Join Culinary Backstreets

Sign up with email

or

Already a member? Log in.

Log in to Culinary Backstreets

Trouble logging in?

Not a member? Sign up!

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

Editor’s note: In the latest installment of our ongoing series First Stop, we asked Stavriani Zervakakou, chef of the restaurant Karaköy Gümrük in Istanbul, where she stops first for food when she returns to Athens. 

Athens rarely lets me down when it comes to food. And although I am a seafood person, the first thing my soul craves after a long stay in Istanbul are grilled juicy pork skewers calmly hugged by the crispy arms of a well-baked pita bread.

Elliniko, photo by Anastasia SiomouMy culinary desire as soon as I land in Athens is certain and almost violent: I want to eat pork souvlaki with tzatziki, a touch of tomato, a few parsley leaves, powerful onion and French fries! And all this in one crispy-juicy-fresh-cool and dirty bite. So, the first stop would be Elliniko, a small family-run souvlaki place with just two tables, located on a corner in the nondescript neighborhood of the same name.

Even if Elliniko is crowded – sometimes the wait here can be half an hour – the memory of the souvlaki’s satisfying flavor can grant me tons of patience as I wait for my turn to feel its warmness inside my palm and experience the first bite once again.

Stavriani Zervakakou, photo by Erbil BaltaWhat about the times that I fly late at night and Elliniko is closed? There’s a plan B: Mum’s sensational spaghetti with slow-cooked minced pork and on the top my very favorite kefalograviera cheese from Crete, half melted and unforgettably combined with madly aromatic Corfu sheep butter. Ohhh! WHAT FLAVOR!

(photos of Elliniko by Anastasia Siomou, photo of Stavriani Zervakakou by Erbil Balta)

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Elliniko
Address: Leoforos Iasonidou 11, Elliniko
Hours: noon-midnight
 
Get directionsExport as KML for Google Earth/Google MapsOpen standalone map in fullscreen modeCreate QR code image for standalone map in fullscreen modeExport as GeoJSONExport as GeoRSSExport as ARML for Wikitude Augmented-Reality browser
Elliniko, Leoforos Iasonidou 11

loading map - please wait...

Elliniko, Leoforos Iasonidou 11 37.892250, 23.750247 (Directions)

Related stories

May 18, 2017

El Bisaura: Fishmonger to Table

By Paula Mourenza
Barcelona -- Inside Barcelona’s lesser-known Mercat de Les Corts is a small, unassuming bar offering up the bounty of the Mediterranean. El Bisaura opens up shop at 6:30 a.m., serving esmorzars de forquilla (hearty Catalan breakfasts like sausage and beans, tripe stew and grilled cuttlefish) to local workers. At lunch, it serves a more refined…
March 6, 2013

To Rodi: From Armenia, with Souvlaki

By Despina Trivolis
Athens -- A quiet residential area in Western Athens, the working-class suburb of Sepolia was until the 1970s characterized by a few industrial buildings, empty plots of land and small, humble houses. Over the past few decades, Sepolia has developed rapidly and is now full of high-rise apartment buildings. Though it still has a neighborhood feel, there…