Plaka, built in the shadow of the Acropolis, is an authentic sample of where old-world Athens meets the new.
It’s a place where you will find ancient ruins on almost every corner; as well as a variety of charming cafes serving coffee, drinks and desserts, with the most historic views.
Here, we’ve rounded up our favourites when visiting this beautiful part of the city!
Yiasemi is a picturesque spot that’s become the Instagrammable bistro-café in the neighbourhood thanks to all the jam-packed tables lined along the staircase. You can sit and relax, watching people go by, while also sampling the great vegetarian buffet breakfast that features delightful dishes made using fresh, local produce. A: (Mnisikleous 23)
Café Melina is a retro café dedicated to Greek actress and political activist Melina Merkouri, features plenty of images and decor honouring the late actress. With an indoor and outdoor seating area, the all-day menu includes mezedes, as well as crepes and homemade desserts. A: (Lysiou 22)
Kimolia Art Café, a colourful and unique cafe that’s hidden in the alleyways of Plaka; Kimolia is set in a historic 1925 building, allowing visitors to step back in time with its traditional decor and ambience. A: (Ypereidou 5)
Anafiotika Café, located on the most famous steps of the neighbourhood; is the ideal place for a coffee during a morning stroll or a Greek meze later on in the day. A: (Mnisikleous 24)
Café Plaka is a great place all year round but we love it even more in winter for its fireplace and a wonderful roof terrace where you can sit and enjoy the sunny mornings. Tip: try the pancakes and take photos in front of the pink house. A: (Tripodon 1)
O Glykys is a traditional kafeneio that serves great Greek coffee, tsipouro, and homemade delicacies. Here you will find locals enjoying a game of tavli (backgammon), of course. A: (Geronta 2)
Dioskouroi, located right in the centre of old Athens, this cafe recently received a new design without losing its traditional atmosphere and appeal. It’s a favourite amongst students, locals and tourists alike, who come here for a coffee in the morning and a cocktail or wine during the evening. A: (37-39 Adrianou)
Not your average bar, Grasshoppers near the centre of Athens is a place where all the details have been seen to, and the cocktails are no exception.
By Gina Lionatos
The low down… Grasshoppers is a striking contrast to the all-day cafe across the road (incidentally under the same ownership) in the neighbourhood of Neos Kosmos. Here you’ll find an intriguing space, a thought-provoking cocktail menu designed by mixologist Nikos Sotiropoulos, and a focus on seriously good bar food. Just a stone’s throw away from the Onassis Stegi Cultural Centre, Grasshoppers opened its doors in May 2022 and is already a favourite among Athenians who take their drinks seriously.
Décor/ Ambience: There is something decidedly grown-up about Grasshoppers, despite the associations of youth and inexperience that the name conjures. The use of the signature dark blue hue throughout the space, textural touch points (from the walls to the menus) and sleek interiors make Grasshoppers a bar that could easily be found in Manhattan’s Lower East Side.
Something to drink: The cocktails have been named after the types of couples you might find at a bar (see: Flying Lovers, Fervid, Unbearable). The Vulnerable is a delightful concoction of dry gin, chamomile, peach, almond, citrus and fresh herbs.
Menu: The menu offers classic cold dishes like beef tartare and salmon gravlax as well as sandwiches and cheese plates. All are made to order and prepared next to the bar.
Order my fave dish: The Vitello Tonnato boasts delicately sliced veal, dressed in lemon sauce with tuna, mayonnaise, mustard leaves, smoked eel and capers.
Price range: Bar food ranges from 6-9 € and a cocktail will set you back 10 €.
Perfect for: A night of sipping, chatting and mingling with friends. A great date night option.
Location: Eurudamantos 6, Athens
Opening hours/days: Closed Mondays, Open from 6pm-2am Tuesday-Sunday.
A wonderful variety of wine bars have sprung up all over Athens, giving visitors the opportunity to enjoy a relaxed chat with friends over a glass of good wine, complemented by equally good food.
