Did you know that Greece, among all countries in the world, holds an impressive spot in terms of coffee consumption and that, according to one study from 2015, has more than five kilos of annual coffee consumption per capita? Coffee in Greece is considered to be a big part of the daily life; it is more than a habit or a need – it’s a ritual.
That’s why coffee shops in Greece are blooming, and there are two kinds you can find there: kafeteria and kafeneio. Kafeteria is a hip and urban place that brings together people that are less than 35 years old. Usually kafeteria turns into a bar at night and gives you an opportunity to have a bite in there.
Kafeneio, on the other hand, is more traditional option that has served as a place for gathering older man. Given that the modern age offered some insight in other peoples cultures the coffee you can order in Greece resembles the one you can get in other big cities of the world.
For instance, their elinikos kafes is very similar to the American instant coffee, or a Turkish one. It is served in small cups they call briki. This coffee is designed to be sipped very slow and during long conversations with your friends. Greeks think that coffee can tell a lot.
For instance, it is a custom to turn your coffee cup over and wait until the sediment turns over on a plate. That way, the made shapes in a cup can predict your future. Another superstition is linked to the coffee foam: if you find a big bubble in your cup, then you will have a visit from a friend.
If the bubbles are on the sides of the cup the weather will definitely change. But that’s not all! If you are ordering a cup of coffee in Greece you have to be careful in terms of how much you want it to be sweetened. For instance, if you want your coffee sour, you will have to ask for a “sketos” coffee.
If you want just one table spoon of sugar, it’s important to know how to say “metrios”. For two table spoons, you will have to know how to pronounce the word “glykos”. If you don’t say anything, you will most probably get the moderate to sweet coffee cup.
However, traditional Greek coffee is not that popular, in some parts, any more. In the seventies the frappe, accidentally invented in Thessaloniki’s International Trade Fair, took over the whole country and it is still the most popular beverage in Greece.
Later, by the end of a 20th century, international trends came over the country and espresso and cappuccino Freddo took over. Now, with that knowledge, you can visit Greece. Just for that cause, we prepared ten best coffee shops that are an absolute “must” for anyone visiting this beautiful country, and its capital city – Athens.
- Address: 65 Ermou | & Aiolou, Athens 105 63, Greece
- Working hours: 8:00 am – 10:00 pm
- Telephone: +30 21 0323 7379
- Website: http://www.meliartos.gr/
One can say a lot about Meliartos coffee shop and restaurant. This café offers a unique experience, first of all by combining traditional and modern, both in the menu and the architecture. The space of this magnificent Greek café is divided into four sections: coffee, pie and dairy shop, as well as the kitchenette.
With its green wooden chairs and rustic looking tables that are followed by the stone walls decorated with various pictures, Meliartos café is the perfect spot for friends and family gatherings.
In its pie section, you will be encountered with an endless row of cakes such as cheese cake or homemade traditional pies that are heaven for everyone with a sweet tooth. If you opt for a more traditional choice of food, the staff will gladly help you with explaining what they offer so you won’t have to guess if you made the right choice.
However, if you are just up for a coffee break, we will gladly inform you that this café serves one of the best coffees in the whole city. Their traditional Greek coffee, served in a copper pot surrounded by sand is an experience of its own.
You will not forget this cup of coffee and will certainly look for more once you tried it. The staff is polite and welcoming, and they will give you yet another reason to visit (and revisit) this place.
9. Little Tree Books & Coffee
- Address: Kavalloti 2, Athens 117 42, Greece
- Working hours: 8:00 am – 11:00 pm
- Telephone: +30 21 0924 3762
- Website: https://www.facebook.com/LittleTreeBooksandCoffee/
Located in the part of the city called Thissio, Little Tree Books & Coffee is a perfect place to have your afternoon’s coffee. Tired of walking through this historical city, you will be able to enjoy your day while sitting in the most picturesque neighborhoods of Athens.
But, before we start to talk about their menu, let’s say a word or two about the interior. This café has a quite lovely garden with its little wooden chairs and tables. While sitting on a pavement and sipping juice, you can observe the passages and breathe in the spirit of this beautiful city.
