When looking for Diporto Taverna, don’t look up, look down to find this unique basement-level taverna (koutouki in Greek). It’s not easy to find this hidden gem in the center of the busy Dimotiki Agora, the Public Market of Central Athens. The name of the taverna means “two doors.” Neither of the doors has a sign for the taverna, and both look rather menacing covered in graffiti.
Don’t let the shabby exterior scare you away, your temporary trepidation will melt away once inside this character-filled taverna. In business since 1887, Diporto has become an internationally known place to eat when in Athens. Tourists head to Diporto in search of an authentic Greek food experience.
On our last visit to Athens, our friends suggested we meet at Diporto Taverna for a late lunch. We sat at a small table just big enough for five of us. Food choices were limited to five or six dishes. We ordered revythia (chickpea soup), fava (a yellow split pea purée), beef stew, fried sardines, and a Greek salad accompanied by hearty bread, and the house retsina wine. These authentic home-style dishes were as good as my mother-in-law used to make.
To find Diporto at Sokratous 9, walk through the public market past the produce vendors where at the end of the lane you’ll find a shop filled with antique looking household decorations. One of the doors to Diporto is on the right-hand side of the shop, and the other door is on the left-hand side of the 150-year-old building.
To learn more about Diporto and see photos of the interior of the taverna, check out the following articles: Diporto: Time Travel Taverna by Culinary Backstreets, and To Diporto by Greek Gastronomy Guide. Also, stop by Debi’s blog, An Evolving Life, to read her post Koutoukia & Magazia: A Peek into Old Athens.