Notable bottled wine production didn’t start in modern Greece until the 1960s when substantial investments in facilities and technology first took place. Nevertheless, the traditional low demand for bottled wine by Greek consumers kept its quality relatively low. Since the 2000’s remarkable efforts in bottled wine quality improvement by wineries and vine farmers brought about spectacular results.
As a consequence, low domestic demand has since surged and Greeks have begun to consume more and more bottled Greek wine, either as part of their entertainment or as an accompaniment to their food.
So, while fifteen years ago the term wine bar was mostly unknown to the Greek public, nowadays, every remarkable bar and restaurant cluster in Athens has its own place dedicated to wines. Most wine bars in Athens employ knowledgeable staff, feature a large variety of wines, and offer complimentary or even main dishes; with quality (most of the time) ranging from descent to high-end.
Athens has been an attraction for the past few centuries for both Greeks and foreigners alike. Its ancient history and ruins worked as a time travel in its visitors’ imagination.
Modern Athens has changed a lot from the time of its liberation from Ottoman rule when it was already a prominent destination for knowledgeable travellers to the various lands of the Mediterranean Sea.
But up until recently, Athens was still a destination of historical interest only. Tourists used to visit Athens for a few days to see the antiquities before they embarked on their trip to the islands of the Aegean, where they mostly spent their vacation time.
Thanks to the information technology burst, internet proliferation, and the increase of its users and time spent on it, more and more people have discovered that Athens offers more than history and sunshine.
Its Mediterranean climate urges its people to go out and enjoy themselves. This outgoing need has created and sustained a vibrant entertainment scene in the city for the past few decades, which is well-synched with global trends.
Dance clubs, generic and various music genre-oriented bars, concert halls, Greek urban and folk live music halls, Greek, ethnic cuisine, and gourmet restaurants comprise the melting pot of Athenian outdoor entertainment.
Within this lively amusement scenery, wine bars have sprung up in the city like mushrooms filling a gap between nightlife entertainment and the need to have a meal outdoors and socialize. Relaxed evening talks around a bottle of good wine, complemented with equally good snacks and food was an experience that may have been lacking in Athens- but that has now changed.
As luckily, the city’s young wine bar scene has grown; and very well at that. It features many young-gun sommeliers and established restaurateurs whose services offer real added value to the customer.
The wine bars of Athens are redefining the way we Greeks drink wine and offer those already familiar with them a chance to not miss them while far from home. So here’s a list of great wine bars to choose from, for your next visit to the Greek capital!
Perhaps the most famous wine bar in Athens. Located just a stone’s throw away from Syntagma Square, Oinoscent is a wine bar and restaurant. Its wine list is focused on international vineyards but it also features several Greek labels from selected wineries. The food menu is focused on small, dish varieties that are very tasty. Prices are slightly on the higher end of the spectrum but the quality justifies the premium. Don’t miss the chance to inspect the wine cellar in the basement!
This cozy little wine bar, not far from Syntagma Square, is another great option for getting to know domestic wines. All labels on the list are also available for retail purchase at cellar prices. Their wines combine ideally with carefully selected local varieties of cheese, hams and other delicacies, which are available in its unique space downtown.
This sophisticated wine bar, a few steps from the new Museum of Contemporary Art in the Koukaki district, is ideal for quiet wine drinks in the evening. It has a detailed wine list and offers troves of interesting wines at reasonable prices. Nevertheless, choosing Materia Prima as a date destination with your significant other might not be recommended as you may find its wine list pretty distracting!
Imagine a chic, rustic, warm, atmospheric penthouse apartment decorated in earthly colours with a laid-back feel; now, add a 1200+ bottle wine list and you’ve got Vintage. What is more, are the many choices for those who love meat and cheese, as well as its central location in Athens, since it is very close to Syntagma Square.
Perhaps the wine bar with the best view in all of Athens. It’s located on the rooftop of Utopia Hotel and once there, you can enjoy the wine while staring at the Athenian horizon ranging across from the hill of Lycabettus, the Parthenon to the city’s old but still operating sky Observatory and along from Mount Hymettus at the background all the way to the Parliament at the forefront. The 100+ labels focus on Greek vineyards; framed by simple and delicious dishes of the Mediterranean cuisine. What else can one ask for?
