Petralona is a central, bohemian neighborhood set at the foot of Filopappou Hill, tucked between picturesque Thisseio and up-and-coming Koukaki. Split between Ano (Upper) Petralona and Kato (Lower) Petralona, this predominately residential district has been enjoying a boost in popularity in recent years, which has translated into new bars and eateries popping up left and right. And while it may never become the new Gazi (which wouldn’t be a bad thing), the neighborhood has some serious elements which have firmly established its place in the nightlife scene of Athens. Here are the top bars of Petralona you should know.
Don’t be fooled by its small scale. What Spirtokouto (matchbox in Greek) lacks in size, it makes up for in character. Covered with old-school posters and 1980s and 1990s memorabilia (let’s see if you can spot the Darth Vader mask on the bar) and toys, Spirtokouto is a little gem of a bar with a unique personality. One of the first to open in Kato Petralona, it offers a relaxed, alternative atmosphere with smooth drinks and an energetic playlist. Open from 11 until the wee hours of the morning, Spirtokouto proves itself a force to be reckoned with in Petralona nightlife.
The latest addition to the bars in the neighborhood, Upupa Epops quickly gained a loyal crowd of followers – and for good reason. Set in a neoclassical house, it has a charming little inner courtyard where chairs and tables from different styles and eras blend harmoniously to give the place a unique character. On warmer days, Upupa Epops’ courtyard is certainly the new place to be to enjoy delicious cocktails and drinks.
With its cozy industrial vibe, Lola is a bar in which you’re bound to while away the hours, especially with its newest addition of a small kitchen that stays open until late. With tables spilling out onto the sidewalk, the terrace is rarely empty during warm days and the simple drink and food menu give the place a definite casual vibe in the true spirit of the area. For the beer pong fans out there, the ping pong table in the basement is a plus.
Located in Ano Petralona, Babouras (Bumblebee in Greek) is a summer favorite, but if you get there and can’t find an empty table, do not despair, you can still sit on the threshold of the abandoned house next door. It is probably this ‘come-as-you-are’ atmosphere that seduces customers, who quickly become regulars. Tucked between old and renovated neoclassical houses, Babouras is a ‘neo-kafenio’, perfect for a coffee stop in the morning or a nightcap.
Kirios Who is set within a Neoclassical building | Courtesy of Kirios Who
Established in a 1930s-era neoclassical building, Kyrios Xou (Kee-ri-os Hoo, or Mister Who) was the talk of the town since the day it opened its doors. Boasting a charming little courtyard right behind a church, this all-day café/watering hole is the epitome of a cozy bar. Inside, the décor is serene and balanced. Outside, tables spill onto the pavement, reflecting a truly relaxed atmosphere. On the menu are mouth-watering cocktails and clean spirits, and on weekends, they host a tasty brunch that may just tempt you into camping out for all of Saturday and Sunday.
Right opposite a tasty Thai restaurant, Klouvi (Cage in Greek) is another nightlife hotspot in Petralona. The bar is open until late in the morning and it is common to see people drop by after a hearty meal at one of the neighborhood’s tavernas for a prolonged drinking session. With a mean selection of spirits and a well-stocked cocktail menu, Klouvi is a place where the night never ends.
Xatripy (pronounced Ha-tri-pi) is a cooperative café in the heart of Petralona. This welcoming and warm place is open all day, and with its delicious food menu comprised of homemade dishes, mezes and cake, we suspect that your morning coffee at Xatripy will easily turn into a late lunch. Boasting a vast space, Xatripy also hosts live gigs of all kinds, including rembetika music, hip hop or even African groove. Made by people for the people, Xatripy is a feel-good place where you will sense positive vibes as soon as you step inside.
Located on the other edge of Petralona, Epi tis Dexamenis, a recent addition to the block, is known for its creative and delectable cocktails. Add to that a laid-back vibe, soul, funk and jazz music and you’ll get the picture. Drop by in the morning for a tasty coffee or come for drinks in the late afternoon/evening. Either way, you’ll have a good time.