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Editor’s note: For our First Stop series, we asked Toronto blogger Peter Minakis, who writes about Greek cooking and dining at Kalofagas, where he heads first for food when he arrives in Athens. Minakis is the author of The Everything Mediterranean Cookbook and his latest book, The Big Book of Mediterranean Recipes, is due out by the end of April.

I usually arrive in Athens late morning/early afternoon and for this reason, I eat a light breakfast, knowing what’s waiting for me when I arrive. I love having lunch at Thanassis (69 Mitropoleos), near the Monastiraki Metro stop in central Athens. It’s always packed with tourists and Athenians alike – making for great people watching – all of whom love this kebab house for its affordable prices, consistency and great taste.

Peter MinakisAlthough the menu has many of the Greek classics, they do kebab best. Succulent, well seasoned, grilled over a charcoal pit and always accompanied by roasted tomatoes and onion, the kebabs – which I believe are a veal and lamb combo – are served as a main on grilled pita bread or you can have them as a wrap to go. For a side, I usually go with the fries.

I love the kebabs but the icing on the cake has to be the grilled tomatoes, which are always sweet – and a perfect complement to the kebab. Order a cold Fix (Greece’s most well-known beer), a Greek salad and, if you dare, a char-grilled hot pepper.

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