Heading down to the southern suburbs of the city and specifically to the once industrial zone of Piraeus, lies an exemplary wine bar housed in a stunning converted warehouse. The décor is very original where the shelves filled with empty bottles give the feeling of a wine depository, the chairs are painted with wine landscapes and the tables are made of repurposed wine barrels. The owner is an experienced sommelier and offers his guests a list of 300 labels from the European South accompanied by Mediterranean dishes.
Featuring two wine bars across the city (Glyfada and Voula), Cava Vegera is the perfect antidote to the overcrowded city centre scenery. Both bars pay tribute to everyone who truly loves wine, by offering wines and dishes from across the Mediterranean and around the world. Cava Vegera wine bars also feature a wine store, upstairs, where you can find close to 1,000 different wine labels that you can drink in-store for a small corkage fee.
The low down… Tired of ordering your cocktail, only to have it accompanied by nuts or chips? So too were the group behind this new bar in Kypseli, located on the pedestrian street of Agias Zonis. At Eprepe, zero waste is a key philosophy and you’ll often see the same raw ingredients included in their cocktails and bar food. Seasonality also plays a role from the food and the preparations for their cocktail list right down to their wine cellar.
Décor/ Ambience: The space is modern yet comfortable, with countertops, cushioned high chairs and a side bar that opens almost completely, so that the neighbourhood becomes part of the interior. The feeling is familiar and comfortable, yet has a definite bar vibe to it and a rotation of DJs throughout the week.
Something to drink: There is a handsome selection of natural wines, and a range of harder-to-find spirits. Classic cocktails like the negroni and dry martini sit alongside signature cocktails like the house spritz made from pet nat wine, bitters and soda.
Menu: The small bites on the menu are perfect for sharing over a glass of natural wine. Bites are all made in-house from scratch and include house-made focaccia, grilled cauliflower served on carrot and ginger puree, and an aromatic chickpea dish served with sesame crackers. All drinks are accompanied by off-menu bites like fried gigantes beans, parmesan cookies and even handmade chocolate truffles.
Order my fave dish: The menu is seasonal, but if you come across the tartaki (small tarts filled with pea cream and topped with asparagus), it’s a must-try. These small morsels are fresh, fragrant and packed with flavour.
Price range: Bar food ranges from 3-7 euro and cocktails average out at 9 euro.
Clientele: Young, hip locals of Kypseli (and surrounding neighbourhoods). Great for catching up with one or two friends or unwinding with an after work drink.
Location: Agias Zonis 1, Athens
Opening hours/days: Closed Mondays. Open from 2 pm-2 am (Sundays 1-8pm).
From low-key cocktail bars to chic spritzerias – there are some cool new drinking joints in the Greek capital that have recently opened up and are really shaking things up (in a good way).
So, we ventured out (someone had to do it) to discover the best new bars in Athens – where they’re serving some of the finest drinks in town!
(This article was updated in June 2023)
The brainchild of Nikos Bakoulis and Vasilis Kyritsis, the creators behind award-winning bar The Clumsies, and their talented friend Dimitris Dafopoulos, have opened this new bar that serves grape-less wine (yes there’s such a thing), nomad beer, and artisan bread (a few types to choose from)- making this cool spot in the centre of the city “the” place to visit for magnificent cocktails, fabulous bar food, and a great laid-back vibe.
A: Agathodaimonas 37, Kato Petralona
Not your average bar, Grasshoppers near the centre of Athens is a place where all the details have been seen to, and the cocktails are no exception. This cool bar is a striking contrast to the all-day cafe across the road (incidentally under the same ownership) in the neighbourhood of Neos Kosmos. Here you’ll find an intriguing space, a thought-provoking cocktail menu designed by mixologist Nikos Sotiropoulos, and a focus on seriously good bar food.
A: Eurudamantos 6, Athens (currently closed for renovations- opening end of September, 2023)
In a city filled with all-day cafes, Eprepe Bar is a welcome addition to the inner-city neighbourhood of Kypseli. Here, zero waste is a key philosophy and you’ll often see the same raw ingredients included in their cocktails and bar food. Seasonality also plays a role from the food and the preparations for their cocktail list right down to their wine cellar.
