Athens Bars Off The Beaten Track

Athens | © jojo nicdao/Flickr
Ethel Dilouambaka

Athens’ bar scene is vibrant and dynamic, with plenty of options no matter where you are. Granted, the center and most frequented areas have numerous options that cater to a variety of tastes, but there are also excellent venues outside the well-trodden paths. Here is a small selection of the best bars off the beaten track in Athens.

1. Dolce Bar Café

Bar, Cafe, Greek, Pub Grub, Fast Food

Don’t be put off by the concentration of students, and live the dolce vitain Ilissia, an often overlooked neighborhood. Visit Dolce Bar Café, a pleasant place to grab a coffee, a light lunch, or a drink with friends. At dusk, the bar-café hosts guest DJs or live gigs – you will enjoy spending time in the warm and cozy environment.

2. Kimolia Art Café

Cafe, Greek, Pub Grub

Kimolia interior space
Courtesy of Kimolia
Kimolia is a family-run café with a warm vibe. Painter Katerina put her heart into this little project, and with the help of her friends, she put together this charming café where you can listen to jazz and blues tunes while enjoying specialty coffee in the morning, sandwiches, salads, snacks or drinks, wine, and beers. The place even hosts small exhibitions, including jewelry, paintings or photography, year-round. This is the art café Plaka needed.

3. Fouar

Bar, Restaurant, Asian, Thai, Fast Food

A little oasis in the heart of Athens, Fouar (from foire,or fair, in French) is a multipurpose space. A gallery, a bar, and Asian-inspired restaurant, the green space is a place where you can get away from the hustle and bustle and enjoy a good coffee or a delicious cocktail. The space hosts live gigs, DJ sets, and exhibitions, so make sure to check their Facebook page to see what’s happening. It is open on weekends from 1 p.m. for an alternative brunch option with friends.

4. Warehouse

Wine Bar, Bar, Coffee Shop, Contemporary, Greek, Wine, Beer, Cocktails

Warehouse, Valtetsiou 21
Courtesy of Warehouse

At Warehouse, you will quickly feel at home. With its minimalist yet warm décor, the venue opens in the morning with delicious coffee and lures you into the night with a wine menu featuring more than 80 labels, as well as delicious cocktails. Sustain yourself with a light snack (the bruschetta is super delicious) but simply enjoy the vibe. You may enjoy yourself so much that the guys behind the bar may have to kick you out.

5. Troubar

Bar, Greek, Pub Grub, Fast Food

Located in old Piraeus, Troubar is located in the eponymous area that was known for its rembetika scene and brothels during the 1950s-60s. Low-key and grunge, the bar is just what it should be, with excellent live music gigs taking you 50 years back or resolutely contemporary. But come early as the place is a favorite among locals; it is common to see people coming from the center or northern suburbs for a live session.

6. Lemon Tree

Bar, Greek, Pub Grub, Fast Food

Don’t think you can only find cool bars in the center or the mainstream northern suburbs. Lemon Tree is a well-kept secret bar in Paiania, an unassuming suburb near the airport. This little haven is an all-day bar where you can drink refreshing coffee, find delicious food (the burger and risotto are worth trying), and excellent cocktails. If you find yourself in the area, don’t hurry back to the center but drop by the Lemon Tree, the cool and easy vibe and the bright décor is just what the doctor prescribed.

7. Flamme Rouge

Bar, Cafe, Cocktail Bar, Contemporary

Flamme Rouge cycle cafe bar, ΓΚΑΖΙ
Courtesy of Flamme Rouge

While Gazi is not off the beaten track, Flamme Rouge is worth a visit. It’s a cute little café for bike lovers where you can sample tasty food and refreshing drinks (the Mastiha colada is a killer). You will hear groovy and funky tunes, with a little bit of jazz and rock, and on warm days, make sure to find a spot on the outdoor courtyard and grab a hammock.

8. Johnny Deppy

Bar, Mediterranean, Greek, Fast Food

Welcome to Johnny Deppy, where improvisation is key. This little bar, with its distinctive, relaxed vibe, and a menu of the day which features new items, is a refreshing alternative to the mainstream all-day bars in the area. Owners and sibling duo Giannis and Deppy are there from morning till night and serve breakfast, lunch, drinks and cocktails; the only regret, however, is that it doesn’t stay open too late.

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