Food, coffee and drinks in Koukaki: A mini guide of must places

Restaurants and wine bars, street food, good coffee and even better cocktails: Koukaki—the most hip neighborhood of Athens, just below the Acropolis and moments away from the Acropolis Museum—has it all. We gave them a try and here are our favorites.

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From time to time, Koukaki is featured in various guides as the hottest tourist destination in Athens and locals see increasingly more travelers walking through its streets. Its authenticity and the multifaceted entertainment options that Koukaki offers surprise every visitor.

Its premium location, at the foot of the Philopappos hill and just a few minutes away from the Acropolis, is undoubtedly one of the reasons that Koukaki has become a hot spot for both locals and the more sophisticated tourists. Koukaki attracts a diverse crowd; that is where its beauty lies. Just take a walk to see pottery workshops and artist studios right next to car repair shops and new small street food establishments nested in the most unimaginable places.

For food and meze

Establishments serving meze, i.e. appetizers, are very popular in Athens. These restaurants serve small dishes which are placed in the center of the table for the entire company to enjoy.

Fabrica tou Efrosinou (34 Anastasiou Zinni Street) is a classic hangout for the gourmets of Athens. The Greek cooking of Giorgos Gatsos found a home in the artistic ambiance of this restaurant. The food is delicious, imbued with feeling and authenticity, and combined perfectly with the wines of the meticulously stocked cellar.

Opos Palia is a beloved destination where locals enjoy meze and ice-cold beer (2 Veikou Street). It started as an old café, which is why it will remind you of one, but it has developed into a meze tavern which has become a favorite among tourists. It gets unbelievably crowded during peak hours.

However, if you are looking for a sophisticated restaurant, MANIMANI (10 Falirou Street) is the place for you. In a two-floor neoclassical building in Koukaki MANIMANI serves authentic dishes inspired by the cuisine of Mani, Laconia, and traditional Greek cooking, but interpreted and executed through a modern lens.


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Street Food

Long before the invasion of social media and the immediate exchange of information, gastronomic news traveled by word of mouth. That’s how Guarantee, the legendary sandwich shop in Koukaki (41 Veikou Street), became a hot spot. For years, people wait in line to taste its exquisite sandwiches. The business is run by Giannis, a seaman who traveled all around the world and finally decided to open a gourmet sandwich shop. Create the perfect sandwich with fine meats and cheeses from around the world, handmade sauces, omelettes on the spot and different types of bread to choose from. Everyone knows that Guarantee also serves delicious fresh juices. Open every day (except for Sunday) until 17.00. However, by 16.00 they are usually already out of buns, so make sure you go early!

Tuk Tuk (40 Veikou Street) is a classic stop for Thai food (for takeaway or to enjoy there, at one of the few tables). At Dirty Mani (5 Dimitrakopoulou Street) you can find your favorite Greek fast food—souvlaki—in a more elegant version, as well as other wrapped foods and sandwiches. Although Koukaki is not famous for its Italian restaurants, you can have some pizza on the go at Giant (21 Georgiou Olympiou Street) or enjoy one at Meno Male (10 Veikou Street). Meno Male serves thinner-dough pizza. Try the 100% natural and fresh ice cream of Django (15 Veikou Street). For vegan options, make sure you visit Peas Vegan & Raw Food (40 Falirou St.).


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In the morning, make a stop at Takis Oven (14 Misaraliotou St.). It is famous for its wide variety of bread, Thessaloniki sesame bread rings (koulouri), biscuits, cakes and, of course, sandwiches.

For coffee and breakfast (or all-day snacks)

Kinono (48 Falirou Street) is a beloved destination in Koukaki. In the morning, you will find several young people teleworking while enjoying a coffee and snacking. From the afternoon onwards, this is the perfect place for after-work drinks.

Morning Bar (36 Odyssea Androutsou St.) is a relatively new arrival in entertainment, but it has managed to build a loyal audience. There are no tables, only a few benches and low stools on the sidewalk. Its quality coffee, handmade snacks—including sandwiches with handmade bread, biscuits and cinnamon rolls—and its shop-in-shop where you can find the METHEN line of clothes and accessories, have made Morning Bar a beloved new-age hangout.

At the wonderful Mother Vegan Bistro (95 Dimitrakopoulou St.) you will find, among other things, fair-trade coffee varieties, healthy options for breakfast or lunch, handmade vegan sweets, homemade cakes and delicious pies made with organic ingredients. The artistic décor and the great music are another reason to visit Mother Vegan Bistro at any time of the day.

In recent years, Lotte (2 Tsami Karatasou St.)—the name is inspired by Goethe’s heroine Charlotte (Lotte)— has become one of the finest hangouts in the area for coffee, handmade sweets, cakes and homemade pies. Enjoy a refreshing homemade soft drink and feel time stop in this tiny square in the most beautiful Athenian neighborhood.

For drinks and wine

Koukaki stands out for its versatility. Grab a drink and enjoy it while taking a walk around the neighborhoods. You can get a beer at Blame the Sun (60 Veikou St.), a taproom with a Californian aesthetic, or at Strange Brew (86 Falirou St.), the flagship of this type of hangout in the area.

A couple of seats at the bar and a few more on the sidewalk (as is the case everywhere in urban Koukaki), some tables across the street: this is the setting at Drupes & Drips (20 Zitrou St.), a Spritzeria ideal for afternoon and early-evening drinks. Last call around 22.00. Until then, enjoy a spritz accompanied by cold cuts and cheeses from Italy, France and selected parts of Greece.

At Materia Prima (68 Falirou Street) wine takes precedence. Choose from a huge international selection—emphasis on European vineyards and several options from the Greek vineyard—and enjoy a bottle or a glass of spritz. The food served matches your wine choice. Also, you can shop here and enjoy your wine at home!

For those who love (well-made) cocktails, Tiki Athens (15 Falirou Street) has been around for years. This hangout has developed a cult following. True to its name, it will introduce you to the culture of tiki cocktails with its fantastic Mai Tai and Zombie.