Athens’ Blossoming Wine Bar Scene  

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! 

Oinoscent

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!

Heteroclito

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. 

Materia Prima

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!

Vintage

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. 

Manouka

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?

Paleo 

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.

Cava Vegera

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.

Cheers!

Athens’ Hottest New Bars

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)

Line Athens

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

Grasshoppers

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) 

Eprepe

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

Diego

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

Zebra Bar 

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

Uva

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

Iguazu

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

Uncle Tan’s

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.

A: Kolokotroni 3, Athens

Introducing Greek Wines to the World

Athens local George Kormaniotis was introduced to wines in 2007 while working for a company that traded alcohol. At the time, George came across a wide variety of good Greek wines that made him curious to learn more.  

Insights Greece - Introducing Greek Wines to the World
Greek wine enthusiast George Kormaniotis

Since then he has spent time market researching, blind tasting, trying new labels, and exchanging ideas and opinions with other fellow wine enthusiasts. 

Although George currently works in the pharmaceutical industry, in his spare time he’s made it his mission to change people’s perceptions of Greek wines- both locally and overseas.

It may come as a surprise to some, but Greek wine has made a name for itself on a global scale over the past few decades. As the country has embraced its rich, seasonal varieties that are available internationally.  

Let’s not forget, Greece is one of the world’s most ancient viticultural locations, with references to drinking and cultivation appearing in literature and historical texts as early as the 17th Century B.C.

Here, George tells us about a few of his favourite Greek wineries and blends. And in a new monthly column, George will be sharing a range of distinguished, as well as up-and-coming Greek varieties, regions, wineries and wine bars he believes are leading the way. 

Can you tell us a few of the stand out wineries you have visited in Greece? 

To start off with, I would recommend the Argyros, Gavalas and Vassaltis wineries in Santorini. Also Kir Yianni, Diamantakos, and Dalamaras in Naoussa, Macedonia. Finally, Oinotria Gi by Costas Lazarides, Pappagianakos and Gikas wineries stand out in the outskirts of Athens, Attica.

Insights Greece - Introducing Greek Wines to the World
Argyros Winery in Santorini

Do you prefer red or white wine?

I mostly enjoy red wine. That’s because the taste and flavours better accompany Greek cuisine.

What is your wine collection like at home?

I keep a collection of 200 to 250 labels with a ratio of 75/25 per cent between Greek and foreign labels respectively.

What do you think people would find most surprising about Greek wine?

Insights Greece - Introducing Greek Wines to the World
Cava Amethystos

Assyrtiko variety of white wines from Santorini features one of the rarest flavours one can ever taste. The volcanic land of Santorini gives its wines a rare aftertaste of sea saltiness and earthly “minerality”. 

Moreover, Xinomavro variety from Western Macedonia competes with the famous Italian “Barolo” wines in terms of ageing potential, which can go up to 20 years of age.

Do you have a few current favourites? 

First, the “Santorini Argyros” label from Santorini is a typical representative of the island’s famous “Assyrtiko” variety. 

Second, “Cava Amethystos” by Domaine Costa Lazaridi is a 100% cabernet franc from the Drama territory in eastern Macedonia- whose production I have followed for several years now and it soars at considerably high standards.

Kir Yianni “Diaporos” label, a blend of 85% xinomavro and 15% syrah varieties is a wine that is ranked among the best premium Greek labels from its first year of sales.

Finally, “Vinsanto Argyros” aged 12 years from Santorini, is a sweet wine that distinguishes itself each year in every international competition it participates in always gaining recognition as one of the top three.

Insights Greece - Introducing Greek Wines to the World
Oinoscent Wine Bar

Can you recommend some good wine bars in Athens? 

I enjoy hanging out at the following wine bars in the Greek capital-

1. Oinoscent, located five minutes from Syntagma Square.  

2. Materia Prima, in Pagrati. 

3. Wine Point, near the Acropolis Museum. 

You can follow George on his Instagram account @george.winestories and stay tuned, as George will be sharing his passion, knowledge and exploration of Greek wines with IN+SIGHTS GREECE readers right here, in a new monthly column dedicated to all things wine! 

Main image courtesy of Oinoscent 

Our Essential A-Z Athens Guide for Wine Lovers

You’ll probably find decent, perhaps even great wine at most decent bars around Athens today. But if you want a place that specialises in wine and offers amazing varieties -that you can enjoy by the glass too – look no further than our guide! You’re welcome! 