A: Agias Zonis 1, Athens
Inspired by Latin America and Asia, Diego (honouring the late soccer legend) invites visitors to grab some street food and chill on the sidewalk. With flavours of Vietnam and Thailand, but also Peru shining through, this casual spot with a canteen vibe serves handmade curry and dumplings with homemade kimchi- along with exotic cocktails featuring coconut, spicy rum, cinnamon and ginger.
A: Adrianou 1, Athens
The Bar in Front of the Bar
This cool street bar in the centre of Athens has a creative menu that changes daily based on the mood of the talented bartenders. What was meant to be a pop-up bar at the famous Syntagma Square, quickly became a local favourite and isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Each day the skilled mixologists create different signature cocktails to keep their loyal visitors coming back for more. Tip: Perfect spot for a drink (or two) in between a spot of shopping on Ermou.
A: Petraki 1, Syntagma Square
This eclectic and modern new bar in Psychiki serves a luscious range of signature cocktails along with a small range of bar food that focuses on simple and raw ingredients. Here you can enjoy some sashimi and steak tartar, as you listen to a range of beats- from old-school and hip-hop to jazz and romantic ballads.
A: Perikleous 7, Neo Psychiko
A spritzeria in the heart of Athens Riviera, this wine resto-bar in Vouliagmeni serves a wide range of wines (both local and international drops) that pair perfectly with the woodfire pizza and different types of pasta dishes. Ask the experienced Sommelier to guide you through a wine journey, as there are over 130 bottles to choose from.
A: Agiou Panteleimonos 23, Vouliagmeni
Open until 3 am with performances from house bands and resident DJs, table bottle service and late-night dining, here you can drink and dance into the early hours – tropical style. The menu includes Brazilian sushi and signature cocktails that have been created by talented mixologists Alexandros Gkikopoulos and Stelios Papadopoulos.
A: Laodikias 16 &, Nimfeou 1, Athens
Located at Marina Zeas next to the port of Piraeus, this funky Asian-themed bar is a cool place to grab a drink if you are around this part of town. An eclectic drinking house, it brings a touch of Singapore to the Greek capital’s port city, and the bar menu includes classic cocktails made with Asian ingredients such as Japanese sake and Indonesian spiced rum.
A: Marina Zeas, Piraeus
Single Cask Bar
With more Asian influence, one of Singapore’s most successful whiskey projects, The Single Cask Bar has now opened its doors in Athens. Set in the beautiful private space of Angus Hudson, located in the basement of 42 Barstronomy Bar, the space is quite quaint and has a butler’s lounge feel, with leather sofas and retro touches. It’s the perfect place to enjoy one of the world’s most popular dark spirits.
In Athens, there are many beautiful places to cure your winter blues while surrounded by stunning decorations and lush cocktails.
From Christmas classics like the Noel and Grande Bretagne to award-winning spots such as Baba Au Rum and the Clumsies, there is no shortage of stylish festive bars to make the season even more merry and bright!
This all-day café and bar features vintage décor, baroque dining spaces, and a grand arcade with inviting tables and stools in the centre. Here you’ll find stylish bartenders serving some of the most creative cocktails that can be paired with some Parisian-inspired dishes. With a mix of 1980s, ’90s and jazz music, this is by far one of Athens’ best places to visit during the festive season.
A: Kolokotroni 59B, Athens
Located at the famous Grande Bretagne Hotel, Alexander’s (named Best Hotel Bar in the World by Forbes magazine) features a dark wood and marble bar that’s surrounded by tapestries and comfy leather stools where you can sit back and sip on one of the staggering selection of premium spirits. Many of the bottles are exclusive to Athens’ famous hotel and here you can order a classic cocktail or a premium whiskey, brandy, and cognac.
A: Hotel Grande Bretagne | 1 Vasileos Georgiou A, Syntagma Square St, Athens
Located on the fifth floor of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre (SNFCC), the newly opened Delta features a sculpted bar- one of the largest in the world that can sit up to 50 guests who are able to enjoy unique cocktails and spirits created by Baba Au Rum. Cocktails are inspired by new Greek brandies, liqueurs, and aged tsipouro accompanying top international distillates (whiskey, rum, tequila, vodka, gin, etc). This is completed by gastro pairing suggestions from the bar lounge menu.
