As a city that hardly ever sleeps, Athens needs breakfast and brunch places galore, for those who justifiably wake up at any time between 9 am and 4 pm.
Brunch has become a very “in” thing in Athens and restaurants both old and new have added some excellent classics as well as often creative or innovative dishes to their menus to please the pickiest brunch-lovers out there.
Zonar’s (9 Voukourestiou and Panepistimiou St)
Completely renovated and revamped in every way by new owners yet still modelled in style and standards on its same-named predecessor, where Athens’ bright young things and many global celebs and personalities have socialised since the early 20th century, Zonar’s is the capital’s most elegant place for (daily) brunch. MENU HIGHLIGHTS: Eggs Benedict, Croque Madame, pancakes, truffled fried egg ciabatta, cinnamon and pecan French toast, organic egg frittata and signature cocktails like mimosas, Bloody Mary and screwdrivers!
IT Restaurant (Skoufa 29, Kolonaki)
Minimal and nature-loving decor with light wooden benches, plenty of natural light and an eco-conscious vibe, IT was amongst the first places in Athens to become popular for its healthy and delicious Sunday brunch (midday to 18:00). MENU HIGHLIGHTS: Organic eggs, homemade bread, French toast made with tsoureki, poached eggs with quinoa salad, sweet and savoury pancakes, smoothies, juices, cocktails and quality coffee.
Spiti Mas (Navarchou Apostoli 20, Psyrri)
Fun mainly for its quirky character but also popular for its tasty homemade-style food, Spiti Mas is the only place in town where, if you get there on time, you can enjoy your brunch in bed. With an interior designed to look like a cozy apartment with a bedroom, kitchen and living room, this place centres on serving what it has available at the time, so if you’re unlucky they’ll have run out. MENU HIGHLIGHTS: Homemade pies, tarts, salads, soups and other light yet flavoursome meals.
The Trap (Othonos 10, Syntagma)
Hidden inside a small arcade (stoa) at the top of Syntagma Square is an unpretentious yet calmingly stylish cafe bar with a great brunch menu. Here you’ll find less of the American or British brunch classics and more of Greek-themed dishes. MENU HIGHLIGHTS: strapatsada (Greek scrambled eggs) with fresh tomato, herbs, and creamy, tangy goat’s cheese, yogurt with honey, berries and pasteli, grilled mushroom open sandwich, sausage stew (spetzofai-) sandwiches, trachana soup and (American) pancakes layered with (Greek) bougatsa cream and a sprinkling of cinnamon.
Mask (16 Kalamiotou & 55 Kolokotroni, Monastiraki)
Serving daily brunch (10:00-18:00) in the very heart of central Athens, and located in a beautiful neoclassical building that was once one of King Otto’s residences, Mask serves over 50 choices of brunch dishes, including plenty of healthy and superfood options. MENU HIGHLIGHTS: Breakfast basket, Pizza breakfast, Thessaloniki bread ring stuffed with smoked salmon, eggs Benedict, several vitamin-packed smoothies and juices and quality coffees.
Nice N Easy (60 Omirou & Skoufa)
One of the city’s first and best farm-to-table restaurants themed on old Hollywood glamour, high tastes and holistic food concepts.
MENU HIGHLIGHTS: Let’s just put it this way – when there are four renditions of eggs Benedict alone (and one of them seasoned with truffles), as well as other delights such as French toast made from tsoureki and topped with praline cream (that’s like Nutella without the Neste palm oil and GMOs) and whipped cream, pancakes and an acai berry bowl with organic muesli, the choices are pretty great.
And then there are foods from other menus such as burgers and cocktails for the sinners and raw courgette pasta with tuna tataki and wasabi mayo with nutrient-bomb juices for the born-again saints.