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Drinking coffee in Athens is the overall social occasion



Whether you prefer your coffee gourmet, cosmopolitan, quiet, classy, hip or retro, the ideal place exists among the many choices in Athens. From the famous places like Jimmy's,  Clemente VIII and Alfiere in the center,  to the museum cafes at the Numismatic and Byzantine museums,   or the connoisseur Taf closer to Omonia,  places for coffee are always popular for locals and visitors. Some serve light meals and are usually open also in the evening, when they attract a livelier crowd for a drink. Recently many cafes have established a ‘happy hour’ with lower prices. Speaking of prices, they may vary slightly depending on the area  and the style of the cafe. Some cafes organize musical events, exhibitions and parties, and most serve both outside during the long warm season and inside in the cooler months. Locals usually have one or two favorite places where they hang out or meet friends, but will gladly try new places, which quickly become popular if they meet the demanding standards of Athenians. The most popular coffee in town is espresso, followed by cappuccino and in the warm season many varieties of iced coffee. If you decide to try the iced ‘frappe’ with or without milk keep in mind that it is made with ground coffee and is usually very strong. Ask for a light one if you dont want to stay awake all night! Most cafes serve their coffee accompanied with small biscuits and in some cases whole portions of cake included in the price. A cup of coffee is always accompanied by  white and brown sugar and saccharine, so that you can choose the sweetener you prefer.  


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Lulu's Bakery & Deli
Photo courtesy of Lulu's Bakery & Deli


While sightseeing in the Plaka area dont miss Lulu's bakery and delicatessen on Tripodon street. Here you can taste excellent coffee and home made snacks, traditional desserts, savory pies, in a warm, friendly atmosphere with interesting decor in black and white. A variety of selected delicatessen products is also available. At Lulu's you can enjoy a delicious muffin or a glass of champagne, depending on the occasion and your mood. Freshly made sandwiches and bagels, delicious macarons, mouthwatering eclairs, tasty cheese pies, lemon tarts, are some of the specialties not to be missed.

Recommended for Cafés because: While sightseeing in the Plaka area dont miss Lulu's bakery and delicatessen

Nelly's expert tip: Coffee, snacks, desserts and delicatessen in Plaka

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Taf
Photo courtesy of Taf


Taf coffee is a favorite hang out in the center of Athens and since it opened aimed at informing the public of the new coffee culture and offering knowledge about high quality coffee. The public is informed through the open communication with the barista during the preparation of the coffee and consumers are also informed about the new qualities of coffee and the specific characteristics, taste and aroma of each one. Interesting facts about the processing of coffee, the producers and farms, the area, the cultivation, enhance the experience of drinking the coffee. Taf baristas are known for their expertise and the superb quality of coffee they serve and play a central role in the experience of enjoyment.

Recommended for Cafés because: The place for genuine coffee tasting where coffee is prepared with great expertise

Nelly's expert tip: Very good quality/price for espresso

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Ilissia cafe restaurant
Photo courtesy of Ilissia cafe restaurant


Cafe restaurant Ilissia is situated right next to the Duchess of Plakentia mansion, in the cool garden of the Byzantine and Christian Museum. In this quiet and tranquil space you can forget that you are right in the center of the city. Enjoy your coffee or lunch in this attractive location, where you can taste excellent home made dishes and desserts always prepared with fresh ingredients and special attention to quality. Ilissia cafe can also be booked for special events. Before or after visiting the interesting collections at the Byzantine and Christian Museum, take a break here before continuing your sightseeing in Athens.

Recommended for Cafés because: Take a break here, before or after visiting the Byzantine and Christian museum

Nelly's expert tip: A tranquil location in the center of Athens, where you can enjoy coffee or lunch

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Numismatic Museum Garden Cafe
Photo courtesy of Numismatic Museum Garden Cafe


The garden of the Numismatic Museum on central Panepistimiou street is a quiet oasis in the heart of the city, and a popular destination right next to the impressive Chiller mansion, which was the house of famous archeologist Henry Schliemann. A large and interesting collection of coins and medals from ancient to recent times is housed in the Museum. Century old trees give the garden a special atmosphere, which is reminiscent of Vienna or Prague. At the cafe you can enjoy excellent coffee, savory snacks, fresh salads and delicious home made desserts or an after theater drink. Jazz and other selected music add to the atmosphere of timeless class which makes this cafe so unique. Every Thursday at 9, live musical evenings are held, with afro brazilian, jazz, blues and funk music.

Recommended for Cafés because: Excellent coffee, savory snacks, fresh salads and delicious home made desserts

Nelly's expert tip: A quiet oasis in the center of the city with a unique atmosphere

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Graffito Health Bar
Photo courtesy of Graffito Health Bar


Graffito Health Bar on busy Solonos street in Kolonaki is a favorite destination, which can also be combined with shopping at Graffito concept store. Taste the excellent coffee, selected and roasted by the Greek company Kudu, the fresh energy juices or the Verve juices prepared with the cold press method. For a nutritious taste try the delicious hand made protein bars with oats, sunflower seeds and egg whites, or the energy bars with dried fruits, oats, goji berries, pumpkin seeds, Varlhona chocolate and honey. Graffito Health Bar is ideal for a shopping break and a quick snack, such as sandwiches, or the mouth watering Chocamole desserts, gluten free, without sugar and lactose, ideal for vegans and vegetarians. Accompany your snack with a cold or warm herbal tea, made from locally grown organic herbs.

