Published on 365Bristol.com
Lunchtime. It’s surely the best part of the working day. It marks the end of the slow, coffee-fuelled morning and the beginning of those final hours in the afternoon before we get to leave work. If your workspace is centrally located like ours, it’s good to go for a lunchtime ramble now and again in search of a great spot to sit down and munch until your heart’s content. Dining out for lunch is a good chance to catch up with a friend, loved one or spend the hour alone to treat yourself once in a while! Alternatively, if you’re an employer, the lunch hour is the perfect time to take the employees out to a well-deserved meal as a thank you for their hard work.
With Bristol being the foodie hotspot that it is, there’s a seemingly endless number of fantastic restaurants in and around the city centre. You can find food from all over the globe from a wide range of eateries here, and with so many flavours to be sampled, we have made it our mission to test, try and time as many as we can. This time around we headed to the well-known area of Wapping Warf to check out The Athenian- which was our quickest lunch hour yet!
Wapping Warf is one of the most unique, innovative and interesting places to grab a bite in the city. Located on the other side of the river- just across from The Harbourside- it is a thriving hub for independent food. Re-used cargo containers, piled on top of each other, are home to a number of small restaurants. One of these is the popular Greek spot, The Athenian. We visited on a glorious sun-drenched autumn day, and so sat outside.
Hailing from London originally, The Athenian was founded in 2014 by two Londoners born and raised in Athens and Cyprus.
The Athenian has quickly gained a name for itself in Bristol as the go-to place for quality Greek street food staples such as Gyros and Souvlaki’s. The origins of these bad boy’s date back to ancient Greece, and are absolutely delicious, and I’m craving another one as I’m writing this…
Inside the small container, The Athenian is bright and welcoming. Disco music plays, people greet us with smiles and the place resonates with good energy, and good smells from the tiny kitchen.
The guys behind the counter were quick to tell us how it works, as well as to give us their recommendations. Step one: choose your main ingredient from the meat or veggie options, step two: choose wrap, box or naked, step three: choose the type of wrap.
I decided on the super wrap with chicken and halloumi, accompanied with all the salads and doused in their special Athenian sauce and finished with a splash of Tzatziki. My colleague ordered the vegan gyro with aubergine sauce and all the salads.
My wrap was incredible. The chicken was tender, the salad fresh, the veg crunchy and the chips perfectly fluffy. All inside a blanket of soft, pillowy bread, which is handmade in and imported from Greece. As is the case for all of the ingredients, as authentic as they come, and made with care. The Athenian special sauce was zingy, with hints of honey mustard that complimented the chicken well, and the Tzatziki was a refreshing touch. Washed down with a traditional Greek soft drink, my taste buds were content.
I had a taste of my colleague’s vegan gyro, and the vegan meat was surprisingly good. In fact, it was almost exactly like traditional shaved kebab meat, with the same texture and flavour. The aubergine sauce to go with it was a cool contrast to the other fillings. In the future, I will most definitely be ordering vegan items off the menu, it’s just as good- if not better, because of the cleaner conscience while eating it.
The wonderful guys at The Athenian also brought us some halloumi fries. Which by the way, are without a doubt the best I have tried in the city. And that’s not something I say lightly. Perhaps there’s some top-secret halloumi making method behind all this. As they make their halloumi fresh in small batches, the process by which it is made must be partly why it tastes so darn delicious.
Not too thick, not to thin, crispy golden on the outside and spongey white on the inside- they were bloody good. Served with three dips: signature sauce, spicy feta and Tzatziki, which I rate highly- as one dip is never enough, and a lot of places are stingy on the sauce. Nope, not here!
All wolfed down in a record 30 minutes, The Athenian takes number 1 place as our favourite for a quick bite! The food is outstanding, and the ingredients of a high quality. Matched with top notch service in a unique setting a stone’s throw away from the water, visiting this little Greek gem of an eatery is an absolute must.
To find out more about The Athenian, click here.