Though home to (bitter) Greek coffee, Athens has recently seen the arrival of the third wave coffee revolution with serious coffee drinkers, good local roasters (Taf in particular) and artisan baristas. On warmer days, Athenians seem to relax over a freddo cappuccino at any time of day. Refreshingly, enjoying an iced coffee is part of evening sociability here, probably given how late they stay out and have dinner. Although caffeine-filled, it’s positive that a fuel of sun-down socialising here is alcohol-free. A quick lowdown on my favourite spots below.
Anana Coffee Food: This newly opened vegan-friendly, Bauhaus-meets-Scandi café is located in the heart of the historical centre and is housed in the atrium of an elegant old Athenian apartment bloc. With a few bright yellow tables and chairs in the courtyard, it’s worth sitting in and looking up. It roasts very good beans and offers an excellent selection of vegan deserts.
Dope: A stone’s throw away from Monastiraki’s main square, Dope feels like a very welcome urban retreat within Athens’ hectic city centre: think the Scandi slow coffee movement. Its design is very well thought out: large open windows with stools to perch on looking out, a high skylight ceiling and mezzanine floor, a sleek, long coffee bar filled with excellent looking cakes (including pistachio and carrot), a winning coffee machine and bags of coffee beans to purchase. This is an excellent spot in the city centre for a cup of coffee, made to perfection.
Folk: As well as being one of my favourite restaurants in the city, Folk also makes excellent coffee using beans from locally-source Taf coffee roastery. This café/restaurant, part of newly opened Blend Hotel, is an ideally-located people-watching spot.
Foyer Espresso Bar: Don’t be fooled by the size of Foyer Bar: though pocket-sized, the team here serve some of the best coffee in Athens. This espresso bar is the perfect stop for a quick coffee and uses some of the best beans around, including Square Mile and Workshop.
Me: Located in Kolonaki, true to its name, Me is the perfect spot to enjoy some “me” time. Nab a table al fresco, order an iced cappuccino and watch the world go by. To note: their freddo cappuccinos are the stuff of dreams – the froth atop is like a cloud and the coffees are served alongside delicious small bites of olive-oil, vegan-friendly flapjacks. Whilst you’re here, their food is definitely worth a bite, not least the baked falafel which are the stuff of dreams.
Morning Bar: A new entry to the Athens coffee scene, Morning Bar is (surprisingly) open until late and is perfect for a coffee, a glass of wine or a bite at any time of the day. Beautifully minimal in its interiors and green with hanging baskets, the space feels modern, unfussy and calming to sit, socialise and caffeinate. Very on trend. It’s also full of editions of Monocle magazine which make for a very good browse. The coffee is obviously unbeatable: strong but not bitter, excellently made and served by a very friendly team. As a concept store, the shop will be launching a clothing range in the basement space in the near future.
Ohh boy: New to leafy neighbourhood Pagrati, this all-day hangout is a stylish all-white café with an excellent healthy menu featuring savoury dishes and super satisfying desserts (including vegan cheesecakes). Not to miss is their Taf coffee. With lovely seating spilling out onto the street, the spot is very popular with locals – you may have to wait for a table.
Philos: Located in a neoclassical building in Kolonaki, Philos instantly impresses with its elegant, industrial design and ceiling display of origami flying birds. With its marble walls, glass tables and big windows, the sunlight streams through making it a perfect afternoon reading spot over a brew. Plenty of magazines such as Kinfolk, Cereal and Gentlewoman are available to browse and purchase.
Wild Souls: Specialising in 100% natural tahini, Wild Souls is very new to Athens’ (small) health food scene. This brightly orange coloured spot sells jars of the stuff, with interesting twists and combinations, including coconut, chia seeds, wholegrain and linseeds. Be prepared to try them all: tahini tasting here is a dream! You can also grind your own nut butter, including a very popular crunchy hazelnut variety. Open for lunch, brunch and light dinners until 10pm, their oat, nut flour pancakes paired with a tahini/nut butter and jam (fig, strawberry, wild berries) of your choice is not to miss.