For any book lover, the inside of the café a dream come true. Every wall is covered with seamlessly endless book shelves, and every one of them openly invites you to take it and read it. While it serves great coffee, this café has given up on the traditional Greek coffee choice.
Instead, you can, for instance, have a well prepared macchiato. The rich taste of coffee is perfectly combined with the natural taste of milk. For famished ones, their sandwiches are a perfect thing for bringing back the lost energy.
Their pies will offer you a different look on the Acropolis nearby and their freshly squeezed orange juice will be the perfect companion. This is a non-smoking place, and the ones with this bad habit will have to bear that in mind.
Friendly staff will gladly recommend you what to drink and eat, and the overall experience will make you want to stay there forever. So, do you need another reason to visit this magical place?
- Address: 23 Mnissikleous, Athens 105 56, Greece
- Working hours: 8:00 am – 11:00 pm
- Telephone: +30 21 3041 7937
- Website: https://www.facebook.com/YiasemiPlaka/
Café Yiasemi is located in the area where the good part of foreign visitors choose to stay – Plaka. The reason for that is Plaka’s proximity to the Acropolis, famous ancient citadel located above Athens. Café Yiasemi finds its place within Plaka’s rocky and narrow streets.
The entrance is covered by a big garden that is placed within the street, and everyone who chooses to sit in their comfy wooden chairs is invited to watch an endless march of tourists and locals on their way to face the day.
Within the tables, flora as well as the fauna blooms because cats are not the strangers in this coffee shop and they are often lying in the big planted tress placed around tables. If you are more of a private person, their interior offers something that we can easily call Greece’s little Eden.
Among high wooden ceilings that offer dimmed light from small chandeliers you can have a romantic evening with your loved one. The interior does everything for you to help you forget the world that surrounds you. In order to give you the best possible presentation of this café, we have to talk a bit about what they offer in terms of food and drink.
One thing you should know is that if you opt to have a meal in this coffee shop, you better be famished! The portions are big, and tasty and enough to satisfy the picky taste of the neediest customers. We will definitely recommend you to have their lemon pie which will give you the right amount of energy and refreshment to continue your day in fast tempo.
Moussaka pies are their specialty and you will miss a lot if you don’t try while in Greece. However, if you choose to have just a cup of coffee, you should try their cappuccino. Although this is not a Greek “thing” in terms of coffee choice, people in Yiasemi café take a lot of pride in presenting their cappuccino.
Well brewed coffee seeds stand in a perfect unison with the rich taste of milk. The staff is attentive and polite, but you may have to wait for the order some time given that this coffee shop is crowded most of the time. So, before you enter, surround yourself with patience. Some people would say that this place is a bit pricey.
However, considering the location of the coffee shop price at Yiasemi should not come as a surprise. You should definitely try to take it because we can definitely say its worth it here. Use the info we provided for you and enjoy the view and service.
7. Just Made 33
- Address: 33 Evagelistrias, Athens 105 60, Greece
- Working hours: 7:30 am – 12:00 am
- Telephone: +30 21 5525 8062
- Website: http://justmade33.gr/
It’s not just name that’s interesting about this place. The interior, by itself, is something worth talking about. The sleek and modern look of this place with its high ceilings is perfect for every modern man out there, and the little garden that hangs from the metal shelves reminds you that nature is a big part of all of us and to use its gifts as only a decoration for your own benefit.
Right beneath the so-called garden is a big row of pastries and sweets, inviting you to give yourself in and enjoy to the fullest. In the hot summer days, their iced mocha is the most perfect solution. The strong coffee, made of well roasted coffee seeds is presented to you in the simple, yet interesting looking glass cup.
For more traditional oriented customers, there is always the espresso, but that is certainly not our first choice given that Greece has lot to offer in terms of preparing coffee. Hungry ones won’t be disappointed with their sandwiches and burgers, well executed and presented to satisfy even the neediest ones and their hungry stomachs.
We should warn you that you will probably have to reserve a seat in this one, given that the good word has spread and more and more people are rushing in each day to share the experience of happy customers of Just made 33.