A: Syggrou Avenue 364, Kalithea, Athens
Avra located within Four Seasons Astir Palace Hotel Athens in Vouliagmeni has become a feel-good gathering spot on the Athens Riviera. The talented team behind the stylish bar serves delicious cocktails, tailor-made mocktails, and amazing appetizers that can be enjoyed while admiring the breathtaking Aegean Sea.
A: Four Seasons Athens Astir Palace | Apollonos 40, Vouliagmeni.
Athénée has become a local favourite, especially on Fridays when this place is known for its “early drinks.” A famous spot on Voukourestiou and Panepistimiou, it boasts a European atmosphere where locals and international visitors are able to enjoy something to eat or drink at the bar. The cocktails menu features classics with a modern twist and everything looks and feels even more glamorous this time of year!
A: Voukourestiou 9, Athens
The ultimate all-day cocktail bar in the city, Clumsies, which was just named 4th on the list of the World’s 50 Best Bars, is the place to head to for creative cocktails that change on a seasonal basis. One of our favourite parts during this time of year is the private room that features a fireplace, a bookcase, a billiard table, and vinyl LPs- the perfect spot to catch up with friends before or during the Christmas break.
A: Praxitelous 30, Athens
Baba Au Rum
Making delectable cocktails with spirits, herbs, and spices from around the world as well as homemade Greek liqueurs, syrups and bitters artfully created using local ingredients, the Baba Au Rum menu offers something for everyone. The décor is a mix of old-fashioned accessories, vintage eye candy, and antique furnishings, a mix reflected in the drinks menu, which features 19th-century classics like juleps and crusts as well as American-style Tiki drinks like the Guadalupe Punch.
A: Klitiou 6, Athens
King’s Theater Wine Bar
Created by the owners of Athens’ famous Little Kook, King’s Theater is an excellent bistro and wine bar in the heart of Athens, festively decorated year-round. Serving Christmas cocktails- at the moment we can’t get enough of the Gin, basil, strawberry, mastic and lime mixed with edible gold dust and magic- the most addictive Christmas beverage!
Raise a glass, the World’s 50 Best Bars for 2021 have just been announced with Athens’ “The Clumsies” taking 4th place and “Baba au Rum” named 14th best venue on the highly coveted list!
The 2021 edition of the annual ranking features bars from 17 countries, with the top five bars in the world revealed to be London’s Connaught Bar followed by Tayēr + Elementary in London, Paradiso in Barcelona, The Clumsies in Athens, and Floreria Atlantico in Buenos Aires.
“Another year running! We’re so happy to announce that the Clumsies family has been voted number 4 among the world’s best 50 bars. Thank you to all for this great honour. We’ll keep doing what we do best, blending the number four bar experience in the world. Congratulations to all the winners. It’s been an honour sharing with you this experience!” announced the Clumsies team.
Located right in the heart of Athens, “Part of The Clumsies’ undeniable charm is the ease with which it can do so many things so well. It’s just as comfortable as a spot for a morning coffee and breakfast as a place in the evening to drink some of the most inventive cocktails that can be found anywhere, or for dancing on the bar at 2 am,” announced the judges.
“This is thanks to co-owners Vasilis Kyritsis and Nikos Bakoulis’ commitment to hospitality. They’ve managed to create a space as impressive to the international bartending community as it is homely to locals, and this approach has made The Clumsies a stalwart of the 50 Best list,” they added.
Βaba Au Rum is a leading multi awarded Rum & Cocktail bar in downtown Athens, with judges announcing, “Baba au Rum brought a revolutionary admiration of cocktails to the Greek capital when it opened 13 years ago, and to this day it remains the bar in Athens’ now thriving hospitality scene, held in the highest regard,” said the judges.
“Its power comes from owner and manager Thanos Prunarus, a man who straddles the old school and modernity. Here, things aren’t overhauled but instead attentively developed, moving with the times while maintaining warmth and familiarity.”