Recommended for Cafés because: Ideal for a shopping break and a quick snack, with healthy desserts

Nelly's expert tip: Try the gluten free cheesecake, it is memorable

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Petite Fleur
Photo courtesy of Petite Fleur


Petite Fleur opened in 2001 in Kolonaki and is an enchanting place with positive energy, attention to every detail and references both from Parisian bistros and English Country style. The music is jazz and blues from past decades, creating a nostalgic atmosphere. The menu includes specialties with organic products, recipes with fresh ingredients and high quality standards. Excellent coffee in many variations, warm and welcoming ambience, friendly service are the characteristics of this elegant cafe which has its own faithful clientele. When visiting Kolonaki for shopping or a walk through this neighborhood, Petite Fleur is ideal for coffee or snacks.

Recommended for Cafés because: Retro Parisian atmosphere, with jazz and blues music from past decades

Nelly's expert tip: Elegant and friendly, with excellent coffee

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Cappuccino di Achille
Photo courtesy of Cappuccino di Achille


Cappuccino d'Achille on Valaoritou pedestrian street is a popular hangout for the many people who prefer this attractive street in the center of Athens for their daily coffee or drink. Achille offered for the first time specialty coffees and a warm friendly atmosphere, which aims to make customers feel at home and cared for personally. The outside space is designed like a miniature garden with many plants. The cappuccino is really excellent, with their own recipes and special coffee tastes. The wine list is small but essential and the menu, curated by chef Vasilis Alvanidis includes delicious salads, cold dishes, original sandwiches and pasta. In 2015 Cappuccino di Achille celebrated its fourteenth birthday and renewed its image. Wines, drinks and cocktails have been added to the menu, new pasta dishes, pizza and salads. The lively music creates a party atmosphere until late at night.

Recommended for Cafés because: All time favorite with speciality coffees and an interesting menu

Nelly's expert tip: Excellent cappuccino and a friendly atmosphere on Valaoritou pedestrian street

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Jimmys Coffee Shop
Photo courtesy of Jimmys Coffee Shop


Jimmys coffee shop is an all time classic in Athens since 1981 and has been named the outdoor press room in Valaoritou. Jimmys opens at 6.30 in the morning and many long distance travelers go there for a hearty breakfast with freshly brewed coffee and warm croissants, American breakfast with juice and omelet, and a variety of sandwiches with salmon, prosciutto, turkey, grilled vegetables. Lunch is also an enjoyable occasion here, with specialties like home made pies, traditional Greek dishes, and the famous lemon pie for dessert. Jimmys has a standard faithful clientele who appreciate the unchanging quality and is a favorite hang out for the press, businessmen, intellectuals and artists.

Recommended for Cafés because: Favorite hangout for journalists, politicians, businessmen and cafe fans

Nelly's expert tip: All time classic on one of the most elegant streets in town

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Alfiere


Genuine Italian taste, very near the Italian embassy, this cosy cafe offers genuine espresso at the bar or tables. Wide selection of panini, tramezzini, bocconcini and brioche for a light snack and authentic italian plates with bresaola, mozzarella, speck, accompanied with wine from a carefully selected wine cellar. Aperitifs are served after six in the afternoon. Over the years Alfiere has developed into an enoteca-mini restaurant, open until midnight, with 43 wine labels from Italy, Greece, France and Spain, which can be tasted by the glass. Italian specialties on the menu include fresh tuna with asparagus and soya dressing, piadine with ham and fresh truffles and delicious salami and cheese exclusively imported from Italian producers.

Recommended for Cafés because: Italian class, coffee, snacks, wine and aperitifs in Kolonaki

Nelly's expert tip: Authentic Italian panettone during the Christmas period.

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Ideally placed just a few steps from Attica shopping mall, Clemente VIII could be in Florence or Rome, owing to its exclusive Italian style. Excellent coffee, light snacks and a great place for people-watching. The coffee is freshly ground and of superior quality and the snacks are mostly inspired by Italian tastes. Favorite after-theatre meeting point, cosmopolitan, very central, popular with politicians, media, shopaholics. Several theaters are close by, such as Pallas, Aliki, Theatro Athinon and Clemente VIII is a favorite with businessmen, actors and theater goers. One of the best specialties to savor is the warm chocolate drink made with real melted chocolate and prepared on the spot.

Recommended for Cafés because: Great for people-watching, with excellent coffee and snacks, close to the shopping center

Nelly's expert tip: Try the pear and ricotta dessert .

Read more about Clemente VIII →


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Meet Nelly Paraskevopoulou

Born and bred in Athens, Nelly went on the move after finishing high school and spending some years working in textiles.  For her, Italy was the next chapter. But, after 12 years, it was back...  More About Nelly

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