6. Cafe Veneti
- Address: 33-37 Athinas, Athens 105 54, Greece
- Working hours: 8:00 am – 11:00 pm
- Telephone: +30 21 0331 3077
- Website: http://www.fournosveneti.gr/
Café Veneti is probably one of the largest bakeries in the Balkans and can be called “sweets paradise”. From the plain, simple looking exterior nobody would guess what lies inside. And when you take your first step, you will enter heaven. Rows and rows of chocolate cookies, pastries and cakes are inviting you to taste them all.
You will soon find yourself lost by all this lavish things. This café has two floors, first that invites you to wakes up all your senses while showing the enormous amounts of sweets. And the second one, that has comfy chairs and tables which will make your stay at café Veneti even more pleasurable.
The designers of this coffee shop tried to incorporate modern looks with the traditional Greek design, like for example the icons that are hanging from the walls. Overall, the experience for every man or woman visiting this place will be an uncanny feeling of familiar and exotic at the same time.
If you feel tired and hot, their Frappuccino will cool you down for sure, and this drink is the most popular in Greece, as we have said before. So, we are confident to tell you that this is the place that makes one of the best Frappuccinos in the country.
For the ones that are addicted to sugar, we can recommend their macaroons that come in various tastes and will for sure make you come back and visit this place again.
As for the service, we can’t say much except that the staff is well organized and ready to serve at your command. Do not hesitate to ask them anything you wish because they take pride in their excellent service. Now, it’s on you to try their delicious stuff!
5. Banca cafe
- Address: 11 Trikoupi Charilaou | Akadimias, Athens 106 78, Greece
- Working hours: Monday to Friday: 8:30 am – 7:30 pm
- Telephone: +30 21 0381 4323
- Website: https://www.facebook.com/athensbancacafe/
When you say “Banca café” you definitely mean nice people and good food. Located near Omonia square, this café represents all the best from Greece. The exterior of the coffee shop makes the perfect combination of elegance and modern.
Black chairs and light tables in the garden stand against the trees and plants, coexisting in a perfect harmony. You will certainly be right if you choose to spend your afternoons there, especially when those hot summer days kick in. Their garden is the most perfect epitome of modern version of Eden, and we guarantee you a good time!
However, if you choose to stay inside, you won’t be disappointed either. The themes that surround the garden are present as well in the insides of the café as on the outside. Lighter tones are used, and chairs, even though wooden, are quite comfortable and you won’t have trouble spending three quality hours there.
As for the food, sweets are their specialty! The best chocolate tarts make you wish you visited this place earlier, and with the freshly squeezed orange juice you will forget that world around you even exists. Their espresso is a fine combination of well picked, slowly brewed and carefully prepared coffee.
Their baristas for sure know what are they doing and you will not make a mistake by choosing their espresso as your beverage of choice. The only fault we could find here is that it is often very crowded and because of the popularity of this coffee shop the reservations are often mandatory.
On the other hand, the staff is very welcoming and polite, and will do everything to make your stay here more pleasurable.
4. I Orea Hellas Cafe
- Address: 59 Mitropoleos | Pandrosou 36, Monastiraki, Athens 105 55, Greece
- Working hours: 8:00 am – 2:00 am
- Telephone: +30 21 0321 6850
- Website: http://oraiaellas.gr/
Orea Hellas Café is an Athens jewel, and not just because of the traditional spirit of Greece they are trying to maintain, but because of the service that is customer oriented with divine food and well prepared drinks. When you are visiting a foreign country, it is somewhat important to experience the spirit of locals, try traditional food and drink their favorite beverages.
Orea Hellas Café is perfect for anyone looking for just that, given that their interior is something worth watching. First of all, the vast space is filled with high wooden chairs and tables that resemble the ones you could find 50 years ago. From the ceiling you can see rustic chandeliers that are reminding us of still ever-present but yet past times, history and meaning of keeping the tradition safe.
From the glass shelves you can notice beautiful traditional plates hanging, which represent a real peace of art and are too a solemn witnesses of the past times. If you find yourself in I Orea Hellas Café, do order something traditional because it will give you the real impression of what the Greeks are really all about.