Tsipouro, a clear distilled alcohol – 40-50%! – is made from grapes (the pulp, leaves and skins) and has been around since ancient times. Warning: it’s not for the faint-hearted.
Indeed, in the olden days, tsipouro was diluted in water and consumed by hardy labourers, enjoyed as a sort of poor-mans wine. Essentially a pomace brandy, the spirit has become increasingly popular over the last three decades in Greece (it was commercially unavailable until 1990), and in more recent years the country’s trendy mixologists have gained global award-winning reputations for cocktail concoctions based on the drink.
How Tsipouro is Enjoyed
Traditionally, and we’re talking callous handed farm lords at the village kafeneion here, tsipouro is drunk in small glasses and never alone, neither in terms of company nor in terms of other consumables. Because of its suddenly hitting potency, it is normally accompanied by at least two meze dishes. In modern times creative and entrepreneurial new generation Greeks have tapped into the tapas concept and have generated an entire drink-dining industry around this factor nationwide, with Volos as a centre point. True tsipouro aficionados in the know to go to Volos, under Mt. Pelion and at the shores of Pagasetic Gulf, where there are by now over 600 places honouring the drink. Head there to savour the largest and most palate-pampering variety of tsipouro brands in combination with near-gourmet mini dishes on the side (see some must-visit suggestions below). Another important tip for how to enjoy tsipouro comes in several forms of one-word advice: Slowly. Wisely. Happily.
History of Tsipouro
Paradoxically, we can thank the monks at the reclusive religious peninsula of Mt Athos for the tsipouro recipe. Since the 14th Century, the large community of monks on the holy peninsula mastered the then-secret art of making this purified spirit by first fermenting and then distilling the grapes to create the imbibable result. The drink was minimally enjoyed during special events such as major religious holidays.
Tsipouro-Making in Greece
The season for producing tsipouro is between October and December, and it can be a wonderful travel experience to visit producers and sample their freshly made fuel after observing the production process.
The Cretans are big fans of tsipouro, which unlike the rest of Greece they call raki or tsikoudia, and will gladly offer several glasses of it to even absolute strangers in their inherently hospitable way. Apart from Volos and Crete, other well-known tsipouro-making/drinking regions are Thessaly and Epirus.
Where to Drink Tsipouro in Athens
Metaxa 2 (Andrea Metaxa 2, Exarcheia) In the heart of Exarcheia, this cooperative-café is ideal for vegan/vegetarian tsipouro-lovers wishing to eat ethical yet yummy meze dishes.
To Tsipouradiko tou Apostoli (Tron 43, Ano Petralona) A broad selection of tasty meze dishes like fried calamari and several tsipouro brands to try at this Petralona classic.
I Thessali (Melinikou 2, Votanikos) Tsipouro from the region of Karditsa in Thessaly, live music, many meze dishes and a youthful crowd who appreciate the reasonable prices.
I Avli (Ag. Dimitriou Square 12, Psyrri) An out of the way spot that was a near-secret until it became a trendy hideout. Here you can enjoy your tsipouro with fried meatballs and chips.
On the same street in Psyrri you will find one of the oldest tsipouradika in Athens. Set in a neoclassical building it also features a charming garden; perfect place to enjoy a few drinks and meze with friends in both winter and summer.
Two Tsipouro Cocktails to Make This Christmas!
Pink Tsipouro Fizz
5 ml bitter almond syrup
5 ml lime juice
pink grapefruit soda
Mix first three ingredients, add ice then top with soda and serve with strawberry slices.
10 fresh mint leaves
fresh lime or lemon juice
2 tsp brown sugar
1 shot tsipouro
In a tall glass bash the mint with a small pestle or the handle of a wooden spoon, adding the sugar and lime juice while continuing to break the leaves and extracting their oils. Add crushed ice and pour in the tsipouro. Mix well while topping up with soda.
We visited Prasini Tenta, the spectacularly scenic, born-again hangout on Lycabettus Hill that has now turned into a restaurant/café/bar that locals and tourists alike love.
