a cool hang-out for a coffee, at night delicious cocktails and good music.

Six D.O.G.S | Art & Coffee/Drinks

Avramiotou 6-8 (Monasteraki Metro station)

The bars are a bit too hip to my taste but walk down the steps through the tiny tunnel and you’ll find their garden, to me one of the nicest surprises in town. They serve just about anything: coffee & snacks (mediocre), organic wines and cocktails. One of the coolest places in summer during the day and with all the lights on in the trees at night. Click here to check out an earlier post I wrote about Six D.O.G.S.

Ice Scream | Ice Cream & Coffee

Pandrosou Street 19 (Monasteraki Metro Station)

Conveniently at the edge of the neigborhoods of Plaka & Monasteraki and close to the main shopping street Ermou, Ice Scream easily serves the prettiest (and perhaps tastiest) ice cream in town. They also serve milkshakes (hard to find in Athens) and my favorite frothy freddo cappuccino.



Yiasemi | All-round Cafe (coffee, dessert, drinks)

Mnisikleous 23 (Monasteraki Metro station)

Smack in the middle of the beautiful old neighborhood of Plaka, this seems the only cafe not catering towards tourists. Lovely people, home-made pies which you can pick out from a huge table (savory and sweet, all delicious!) and a few small dishes (the garlic and butter-filled mushrooms are my favorite). Great to have a break while showing your friends around the old town. In the summer sit at the lovely steps, in winter sit next to their fire place with some rakomelo. Click here to see an earlier review.


Hellenic Art & Design| Shop

Herefondos 10 (Acropolis or Monasteraki Metro station)

Tiny store selling beautiful and funny modern arts and crafts from Greek designers (including from the people at Greece is for Lovers and Paper Kingdom). The lovely owner loves a chat and tell you all about her wares.



Syntagma & around

Oinoscent | Wine Bar & Shop

Voulis 44A in between Syntagma and Plaka (Syntagma Metro station)

Awesome wine bar and shop. I love these guys (we got engaged here so I might be partial) and ordered lots of really good Greek prosecco from them for our wedding. Knowledgeable about wines, serving delicious ones from all over Greece and abroad, wonderfully paired with their plates of cheeses & cold cuts. Take your favorite bottle with you from their shop or get it delivered.


Ippolito | Shop

Voulis 38 (Syntagma Metro station)

If you’re looking for a unique bag or clutch to take home with you, this is the place. Gorgeous Pavlina designs beautiful, elegant and quirky leather bags in small quantities, accompanied by her adorable Geppetto (look at him striking a pose in the picture below! His dog collar is also by Ippolito).




Filema | Tavern

Romvis 16 (Syntagma Metro Station)

Our favorite laid-back tavern and the one I’ve visited most of all restaurants in town and the one I request to go to every time I come back from abroad. Real central Athenian vibe (a bit gritty and extremely likable at the same time) just behind the bustle of Ermou street. In the summer you sit at the side of this little street. Service is personal and informal, food is simple, fresh and of great quality. You will find all your Greek favorites here from beef burgers and tzatziki to fried anchovies and Greek salad. Check out this post for pictures.

Korres| Shop

Ermou street (Syntagma Metro Station)

The beauty products of Korres are sold in all pharmacies throughout Greece (and are also popular abroad), but since the beginning of this year Korres also has its very own store at the start of the main shopping street of Ermou. Natural products that smell delicious (such as Vanilla Cinnamon and Bergamot Pear shower gels) with great design. I’ve been a loyal fan ever since I  first came to Greece seven years ago.



Mama Roux | All-round Cafe (coffee, lunch, drinks)

Aiolou Street 48, near Kolokotroni Street (Monasteraki or Syntagma Metro Station)

Mama Roux is one of Athens’ internationally oriented places serving American pancakes for Sunday brunch (brunch! Impossible to find elsewhere in town), falafel for lunch and cocktails & music for your night out. I’ve tasted just about everything on the menu and find it all delicious. Great, relaxed vibe. Check ahead if you’re coming this August, they’re closed part of the month.



Heteroclito | Wine Bar

Fokionis 2 (Syntagma Metro station)

Just off Ermou street, this new and hip wine bar also serves other hard-to-source local drinks such as specialty beer from the island of Zakynthos (which even my Zakynthian husband had never even heard of and absolutely loved). Great fresh snacks too.



Cantina Social |Bar

Leokoriou Street 8 (Thissio or Monasteraki Metro Station)

Hidden at the end of a little stoa, this bar has a great garden with videos playing on the huge wall that surrounds it. Also serves coffee. Good music, cocktails and relaxed crowd. Visit after having taken a stroll throughout the neighborhood of Psyrri during the day when it is quiet and serene before the party-goers arrive.


Bios Terrace & Elvis Souvlaki | Bar & Mid-night Souvlaki

Peireos 84 & Plataion 29/Leonidou (Kerameikos or Thissio Metro Station)

Excuse the photographs, but I really wanted to add these two to my list of go-to places. During the summer the Bios terrace is open with an absolutely amazing view of the Acropolis (for the surprise factor I didn’t add that specific picture, ha!). Just turn into the side street when  you reach Peireos 84 and go up the stairs. When you’re done sipping your drink, meeting some nice new friends and staring at the view (they have one of those old-school coin-operated binoculars) you can head into the gritty neighborhood towards Elvis and get the traditional late-night snack of Greece: souvlaki. Great night out.



Last thoughts

There is so much more to see and to eat than what I’ve mentioned above.

  • Go take a walk up Filopappou hill at dusk to get an awe-inspiring view of the city and the sea.
  • Go visit the Acropolis museum (gorgeous! the light! nice restaurant too) and Benaki museum (roof terrace, beautiful building!).
  • I would definitely recommend visiting the neighborhood of Exarcheia (originally the anarchist area of town) where there are great bars and taverns to be found and to understand the versatility of this city.
  • Also the residential area of Petralona is worth a visit food-wise. A favorite among all my friends there is the French bistro Chez Lucien where you can practice your French with the patrons and imagine you’re in Paris for a little while.
  • Look around you at all the great street art: stencils, graffiti and stickers.

Lastly, if you don’t have the time to go explore on your own or simply want to see Athens like an insider, check out Alternative Tours of Athens. I’ve been on one of their free tours (great concept) focusing on new designers and I loved it!


p.s. A little warning to prevent disappointments: most Greeks go on holidays during August and some shops might be closed if you visit during this month. Check ahead, I added links whenever available.

p.p.s Athens sadly is not the best European city to visit if you have a mobility impairment. However, the areas around the Acropolis (including the museum and the pedestrian street of Dionysiou Areopagitou), Monasteraki and the main streets of Plaka are doable. Plus, in general people are extremely helpful if you need a hand.

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Sunday Gold (Athens, Greece)


I’ve grown very fond of our sunday strolls around the old town of Athens and thoroughly enjoyed capturing the mood for you all. So I’m a bit sad to say today’s has been the last of the Sunday series for now, as I’m leaving Athens for a while. I hope you’ve enjoyed them as much as we have!  

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Sunday Rakomelo (Athens, Greece)

Enjoying some hot rakomelo on this grey Sunday Afternoon

This grey rainy afternoon we decided to head to our favorite hidden cafe in the neighborhood of Thisseo. This down-to-earth place doesn’t have a name or anything else to give away it’s here, you just push open the blue door on Amfiktionos 33 to find a rustic cafe in a beautiful neoclassical house. If you’re in Athens in winter, do check out their home-made furniture and warm up with a cup of coffee or a glass of warm rakomelo. 

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