Taverna Lefka (The Elm), under the symbolic tree always in warm company

Exarchia, a neighborhood that over the years has attracted many a meze corners and taverns, boasts of this beautiful green courtyard that reminds of times gone by; a glimpse of the city as we can only imagine it could have been. We are constantly to find new materials and do food they offer more appealing to more and more people "

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The elm no longer stands there where it used to yet the name remains; in its place stands tall another tree that now has also righteously claimed is presence. You will discover a courtyard with rows of wooden wine barrels, a traditional water spout built into the wall, and tables full of people from the neighborhood and passersby sat for a good meal guaranteed. It may be a lunch break for those in the middle of the day or a congregating place for groups of friends at night, in either case you will here laughter blowing in the hot summer breeze. Lefka is a place that can fit all people in its arms and cater to all tastes with Greek grilled delicacies, stews, and meze. In case of rain, do not worry, you can always move inside or sit in the covered section of the courtyard to watch as the raindrops bounce
off the tiles. The food is made as close as can be to the traditionally home cooked tastes we Greeks are accustomed to; the ingredients as well as the way they prepare everything ensures this. The olive oil they use is from a small producer in Tripoli; it is incredibly fresh and when poured on raw really adds to the dishes it accompanies. The menu does change according to the season and the produce that is available at each time of year but the recipes are family heirlooms passed from generation to generation. You will find hand rolled dolma with avgolemono sauce, black-eyed bean salad, and soutzoukakia (oval shaped meat balls in red sauce with cumin); classic meat dishes like lamb chops, pork chop and chicken skewers are also standards on the menu. Lefka’s story goes way back to the beginnings of the past century when it was a coal shop and coal shops played a central role in the neighborhood community. Waiting for their coal to be delivered, the customers would be offered a cup of home-made wine and a meze. This soon evolved into a proper place to meet, with food and tables to sit at, called Andros, and then somewhere between the world wars it changed owner to become what we now know as Lefka. In 1970 it was taken over by the current owner Mr. Vasilis and today his grandchildren and nephew run the shop with a lot of feeling and pride for the historic spot they manage. In current Greece as they watch things change and break around them they continue to offer good quality heartfelt food at the best prices they can manage and a beautiful place full of memories to brighten a darkened day.


Address: Mavromichali 121, Exarchia
Telephone: 2103614038

Price per person: €15-€20 with wine

Opening Hours:
Everyday from 1 pm - 1am
July and August closed for Sunday lunch



Try the Eggplant Imam it is divine, with sweet onions and tomato sauce cooked slowly in the oven. If you like lamb you must try their oven cooked oregano lamb! Salads are all seasonal and fresh, definitely accompany your meal with one

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