Aspro Alogo is a tiny, family-owned restaurant nestled in the heart of Athens. I first dined there over 20 years ago and thought I’d share that story with you. If you’re short on time, feel free to skip ahead to the last paragraph of this post.
I was in Athens for the first time back in 2000. I was on my way back from a job as a tour guide in Cephalonia, and because I had decided to quit to go and work for another tour operator in Spain, I had to pay for the return flight to Denmark out of my own pocket. Back then, plane tickets were expensive, and it turned out to be cheaper for me to stay for a couple of weeks in Athens, than to fly back home immediately.
I stayed at a small, family-run guesthouse called John’s Place that I found in a Lonely Planet guidebook. John’s Place was located right in the center of Athens. It was a wonderful time, and I got to see a lot of the city. Every day, I’d take the metro, which had just added two new lines, to a new station, and when I came back to the guesthouse in the evening, I would have dinner at a makeshift outdoor restaurant on a parking lot across the street from John’s Place, where tables and a grill were set up most nights so you could buy souvlaki and pita bread with tzatziki. It was affordable and filling, and sitting out in the parking-lot-turned-restaurant was incredibly cozy.
Further down the street there was a small taverna. It had tablecloths and napkins and was a bit pricier than the parking lot, but the food was really good. Though I was on a budget, so I only ate there a few times.
On all my visits to Athens since then, I’ve tried to find John’s Place, but apparently, they went out of business before Google Maps became a thing. I’ve often walked down streets that I thought resembled the one where John’s Place used to be, but I couldn’t be sure. It was therefore such a nice surprise when ❤️, on our recent trip to Athens, with a little help from Google, managed to locate exactly where John’s Place used to be. The parking lot is now a parking garage, and there’s fancy boutique hotel where John’s Place used to be, but at a closer look it was obvious that yes, this was the place.
The small taverna, where I dined a couple of times back then, was Aspro Alogo, and it is still around, so for nostalgic reasons, I just had to eat there again. I had a chat with the owner, who assured me that indeed, John’s Place used to be across the street.
I’m not sure if it were the excitement from finally finding John’s Place or if it were because I was hungry, but the souvlaki I had at Aspro Alogo that day tasted absolutely amazing. The owner recommended that I ordered the pork souvlaki as it’s the most traditional type of souvlaki in Greece. In addition to three skewers of juicy pork souvlaki, the order also came with a generous serving of tzatziki, tomatoes, cucumbers and fries, as well as a pita bread. After the meal, I was served a small complimentary dessert and some sweet juice, and the owner insisted on giving me a bottle of water to bring along for the ride to the airport. I can’t remember what the service was like the last time I was there, but what I experienced this time was definitely extraordinary.
Aspro Alogo,Apollonos, Athina 105 57, Greece