Restaurant Recommendations in Athens
You should try the MANIMANI restaurant, behind the New Acropolis Museum. It is housed in a beautiful old building and they serve a modern interpretation of the local cuisine of the Mani region (hence the name) They run a special during lunch hours where you can order almost everything on their menu as half-orders. You can check out their current menu at www.manimani.com.gr
I was there last week and we especially enjoyed the cold starters (served in small trilogy form) and the lamp shank and the rooster. Excellent wine list also with a lot of affordable options from Greek winemakers (try the Paragka Kyr Gianni red)
For consistently good food, try Tzitzikas & Mermigas – Syntagma Square, actually it is located at 12 Mitropoleos street. They are non smoking inside, and open for lunch and dinner. It is also a great option if you dread eating "early" and being in an empty restaurant, because it is quite popular with locals who tend to linger over long late lunches that run into more North American dinner hours.
If you are looking for an alternative to your hotel breakfast, you are quite close to a terrific bakery packed with traditional (and not so traditional) pitas. Ariston bakery, which is known for their traditional "kourou" tiropitas also makes several dozen varieties of pitas in traditional filo, so if you are adventuresome you can try several (share if you've got company with you) They are at 10 Voulis Street, just off of Syntagma Square. There is no seating, but you can take them over to the Square or one of the cafes on the side streets off of Ermou street and enjoy them with coffee.
Finally, another vote from me for Kuzina at 9 Adrianou. Like Mani Mani, it isn't "next" to your hotel, but downtown Athens is really deceivingly small - it is perhaps a 7 - 10 minute walk through the historic center along the Ancient Agora. I know it's been mentioned here before, but the food is so interesting and creative, even when the service may sometimes feel inconsistent. I do find that you'll do better ordering ouzo here than wine if you want to get the most bag for your buck.
Thank you for the tiztzikas & Mermigas tip! 4 of us ordered about 12 plates as we wanted to try everything. It was all outstanding. I finally got to try sardines for what they're meant to be like.
Zucchini fritters, tomato balls saginaki baked cheeses, fried graviera cheese with honey and smoked ham, the menu destroyed our ability to walk afterwards.