As Athens’ tallest hill (277m high), Lycabettus and the white church of St George that crowns it, Greek flag a-flapping at its edge, is one of the capital’s most noticeable landmarks. Throughout the year, streams of tourists and visitors hike, jog and dog-walk up the verdant hill to enjoy nature and dazzling views, but now you can soak up the vistas while relaxing at Prasini Tenta with a drink or bite.
Today’s trendy Prasini Tenta is the reborn version of a same-named, historical ouzeri in the same spot that existed since the late 1930s and was a popular hangout for students, poets, politicians, and lovers. Due to the ten-year hardship of Greece’s financial crisis, the scenic hangout was shut down in 2003, so 18 years later its return is very happy news for regulars and newcomers alike. Although some residents are disgruntled by the way the newer, more chichi place has been built – using cement, and lots of it – romantics are drawn in particularly by the spanning views of the city, the Acropolis and the sea in the distance.
Made up of two large terraces, one for dining and the other for coffee and drinks, Prasini Tenta has been buzzily busy since it reopened in earnest this summer, only to close for small periods during and after the tragic forest fires in Evia and Attica for precautionary reasons. Aperol Spritz seems to be the popular drink of choice in the bar/café section, where visitors can arrive from early in the morning to late at night. The restaurant serves a variety of snacks, appetisers and simple meals, from open sandwiches and ceviche to salads, pasta, pizza and burgers. The prices match the view in that they are high, considering that this is not a fancy restaurant run by a famous executive chef. But the view clearly makes people shrug at the exaggerated costs, which include €10 for simple classic cocktails, €13 for a club sandwich and €12 for a salad because it is truly worth lingering over for hours on end.
Prasini Tenta can be reached by foot – by walking up to Aristippou street from Ploutarchou, Loukianou or Marasli (beware, we see lots of stairs in your near future!) and then up the steps on Lycabettus hill (another 7-10 minutes’ walk uphill) or by driving and parking nearby.
TIP: To make the best of your experience, visit at sunset time and watch the sky change colours as the city below brightens with twinkling lights of different colours and the Parthenon turns to gold.
Currently the city’s most Instagrammable café, pink and girlie Ellyz is fairly new to the city’s lively café scene.
With an entire wall blanketed in large pink flowers, tables decorated with gold candelabra, crystal chandeliers and colourful fantasy cakes and smoothies to match, this is probably the only place in town where you’ll find a doughnut sprinkled in gold dust and butterflies!
In addition, there is a chic neon sign that writes “Happiness is coffee and flowers’’ – with this pretty little cafe quickly becoming the Greek capital’s most popular spot amongst locals and international visitors- who come to capture the perfect background for their Instagram feed.
Featuring velvet sofas and chairs in soft shades of pink and blue- the glamorous onyx bar with plush high stools is a dreamy set up- and crowds of people can be seen outside patiently waiting their turn to take a seat. Take note: try to get there early!
Pink is not only the main theme for the cafe’s decor but it’s also a stand out on the menu- with a range of “pink” foods and drinks to choose from, including a Coffee Espresso with Pink Donut, a Pink Flat, freshly made Pink Grapefruit juice, Pink Velvet cake, Pink donuts and Pink inspired pancakes.
Ideally located in the heart of Athens city centre, Ellyz café is a fairytale spot for brunch, lunch, or an afternoon drink with friends.
And yes there is also a range of (non-pink) breakfast and lunch options to choose from, including truffled scrambled eggs, fresh sandwiches, healthy salads and protein bowls.
And for those who are only after a drink, there are is a wide range of cocktails, wines and Aperitivo’s to choose from!
The culturally rich, historic, vibrant and cool Athenian neighbourhood of Psyrri is packed with precious antiques, talented local artisans, authentic Greek tavernas, boho bars, charming cafes and loads of visitors who come here time and time again to enjoy a spot where the modern world blends in beautifully with old-time charm.
With so many amazing bars to choose from, we’ve rounded up our favourite spots to grab a drink in Psyrri, for your next visit to the Greek capital!
