Most Popular and Locals' Favorite Cocktail Bars in Athens
Did you think that Athens is all about “meze” and ouzo? Although I am an ouzo and “taverna” lover, there are times that I feel like enjoying a serious quality cocktail. Athens has nowadays turned into a great bar scenery and the selections are countless.
Now that the weather in Athens is for good starting to get warmer, is it only me that can’t wait to have a good cocktail? More and more cocktail bars open in Athens, but, as a local, I definitely have my favorite spots which I’d like to share with you.
I will divide my favorite spots into the very popular ones that should not be missed and are located in the heart of Athens (but for sure beloved by the Athenians, too) and also into the more local bars in or around the center, but still within walking distance or easily accessible. Those are worth a visit if you want to also explore the coolest local neighborhoods in the center of Athens.
Best Popular Cocktail Bars Downtown
Founded by three award-winning bartenders, this new bar is taking its drinks seriously. Ask for the barman’s tip and help, they are very friendly and knowledgeable about their drinks. The place gets crowded at nights, so get there early to find some space.
The new cocktail menu is inspired by Einstein’s theory of relativity. What is interesting about the cocktails here is that this bar has managed to connect the past with the present and future. The bartenders respect the classic cocktails and often add a small flavor of Greece in them. A good example of that is the Mediterranean Gimlet. You should definitely go for it. It is Bombay gin with Greek salad cordial!
Location: Praxitelous 30, Athens
2. Gin Joint
If you are a gin lover, you cannot miss this bar. It offers a great selection of gins, but the cocktails are excellent too. Go for the Zodiac cocktail menu. Since I am a gin lover, this place has totally stolen my heart and I visit it very often, each time to try a different gin-based cocktail. My favorite one is their negroni.
Important tip: There is cocktail happy hour with some good offers during Monday and Thursday at 17.00 - 19.00.
Location: Christou Lada 1, Athens
3. Baba au rum
As the name implies, this place specializes in rum drinks and offers a variety of classic cocktails and new inventions. It is voted to be one of the top cocktail bars all over the world. If you are into the art of cocktails, you can’t miss this place.
What I find unique about their menu is that it offers a journey through the cocktails’ history and culture. The ingredients that are used are also very carefully selected with tastes from all around the world. Go for their Rum & Chocolate cocktail, a mix of Caribbean rums aged in oak barrels, vanilla and smoke aromas combined with cocoa chocolate.
Location: Klitiou 6, Athens
4. A for Athens
I feel like a good cocktail should go with a good view, so that’s why i picked my favorite rooftop bar which offers great cocktails. And that is no other than A for Athens. The bar is touristy, yes, I won’t deny it! But even locals like me like to go there, when in mood of having a good cocktail with a perfect view. The baristas there are excellent and some of their cocktails are award winning internationally. The cocktails are a bit pricey, but I think every penny is worth both for the quality of the alcohol they choose and of course the stunning view of Acropolis, especially at night.
Location: Miaouli 2, Monastiraki
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Best Cocktail Bars Frequented by Locals Around the Center
1. Upupa Epops
One of my favorite places, located in the area of Petralona, a rising area close to Thissio, full of new hot bars and restaurants, with a more local and chill vibe. The bar opened a couple of years ago and took its name by the bird “Upupa epops”, latin for the hoopoe bird. The owners liked this bird because they thought it has a rock style, which suits best their character. The place has vintage furniture and a cool courtyard, but that is really not the only reason to visit. The best reason is their invented special cocktails. My personal favorite choice is The Long Purple, with Bombay Gin, rosewater and kaimaki ice cream.
Location: Alkminis 7, Petralona
Read also: The 7 Best Wine Bars In Athens
This cozy little bar, its name meaning “matchbox” in Greek, is personally one of my favorites in the neighborhood of Koukaki. What is interesting about the area is that it still maintains its local vibe even though it is right in the heart of Athens! The pedestrian street of Georgiou Olympiou is a place where locals like to meet. Spirtokouto offers great quality cocktails and is perfect for the more budget travelers. Go for the classic cocktails, they are excellent, with my favorite being their Margarita.
Location: Georgiou Olympiou, Koukaki
A recently opened, airy and modern bar with wooden industrial design in Koukaki, absolutely elegant and spacious. The orchids and plants add a homey feeling. It is located in Falirou street, very close to Syngrou Fix metro station and it offers a very special list of cocktails. Cocktails with special ingredients from different places around the world. The menu is absolutely stunning. Take a look, it is a piece of art.
Location: Falirou 48, Koukaki
Located in the up-and-coming area of Kerameikos, this bar offers a great cocktail variety. I have not been disappointed by this bar, not even once. With its cozy atmosphere, in a magic ‘30s old house, this bar managed to bring the revolution in the local area. The list of cocktails is innovating, since it includes classic cocktails with new and modern flavors.
Location: Paramythias 13, Kerameikos
Read also: 3 Days In Athens – The Must-See Guide
This place looks like a tiny French bistro and it is one of my favorite cocktail bars in the area of Exarcheia. Exarcheia is totally worth a visit, since it is the underground anarchist area of the Athenians. During the nights, the bar is full of locals and the atmosphere is friendly and chill. I recommend any classic cocktail here with my favorite being their Mojito.
Location: Emmanouil Benaki 69, Exarcheia
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There are tons of other bars I could talk about, but I wanted to underline just a few. If you need more recommendations or have yourself a recommendation to make, please leave your comment below. For now, goodbye and enjoy your cocktail!
Text: Christina Stathopoulou