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“Not as good as in the summer, but still very good!”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Stou Babi

Stou Babi
Ranked #2,170 of 3,652 Restaurants in Athens
Cuisines: Greek
Restaurant details
Athens
Level Contributor
117 reviews
101 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 202 helpful votes
“Not as good as in the summer, but still very good!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 March 2013

As I promised, when I wrote my first review for Stou Babi, I am posting a second review for the winter season and menu. What took me so long, one might ask. Well, the reputation of this place grew big and it is almost always fully-booked, hence it took us a while to find a table on a preferred date.

So, lesson number one: book in advance. Waayyyy in advance.

Lesson number two: go early. I know that we tend to eat around 10pm but if you go around 9pm, the restaurant will not be full yet, it will be more quiet and you'll have full attention from the waiting stuff.

Sadly, the menu is more compact than during the summer months. This is, of course, expected because during the winter there aren't many seafood and fish options, which were the kings and queens of the summer months. They still have creative recipes though and a couple of plates of the day. There also a few meat options, for those who aren't fans of what the sea has to feed them.

We had the smoked-then-grilled mackerel (this is probably the best ever meze for ouzo and tsipouro), saganaki salad (salad with fried cheese), courgette balls, meatballs, fried livebait, fava, fried Symi shrimp (a variety of very small but not “baby” shrimp) and something that was called “potatoes souffle” but was actually more of a dauphinoise/gratin combination which was very interesting. Everything was very good. The ingredients oozed with freshness and the plates were coming to our table a few minutes after we've ordered them. Everything that could be cooked to order, was and even the dishes that needed slow cooking were definitely prepared earlier that evening. We did a few repeats since we were there for more than 4 hours eating and drinking.

Even when the restaurant was working in full capacity (there wasn't a single empty chair) the service was still quick and everyone was very kind, although they had their hands full all the time.

When the bill came there were no surprises but there was a very nice, light and creamy, dessert on the house. The 12 euros per person offer is still valid, which is great since it shows that the owners didn't just do it in order to advertise and get more customers and then start charging an arm and a leg.

The only downside of the night was the morning after, which came along with a hangover. My guess is that their tsipouro is either on the strong or the cheap side, so next time I'll stick to my beloved ouzo.

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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5 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Greek first
  • Any
English first
Athens
Level Contributor
117 reviews
101 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 202 helpful votes
“Unique mezedes, cozy atmosphere, cheap prices, all in one place!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 August 2012

We came across Stou Babi upon returning from a concert at Petra Theatre. It was late at night and it was closed but the board with the list of mezedes was outside and it looked quite tempting. Soon enough, the news of a great offer (all you can eat&drink for 12 euros) were spread around Athens and we knew that it was time to give it a try.

As one can understand, we were quite reluctant since the price was way too good to be true. As soon as we entered and were greeted by the staff, all hesitation was gone. The menu is hand-written on a piece of paper and pinned on a simple board that the waiter brings to your table. That is because it changes everyday, depending on what the chef found in the market. Some of the plates are standard some change almost every day.

Since the first visit, I've been to Babis quite a few times and among others I've had:
Saganaki Salad (tossed salad with honey vinaigrette and croutons made of fried cheese), beat salad (with yoghourt, walnuts and garlic), various fried small fish, fried shrimp, fried kalamari, chips, fried mussels, grilled smoked mackerel (one of the best mezedes that I've ever had), aubergine salad, smoked hearing salad, armyra horta (greens that grow near the sea), mussels risotto, shrimp loukoumades (deep-fried shrimp dipped in batter), tigania (sauteed pork with wine sauce), a very nice fried cheese pie, kolokythokeftedes (courgette balls) and I'm sure that I'm forgetting a couple of things.

Each and every time, everything is cooked perfectly. The fried seafood and chips are served on grease-proof paper which means that they have no excess oil. All menu items are cooked to order and they arrive at the table fresh and hot. The order is always taken by Babis (the owner) or Babis (the chef, who is best friends with the owner's son). It's not only a family “situation” where members of a family just help run a place. They all know exactly how everything is cooked and they can explain each recipe or suggest a new addition.

Money wise, in spite of the 12 euros offer sounding too good to be true it is an absolute fact! There is a one euro PP cover charge (which is probably the cheapest cover charge all over Athens) and if the chef finds good expensive fish and/or seafood in the market it is added to the menu with an additional cost. This is in a separate part of the menu and it is stressed that there is an extra cost if you decide to order them so there are no surprises. Although one might expect to be encouraged to order just a few plates, the staff does the exact opposite. Not only they urge you to order a good variety but they also come to your table to ask if you want more food and they bring more alcohol of they see that the bottles are tending to empty. At the end of your meal, they will bring you a generous portion of dessert or fruit, depending on the season and availability.

I must also add that the quality of the alcohol served (house tsipouro, ouzo and wine) is very good, with no signs of next-day-headache or hangover.

The kindness of the service is unique, probably because it's mainly friends and family who serve and they care a lot about the restaurant. After a couple of visits, you'll definitely feel like a member of that family (and you'll receive very interesting cooking tips from the chef).

Another thing worth-mentioning is the decoration/surroundings. All chairs and tables are wooden and old-fashioned, painted in the colours that islanders paint their doors and windows. When inside, you will feel that you are far away from Athens. Since the restaurant is located on a very quiet, reduced-traffic, street even if you choose an outside table you will definitely feel like being on holiday. Every table has its own tiny pot of basil or mint and the ice cubes and bread come in very nice, “grandma's” tableware. Even the ashtrays are like the ones you would find in your great-aunt's home.

In general, Babis listened to the needs of our times and created one of the best options in eating out, with little money, without reducing the quality or the quantity of the food that is served. If he continues this pattern, he will never see his restaurant empty or his customers unhappy. Additionally, his choice of chef (a young person in love with cooking and creating) is the best guarantee that whatever one chooses to eat, it will be excellent and interesting.

Even if you live far from the area, or you're visiting Athens and staying downtown, it's definitely worth getting a bit out of your way and give this gem a try! You will not regret it and you will probably come back as well. Besides, one metro/bus or one metro/taxi ride is not too long if you know that at the end of it you will find very, very good food.

Please note that Stou Babi don't take reservations but even on a Saturday night they will find a way to squeeze you in. You won't feel squeezed or squashed though, since the planning of the restaurant is very well thought. You won't ever feel rushed either, even after 3 hours of sitting there, eating and drinking.

Do keep in mind that the 12 euros offer is advertised as a summer one. I'm not sure whether Babis will decide to prolong it (I do wish that he does) but I am sure that even without the offer, the prices will be low.

  • Visited July 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank TH13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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