Tanini Agapi mou
Look for it right behind the bus stop. The owner of Tanini Agapi Mou (which translates as “Tannin, My Love”) has a penchant for creating food and drink businesses with unusual names, such as “Alice chose the wrong boy to be with” or “When Myrsini fell in love with the oven.” Here, tables on the sidewalk cater to a clientele that has adored his new venture since the day it opened. A decidedly original wine bar, Tanini Agapi Mou serves Greek PDO, PGI and local natural wines and boasts 120 different selections stored in a purpose-built wine room. Before serving, whites undergo a cool “bath” for extra chilling. Tasty accompaniments include mutton prosciutto, graviera cheese from Messinia and a sharp, olive-oil cured ladotyri cheese from Lesvos.
91 Ippokratous, Exarchia
Tel. (+30) 211.115.0145
B FOR BURGER
B for Burger is a classic grab-and-go burger joint primed for delivery and takeout, with just two small tables on the street as well as an outside counter, a prime spot from which to watch the juicy burgers being grilled. Serving until 02:00 and situated next door to that staple of Pangrati nightlife, Chelsea Hotel, it’s already a popular option for a late-night snack. Cheeky burger names like Kevin Bacon, a bacon cheeseburger, and the Greek Lover, with graviera cheese, spinach and caramelized onion, bring a smile to the face. But there’s a very serious focus on flavor and freshness. Chef Alberto Symillidis devised the menu and sources the finest ingredients, from Cretan salt to Cypriot potatoes and meat from the local butcher’s Papoúlias, which supplies many of the area’s most prestigious restaurants. If there are better burgers to be had in Athens, we’ve yet to find them.
Tel. (+30) 215.510.6789
ZEUS+DIONE flagship STORE
Ancient beauty and a lighthearted mood define Zeus+Dione’s collections; they also permeate the brand’s new downtown Athens home, too. The internationally acclaimed fashion house’s first store of their own makes you feel as if you’re inside the modern version of an ancient temple, with curved walls, generous lighting, an elegant marble-tiled floor and transparent surfaces that seem to float in mid-air. This architectural gem by the firm “en-route-architecture” is composed of stone, glass and wooden details and draws inspiration from icons such as the Parthenon, the Temple of Olympian Zeus, the Winged Victury of Samothrace and Yannoulis Chalepas’ Sleeping Maiden sculpture. This bold and ambitious new store, a welcome addition to the Athens shopping experience, is at the forefront of the city’s efforts to become a modern fashion destination.
6 Voukourestiou, Athens,
Tel. (+30) 210.323.0132
If it wasn’t for FITA, it’s unlikely you’d ever come to Neos Kosmos, no matter how long you spent in Athens. This low-income neighborhood with its old public housing apartment blocks seems an unlikely location for this neo-bistro, but this place has really taken off since its recent opening. The food is simple, yet the combinations are unexpected: okra with fresh tomato sauce is served with deep-fried parrotfish, while fresh sashimi is served with wild chard and mustard in a Greek take on wasabi and seaweed. If you get here before lunchtime, you’ll see the chefs coming back from the farmers’ market with ingredients for the ever-changing daily menu.
1 Ntourm and Kasomouli, Neos Kosmos,
Tel. (+30) 211.414.8624
Monstera deliciosa, Zamioculcas zamiifolia, Sedum morganianum: these are not sorcerer’s incantations but rather the scientific names of plants you’ll find in homes around Athens. Kopria is a florist’s and nursery that carries mainly indoor plants which it supplies to the neighborhood of Exarchia and beyond. The store has brought a small but perhaps significant change into people’s lives by helping them add low-maintenance plants to their living rooms or bedrooms. Even if you’re a complete novice, Kopria’s owners, Ifigenia and Vassilis, will be happy to advise you on how to take care of your new “house pet.” If you’re not keen on stuffing a new plant purchase into your suitcase, fear not: there are also beautiful ceramics, publications (both Greek and international) and elegant tote bags – all of which lead a life of happy coexistence on shelves with climbing plants. Kopria (the Greek word for “manure”) also operates as an art gallery and regularly organizes social gatherings and events that stimulate dialogue regarding art and the urban environment.
