You have heard that the Paidakia is an icon of Athens; but before you ask your cab driver to take you see Paidakia, let me clarify. Paidakia is not a place or the name of a celebrity; it's just one of the most celebrated dish in Athens. And though it's a national favorite, there's nothing elaborate about this delicacy; it's just simple lamb chops. However, the way it is cooked and revered in Greece makes it a precious treat; one that forms a part of your Athens holiday experience.
What goes into the Paidakia?
Juicy lamb chops marinated in olive oil, lemon, herbs and pepper grilled on a charcoal fire and served with Greek pride. Before you prepare to dig your forks into the Paidakia in an Athens restaurant, make sure you learn how to pronounce the name of the dish. Pah-ee-thak-yah is the way it should be pronounced. And again, before you take your fork, remember, the Paidakia is best eaten with fingers; the Greek way. Approach this dish with a lot of appetite (remember you have to order in kilos) and you won't be disappointed.
Where to eat?
To Steki Tou Ilia - A favorite with locals, this taverna near the Parthenon is famous for its Paidakia made of thin but juicy lamb chops. Enjoy the view of the Acropolis and dig into kilos of succulent lamb chops at this affordable restaurant that's crowded with locals as well as visitors.
Taverna Tou Psiri - A hidden gem, this is a non-touristy taverna and also one of most affordable places to get excellent authentic Paidakia. Though a little hard to find, this no-frills restaurant in Psirri is fun to visit with its charming cartoon painted walls and tons of character.
Taverno To Trigono - Be prepared to make a small journey just for your Paidakia. The Taverno To Trigono in the Kalyvia, a small town 35 kms from Athens, is said to serve excellent juicy lamb chops.
Karavitis - With its rustic atmosphere and old-world charm, Karavitis is a charming place for delicious Paidakia. Located near the Panathenaic stadium, the Karavitis is a favorite hangout for local politicians and celebrities.
Myrtia - This family run tavern near the Aghia Paraskevi station offers generous portions of delectable Greek food with a smile. Apart from their tasty Paidakia, this restaurant is also known for its complimentary desserts. Now who would want to miss that?
Strofi - If you are in the mood for fine dining, nothing can beat the lovely rooftop ambience of Strofi that offers spectacular views of the Acropolis. The food and service are also excellent. Here is a place where you can lick your lamb chops and potato roast amidst luxurious settings.
These are just a few places where you can get your hands on delicious Paidakia. Though there lots of other places where you can get these grilled lamb chops; however, select your restaurant carefully. Don’t get carried away by the sales pitch given by waiters standing outside restaurants in crowded tourist places. Athens has too many superb restaurants that you can't afford to miss just because you were taken in by these false claims.