Raeti - Authentic Cretan cuisine in Athens (updated 2014-11)

Address – Area: 18 Amaliados St., [Ambelokipi district] Athens
Tel: 210-64.28.206, 210-64.28.200
Last visit: 2012-06-08
Cuisine: Cretan Greek / traditional
Overall Opinion: Positive and reasonably priced.
Working hours: Tue-Sun noon to late evening (closed on Mondays)
Methods of payment: cash
Website: N/A

Our order (2 persons):
1 rabbit stew w/ rice (lagos stifado),
1 zygouri vrasto me makaronia (boiled lamb or sheep w/ pasta)
1 marathopita (fennel pie)
1 pita tou voskou (shepherd’s pie, with cheese)
2 cans of Coke
1 500ml bottle of Kaiser beer
2 bread
The bill: 33.50€

Appetizer prices range from 2.50€ to 8.00€ and almost all main courses cost 7-8€.

Presentation / Ambience: A small neighborhood restaurant (about a dozen tables) serving traditional cuisine from the island of Crete. You may have a hard time spotting it from the outside: a large map of Crete features on the board above the entrance. Inside it’s brick walls, mostly wooden furniture and Cretan decorations, including framed mantinades and words of great Cretan author Nikos Kazantzakis [check out his books at Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk].
The menu is only in Greek but during the day (lunch hours) the owners’ son can help you out with your order. As is often the case, the food is kept in pans behind a glass window (to your right as you enter) so you also have the option of pointing things out. It caters mostly to locals and those few Athenians that are in the know; from college students to area employees and everyone in between. It’s much busier during the winter, or when the whether is cold or rainy, as there’s no outside seating available. In these cases, it might be prudent to make a reservation. By the way, “Raeti” stands for hospitality, in the Cretan dialect.

Food / Drinks: The food here is always well-cooked, with good quality meats and as close to authentic Cretan cuisine as you can find in Athens. Portions, especially salads and main courses are quite large. The zygouri is lamb or sheep in its second-year of life, which, when properly treated and cooked like it is here, doesn’t smell like sheep. On top, all meats we’ve ever tried here were very tender. The zygouri was accompanied by pasta, sprinkled with grated myzithra cheese; it is also available in cooked tomato sauce. The stifado was very soft and mellow and served with rice; you may ask for potatoes or fries instead. If you’re the adventurous type you may want to try the well-known Cretan delicacy of “hohlee boubouristi” (boiled snails) but I haven’t mustered the courage to eat snails yet! For something more mainstream but super tasty try the apaki, which is smoked pork cut in small bites. Both pies were full of flavor, crispy-fried and not oily at all.
Drink-wise, expect only the typical lager beers found in most restaurants and a minimal list of wines. I’d go for the acceptable house wine.

Service: Very fast and helpful, with Cretan no-nonsense attitude :)

Location / Getting there: 3 minutes from the Ampelokipoi Metro Station. You walk towards Panormou St. and turn left (walking uphill on Panormou). You then turn right at Amaliados and walk 100m to discover Raeti on your right hand side. 
See map of Athens restaurants at the bottom of this page.

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