A For Athens

Vibe: Smart-casual, friendly, relaxed rooftop bar with stunning views of the Acropolis and city.

Wine List: Greek and foreign wines in a newly extended cellar that can house up to 2,500 labels.

Food: Anything from the restaurant’s dinner menu, from burgers and malt chicken to finger foods and meze dishes. The sommelier is happy to suggest foods that pair well with your wine of choice.

Location: Miaouli 2, Monastiraki

Baratin

Vibe: Cosy, casual-chic, friendly, all-day bar-restaurant with small tables as well as a large monastic bench and an outdoor square.

Wine List: Around 140 labels from Greece and abroad, 42 of which can be sampled by the glass. Baratin’s knowledgeable and friendly sommeliers are happy to help you imbibe on exactly what you desire.

Food? Try the carefully sourced Greek cheeses, salads, sea bream risotto and cold cuts for an ideal accompaniment.

Location: Dekeleias Avenue 120, Nea Filadelfia

BoBo

Vibe: Trendy, chic, hipsterish

Wine List: Around 200 labels from Greece and abroad as well as cocktails made using Greek wines (not easy to find elsewhere!).

Food? Indulgent accompaniments to share with your wine buddies include cevice, roast beef with truffle sauce and homemade mayo, stuffed figs with caramelised onion and creamy goat cheese and bruschetta with Greek cheeses.

Location: Anastasiou Zinni 36, Koukaki

By The Glass

Vibe: In an elegant arcade facing the Russian Orthodox Church, chic, buzzy.

Wine List: You can choose among 250 Greek and global wine labels, 50 of which can be served by the glass using the Coravin system.

Food? An array of modern Mediterranean platters and appetizers, many of them designed especially to be paired with their wines.

Location: Filellinon and Georgiou Souri 3, Syntagma.

Cava Vegera

Vibe: Friendly, laid back and smart-casual.

Wine List: Over 1000 Greek and foreign labels.

Food? A menu based on deli products that are seasonal and make for great accompaniments to your wine of choice. The menu changes every three months.

Location: Poseidonos 11 & Vas. Pavlou 61, Voula.

Cinque Wine Bar & Deli

Vibe: An ebullient ambiance usually pervades in this compact, cosy and familial locale.

Wine List: Very special because here you’ll find only Greek indigenous varieties passionately sought out by the wine-fanatic owners. The Monastiraki store organizes excellent wine tastings.

Food? Homemade chutneys, great platters of deli foods from Greece and abroad.

Location:Agatharchou 15, Psyrri & 10 Vorreou St Monastiraki

Fabrica De Vino

Vibe: Modern, upbeat, elegant but unpretentious. A-buzz during weekend nights.

Wine List: 600 labels by 150 producers from around Greece, 20 of which that can be sampled by the glass.

Food? Mainly fish and seafood (try the fish fillet sandwich), as well as some well-prepared meat dishes.

Location: Emmanouil Benaki, Exarcheia

Fiali Wine Bar

Vibe: Elegant, minimal and fresh décor with a laid back, chic crowd.

Wine List: Selective and lesser-known but good-quality labels from small wine producers around the world, 40 of which can be sampled by the glass.

Food? A gratifying selection of tasty, cold and hot Tapas, salads, pizza and other comfort food.

Location: Dekelias 108, Nea Filadelfia

Heteroclito

Vibe: Cultural, homey, low-key chic.

Wine List: Over 200 labels from Greece and abroad.

Food? Homemade quiches and pies, platters of cheese and cold cuts.

Location:Fokionos 2 & Petraki 30, Monastiraki

Kiki de Grece

Vibe: Elegant, upbeat, smart-casual.

Wine List: Around 60 Greek and foreign wine labels.

Food? From appetizers to mains, you’ll find a great selection of Greek-Mediterranean dishes.

Location: Ipittou 4, Syntagma

Materia Prima

Vibe:  Contemporary, urban-chic and cosy.

Wine List: Over 500 wines from around Greece and abroad, including labels you won’t find in most other places. Expensive wines can be sampled by the glass using the Coravin method. Wines can also be bought to go.

Food? Breakfast and brunch during the day, finger foods and Mediterranean meals in the evenings.

Location: Falirou 68, Koukaki, across the EMST National Museum of Contemporary Art.

Monk grapes and spirits

Vibe: Arty post-industrial open terrace with a laid-back ambiance.

