Drink With the Locals at This Newly Opened Athens Neighbourhood Bar

In a city filled with all-day cafes, Eprepe Bar is a welcome addition to the inner-city neighbourhood of Kypseli. 

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).

Main Image by Athinorama 

A Day in Athens’ Cool Neighbourhood of Neos Kosmos

Literally translating to “New World”, the neighbourhood of Neos Kosmos was historically known to be a symbol of new beginnings and a new home for refugees from Asia Minor who fled Turkish expulsion.

Still a haven for the modern-day refugee crises (the public housing estate off Syngrou Avenue now inhabits tenants from the Balkans, Asia and the Middle East), in recent years, the area has seen some changes, namely the addition of a cultural centre, theatre, major hotels and a string of celebrated eateries that now make Neos Kosmos an inner-city suburb of intriguing contradictions.

Whether staying at one of the nearby hotels on Syngrou Avenue or in the centre of Athens, a walk through the neighbourhood of Neos Kosmos wouldn’t be complete without these stops.  

Stop 1: Coffee and brunch at Naif

Perched on the busy corner of Leontiou and Evridamantos, Naif is one of those great neighbourhood cafes that is loved by locals (and not only). It has a compact interior with minimal, danish-inspired design, yet its real charm is in the sunny table-lined sidewalk that seems to be filled with patrons day and night. There is a varied menu that includes brunch options like baked eggs, tsoureki French toast and yogurt bowls. The food menu is rounded out with sandwiches, salads, burgers and pizza. The coffee is strong and good, and keeps company with a selection of wines, classic cocktails and local beers. 

Stop 2: Onassis Stegi Cultural Centre

Even if you’re not looking for the Onassis Cultural Centre, it’s hard to miss. Tim Etchall’s immense neon light installation  “All we have” mounted on the outside of the OSCC has become synonymous with the multidisciplinary art space. The Onassis Cultural Centre has a rotating seasonal program of performances, installations and exhibitions that recognise local and international talent. A 10-minute drive from the historic centre of Athens, the OSCC offers a contemporary take on Greek art and culture that rounds out Athens’ cultural offering.

Stop 3: Aperitivo hour at Teras 

After dinner, stop by hip hangout spot Teras for an early evening cocktail in the quaint 1930s building or under the impressive fig tree that fills the courtyard. Teras is a multidisciplinary space, with a rotating schedule of events like yoga lessons and pop-up bazaars. The one constant at Teras is the ability to enjoy the musical offerings of local Athenian DJs as you sip on your evening spritz. 

Stop 3: Take your pick from these noteworthy dinner options

The dining options in Neos Kosmos are not to be overlooked. In fact, you’d be well-advised to book a table in advance of your planned visit.

Since opening in 2019, Fita restaurant has cemented its place in the Athens dining scene as the go-to for fish and seafood close to the city centre. Featuring locally caught fish and seafood, the menu rotates based on the fisherman’s catch and usually includes Fita’s velvet-like taramosalata and a version of their famed spaghetti with bottarga or clams. The thoughtfully created menu, selection of Greek wines and casual neighbourhood sidewalk-dining make Fita a perfect place to dine on a balmy summer’s evening (or any time of the year, for that matter). 

Annie Fine Cooking is a relatively new (and exciting) entry to the Neos Kosmos dining scene. Originally from Mani, chef Stavriani Zervakakou designs a seasonal menu based on her market haul that morning. Here, you can relax at the tables and cushioned armchairs laying on the sidewalk of Menaichmos while you watch the open kitchen in full swing. 

Hytra Restaurant sits on the top floor of the Onassis Cultural Centre and has developed a culinary identity based on its fusion of traditional Greek gastronomy expressed in a contemporary manner. With a Michelin star under its belt, Hytra offers two separate menus that co-exist within the same space. Hytra and Hytra Apla share a common theme of local ingredients, presented in both a modern (see: Hytra) and traditional (see: Hytra Apla) way. 

Stop 4: Drinks at Grasshoppers

Grasshoppers is the new kid on the block in Neos Kosmos, having just opened in May 2022. Located opposite Naif and around the corner from the Onassis Stegi Cultural Centre, Grasshoppers is a bar where all the details have been seen to and the cocktails are no exception. With friendly bar staff, an excellent offering of bar food built for sharing (try the Vitello Tonnato) and a drinks list that will spark exciting discussion, Grasshoppers is the perfect spot to end (or start) your night in Neos Kosmos. 

Main Image Courtesy of One Man 

16 Coolest Neighbourhoods to Visit in Athens

Planning a trip to Athens soon? We’ve chosen a handful of the top neighbourhoods in the Greek capital that are perfect to visit during your holiday. And with so much rich history and culture, plus great cafes, eateries, and boutiques, these spots are sure to delight all the senses.

Plaka

The oldest part of Athens, Plaka is a picturesque neighbourhood filled with beautiful houses, loads of restaurants and cafes, and some of the city’s best museums and archaeological sights. 

