The Best Bars in Lefkada, Greece

Visit the island of Lefkada and enjoy a quirky cocktail or two in a stunning Greek bar like Baccara
Visit the island of Lefkada and enjoy a quirky cocktail or two in a stunning Greek bar like Baccara | © Baccara Bar
Photo of Anna Kaminski
Writer5 October 2021

Ionian island Lefkada might be known for its photogenic beaches, trickling waterfalls, watersports and ancient churches, but it would be a crime not to explore its bars to get to know the locally made wines. Here are some of the Greek island’s best drinking spots.

Originally a peninsula, Lefkada was cut off from the rest of Greece via a manmade canal in the 8th century BC. Today, a narrow bridge connects Lefkada – one of the smaller Ionian islands – to the mainland, meaning that it’s one of the only Greek islands that you can drive to. Despite this, it’s surprisingly not overrun with tourists, instead, retaining a laid-back ambience popular with kitesurfers, windsurfers and beach lovers – and is reflected in its post-beach nightlife culture. Many of Lefkada’s drinkeries are concentrated in Lefkada Town and Nidri, with a handful of beach bars scattered along the coastline. Cheers.

Copla Beach Bar

Bar, Beer, Wine, Cocktails, Pub Grub, Greek, $$$
Map View
Panoramic view of Kathisma beach, Lefkada, Ionian Islands, Greece
© Stoyanh / Alamy Stock Photo
Fronting the white-sand, lounger-dotted Kathisma Beach on Lefkada’s west coast, Copla is not your typical, laid-back beach shack. It falls squarely under the ‘party’ heading, with owners Anneta and Triantafilos arranging daily DJ sets. The thatched-roof bar and deck chairs are arranged around the large pool and impromptu pool parties are de rigueur. Fuel your all-nighter with original cocktails, like the tropical Tornado Punch – a blend of rums, passion fruit, orange and almond – or the zesty Wonderland, consisting of sparkling wine, bergamot, pink grapefruit and pineapple.

Art Club

Bar, Cocktail Bar, Cocktails, $$$
Map View

Venture just off the main road in the village of Ligia on Lefkada’s east coast and you’ll more than likely find Spiro – the owner-barman at Art Club – lining up shot glasses and exchanging banter with the locals and tourists as they knock back the local firewater or sip a craft beer. It’s a cluttered, unpretentious place where you come for the good company, inexpensive drinks and excellent bar snacks served by Spiro’s wife, Denise – eventually parting as solid friends.

Karma

Bar, Coffee, $$$
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The karma cafe, bar and club, a popular venue in Lefkada town. the capital of the island.
© Yau Ming Low / Alamy Stock Photo
On the harbourside road in Lefkada Town, chameleon-like Karma wears many hats. Grab a seat on the waterfront and enjoy pancake stacks and Italian coffee for breakfast, come by during the day for international standbys, watch the sunset with a piña colada in hand – or join the lively crowd of young locals for a live DJ set after dark. Whatever you choose, you can’t go wrong.

Havana Café Bar

Bar, Cafe, Cuban, $$$
Map View
Lefkada, Greece - July 20, 2020: Street bar in the old town of Lefkada city.
© Carmen Gabriela Filip / Alamy Stock Photo
All cheery yellows and reds, Havana’s brightly painted facade rightly wouldn’t look out of place in the Cuban capital and the same is true of the old-school, vinyl-bedecked interior. Choose from classic Cuban tipples – Cuba Libre, mojitos and Havana Loco – or opt for the original Daiquiri Hemingway Special with aged white rum, sugar, lime juice and ice. Get here early on summer evenings to catch nightly performances by award-winning Cuban guitarist, Rene’Soler Pedraza and his SondeCuba band.

De Blanck Wine and Champagne Bar

Bar, Wine Bar, Wine
Map View

Overlooking the yacht marina in Nidri, Lefkada’s original wine bar is the top choice among Greek wine aficionados. The owners spend the off-season travelling around Greece, handpicking wines – including organic, sparkling and dessert varieties – from small producers around the country. Settle in on the seafront terrace and choose from over 70 wines – many available for purchase, along with Greek craft beer – including sparkling wines by the glass. Need more wine? Tasting sessions take place at 6pm nightly.

Mavros Lagos

Wine Bar, Wine, $$$
Map View

Just off the main drag in Lefkada Town’s centuries-old heart, a historic stone house dating back to 1800 has been sensitively restored and turned into a characterful wine bar. The bartender will help you choose from over 80 carefully chosen Greek wines – including rare vintages – while the cocktails are made with distilled spirits from all over Greece. Then there’s the crostini, traditional pies, local sausages and other nibbles, best enjoyed in the outdoor courtyard or small garden and washed down with several glasses of your chosen poison.

Baccara Bar

Cocktail Bar, Cocktails, $$$
Map View
Baccara Bar
© Baccara Bar
With its neon bar and homey lampshades, this low-lit, thimble-sized cocktail spot is highly photogenic and gets packed in the evenings – especially when the young local crowd spills out into the outdoor area. Come early to nab one of a handful of velvet bar seats, or be prepared to stand as you sip your Rose Fizz – made up of vodka, vermouth, pink peppercorn, rum, violet, rhubarb, egg white and soda – or Bellini with a twist. Blues give way to club classics as the night grows older.

Xartes Cocktail Bar

Cocktail Bar, Cocktails, $$$
Map View
xartesbar-lefkada-228
© Xartes Cocktail Bar
Housed inside a handsome neoclassical building dating back to the 1920s, this cocktail bar takes you on a round-the-world trip via your tastebuds. It’s in the name as the globetrotting owners named it Xartes – translating as ‘maps’ – and award-winning bartender Valandis Avegerenidis puts together his unique creations using both local and far-flung ingredients. The seasonal menu may include unusual concoctions like the Sherlock with vodka, Italicus, passionfruit, lime and cucumber – or the Smoked Tepache with mezcal, strawberry-infused bitters, salted rhubarb, lime and pineapple.

Conroy's Irish Pub

Pub, Beer
Map View
Irish pubs in Greece can be hit and miss, but this Lefkada Town stalwart gets the balance just right. It’s a cosy ex-pat haunt, but locals stop by, as well. There’s occasional live music by the Sea Shanty Choir, but otherwise, the background rock music never overpowers the murmur of conversation over perfectly poured pints of Guinness. More often than not, David-the-barman will whip out his guitar and belt out a tune before the night is over.
These recommendations were updated on October 5, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh. This article is an updated version of a story created by Anna Kaminski

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