We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Michelin star restaruants in Athens

Los Angeles...
Level Contributor
128 posts
Save Topic
Michelin star restaruants in Athens

While we are aware that there may be "better" and cheaper restaurants, part of our enjoyment of traveling is fine dining and adding to our extensive collection of Michelin star experiences. It appears there are 4 Michelin-starred restaurants in Athens: Spondi (**), Funky Gourmet (*), Hytra (*), and Varoulko (*).

We are only in Athens for 3 nights, so we cannot get to them all. We always go to the highest rated places, so have already decided on Spondi by default. Funky Gourmet looks by far the most interesting of the remaining three. Of the last two, we are learning toward Varoulko, but we were wondering if anyone who has been there and Hytra recently can help us decide. Reviews aren't very helpful. I've done a search and nothing comes up within the past 5 years comparing the two.

On a related subject, can anyone comment on acceptable attire for any of these places?

Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
386 posts
63 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Michelin star restaruants in Athens

When we went to Spondi, the attire was smart casual.

Los Angeles...
Level Contributor
128 posts
Save Reply
2. Re: Michelin star restaruants in Athens

No opinions?

Athens, Greece
Level Contributor
308 posts
53 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Michelin star restaruants in Athens

Have been to Varoulko, smart casual as in all Athens restaurants. In summer it is roof top and the gentlemen here wear light trousers and linen shorts-sleeved shirts, ladies in short dresses or maxi dresses, bare arms and heels. Food was ok and I have eaten in many Michelin establishments, just ok. The presentation and execution was good, the product poor - no excuse for that here with the abundance of fresh produce.

Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
386 posts
63 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Michelin star restaruants in Athens

I have only been to Spondi, and since you are going, I did not think to add a comment.

I cannot comment on the others as I have not been there. If you read Greek, I can send you Athinorama's article from the spring. They annually rate restaurants in Greece with their "Golden Chef Hat Awards". These 4 are included.

Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
209 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Michelin star restaruants in Athens

Dodge,

I have been to Spondi and found it to be incredible. As mentioned above, smart casual is approrpriate. We are heading back to Greece in a few weeks and had the same debate between Funky Gourmet, Hytra and Varoulko, Spondi. Based on our research, Funky Gourmet seemed to match our tastes, but they are closed the month of August so we decided to add Hytra to the list (given reviews and the location). I, unfortunately, can't compare to help you out.

Los Angeles...
Level Contributor
128 posts
Save Reply
6. Re: Michelin star restaruants in Athens

Thank you all for the additional comments. The attire information is very useful. I'm glad to know I won't have to worry about having a dinner jacket.

Gatsby: Funky Gourmet being closed for the August also makes it impossible to request a September reservation, even though they will be open and it is within their 30 day policy. Quite annoying. We are going to reserve at Hytra as a backup.

If anyone reading this has been, is requesting a few days in advance enough time to secure a reservation at Funky Gourmet? We're used to having to plan weeks in advance when we visit the top fine dining restaurants in cities like NYC, Chicago, San Francisco, and LA.

Los Angeles...
Level Contributor
128 posts
Save Reply
7. Re: Michelin star restaruants in Athens

I'll reply to my own post so anyone in the future will have information too. Funky Gourmet contacted me a few days after sending an auto-reply during their vacation to accept and confirm my reservation request for September.

We've lined up Varoulko, Funky Gourmet and Spondi during our Athens trip. Looking forward to seeing the best of Athens fine dining.

Los Angeles...
Level Contributor
128 posts
Save Reply
8. Re: Michelin star restaruants in Athens

People rarely come back with reports after asking questions, so I thought I would contribute to my own post again.

First, as people have mentioned, attire for these restaurants is smart casual. I saw everything from jeans and t-shirts to dinner jackets among tourists and locals alike.

In my opinion, Funky Gourmet is the only world-class restaurant of the three. The cuisine there is modern and innovative. It does favor style over substance, however, which is it's biggest flaw. It is well deserving of its Michelin star. It could push for 2 stars if it didn't rely so heavily on the "wow factor."

Varoulko and Spondi are both overrated. I feel I've had those types of meals many times in the past and there was absolutely nothing special about them. Perhaps they benefit from their reputations, but they are both behind the times when it comes to current trends in fine dining.

I would never recommend Varoulko because it is a horrid location. The rooftop view of the Acropolis is not worth the incredibly loud street noise from the traffic below. I am not a fan of al fresco dining at night and would have welcomed the option to sit indoors. We were told the dining room was not open and was not an option. The food was mediocre and the quality of the dishes was uneven from course to course. Not impressed at all. The star, in my opinion, is not deserved at the current time.

Spondi fared a little better. It's quieter location helped. The food was consistently well-prepared, but nothing was especially memorable or exciting. Service was very slow, dragging out the pacing of the tasting menu to about 45-60 minutes longer than it needed to be. One star would be a more accurate rating. Again, an indoor dining option would have made the meal better, as it was cool in the evening and temperature of the food was quickly lost.

I hope that Europeans will come around and realize that in fine dining establishments like these, no smoke should be tolerated in the dining area. I realize this is a cultural issue, and when I am a guest in their countries, I do not object because it is clearly their right. However, it makes for an extremely unpleasant experience to have exquisitely prepared food ruined by second-hand smoke. Varoulko and Spondi both allowed smoking in their outdoor terraces and people lit up constantly. Funky Gourmet did prohibit it and asked patrons to go outside the dining room to smoke.

Glad I had the experience of going to these places, but I'll take the Michelin star restaurants of NYC, SF, or Chicago over any of them any day.

9. Re: Michelin star restaruants in Athens

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

TripAdvisor staff removed this post because it did not meet TripAdvisor's forum guideline limiting each user to a single forums screen name.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 8:46 am, February 06, 2014
Athens, Greece
Level Contributor
1,317 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Michelin star restaruants in Athens

Unfortunately the anti-smoking law is a complete joke in Greece.

Smokers just dont give a damn about others and that speak volumes about their social responsibility and character.