Sophia – Enjoy Thinking LIVE
If you’re searching for special, historically-inspired objects, then this is just the place for you. The group of designers behind Sophia create both functional items and souvenirs, including notebooks, mugs, dishes, bookends and bags. Drawing on classical elements of Greek culture, they create figurines, busts and other works of art, all with a contemporary twist and featuring bright colors.
Their new space in Kolonaki, called Sophia – Enjoy Thinking Live, offers the brand’s own items alongside small pieces of furniture, lighting fixtures, candles, books and more. Why not take a seat on their comfortable sofa? You’ll need some time to make up your mind about what to buy.
Tel (+30) 210.360.6930,
The Acropolis and the National Museum of Contemporary Art stand on opposite sides of a geographic border separating the Athens of old from its more modern self. And it is right here that architects and interior designers at Alentes are busy crafting contemporary objects out of cement with a classical aesthetic. Don’t underestimate cement; this tough material has the ability to transform simple everyday objects, such as side tables, vases and stools, into highly original sculptural works.
Alentes’ open-plan showroom was designed to take full advantage of its location; the objects have been positioned close to the ground, so as not to impede your view towards the five-meter-tall window that overlooks a hidden yard, where, yet again, old meets new.
Tel. (+30) 210.899.6222,
A Future Perfect & Friends
A Future Perfect founders Katerina Grigoropoulou and Evi Sougkara draw on their shared architectural background to create unique pieces inspired by urbanism, including concrete coasters etched with sections of the Athens street plan. Another source of inspiration is the Greek summer, from which they take archetypal images, like an octopus drying in the sun or a swimmer taking a dive, and transform them into abstract patterns, prints or objects.
After their homeware, stationery, decorative items, accessories and jewelry appeared in exhibitions and at over 50 concept stores and galleries around the world, they opened their own shop on Praxitelous. A Future Perfect & Friends features the brand’s own products alongside a carefully curated selection of clothes and products from Greek and international brands.
Tel. (+30) 697.430.4656,
This brightly-lit and minimally decorated space in Syntagma sells CDs and vinyl records, as well as synthesizers and other musical equipment. Here, recordings aren’t classified according to musical genre. Instead, they’re positioned to stand out individually, arranged upon discreet shelves on the walls, like paintings.
Homcore is the coziest record shop in town – with sofas to lounge on while you listen. It’s also a showcase for what owner Leon Segkas calls his own “prospective record collection,” with carefully-selected albums covering genres from psychedelic rock to techno, English post-punk, ambient and jazz, and whose catalogue numbers he knows by heart.
Tel. (+30) 215.515.9757,
THE THREAD TO LIGHT
It was a life-saving gift. Ariadne’s thread (“mitos”) enabled her beloved Theseus to navigate back out of the Labyrinth to the liberating light. In the hands (and clever mind) of jewelry designer Polina Ellis, the mythical symbol takes on a purely symmetric form and becomes the Mitos charm for 2019. Cord meets either silver or 10K gold in bracelets and necklaces, with both metals representing the very end of the journey toward light, be it personal or universal.
Olympia Municipal Music Theatre Maria Callas
A jewel in Athens’ cultural crown has reopened with a new focus and a new lease on life. The Olympia hosted the Greek National Opera for more than 70 years, until the latter’s recent move to a modern, state-of-the-art home at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center in Kallithea.
Today, the historic venue on Akadimias has been lovingly restored to its former glory and reborn as the Olympia Municipal Music Theatre Maria Callas, offering period elegance and a vibrant program of musical theater right in the center of town. Look out for regular free events and the “Christmas in Athens” series of festive concerts, theatrical performances and family shows.
Tel. (+30) 210.528.4800
Kypseli Municipal Market
In Greek, Kypseli means “beehive.” This rapidly changing neighborhood is now home to the first social enterprise market in Greece, which has generated quite a buzz since opening its doors in October 2018. The building that houses it dates from 1935 and was once home to the old municipal market, before it closed down years ago.
Reborn, it now belongs to everyone. Kypseli Municipal Market has become a meeting point for old and new residents and offers exciting tastes from small-scale food producers across Greece, silk printing workshops and a wide-ranging program of events, from children’s puppet theater to brunch laid on by well-known chefs.
42 Fokionos Negri,
Workshop Mairivi – Puppet Theater
A myriad of tiny faces – their expressions as enthralling as if they were real – look back at you as you walk around the room. Some are frozen in activity, while others seem to beg for a hand to bring them back to life. Puppet theater is an ancient, global tradition – and it’s not just for kids.
