Athens is known for its laid-back nature and it is an ideal place for people who fancy going out in coffee shops, bars and clubs. The culturally vibrant city has hundreds of offerings, where Athenians can enjoy a chat over a beverage of their choice. If you want to discover the most extraordinary coffee shops in Athens, here is our top 10!
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1. Chelsea Hotel bar and cafe
Chelsea Hotel bar and cafe - credits: http://www.greece-is.com
A corner shop with tables on the sidewalk and atmospheric lighting at night, Chelsea Hotel may not be a hotel, or located in Chelsea, New York, but it is one of the most fashionable coffee spots of Athens. Apart from its delicious coffee, Chelsea Hotel -which turns into a vibrant bar at night- is known for the trendy and diverse crowd it gathers, becoming the heartbeat of Pagkrati. As with almost all shops of Pagkrati, Chelsea Hotel is pet-friendly; you may even find a gray dog laying beside your legs, don't worry, it belongs to the owners of the coffee shop. Being as popular as it is, it can get a bit crowded, especially on Saturday nights. Therefore, if waiting lines gets on your nerves, maybe skip it during the weekend.
2. TAF (The Art Foundation)
TAF -The Art Foundation - credits: https://thetravellingcookie.com
On 5 Normanou Street, hidden within the narrow streets of Monastiraki and invisible to unsuspicious passers-by, lies one of the most uncommon and intriguing café-bars you can find in Athens. TAF is a fascinating blend of art and entertainment, located in a picturesque patio, where one can enjoy their coffee, drink or food. The building that houses TAF was constructed in 1870 and was used as a detention facility, which offers TAF's visitors today the opportunity to envision what life was like in the olden times. The rooms of the TAF buildings, which have been renovated, house the gallery, which hosts the works of contemporary artists, events and even workshops.
3. Kokkini Svoura
Kokkini Svoura is also known for its home-made cocktails - credits: kokkinisvoura.gr
There are three things that everyone loves at this cozy place; its home-made cookies, its Sunday’s rock & roll swing parties and its -always smiling- personnel. Its coffee is rich and full of flavor, while its homey setting makes you feel comfortable as soon as you step foot in it. If you visit Kokkini Svoura before the afternoon and decide to accompany your coffee with a cookie, you can pick the ingredients yourself, being presented with multiple chocolate, fruit and nuts alternatives; your cookie will be served to you warm from the oven and baked to perfection! The laid-back vibe of the coffee-shop lingers even after it transforms into a bar at night-time.
Stylites cafe - credits: https://www.infowoman.gr
A trip to Stylites cafe feels like a travel back in time. It is the perfect place to relax with a hot beverage in hand or a glass of wine after a long day. Stylites is the epitome of coziness and comfort, with its vintage decoration, which consists of typewriters, music boxes, old lamps, clocks and even goblins hanging from the ceiling, being reminiscent of yesteryear. The cute, vintage cups and wooden roof complete the illusion. The shop is famous for its traditional Greek coffee, you can have along with some of the handmade delicacies of the catalog, including tarts, cakes, and homemade spoon sweets. Apart from the excellent-quality coffee Stylites offer, you can find a selection of handmade hot chocolates, which are served in a tray of biscuits and chocolate flakes, making every chocolate lover's dream come true. At Christmas time, the comfy coffee shop becomes even more flamboyant, with intricate decorations transforming it into a fairytale, while in the summertime, the tasteful tables with the tall stools are moved outside.
5. Koupa libre
Koupa libre - credits: http://www.gazzetta.gr
Thissio is known for its picturesque streets and tasteful cafes, and Koupa libre is one of them. A trendy cafeteria in the morning, where you can enjoy your coffee, and a hip bar in the evening a selection of wines, drinks, and local dishes, Kupa libre has quickly become a local favorite in the scenic neighborhood. The fresh ingredients that make up their delicacies and sweets are carefully selected to satisfy every taste! Its affordable prices, unmatched quality, and friendly staff are the perfect reason to choose Koupa Libre for day and night!. As for the name? It's a witty wordplay that replaces the word 'Cuba' from the common alcoholic drink 'Cuba Libre' and replaces it with the word 'koupa', which means 'cup' in Greek.
6. Myrtillo cafe
Myrtillo cafe - credits: m.popaganda.g
Myrtillo is one of the prettiest and most innovative coffee shops in Athens that combines a visually pleasing aesthetic with tasty flavors. It is the first coffee shop in Athens especially designed to allow differently abled people to work and was awarded as a 'social enterprise' in 2014. The alternative coffee shop, along with its obliging staff and high-quality coffee, is definitely worth its award.
Handelbar - credits: https://goo.gl/AsUScc
Located on one of the coolest and most alternative neighborhoods of central Athens, Handlebar is a lovely, well-known hangout spot. mostly loved by cyclists. Of course, that doesn’t mean you are not welcome to enjoy its energizing beverages and food if cycling is not your thing, it just happened to become the first “bike-friendly” cafe of the city due to its location right next to a bike shop. A small, friendly, laid-back place for young people with reasonable prices, perfect to enjoy a cup of coffee, if you are lucky enough to find a free table.
8. Bel ray
Bel Ray - credits: http://www.andro.gr
A snack bar that keeps elements of the car wash and car care products shop that was housed there for years prior, Bel Ray is a snack bar with personality. The customers of Bel-ray can browse this untypical snack bar while enjoying their hot beverage, while its brunch offerings are some of the best in Athens. As with most cafes, Bel Ray turns into a bar at night, but that doesn't affect its quality. Stroll around the charming neighborhood of Koukaki, one of the most interesting neighborhoods of Athens, and stop at Bel Ray to enjoy its coffee, along with its calming vibe.
9. Kimolia art cafe
Kimolia Art Cafe - credits: https://goo.gl/sdgkKT
Kimolia s a small art cafe located in an almost 100-year-old building located right at the heart of Athens and in close proximity to Athens' most famous street, Ermou. Kimolia's decoration and aura remind us of the old times in Athens. It is rather sophisticated and transfuses an optimistic feeling to whoever enters the place. Highly recommended if you like oldies but goodies!
10. Six Dogs
Six Dogs' garden - credits: https://goo.gl/nbq5Tz
Six dogs is one of the most popular garden cafes in Athens, perfect for a hot summer day! People take a break from walking in the bustling city center in this beautiful secret garden that can be found just a few minutes away from Monastiraki square. It has become one of the trendiest social hangouts for the locals, while at night, it hosts a multitude of cultural events, including gigs of bands from across the world.
BONUS: Little Kook
(Little Kook - credit https://goo.gl/c9BXhD)
Little kook is what fairytale dreams are made of! The extravagant coffee shop is easily recognizable by the green dragon standing at the building's rooftop above the entrance. The whole staff of Little Kook is dressed up in costumes, while the menu is full of mouthwatering desserts with imaginative names. If you are a lover of fairytales and the magic world of fantasy, visiting Little Cook is a must! Even if the place is over the top and borderline tacky, it's an experience you have to try at least once in your lifetime!
Athens has an abundance of coffee shops to accommodate all tastes and needs! Around every other corner, you can explore Athens, discover the Greek culture and feel like a local while relaxing in a cozy setting.