One of Athens’ newer bars, Santarosa represents a ‘new breed’ of all-night hangout in Athens. Stylish, alternative, with intriguingly-put-together DJ sets and an artsy, playful approach, it draws a youthful (but not only) and hip crowd.
Style/ Décor: Moody and atmospheric, gothic lighting, an old mosaic, a wooden ceiling, plants, and Athens’ longest bar (14m), this non-underground dive bar is inspired by the exoticism of the Tangiers. The long bar gives the narrow space a lively buzz that stretches throughout the bar as well as a strip of stools lined along the window across it.
What makes it special? Apart from the slightly glamorous yet decidedly edgy ambience, Santarosa has made quite an imp[act via social media for the mystical haiku posts it shares as well as for having its own mixcloud soundtrack channel. Many people return here for not only the very well mixed drinks (Negroni is excellent here) but also the original and varying choice of music played on different nights by sophisticated DJs. You’ll hear everything from German ambient electro of the 1980s to B movie soundtracks and spiritual jazz. The nibbles are nice too: instead of the usual bowl of peanuts, here you can accompany your drink with cold cuts by Arapian store.
When to go: This is a pure-blood bar, not a café by day or an all-day bar. It opens at 18:00, which is probably the ideal hour to arrive if you want to sprawl out at the bar and have a quiet chat.
Tip: Asklipiou has become one of Exarcheia’s coolest streets for bar-hopping. On this street, you’ll find several other places well worth visiting. Among them are popular bars Rinokeros, Tralala, Kokki Café, Ipovrihio, and Blue Fox.
Location: Asklipiou 69, Exarcheia