The Underground Athenian Taverna Lost in Time

In the center of Athens, in the basement of a 150-year-old neoclassical building, is a traditional Greek taverna that will take you back to the 1950s.

Called Diporto, there’s no signage. Two doors — from whence the taverna takes it name — lead to a rustic cellar where there is no menu, just a few dishes that have not changed in years.

There is always an exceptional horiatiki (Greek salad), sometimes studded with fiery-hot green pepperoncini; other favorites are buttery gigantes (large white beans cooked in tomato sauce), vrasto (boiled goat, pork, or beef with vegetables), and fried finger-size fish.

It is a humble place with huge wine barrels and an atmosphere that takes you back in time. It has a loyal clientele and a cult-like status among Greeks.

Diporto is located near the Varvakeios marketplace, one of the few of its kind in Europe. It’s Athens’ largest fish and meat market, in operation since 1886.

Diporto’s clientele varies from butchers and fishmongers coming from Varvakeios to suit-clad businessmen and lawyers, artists, migrants and many curious tourists, often sitting at the same tables when it gets crowded.

Address: Platia Theatrou, Socratous 9, Athens, Attica, 10552, Greece