Welcome to my multi-part review of our summer vacation. We spent 12 days abroad, predominately in Athens and Paris. We did squeeze in about half a day in Amsterdam before heading home. While I’m writing the series, I’m happy to answer any questions you have ahead of time. We traveled in mid-July, so right in the middle of the Athens financial crisis. Here’s most of what I expect to cover, including links to posts I’ve already completed:
- Planning Our Summer Vacation!
- British Airways First and Business Class Lounges at Philadelphia Airport
- US Airways Business Class from Philadelphia to Athens
- A Speed Bump Upon Arrival At Arion
- Arion Guest Room Review
- Arion & Westin Amenities
- Arion Restaurant Reviews
- A Quick Trip To The Acropolis And Parthenon
- Athens Metro System
- Temple of Poseidon at Sounio
- Swimming With The Fishes
- Restaurant Review: Garbi (Seafood)
- Restaurant Review: Kiku
- Flying From Athens To Paris
- Hyatt Regency Etoile Paris
- Eiffel Tower
- Arc de Triomphe
- Disneyland Paris
- A Study of Macaroons
- Various Restaurant Reviews
- Taking The Train From Paris To Amsterdam
- Sheraton Schiphol Airport
- US Airways Business Class from Amsterdam to Philadelphia
In just shy of a week in Greece, we were pleasantly surprised by the number of truly great meals that we had. Garbi and Kiku were great seafood (something we expected to find in Greece) and great sushi/japanese (nope, didn’t expect it). But, both of this rank behind our two favorite choices, Zaxos and Waffle House were good enough that we visited each twice. Zaxos has a number of locations in the Athens area while I think there’s just one Waffle House in Vouliagmeni. We visited the Zaxos in Vouliagmeni but also enjoyed one further south on the coast on our way back from Sounio. Both Zaxos locations featured outdoor seating which was great given the weather.
Zaxos is a souvlaki restaurant and appears to be the Greek equivalent of McDonalds (if McD’s actually had a reputation for good quality food). There are a bunch of locations around the area and the service is prompt. They specialize in a narrow menu of common greek fare like gyros offered at exceptional prices. 5 of us ordered a ton of different plates to try and the meal still was less than 50 USD.
They also featured some of the largest gyro meat I’ve ever seen, by far.
There were starters of tomatoes and feta along with bread and dip as well as some french fries.
We ordered dark meat and light meat chicken kabobs. I’m also fairly certain we had a pork kabob as well. There were open chicken gyro platters as well as a chicken gyro stuffed with fresh sliced chicken, tomatoes, tzatziki and a couple of french fries for good measure. Lastly, we ordered a roasted half-chicken, which was awesome.
All the food was delivered to our table in under 10 minutes (only thing that took longer than 5 was the roasted chicken). The staff was very helpful, diligent when we had questions and requests. We couldn’t have been happier with the food quality and service. You certainly can’t beat the price.
Waffle House was actually recommended to us by both the hotel and Garbi, the seafood restaurant on the water we enjoyed.
Waffle House is mostly an outdoor eatery and it’s located on the main drag in Vouliagmeni. There’s a walk-up counter if you want to order and stroll. There’s also a bunch of very small tables if you want to sit, but you’ll need to have a member of the waitstaff take your order. They buzz around large sections so it may take a few minutes, and cash is definitely king if you’re looking to get served quickly.
There are the traditional flavors you’d expect to find in a gelateria or ice cream shop. But the adventure is in the more exotic flavors. Think mixtures of European chocolates, caramel, fresh fruits, honey, yogurt and more. And waffles. Unbelievably fresh, delicious waffles, both large and small (the small ones are called Waffins and are awesome). Side note: Waffle ice cream, with a kit-kat like candy mixed in, was my favorite flavor.
There are apparently multiple Waffle House locations in Greece and they boast fresh-made ice cream. The Vouliagmeni location was special as it was close near the water and an easy walk from other restaurants. I’m sure dessert would have been fine at some of the good restaurants we dined at, but Waffle House was the best choice.