Modern taverna in Plaka or Kolonaki
I will be in Athens on a cruise and am looking for a modern taverna in either Plaka or Kolonaki that is opened for lunch. .
I have heard about Mamacas in Gazi but that does not seem doable if I am also sightseeing.
I think Psarras Taverna in Plaka is dependably good. It's listed in most guidebooks. I was unimpressed with Mamacas---inattentive service, undistinguished food (I had a recommended salt cod special that was heavy and dry, like bad Portuguese cooking). And if you sit outside, your view is one of the uglier streetscapes in Athens.
Honestly, it is hard to go wrong with a taverna in the Plaka district of Athens. They are on every street and every corner and the menus are all very similar. Don't worry about picking something ahead of time and just find a place to eat that is convenient to the other activities your have planned for your day. Have fun! :)
I live in Greece and generally feel that Plaka is largely for tourists. While I agree about Mamacas, I think that you are better off going next door to Sardellas or to Psirri Taverna or any taverna in Psirri.
Another alternative, but we are not talking fine dining here is TELIS at the very end of Evripidou Street near the market. Its formica tables, just pork chops on the grill and is totally delicious. Bit f a seedy area, but its really fine. Otherwise avoid anywhere that has colour photos outside and look at Matt Barretts Greek web site