Entering the exhibition “Theater at Your Fingertips” at Workshop Mairivi, you’ll realize at once that these traditional puppets, which are displayed in innovative ways, are works of art. The exhibition is partly interactive; you’re allowed to touch some of the objects and literally pull some strings. If you’re lucky, you might also catch a show.
Tel. (+30) 210.522.2181,
Open every Thu,14:00-18:00, and by appointment.
the Rabbit Punch
Named after an illegal boxing blow, this bright and youthful space in the up-and-coming neighborhood of Pangrati offers a more welcome kind of jolt. The Rabbit Punch is a new venture from the team of award-winning baristas behind Thiseio’s much-loved The Underdog. In a perfect blend of alcohol and caffeine, the coffee cocktails on their menu are just what you need to keep going after a long day. We enjoyed the Coffee Negroni and the Espresso Mar-tiki.
Of course, the coffee of the non-alcoholic variety here is just as polished. The team roasts beans from select farms in Brazil, Ethiopia, Colombia, Panama and Guatemala, and masters every kind of brew you would expect from a great third-wave coffee joint. Food is served all day (brunch from 10:00 to 16:00, and assorted bar food from 12:00 to 00:00).
40 Effranoros, Pangrati,
Tel. (+30) 210.756.7840
Frater & Soror
Hip Pangrati has just gotten its first gin bar. In an industrial space infused with color and vibrancy thanks to original art pieces and a slew of houseplants, Frater & Soror’s skilled bartenders go the extra mile to make every drink special. A wide range of gins, and of tonics – from sweet and aromatic to dry or herby – are served with ice carved fresh on the spot.
The establishment opens early in the day with great specialty coffees and offers an unusual all-day menu. The basement area has been done up in a completely different style; a large open section showcases the kitchen of the small restaurant Phi Beta Kappa, headed by Dimos Balopoulos, who produces complex flavors and clever dishes.
6 Amynta, Proskopon Square, Pangrati,
Tel. (+30) 210.721.3720
The overall atmosphere of yakitori bar Birdman would be “New York dive bar,” if it weren’t so stylish, with African disco and jazz music, Japanese-style decor and other whimsical details that lend the space an exotic air.
The food isn’t the usual bar fare, it’s enviably fine cuisine. The yakitori chicken skewers, for example, are made with chicken raised especially for Birdman on a small farm in Crete. Japanese chef Takaaki Otsuka serves incredible beef nigiri made with Wagyu beef. Natural wines and premium spirits feature on the drinks menu. Doors (it has two entrances) open at 18:00 and the tall stools at the bar are fully occupied by 18:20.
2 Skoufou, Syntagma,
Tel. (+30) 210.321.2800
Buñuel Uptempo Bistro
A woman with a razor blade raised ominously towards her eyeball does, in fact, stare down over Buñuel Uptempo Bistro, but apart from this, everything else about this place is designed to please, from the carved wooden antique furniture to the ever-changing seasonal dishes and exquisitely presented cocktails.
Cult cinema fans will, of course, recognize the iconic image from the surrealist masterpiece “Un Chien Andalou,” a collaboration between artist Salvador Dalí and director Luis Buñuel. The rest of the décor comes from some indistinguishable time period in the near-distant past and somewhere in the Mediterranean. But this pleasantly hazy fusion of elusive influences was exactly what chef and co-owner Antonis Stamatiadis intended – Buñuel himself would, no doubt, have approved.
60 Patriarchou Ioakim,
Tel. (+30) 211.113.2626
When it comes to finesse, elegance and luxury, who can compete with the French? The restaurant L’Audrion on Filomousou Etairias Square serves the classic dishes of French gastronomy with a flourish that only the French can achieve. Buoyed by critical acclaim and a Michelin star, Marie-Laure Bocabarteille and chef Alain Parodi have created an Athens bistro filled with the authentic atmosphere of their home country.
The decor is fresh, with plenty of plants, bright colors and Tom Dixon light fixtures hanging over the bar. Order foie gras terrine, asparagus, beef cheeks or snails Bourguignon, accompanied by French and Greek wines. You can also pick out wine or selections of cheeses and cold cuts to take with you.
3 Filomousou Etairias, Plaka,
Tel. (+30) 210.324.1193,