Few things are more delightfully decadent than catching up with good friends over a cup of tea. From hotel restaurants to proper teahouses, here’s where to go on the weekend (or any day of the week really) for the best tea Athens has to offer!
Grande Bretagne Hotel
The ultimate “proper” English afternoon tea drinking ritual can be enjoyed in the polished Winter Garden City Lounge of Athens’ plushest hotel. The service is set for two and you can choose from a variety of 16 classic and lesser known tea blends. Friendly to the philosophy expressed by the Dowager Countess (so exquisitely played by Maggie Smith) in Downton Abbey, “nothing succeeds like excess”; and fully honouring authentic the British high tea tradition, your blend of choice will be served in an elaborate China teapot and cups along with warm scones and fresh clotted cream, to be topped with the hotel’s rich marmalades; fluffy white finger sandwiches filled with cucumber or egg mayonnaise with cress or smoked salmon, vibrantly coloured macarons, profiteroles and other pastries.
A:1 Vasileos Georgiou A’, Syntagma Square
“A woman is like a teabag – you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
With an award winning architectural design (architect Giorgos Batzios was awarded the European Architecture Awards for his design in 2017), To Tsai serves and sells tea varieties from around the world in pots relevant to where the tea comes from – Japanese tea is served in cast iron pots, Chinese tea in clay pots from Yixing and other teas in porcelain pots. Over 500 varieties imported from tea-producing countries by Mlensa Hellas are served in the warm yet minimal environment. Soft lighting concealed behind rows of timbre panels, (“to resemble a sunrise”, the architect has said) creates a Zen Japanese vibe that enhances the feeling of restoration. To Tsai also serves a high quality selection of light meals such as freshly made salads, eggs Benedict and quiches as well as desserts, including vegan options. A great option for a business brunch.
A: Alexandrou Soutsou 19, Kolonaki
“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.” C.S. Lewis
Now with three stores in Athens (Kolonaki, Pangrati and Halandri), this cozy cafe serves around 25 varieties of ethically sourced tea blends in a colourful, stylish environment. With a mix of old school charm and a playful vintage theme (a piano, ‘60s vinyl records, an old record player, faux early-19th Century tiled floor, a jazz music soundtrack and furniture reminiscent of the Belle Epoque in Paris) it serves heartwarming teas such as Ceylon Black Wood with orange peel and cinnamon stick, green gun powder and Kusmi, as well as a delectable variety of hot chocolate and coffee beverages, always accompanied by delicious desserts and satisfying snacks. The perfect spot for catching up with a friend for a few hours of serious banter.
“I say let the world go to hell, but I should always have my tea.” – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Madras – House of Tea for sophisticated takeaway
Inside the Bolani Stoa in central Athens you’ll find this delightful little store, which boasts one of the largest varieties of tea in Europe – 400 to be precise, with imports for 14 tea producing countries in Asia and Africa. With 45 years of experience under his belt, owner Stefanos Papatzialas has a well-trained staff of flavour experts who can explain, inform and recommend brands and varieties. The Madras company also creates their own trademark blends with aromatic plants and fruits, with wild, organic, pest-free Greek herbs and more. Here and in the Piraeus store you can take tea to go rather than linger over a cuppa, but the proprietors are planning to open a store in Athens where customers can drink tea in house. Just what you need when you’re on the go on a cold winter day.
A: 7 Voulis, in Stoa Bolani, Syntagma, Notara 21, Piraeus
“Tea … is a religion of the art of life.” – Kazuko Okakura
One of the capital’s best coffee shops also serves a great cup of tea. Selling a broad variety of herbal, fruit and black or red tea loose leaf blends created by the British Suki Tea brand, first set up in 2005 by Annie and Oscar. Popular choices include Lemon and Ginger, Red Berry, Green Tea Sencha and Mango Tango but there are also more classical blends like Earl Grey and Breakfast Tea. The ambiance is urban chic with colourful touches and minimal furnishings, perfect for a working morning.
A: Emmanouil Benaki 7-9, Exarcheia
“If you are cold, tea will warm you;
if you are too heated, it will cool you;
If you are depressed, it will cheer you;
If you are excited, it will calm you.” – William Ewart Gladstone