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.