Tel. (+30) 211.113.2535
An offspring of the famous Stemnitsa Silver-Gold Smithery School in the Peloponnese, this tasteful new workshop and outlet for jewelry in the heart of Athens was created by Professor Dinos Sarakiniotis and graduates Spiros Tzimas, Konstantina Katsibiri and Jose Perez-Mavrogenis. The team employs an array of different techniques to create handmade silver and gold jewelry, using unworked semi-precious stones and minerals such as aquamarine, lava rock or fool’s gold. Their first collection, a varied assortment, is the result of their collaborative effort and the creative chemistry that exists among them, even though each piece carries the individual signature of its designer. The work benches, the lighting and everything else in the store are also their own creations. No matter when you visit, you’ll always find one or more members of the group bent over their benches working on something. Prices are more than reasonable, and the quality and aesthetic standards are very high.
Tel. (+30) 210.322.6931
Mexico’s agave cactus is the source of inspiration for this lively drinking hole, a joint venture of three Greek mixologists and tequila experts. Agave is, of course, the root ingredient for both tequila and mezcal spirits, as well as for agave syrup, which finds its way into many fine cocktails. The team aims to draw from the agave’s range of flavors to provide a stimulating drinking experience, with imaginative cocktails and rare spirits. The bar’s design was inspired by afternoon strolls around Guadalajara – a city in the heart of tequila country – although Barro Negro feels right at home as a new addition to the Athens bar scene, too.
15 loannou Paparrigopoulou
Tel. (+30) 210.010.7618
Athenians might recognize this space as the former Cine Psyrri. In its new incarnation, To Lokali is an all-day hangout spot. Its founders explain that the concept was to create a “local” home away from home. They begin their attempts to lure you in at 10:00, with Greek brunch with eggs, pancakes and sandwiches, then give you reasons to stay right through till closing time at 03:00 (03:30 at weekends) with coffee, beers, cocktails and high-quality taverna-style food. Throughout the menu there is a focus on local and seasonal ingredients, as well as classics with imaginative Greek touches, such as an Old Fashioned made with tsipouro, geranium and strawberry. The charming visual identity and interior murals were created by Greek illustrator The Rabbit Knows, while the industrial design of the interior makes a pleasant contrast with the building’s old stone walls, although we’re sure you’ll find yourself most at home in the lush courtyard outside.
Tel. (+30) 210.325.0673
ANCIENT GREEK SANDALS
As soon as you enter, it’s obvious that Hestia, the ancient goddess of hearth and home, is the inspiration for the welcoming and homey space that is Ancient Greek Sandals brand new store on Kolokotroni Street. Housed in a wonderful early-20th century building with blue swimming pool floor tiles evoking a high-end 1960s resort, the store embraces a “summer in the Mediterranean” concept that’s further enriched by the stunning view of the Old Parliament from the top floor. You’ll also find a wide range of Greek lifestyle products, including pottery, olive oil, soap, candles and books.
1 Kolokotroni & Stadiou
Tel. (+30) 210.325.5485
This smart new eatery aims to raise the bar for healthy, delicious and sustainable food in the city center. The interior is a beautifully designed mix of wood, marble and hanging plants – and the food is just as photogenic. Highlights include the Saigon Bowl, rice noodles with chicken and vegetables; quinoa blue cheese salad with Aegean pistachios and Kimi figs; and healthy beverages, such as iced kombucha tea and home-made sugar-free lemonade. Local Green has a wide range of vegan and gluten-free options and will soon offer deliveries by bicycle and electric scooter, to ensure that the whole operation is as low-carbon as possible. Check out their Instagram account – it’s one of the cheekiest, most amusing ones around!
Tel. (+30) 210.321.4500
Athens didn’t have its own pasta bar, so Alex Vasilatou, a very young, yet expertly trained and enthusiastic cook, set out to create one with her father, Nicholas. The result, Alex, is a tiny, modern and atmospheric restaurant dedicated to pasta. Handmade pappardelle, tagliatelle, rigatoni, conchiglioni and spaghetti are served with flavorsome classic sauces or more locally inspired options, such as pesto with feta cheese from Kefalonia or lemon chicken sauce with soured soft cheese (xinomyzithra) from Hania, Crete. The handmade ceramic plates made by Alex’s friend Ariadne Strofylla are a reason to eat in, but you can also order your food to go and enjoy it in charming Dexameni Square.
3 Dexamenis Square, Kolonaki
Tel. (+30) 210.364.4142