Hanging Out at Porinou Street

This tiny Athenian street hides many surprises.

Although just a side street near the Acropolis Museum and Acropolis metro station, Porinou street has evolved over the past few years into a tucked-away hot spot, wedged between Syngrou avenue and Makrygiannis street. It was named after Porinos, a brilliant albeit obscure architect from antiquity, and locals still recall its former life as a dark alley filled with garages, auto spare part shops and lots of cats. All but the cats, seen lazing on the footpaths and open spaces, have vanished. Now the sound of music and discreet lights suggest the change that has come to this potential-filled narrow street whose width barely fits a car. The transformation of this tiny stretch, requiring just over 100 steps to cover, was achieved thanks to four places with music, serving a wide range of beverages and food.

Aglio, Olio & Peperoncino
Launched back in 2002 and located at the corner with Kaleschrou street, it is the oldest place on the strip. Delicious Italian cuisine (spaghetti, salads, and appetizers) may be accompanied by fine wine here, amid a setting of minimal décor. The pasta is prepared on the spot. Siciliana with sausage is a favorite. Don’t miss trying the tiramisu for dessert. 13 Porinou | Tel. (+30) 210. 921.1801 | Open: Tuesday-Saturday 20:00 – 01:00, Sunday 14:00-19:00,Closed on Mondays

This establishment serves freshly made fruit juices in an extraordinary range of combinations – to boost energy and the immune system, for detoxification, slimming, skin enhancement and improved digestion – as well as coffee, shots, tea, and other beverages. The place’s name is derived from wordplay with reference to its “Back to the Roots and Fruits” motto. The fruit juice drinks are elegantly served. Weather permitting, visitors may enjoy their drinks of choice in a small yard covered with fine pebbles and surrounded by aromatic plants and flowers. Eleni, a very polite individual who runs Froots with her business partners Mihalis and Leda, even cut some basil from the garden for a great-tasting Zen juice I ordered. 3 Porinou |Tel. (+30) 210. 922.2234





This elegant place, whose name is an obvious wordplay with reference to Hitchcock and cocktails, previously functioned as a warehouse stocked with auto spare parts before it was transformed into an all-day space serving food and a variety of beverages, including wine, coffee and cocktails The food is Mediterranean with emphasis on local recipes, such as chicken with sauce and feta cheese, or steak with caper sauce. The cocktails, a definite strength on the menu, are named after films by the master of suspense, Alfred Hitchcock, including Psycho. Sonia, behind the bar, is also willing to prepare custom cocktails tailored to specific drink and flavor preferences. There is live music every Thursday and Sunday. Cushions and tables are set along the pedestrianized street for customers preferring to sit outside. 10 Porinou | tel. (+30) 210. 921.0023Open: 08:00 until very late   

This is an ideal place to get acquainted with Greek wines. One of the best and oldest wine bars in Athens, it has served local wines, exclusively, for the past four years. The accompanying dishes (freshly cut cured meat and cheese varieties) are all local as well. The bar nowadays serves roughly 250 wines produced by 120 wineries. They may be enjoyed to the sound of tunes selected by a DJ from Thursday to Sunday. Wine tasting sessions are held daily in the afternoons (13.00- 18.00). Bottles may also be purchased for home. 2 Porinou | Tel. (+30) 210. 922.7050 | Open: 13:00- 02:00 | Fridays and Saturdays: 13:00-03:00

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