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  • Athens Market Taverna

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Athens Market Taverna
Athens Market Taverna

Athens Market Taverna Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://athensmarkettaverna.com
  • Email: athensmarketsd@yahoo.com
  • Phone: (619) 234-1955
  • Hours of Operation: Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:00am - 4:00pm; Dinner: Monday - Saturday: 4:00pm - 10:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Greek
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Entertainment, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Smoking Area, Smoking Area (patio only), Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Entertainment: Live Singing. Dates vary monthly. Please call for schedule.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: between First St. & Front St. just West of Horton Plaza
  • Public Transit: SD Trolley stop Santa Fe station.
    SD Metro Bus stop 1st and Broadway.
  • Parking: Street Parking
A word from Athens Market Taverna
Established in 1974, Athens Market Taverna has been a gathering place for dignitaries, politicians, sports celebrities and Hollywood stars, from Elizabeth Montgomery ("Bewitched") to Andy Rooney.

Owner Mary Pappas is a third-generation restaurateur who moved to San Diego from Greece in 1961 to attend school.

A pioneer in downtown's renaissance, Pappas renovated the bottom floor of the historic Senator Hotel and moved her restaurant from E Street to its current location in 1986.

In 1994, she expanded her restaurant to the North County location and added a concession in the San Diego Convention Center, a popular eatery for out-of-towners.
Reservations are not required for lunch.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Service
Diner Reviews
  • "Family Owned, Family Run, you'll feel like family while you are here. Ask Mary (the owner) to prep up an appetizer sampler and for her Greek wine recommendations. She poured a Greek red that rivaled California Cab. Great experience, great food, great restaurant - you won't be disappointed."
    Dined on 4/8/2014
  • "As good a dining experience as one could home to have. Warm, welcoming, unpretentious, delicious!"
    Dined on 4/8/2014
  • "Overall the food was good, however, there was a large party in the back room which I had to go through in order to use the ladies' restroom. It made me feel like a bit of a party crasher and I didn't like that. Also, the waiter was ok but not very friendly. It seemed like the regulars were treated great but the newbies were just tolerated. . We were placed in a small corner seat near the door and were plagued throughout the meal with gnats that kept getting in whenever anyone opened the door. . The one outstanding dish was the rice pudding - best I've ever had and I don't even like rice that much."
    Dined on 3/28/2014
  • "Great food, great customer service and affordable price. My wife and I went there for our anniversary dinner. Great choice"
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "The food was excellent. The service was prompt. Our dinner was delightful."
    Dined on 3/25/2014
  • "The restaurant has good food and great location for going to the theatre in downtown San Diego"
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "I like the family owned aspect of the restaurant. There's a true Greek feel to the place and the owner is friendly. Our waiter was absolutely excellent! I wish we lived closer to downtown so we could become regulars!"
    Dined on 3/8/2014
  • "This place has amazing and authentic greek food. My family is greek and this is one if the best greek restaurants that we have eaten in."
    Dined on 2/28/2014
  • "Excellent food; excellent service. Loved the ambience of a lovely, quiet restaurant to enjoy a nice meals. Thank you."
    Dined on 2/19/2014
  • "The owners was even better she came to our table and told us a story about how she picked the wine for here I and then fixed up our appetizers we had no idea on how to eat. The flaming cheese and bread is an awesome appetizer and oh so rich. The owners and the waitresses are the best when it comes to customer service and making anyone feel more than welcome we felt like family."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "The food, wine and service was excellent from start to finish for a full course Greek dinner. Started with wine from Santorini and finished with Galactoburiko...a favorite custard/ phyllo baked delight. The Moussaka, Pastitsio and Lamb were superb as were the appetizers and dinner sides. The owner, Mary, was active making sure the restaurant was running at top speed for a busy night at Athens Market! Service was consistent and we were never forgotten as we sat off in a corner."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "Mary has been in business for 40 years. This told us she is doing something right. It's the wonderful, authentic food, executed oh so well, the devoted staff and the hip ambiance in the bar or if you prefer, the elegant ambiance in the beautiful dining room. The succulent flavors of the grilled baby octopus, so tender it was unbelievable started the meal off very well. The flavor packed, meaty lamb shank. was perfection as was the Moussaka. No matter your age or level of hipness, you can come in upscale casual or just comfy and fit right in. Loved the diversity of the patrons who clearly come to eat great Greek food."
    Dined on 2/7/2014
  • "Delicious food and inviting atmosphere! Definitely going back."
    Dined on 1/25/2014
  • "We had both of these and thoroughly enjoyed the food. Altogether a wonderful experience."
    Dined on 1/21/2014
  • "Have been meaning to try this place for years and just never got a round to it, but finally went during restaurant week and I'm very impressed. Everyone at the place is very friendly - from the owner to the wait staff! The food was fantastic authentic Greek, some of the best I've ever had and I've been to Greek town in Chicago many times. It was only $25 for the 3 course meal during restaurant week - a very good deal - especially compared to most fine dinning restaurants charging $45 for smaller entree sizes - I think many have become very greedy during these special weeks, but not Athens Market - I was absolutely stuffed. I would have to say this is now among my favorite restaurants downtown."
    Dined on 1/20/2014
  • "We didn't feel like dealing with the larger crowds in the Gaslamp district, but just a couple of blocks away was this gem. Our hotel concierge at The Sofia recommended it as being a place the locals love and that the food is great and not touristy. The food was excellent. Our native Toronto has a vibrant Greek community and Greek Town so we are used to the food. Plus I have visited Greece many times. The food was excellent, the service was friendly, and all was very good. We will be back!"
    Dined on 12/14/2013
  • "A great place for a comfortable, great tasting, Greek meal!"
    Dined on 12/6/2013
  • "I am greek and it seems like it gets harder and harder to find good greek cuisine nowadays and this place did not disappoint. The spanakopita was good and the tiropita was great, some of the best that i have ever had. They actually have fresh pita that they make themselves which was incredible. The staff was very friendly and attentive. Overall we really enjoyed our dining experience."
    Dined on 11/1/2013
  • "It is a pretty restaurant, great ambiance, with authentic greek food. we live downtown and eat here lots and never had poor service before. we missed mary, the owner who makes every guest feel special. order salmon or roasted chicken--lamb dishes received different reviews from our guests. bread is best in town. hard not to eat too much of it before the entree. bread pudding is a great dessert."
    Dined on 10/18/2013