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Thursday, 24 June 2021

Outbound adventures: 10 mouth-watering dishes you should try next time you visit Athens

Nour Eldin Ebrahim , Monday 29 May 2017
Plaka, the most beautiful neighborhood in Greece, and has the most authentic Greek restaurants. (Photo: Nour Eldin Ebrahim)

Greece is one of the oldest, most authentic and delicious countries you can ever visit.

Besides its magnificent culture and history, Greek cuisine is something you need to try!

A lot of the Greek delights are similar to food we are used to having here in Egypt, but with an exquisite twist!

1- Souvlaki

Meat is vital in Greek cuisine. You have three dishes that you may think are the same: Souvlaki, Gyro, and Kebap.

Souvlaki means skewer, so it's basically anything grilled on a skewer; could be meat, chicken or lamb, usually served on a dish, but sometimes also gyro-style. Yummy!

Eating at Thanasis, a very famous local souvlaki place.(Photo: Nour Eldin Ebrahim)

2- Gyro

This is the most traditional 2 euro food in Greece.

Meat is grilled vertically and then sliced (like shawarma), and rolled in the delicious Greek "pita" bread and sauced with the most famous Greek sauce: tzatziki (you may think you have tried it in Egypt, but trust me, it is not the same).

Fun fact: almost every gyro place in Athens has Egyptian workers!

Enjoying gyros from a local Greek place (Photo: Nour Eldin Ebrahim)

3- Kebap

This is the last of the meat trio. It looks like "kofta," but much more delicious, with a different set of spices. It is also larger in size and more fatty, and is usually served gyro-style. This is also a cheap, 2 euro food.

4- Mousakka

This is like pasta-free lasagne, made up of eggplants, zucchini, minced meat, and potatoes, topped with onions and tomatoes and covered in bechamel and sometimes grilled cheese. It is a traditional delicious dish you must try.

Eating Spinakotapa for breakfast. I can do that every day. (Photo: Nour Eldin Ebrahim)

5- Spanakopita

This is a personal favourite. I hardly love spinach, but this spinach pie has changed what I think about vegetables!

It is a pastry pie filled with green sautéed spinach, sometimes with grilled cheese or feta cheese, available in different shapes and sizes. Personally, I can have this for breakfast every single day!

6- Tzatziki

No Greek food list should miss tzatziki! This sauce is the most common appetizer and the most delicious dipping for almost anything. Whether you are eating chips, eggplant, or meat, tzatziki works as a perfect dip. Or you can just eat it with pita!

7- Saganaki

Deep fried feta cheese! Here in Egypt, we are used to having "Roumi" cheese fried, but feta? You should try this!

8- Kolokithokeftedes

Simply zucchini balls. I'm not a big fan of zucchini at all, but Greece taught me that I am wrong! Almost any food that contains zucchini here is utterly delicious. I even had zucchini pizza!

Try this one and change how you feel about zucchini forever.

Zucchini balls and Saganaki, delicious Greek specialities. (Photo: Nour Eldin Ebrahim)

9- Halvas

Some of you might be familiar with this. It is an old recipe that my grandpa used to make for us, but is rarely found anywhere now. It is a very simple recipe of oil, sugar, semolina flour and water.

It is like a greenish pudding with a truly mesmerising sweet taste. You should give it a try.

10- Kantaifi

Although it looks exactly like your regular "konafa," I promise you, it's not the same!

Kanataifi is more creamy, frothy and sweet. It literally melts in your mouth. You should have one!

Chilling in my favourite Athens neighbourhood, the Plaka (Photo: Nour Eldin Ebrahim)

These are just some of the Greek delights! The list is longer than we can fit in one article. There is Loukoumades, Galaktoboureko, Fava, Baklava, Taramosalata and your good old Greek salad too!

You will gain a couple of kilograms in Athens, that's for sure.

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