Insights Greece - 16 Coolest Neighbourhoods to Visit in Athens

 

Anafiotika

Reminiscent of a small Cycladic island with its white cubic houses and blue doors and windows, this area is partially covered by beautiful bougainvillea. Anafiotika is an oasis of tranquility in the centre of the Greek capital and a spot to take amazing photos. 

Insights Greece - 16 Coolest Neighbourhoods to Visit in Athens

Koukaki

An older residential neighbourhood, Koukaki is close to Plaka, but far less touristy and much quieter than the more popular central neighbourhoods. Here you will find some great spots to grab a coffee and bite to eat. 

Insights Greece - 16 Coolest Neighbourhoods to Visit in Athens
Image @athensguide

Kifissia

One of Athens’ most upmarket neighbourhoods, Kifissia is about 45 minutes from the centre of Athens via metro. Perfect place to stroll around and enjoy the greenery, and also the place to go if you are looking for some boutique stores and gorgeous cafes. 

Insights Greece - 16 Coolest Neighbourhoods to Visit in Athens
Image @pinterest

Psirri

A wonderful place buzzing with colourful taverns, cafes, and bars, Psirri comes alive at night with locals and international visitors who gather to enjoy a casual dinner at one of the many traditional taverns. 

Insights Greece - 16 Coolest Neighbourhoods to Visit in Athens
 

Syntagma

This is Athens’ central square and home to the Greek Parliament House and where you will catch the Evzones (changing of the guards.)  It’s also the top of famous Ermou Street, the city’s busiest shopping strip. 

Insights Greece - 16 Coolest Neighbourhoods to Visit in Athens

Kolonaki

Upscale, and filled with designer shops, museums, cafes, restaurants, and bars, Kolonaki is a glamorous neighbourhood at the foot of Lykavittos Hill and a place where you will find locals wining and dining on any given evening. 

Insights Greece - 16 Coolest Neighbourhoods to Visit in Athens
Image @travelzonegreece

Chalandri

The Northern suburb of Chalandri is one of the hippest neighbourhoods in Athens and a great place to visit. From a great range of eateries, bakeries, and cafes to unique bookstores, jewellery shops, and cinemas, there is something here to suit all tastes. 

Insights Greece - 16 Coolest Neighbourhoods to Visit in Athens

Pangrati

With an array of amazing places to eat and drink, Pangrati features some trendy shops, art galleries, and some amazing buildings. Pangrati is also home to Athens’ oldest cinema, Pallas, which opened in 1925.

Insights Greece - 16 Coolest Neighbourhoods to Visit in Athens
Image @cntraveller

Gazi

This neighbourhood in Athens has received a major makeover over the last few years and has now become one of the most popular spots for Athenians. With some must-see galleries, all-day cafes, and ancient sites, you can spend all day here and it’s still not enough. 

Insights Greece - 16 Coolest Neighbourhoods to Visit in Athens

Thissio

A great place, especially over summer as it’s a favourite venue for open-air events and festivals. Athenians love coming here for a catch-up with friends at one of the many cafes. Make sure you check out the museums and the open-air Cinema, which opened in 1935. 

Insights Greece - 16 Coolest Neighbourhoods to Visit in Athens
Image @trip2athens

Glyfada

Another upscale area of Athens, Glyfada features seaside living complete with endless restaurants, bars, and boutique stores. The area is very popular, especially over summer where it gets packed with international visitors making the most of the Athenian Riviera views. 

Insights Greece - 16 Coolest Neighbourhoods to Visit in Athens

Voula/ Vouliagmeni

Also along Athens Riviera, here you will find some of the city’s best beaches and swimming spots, as both neighbourhoods (located next to each other) are upscale residential areas. The “downtown” of Voula has lots of restaurants and cafés, and Vouliagmeni is home to some of the most luxurious hotels in Athens. 

Insights Greece - 16 Coolest Neighbourhoods to Visit in Athens

Pireaus

From fine dining restaurants to little-known archaeological treasures, there’s a lot more to Piraeus than its port. With great bakeries and cafes to the Piraeus Archaeological Museum, make sure you add this neighbourhood to your list. Zea Harbor is also located here; it’s a promenade of restaurants, cafés, and home to lots of fancy yachts.

Insights Greece - 16 Coolest Neighbourhoods to Visit in Athens

Mets 

This is actually a small section of the central suburb of Pangrati that has a character of its own. Less than a 10-minute walk to Syntagma Square and to the Acropolis, where you feel as though you are in a small town rather than a big city. It’s away from the crowds and tourists and a place where you will get a real sense of old Athens.  

Insights Greece - 16 Coolest Neighbourhoods to Visit in Athens

Fix

Only a ten-minute walk from the Acropolis Museum and lots more historical sites, this is another lesser-known neighbourhood in Athens. Full of charming cafés with outdoor tables, it’s a great place to stroll around. Make sure you stop off at the National Museum of Contemporary Art. 

