The neighborhood of Koukaki borders with Athens' picturesque old town and lies in between the Acropolis and Syngrou Fix metro stations. It may not be as quaint as Plaka, but Koukaki offers an alternative vibe that makes it utterly charming, while it has immediate access to the Acropolis.
Table of Contents
Koukaki is one of those Athenian neighborhoods that you may be tempted to skip as a visitor, just because you're running short of time and the reputation of other neighborhoods overshadow it. However, if you are looking for the real deal and the best of what Athens has to offer, we highly advise you try to fit a morning, afternoon or night in Koukaki.
A stroll through its narrow streets, discovering its many art galleries and eccentric shops is only a small fraction of what Koukaki really has to offer. That's right, there are plenty of things to see and experience in Koukaki during all times of the day!
Starting early, in order to feel like a local during your stay in Greece, you need to experience Greek coffee culture. Avli is the ideal cafe to visit; with its colourful chairs and outdoors tables on a picturesque square of Koukaki, you will get the chance to enjoy your Greek coffee or cold refreshment and feel at peace with its traditional atmosphere.
It is an all-day spot for all ages and it’s particularly popular among the students of the nearby Panteion University. If you get hungry there is a wide variety of mezedes you can choose from!
7 cactus - credits: sevencactus.gr
Another must-visit coffee place in Koukaki is Little Tree Books & Coffee. With a completely different vibe from Avli, this tiny coffee shop operates as a bookstore as well. Enjoy a quiet, peaceful morning, in the dear company of a good book and an even better cup of coffee. Literature lovers will feel at home in this cozy corner, with the unique and friendly atmosphere, under the shadow of the Acropolis.
Another must visit coffee place in Koukaki is Little Tree Books & Coffee. With a completely different vibe from Avli, this tiny coffee shop operates as a bookstore as well. Enjoy a quiet, peaceful morning, in the dear company of a good book and an even better cup of coffee. Literature lovers will feel at home in this cosy corner, with the unique and friendly atmosphere, under the shadow of the Acropolis.
Brunch is a relatively new concept in Greece, however, as with most imported ideas, the Greeks have added their own spin to the famous, millennial-loved idea, making brunch an artsy and elegant affair. 'Seven Cactus' is possibly one of the best Greek brunch spots in the area, as the food follows the Greek Deli style enhanced with a twist - absolutely delicious and can be enjoyed in their cozy garden!
Another bonny brunch joint is 'Riza Riza', where you can choose from an assortment of mouth-watering pancakes. If your sweet tooth is feeling extra sweet, trust us and try the white chocolate Oreo pancakes, it tastes like it was cooked by fairies! Like most food and beverage establishments in Greece, you can also visit 'Riza Riza' at night and enjoy delicious cocktails of all kinds.
Mikri Venetia - credits: athensmenu.gr
Another great place in the Koukaki neighborhood for you to grab lunch is 'Mikri Venetia' or 'Little Venice', a beautiful restaurant that you can visit right after your tour of the Acropolis.
This restaurant’s menu is made up of creative dishes that are far from what you will find at your typical corner tavern - it consists of tasteful traditional Greek food presented in a contemporary fashion at very reasonable prices despite its central location.
If you are looking for something a little more upscale to treat your significant other on a romantic date, be sure to book a table at 'Mani Mani' restaurant. This establishment was featured in the New York Times, and for good reason, as it has been rated 5* by over 1,300 satisfied customers.
Serving traditional Greek food with a modern twist and using fresh ingredients mainly from the region of Mani in the Southern Peloponnese, this cozy kitchen is a great choice for good Greek food. Just keep in mind that on Sundays, they are open until 18:00.
Mani Mani restaurant - credits: fnl-guide.com
Moving away from food and on to cocktails! Because knowing where to find a good cocktail on your vacation or your weekend, or on any day really, is key! 'Spirtokouto' is the cutest corner bar serving all kinds of carefully crafted cocktails. The name translates to 'Matchbox' - which, considering its size, suits it perfectly!
This little bar also hosts live events when they aren't playing their delightful playlists. The surrounding Athenian hills provide the perfect setting for a romantic walk after a uniquely delicious cocktail at 'Spirtokouto Cocktail Bar', one of the area's most alluring establishments.
'Bel Ray' is located just a few steps away from 'Spirtokouto' and is a great example of how diverse Greek food and beverage establishments in Koukaki can be. Bel Ray serves coffee, food and of course, cocktails. However, you won’t find your mainstream cocktail list here - you will find an alternative menu that ensures your cocktail will be potent with flavors and aromas that you would never have thought of!
Bel Ray - credits: andro.gr
Are you tired of city life and want to escape to an island for a night? No need to go further than the Tiki Bar in Koukaki. This spot oozes tropical vibes that make you forget that you are in the heart of one of Europe’s busiest capitals.
The business’s eco-friendly philosophy is reflected in their delicious cocktails which are very often seasoned with organic spices, bitters and herbs. The team at Tiki bar makes a conscious effort to revise their cocktail list every few months to ensure that customers have something to keep coming back for!
Tiki bar - credits: fnl-guide.com
Now if you truly want to feel like a Greek, you can’t leave Athens without visiting a local Ouzeri. The small, traditional eateries in Koukaki are going to make you fall in love with Greek culture, as well as give you the perfect evening entertainment.
Svoura is the perfect place in Koukaki for some mezedes and a glass of ouzo! Small in size, creating a homey and friendly atmosphere, Svoura will impress you with its Greek dishes, made by fresh Greek products, to accompany the all time favourite Greek spirit.
Another traditional eatery in Koukaki is Mezedofono. Located in Erechtheiou street, this small, family-run tavern will serve you mouth watering delicacies that will surely make you fall in love with Greek cuisine. Try its shrimp saganaki or roasted octopus, along with a glass of the most popular Greek spirits, such as tsipouro or raki.
With a wide variety of eateries and bars, the quirky and artistic neighborhood of Athens remains an underrated gem and exploring it rightfully earns a spot on the list of the best things to do while in Athens. You can be sure that each part of Koukaki has something original and interesting that you will want to experience! Join our nightlife tour with cocktails and souvlaki and experience Koukaki like a local!