Barba Alexis: Oriental flavours in Athens at their most authentic

Barba Alexis

It is a fact that in the districts of Athens settled by refugees from Asia Minor and Constantinople, we eat the best oriental food. This isn't just because some people unabashedly bring their history and personal experiences to restaurants by cooking with pure ingredients and unaltered ancestral recipes. It also happens because these people, with their genuine directness, make these places so welcoming that we feel at home every time we are there.

One such case is the Keseroglou family, who in 1992 created Barba Alexis. This restaurant revives to this day, with undiminished passion, the home cooking of the lost homelands.

Barba Alexis

Barba Alexis

Its atmosphere is warm, and the decoration is well cared for. Modern table seats, elaborate lamps, nostalgic photos in some corners, oriental details, and signed AEK jerseys in a prominent position (don't forget in which area we are) compose a setting that looks to the past without losing the present.

Some nights, mainly Fridays and Saturdays, there is also live music that lifts the mood. The best point is of course the garden which, although located on the edge of the national road, gives the feeling of the countryside, just what you need for spring afternoons and summer evenings. Plus, the adjacent playground favours family walks.

The food gives a recital of authenticity and good taste. It all starts with the handmade pita, a huge fluffy dough with plenty of sesame that always comes freshly baked and hot. It is ideal for spreading hot options such as gevizle made of sun-dried pepper and walnut and babaganoush (oriental eggplant salad) with roasted eggplant, pepper and tomato, but also something milder such as hummus.

But before we talk about the heavy artillery of the kitchen, i.e. the meats reverently cooked on the coals and on the grill, it is worth dwelling a little more on the handmade doughs: pastourmali (Caesarean pie) with an exuberant filling (pastourma, melted cheese and fresh tomato) and Lamajun with minced beef, perfectly seasoned.

Barba Alexis

Kebab lovers come here for the classic shish, which is made with minced beef and lamb and is always juicy, and of course for the giaourtlou, which is topped with plenty of yogurt and red sauce which makes it even tastier. But they have their fanatics for the kouspasi (spicy pork in bites), the chop kebab (tender mutton fillet from a leg) and the super hot Adana kebab, which is like the classic but filled with pepper salad.

As for the sweet conclusion, they've taken care of it properly, making and serving velvety kazan dipi, baklava that oozes fresh butter and mouth-watering kunefe.

After all, if you think about it, half of Barba Alexis' menu sets fire to the palate, and the other half is there to put it out. If you like spicy food, you will enjoy it to the fullest, if you don't, you will enjoy your meal at Barba Alexis just as much.

In short, practically speaking, it covers all tastes. But the most important thing is that for three decades, it has remained a constant value for those who know well, and especially love, the cuisine it stands for, while at the same time, it is a first-class choice for all those who want to try it and get to know its original expression.


70 Salaminos, Nea Chalkidona, tel. 210 2583 415
Price 15-20 euros, without wine

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