Insights Greece - 16 Coolest Neighbourhoods to Visit in Athens
Image @greeka

Buying a Flat in Metaxourgeio: the Pros & Cons

Having spent his childhood in Greece, Christopher Nicholas decided to buy a flat in Athens and describes the challenges and the joys.

By Christopher Nicholas

Buying a place in Athens was an easy decision to make. I went to school in a suburb of the city and have been returning ever since, always happy to reconnect with friends on my way to the islands. Most of all I love the ever-evolving array of the city’s cultural and culinary options, and its energy and chaos are the perfect antidotes to my quiet life in Geneva where I live, working for the Red Cross.

Why Metaxourgeio?

You may be wondering why I chose to create my Athens base in an area that could be described as a little sketchy. It’s artistic and edgy, with happening places, but definitely not one of the capital’s most attractive neighbourhoods.

In fact, it largely came down to budget and convenience. I wanted something central and properties in the historical centre or one of the trendier areas like Mets or Pangrati were not in my price range.

Discovering the Charms

However, I have become increasingly enchanted by my new neighbourhood. I’m discovering a community steeped in a rich and fascinating history. “Metaxi” means silk, and the area got its name from a silk factory built here in the 19th century, which put Metaxourgioon the map. It quickly became a bustling working-class community, home to artisans and small business owners, and suffered a severe decline in the 1970s. It’s had several stop-and-start waves of regeneration since and today the working-class spirit lives on, with old community favourites such as Gefstiki Gonia souvlaki place or Akrovatis kafeneion jostling side by side with alternative cafes, and artists’ studios in disused workshops.

I love the look and sounds emanating from the printing workshop downstairs and hope that the old manual 1960’s presses do not end up as accessories in a new hipster café. But if hipster is what you are after go to Platia Avdi with its sprinkling of achingly cool bars and eateries, like Seychelles and Blue Parrot. 

Flat-Hunting for Beginners

I first flirted with the idea of buying a place three years ago. I found the best way to get an idea of prices and neighbourhoods was the Spitogatos app, which meant I could shop around from the comfort of my sofa in Switzerland. While friends were swiping left and right in search of their perfect partner, I flicked through Spitogatos compulsively looking for my match. After visiting about a dozen places during short trips over, this one felt right immediately – it was bright and airy, on the top floor, with two bedrooms, a large terrace, on a quiet street and near the metro.

Sealing the Deal

With the seal of approval of two trusted friends, one of whom is an architect, I put in a cheeky offer. Initially, it was turned down. Then we struck a deal. However, the owner stuck close to his asking price. Six weeks later I was back in Athens for a 24-hour whirlwind tour of banks and tax offices. Eventually, with all paperwork duly stamped, I arrived at the solicitor’s office for the final exchange. Note: None of this would have been possible without my brilliant conveyancing lawyer, Alkis, who accompanied me every step of the way. Without him, I would have been lost, and it would have taken a year to do what we achieved in a day. 

Not Buying Out

Athens is bursting with wonderful shops, markets, and artisans and there really is no need to set foot in Ikea. I bought local and Greek wherever possible – a good quality bed from MediaStrom, a stylish made-to-order sofa from Fabrica, and curtains from the traditional fabric shops in Aiolou street. I also bought one or two quirky secondhand pieces from Reto, a social enterprise run by people recovering from substance abuse. And one day I hope to be able to splurge at MOFU, a gorgeous vintage design store, in Psyrri.

Always A Catch

People say that buying property in Greece can be complicated, but overall, the process went pretty smoothly. However, there was one small sting in the tail. Despite assurances from the estate agent to the contrary, it turned out that the “Doma” (room) on the roof above my flat was inhabited. Worse still, the tenant had put beds on the roof and was charging 5 Euro a night as a place to wash and rest!

Love Thy Neighbour?

During subsequent visits, I crossed tired workers/roof renters in the elevator and had to put up with noises like scraping furniture above, and wafts of late-night souvlaki dinners blowing down on to my terrace. I work in the humanitarian sector and initially let it go until I discovered that the rogue landlord was unduly profiteering. The actual landlord (of the  property above) sent him packing and the space is now rented to a more responsible tenant.

Happy End

Essentially, I have no regrets and am thrilled to be a homeowner in the city that I love. In this new era where working from home becomes the new norm, I’m hoping to spend more time here. In the long term, I see this as an investment – one that perhaps I can trade-in for a more idyllic spot by the sea when I come to retirement!

Insights Greece - Buying a Flat in Metaxourgeio: the Pros & ConsChristopher’s Top Tips:

  1. Make sure you have a good conveyancing lawyer.
  2. Support Greek Shops and suppliers!
  3. Don’t rush into things – take your time & use apps like Spitogatos & Chryssi Efkairia.
  4. Re-visit the property and take a careful look around before completing the sale.