“Ena kafe, parakalo! (a coffee, please)” is the first Greek phrase many travellers pick up in Athens. Tracing back to the Ottoman Empire, coffee has been deeply rooted in Greek culture for over seven centuries. From glykos to the iconic “frappé” and the recent third wave of specialty coffee, the coffee crazy capital has always embraced coffee in all dimensions. Read on for the best cafes of different types to get your caffeine fix.
1. Taf: The cafe that needs no introduction
Founded in the ’90s, the acclaimed roastery was the first specialty coffee shop to open in Athens as early as 2009. Taf comprises a talented, award-winning team of baristas, serving high-quality coffee at reasonable prices. Taf offers a great selection of excellent coffee — don’t be shy to ask for a customized suggestion, and don’t limit your taste experience to just one variety of espresso!
2. Mr. Bean Coffee Brewers: Coffee aficionados’ pick
Fancy an Athens specialty coffee crawl? Mr. Bean Coffee Brewers is just steps away from Taf. The interior boasts rustic style paired with trendy touches, creating a welcoming and relaxed atmosphere. Sit on the long bench for a great vantage point to watch the roasted beans blossoming into great coffee. If the weather is pleasant, there is also a covered terrace with lush greenery that invites you to take a seat while sipping on a masterly made brew.
3. Little Tree Books and Coffee: The perfect match
Address: Kavalloti 2, Athens 117 42 Greece
Books and coffee are made for each other. A hidden gem right at the foothills of the renowned Acropolis Museum, Little Tree Books and Coffee is one street down the bustling restaurants and touristy shops. Tranquil and cozy, it possesses an otherworldly ambiance that fascinates bookworms and coffee lovers alike. The coffee shop not only serves excellent coffee but also offers a wide range of finger foods and freshly made smoothies. You can find English books among the shelves of Greek literature and choose your favorite spot under the leafy shadows.
4. Zuccherino: The cafe for sweet tooths
Offering aromatic coffee and fantastic patisserie creations in a joyful environment, Zuccherino is a treat for all senses. An Athenian patisserie founded nearly three decades ago, Zuccherino serves more than 100 kinds of freshly made gelato and a great variety of standout desserts that take care of all your cravings. With open-air seating under the trees, this is a great spot to linger over an afternoon dessert or two on a sunny day.
5. Kimolia Art Cafe: The best spot to be surrounded by local arts
Nestled in a quiet alley of Plaka, the beautifully funky Kimolia Art Cafe is decorated by a local artist, Katerina. If you are wandering around the city centre, Kimolia is a good spot to linger over to admire the colourful decorations that exude a vintage atmosphere. The cafe serves tasty dishes with a great cappuccino and a movie-inspired cocktail menu. Fabulous service is something guests appreciate here, and attractive pricing is a plus.
6. The Underdog: Cafe with hearty gourmet brunch
Set in a picturesque pedestrian street in one of the most sought-after Athenian neighbourhoods, The Underdog is by no means a tourist trap. An all-in-one roastery, coffee shop, brunch place and bar, it will take care of the cravings of both gastronome and coffee snob. Housed inside a beautiful city villa, The Underdog boasts a trendy industrial design with ample natural light and a beautiful backyard. Take your pick from British breakfast to a Greek-style burrito, along with a flawlessly creamy flat white for a perfect start to the day.
7. A Tot: The best java on the go
Address: Lekka 28, Athina 105 62 Greece
Arguably the tiniest coffee place in Athens, A Tot serves one of the capital’s best coffee. Here, you will find aromas and flavors that impress you. Savor a wonderful, smooth fruity brew that finishes with a strong presence of red berries and a misty peach scent. The cafe presents a wide selection of espressos to satisfy even the most picky customers. Aside from wonderful blends, don’t forget to treat yourself to a ready-to-eat slice of heaven — their sweets are simply magical.
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