7 Cactus has a plant-filled courtyard, limited seating and a staff that is energetic and enthusiastic about their work. They serve breakfast, sandwiches, tarts and a handful of main dishes. The establishment opened only about two months ago and the menu, which is overseen by the food blogger Gabriel Nikolaidis, has already changed to make the best of seasonal products.
It is worth paying a visit for, among other things, the Mani-inspired breakfast with products from the southern Peloponnesian region; the pancakes made with potatoes from Naxos served with fried talagani cheese and heather honey; the savory tart of the day with its fluffy and buttery crust, and the kagiana – scrambled eggs with tomato – which is served on top of a toasted cheese sandwich.
Aside from the sandwiches on the menu – of which a standout for us was the oxtail and caramelized onion – you can also assemble your own, selecting from 4 different types of bread and dozens of high quality and primarily Greek ingredients: cured meats, cheeses, handmade spreads and tasty condiments.
Good prices, reservations are a must on Saturdays.
7 Dimitrakopoulou, Koukaki
Tel. +30 213.045.2865
Open daily 08.00 – 18.00
Meerkat Cocktail Safari
Meerkat, which just opened in the central district of Koukaki, belongs to the creative couple, Christina Mavrides and Romain Krot – residents of Paris until recently – together with their friend Andreas Vernikos.
Romain has worked behind several famous Parisian bars, such as that of the speakeasy Red Door. From the spreads for the tasty and unusual sandwiches prepared by chef Alexandros Pitropakis to the fruity syrups for cocktails, everything is made in house. Coffee and sandwiches are served from the morning onwards.
The bar has three bartending stations – the first two are manned by Romain and Stamatis Stamatidis, while the third is kept free for guests who can be their own bartenders for a night, making their own concotions.
The cocktails are separated into several categories: strong, spicy, cool and long-lasting. It is worth trying the Colonial Way, a tasty, multi-layered drink with beetroot, mescal, fruits of the forest and a pollen and black sesame dusting around the rim of the glass.
Out of the sandwiches a standout is the sweet-flavored “Veggie” with onion, smoked cheese from Veria, spinach, red pepper and a tahini-based spread.
Meerkat Cocktail Safari
7 Vyzantiou, Koukaki
Tel. +30 213.045.3390
Open daily 10.00 – 02.00
Trap joins forces with MeZen
An important development in the bar scene around Syntagma Square is the partnership between Trap and MeZen a renowned tsipouradiko (an establishment offering tapas-like mezes and the spirit tsipouro) located in the city of Volos.
Trap continues to offer breakfast and coffee from early in the morning, and has added to its drinks menu various aged tsipouros and other quality Greek spirits.
As for food, from 13.00 to 19.00 are the aperitif hours, when Greek tsipouro or light cocktails are recommended. To accompany them during this period is a special menu of nibbles and snacks which includes MeZen’s now-famous tyrokafteri (a spicy cheese dip) made using kopanisti cheese, smoked feta, galeos (school shark) ceviche and more.
All day and until 01.00 you can also order from a range of unconventional dishes on the regular menu prepared by Grigoris Helmis, such as edamame cooked with tomato and feta, gyros made from tuna, and cured goat meat (kavourmas) with espresso syrup.
10 Othonos, Syntagma
Tel. (+30) 210.321.5561
The Return of Rock ‘n’ Roll
Preparations are at a fever pitch for the reopening of one of Athens’ most legendary bar-club-restaurants, expected in the second half of October. Rock’ n’ Roll on Loukianou Street first opened its doors 30 years ago and was a mainstay of the heady Athens bar scene in the 80s and 90s, finally closing its doors in 2011.
Chef Ilias Skoulas of Food Mafia will be overseeing the kitchen and is putting together a menu with American-style crowdpleasers – “rock ‘n’ roll cooking” that he hopes will prove highly popular.
“We will have mini pizzas with smoked meats, burgers, “gourmet” hot dogs with handmade foie gras sausages and other dishes associated with the establishment such as the onion soup and meatballs that our old clientele remember,” Skoulas tells us.
Rock ‘n’ Roll
Loukianou 6, Kolonaki Square
Steak Bar by Kiku
Tagliata, rump, Black Angus ribeye, spare ribs as well as meatballs, sausages, apaki (smoked pork), fillet, chops and burgers are among the wide range of dishes available at the restaurant located on the first floor of Yoleni’s Flagship Store in Kolonaki.
The eatery, which until recently was overseen by Farma Bralos has now been taken over by the team behind the restaurant Kiku.
All of the meat products come from the butcher shop “Carnicero” in Neo Psyhiko which will also provide fresh meat and steaks for sale at the Konolaki location. Sides include freshly-cut french fries, mashed potatoes with truffle oil and quinoa.
A robust wine list with predominantly Greek wines and excellent options available by the glass is also on offer.
Steak Bar by Kiku
9 Solonos, Kolonaki,
Tel. (+30) 212.222.3622.
Butcher’s Shop open Monday – Saturday 09.00 – 21.00, Sunday 10.00 – 17.00.
Restaurant open Monday – Saturday 13.00 – 23.00, Sunday 13.00 – 19.00.
Nymphon Square in Glyfada continues to be a hotspot and the team behind Moorings in Vouliagmeni have chosen to launch their newest project here – the Blends multi-space.
The impressive high-ceilinged space is open from early morning for coffee until late at night for drinks and cocktails. In between, Mediterranean dishes are served together with a range of options for meat lovers.
The wine-list is overseen by the sommelier Alexandros Papadopoulos, while Myrsini Spaneli is in charge of the bar and signature cocktails. Blends also offers a tapas bar and private cigar lounge.
19 Foivis & Laodikis, Glyfada
Tel. (+30) 211.182.1711
Open daily 08.00 – 03.00.
This newly opened fish restaurant headed by Giannis Stanitsas is already making waves. The modern space has an attractive courtyard decorated by a large graffiti fish.
The menu, aside from classics like grilled fish, octopus, jumbo shrimp saganaki, orzo and pasta with fish, includes creative dishes such as the sea bream tartare with avocado and wasabi, mussels with apaki (cured pork) and chili, and the poached shi drum with Kalamata olives and orange.
62-66 Marinou Antypa, Neo Irakleio, Attica
Tel. (+30) 210.272.3000
Open daily 13.00 – 01.00, Sunday 13.00 – 18.00