Vacation Mode In Athens: 5 Happening Summer Hangouts

Whether at the seaside or in shaded gardens, and offering everything from exotic cocktails to fresh seafood, these are the city hangouts giving Athenians that summertime feeling.

Coyoacan: Med-Mex on the sand

This popular bar-restaurant operates in the central neighborhood of Thiseio during the winter, but over the past few summers it has been heading to the beach, where it goes under the name Coyoacan Playa. The chilled-out setting on the Varkiza shore offers something of a Tulum vibe. Spread out across different levels for different functions (beach bar, lounge bar, restaurant), it’s open from 09:00 to 02:00, serving coffee, snacks, and food. The menu is Mediterranean-Mexican fusion, featuring everything from hummus and taramosalata to tacos, seafood paella, and grilled octopus with a green mole sauce. Of the 10 cocktails served at the Coyoacan bar, half are Margaritas – they’re fond of them. There’s the classic, of course, and one with herbal notes, a spicy one with homemade chili syrup, a smoky one with mezcal, and a fruity one with strawberries. -Angela Stamatiadou


Varkiza Resort, Varkiza Beach, Τel. (+30) 694.866.8855

Tiki Athens: Hawaii under the Acropolis

Colorful shirts, floral wallpaper, lots of bamboo and deliciously fruity, chilled cocktails: you’ll find just the right amount of kitsch at this small, Hawaii-themed bar under the Acropolis. One of the first businesses to give the neighborhood of Koukaki its hip reputation, Tiki Athens remains one of the Greek capital’s most decidedly summery hangouts – and it’s not just the décor that does the trick. Behind the bar, veterans Yiannis Petris and Vassilis Roussos keep us refreshed with cocktails made with seasonal and exotic fruits, aged rums, fresh juices, and homemade syrups. On our last visit we tried the Rapa Nui, mixed with a fragrant mahleb liqueur, cachaca, homemade banana syrup and fresh lime. Swing, calypso, and rock ‘n’ roll play on the speakers. – Georgia Papastamou


15 Falirou, Koukaki, Τel. (+30) 210.923.6908.

Noah: Beats and bites

An exotic bar in the middle of Athens with a signature sculpture-fountain spelling out “I love you” in sign language, Noah opened a couple of years ago in the beautiful Eleftherias Park beside the Athens Concert Hall and quickly became popular among city dwellers looking for a fun hangout. It’s renowned for its live DJ sets, comprising some of the hottest names of the electronica and house scenes. The day at Νoah Athens begins with breakfast, followed by a light lunch and then dinner with lots of music – and cocktails served throughout. Breakfast may include eggs sunny side up with sour cream and a muhammara sauce (roasted red peppers), or eggs Benedict with a Thessaloniki koulouri (sesame bread ring) and mortadella with pistachio. One of the best sellers on the lunch menu, the Aegean salad is extra refreshing and summery, with small tomatoes, grapes, corn, beans, and olive crumble. The food served at the bar is also very good and pairs well with the cocktails. – Marina Petridou


Eleftherias Park, Vassilissis Sofias Kokkali, Τel. (+30) 210.723.3419.

Open 09:00-03:00 (with live DJ sets on Thurs, Fri and Sat).

Krabo Beach: Barefoot luxury

Tucked away in a small, isolated cove in the seaside area of Kavouri, and perfectly suited to the surrounding setting, this relaxed beach bar makes it easy to forget that you’re not an island; in fact, you’re just a few kilometers from the city center. You can come in the morning for a swim, relax on the sun loungers and then have lunch or dinner barefoot on the veranda right above the water. You can also come later in the day to watch the well-dressed crowd gather as the sun goes down, drawn by the carefree atmosphere and the cosmopolitan Mediterranean dishes of chefs Panagiotis Giakalis and Petros Foteinis. The pair have put together a menu that includes their krabo burger with soft-shelled crab, tomato chutney and coleslaw; delicious fried calamari with a sweet chili marmalade; seafood pasta; and several meat dishes. The bar is very well stocked and there’s a very interesting cocktail list. Prices range between €60-80 euros per person. – Angela Stamatiadou


KRABO, Zoska Bay, Kavouri, Tel. (+30) 210.896.3309.

Νazaré: Breaking the waves

This bar is named after the Portuguese seaside town renowned for its massive ocean waves. The decor is inevitably surfer-related, with lots of bamboo and blue tiles, and surfing photos and boards, while the white stone benches outside transport you to the Greek islands. Sit on one of these benches just by the water at Zea Marina as you leaf through the menu to find a cocktail that suits your mood. The Cactus, a best-seller, is among the top recommendations for this summer; it’s made with gin, kiwi, vanilla and cucumber. The Noah, which is surfer-speak for “shark,” is made with rum, peach syrup, and a purée of pineapple and watermelon. Apart from cocktails, you’ll also find a large selection of rums, tequilas, mezcals, and gins, not to mention the light snacks, pizzas and burgers if you’re feeling peckish. – Angela Stamatiadou


Zea Marina, Τel. (+30) 210.418.4440

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