Wine List: 200 labels from 136 wineries in Greece and 16 countries, many expensive labels can be sampled by the glass via the Coravin method.

Food? Modern Greek cuisine.

Location: Aghias Eirinis Square, Monastiraki

Oinoscent

Vibe: Originally a wine shop that has now added seating, this is very much a wine-centric point in town for those who take wine seriously.

Wine List: Over 1000 labels from all over the world. Every week there is a new selection of wines that can be sampled by the glass.

Food? Cheese platters and Mediterranean dishes.

Location: Voulis 45-47, Syntagma.

Paleo

Vibe: Wine bottles line the high-ceilinged stone walls of what was once an old storehouse, and at the end of the room from top to bottom stands a large cava.

Wine List: Over 350 labels mainly from southern France, Spain, Italy and Greece.

Food? A decent range of Greek-Mediterranean cuisine, from appetisers to mains.

Location: Polidekous 39, Piraeus.

Scala Vinoteca

Vibe: Sophisticated, intense, stylish.

Wine List: Over 200 labels from Greece and abroad.

Food? Refined and contemporary Mediterranean dishes with influences from Latin America, Spain and Italy.

Location: 50 Sina str. & Anagnostopoulou, Kolonaki

Vinarte

Vibe: A stylish and classical-modern large open space ideal for work dos and larger gatherings.

Wine List: Over 250 labels from quality Greek winemakers and abroad, including a selection of hard to find Italian wines. Here you can try any wine you like by the glass via the Coravin method.

Food? Try the platter with aged cheeses and cold cuts, as well as other Mediterranean dishes.

Location: Marangou 18, Glyfada

Vintage

Vibe: A large, modern open space for smart-casual wining and dining with great service.

Wine List: The only place in Athens where you can choose among 600 labels to try by the glass – either a full glass or even just a half glass.

Food? Platters with quality cheeses and/or cold cuts, original Greek-inspired appetisers like Pastitsio croquettes and mains.

Location: Mitropoleos 66-68, Syntagma

Warehouse

Vibe: Sophisticated but unpretentious, laid back and indulgent.

Wine List: With a wine cellar stocked with over 500 Greek and foreign wine labels, Warehouse has become known for its quality selections and serves around 150 of them.

Food? Greek ingredients farmed by select small producers around the country, food platters and salads.

Location: Valtetsiou 21, Exarcheia

Wine Not

Vibe: Swing jazz music, after-work chill, industrial décor.

Wine List: Around 90 wine labels, 20 of which can be sampled by the glass.

Food? Try the cheese and cold cuts platter with homemade chutneys and jams.

Location: Kalogrezis 12, Halandri

Wine o’ Clock

Vibe: A tiny place with a few benches on the pavement where you can people-watch as you sip wine.

Wine List: Around 70 well selected wine labels, many of them from Greece and 20 of them that can be sampled by the glass.

Food? Small platters with flavoursome bites that are just what you need to accompany good wine.

Location: Lebessi 10, Makryianni

Wine Point

Vibe: Usually busy and lively, with occasional live gigs and a laid back, smart-casual crowd.

Wine List: Over 200 labels to choose from, and with a different Greek winery and its wines presented as a special every month.

Food? Finger foods and bites like bruschetta, olives, cold cuts and cheeses from around Greece.

Location: Athanasiou Diakou & Porinou 2, Makriyianni

Wine Station @ Chocolat Royal

Vibe: Jazzy (with occasional live gigs too) and easygoing with a chic twist. Beautuifully scenic outdoors with a view of the Parthenon to get drunk on.

Wine List: Regional wines from Greece that are really hard to find elsewhere, as well as top selections from foreign wineries. Around 160 labels of which 40 can be sampled by the glass.

Food? Choose anything you like from the Chocolat Royal Restaurant menu of contemporary Mediterranean cuisine.

Location: Apostolou Pavlou 27, Thisseio

Wine Up

Vibe: With a lovely outdoor garden, this is the ideal place to relax with friends in a casual set-up and simply enjoy great wine in the summer months, but gets a little more trendy and modern indoors during cooler months.

Wine List: Featuring over 200 Greek labels, many of which are organic and produced by small quality wineries around Greece.

Food? A variety of platters starring quality Greek seasonal ingredients from creamy cheeses and punchy olives to juicy tomatoes.

Location: Eleftheriou Venizelou 86, Petroupoli