Don’t bother to have a plain espresso, instead give yourself in to traditionally made Greek coffee. It will wake up your whole body and give you a perfect memory on Greece as a land of divine tastes. Their traditionally made sweets are something to look forward to, without a doubt.
We do recommend you to try their baklava cake that will leave you with the most pleasant memories and a wish to come back and revisit this place. Often mistaken for an art shop, this coffee shop gives you a unique experience that you will certainly nourish for the rest of your life.
Everything here is exceptional, starting from the looks of the place itself to the coffee and food. With the knowledge you possess now, you would be a fool to miss out on this!
3. Coffee Island
- Address: Ermou 84, Athens, Greece
- Working hours: Monday to Sunday: 6:00 am – 10:00 pm
- Telephone: +30 21 0325 6416
- Website: https://www.coffeeisland.gr/
Coffee Island is an island in the see of tourists located in one of the busiest parts of Athens, if you are walking around checking the most important Greek heritage you can’t miss the Coffee Island on Ermou Street. When tired of those long walks on the historical Athens streets, take a breath at the Coffee Island.
Their whole venue is devoted to making coffee so there is not much room to sit in. If you manage to grab a seat it will be in regular wooden chairs but as soon as you get your coffee you can forget about the wait, the walk, the world and everything because it tastes so great!
If you are a picky fellow they offer a wide variety of coffees and you will most definitely find the one that best suits you. For the true coffee passionates the hot espresso based coffee comes in the following blends Classic, Extra and Coffee Island Special.
Every one of them is a mix of Arabica and Robbusta beans with a special flavor that will wake you up, make you feel good and warm inside. Other then the blends there are the single origins ones that come as the Kenya Kainamoui, Nicaragua Dipilto, Ethiopia Kochere and we can recommend every one of them!
If you want just the regular stuff, don’t hesitate to go for the espresso, cappuccino or the macchiato, they are all to die for. Also, don’t forget to try the Greek coffee, which the Greeks take special pride in. All in all Coffee Island is the perfect spot to drop by when visiting Acropolis, The Tower of the winds or the Plaka so don’t miss it!
2. Coffee Dive
- Address: Keiriadon 52, Kato Petralona, Athens 11854, Greece
- Working hours: Monday to Friday: 7:00 am – 9:00 pm; Saturday: 8:00 pm – 12:00 am;
- Sunday: 12:00 pm – 8:00 pm
- Telephone: +30 21 0380 0014
- Website: http://www.coffeedive.com/
Coffee Dive is a cozy little corner coffee shop located very close to the Acropolis museum (Acropolis hill) in the sole center of Athens. Don’t let the location fool you, its not on one of the busy streets but a bit secluded from all the rush and the hurry of the modern Athens.
The guys at coffee Dive roast their own coffee every day to make sure you get only the fresh and the best. They take special care when it comes to quality and even the machines they use for roasting are specially designed to spew out only the top-notch quality stuff.
Don’t be confused if you are walking down from the Acropolis hill and you suddenly get drawn in by the impeccable smell of freshly roasted beans. If you have problems waking up you should come here and try their cappuccino or espresso and have a chat with any of their staff, it will help you prepare for the tasks ahead and brighten up the rest of your day.
The owner is an old school café owner type which hangs out with his customers and always takes the time to passionately talk to you about all the different ways to make your favorite brew. The ritual of the coffee drink is the one they cherish and enjoy in coffee dive.
It will make you, just as the name says, dive in to the world of real coffee lovers and if you enjoyed the coffee before, you will start worshiping it after one visit of this place.
Every sip of the coffee from Coffee Dive is a new provocation for your senses, so we recommend every coffee lover to check out this place, and take a dive in to the world of coffee perfection.
1. Café Taf
- Address: Emmanouil Benaki 7, Athens 10678, Greece
- Working hours: Monday to Friday: 7:00 am – 9:00 pm; Saturday: 8:00 pm – 12:00 am;
- Sunday: 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm
- Telephone: +30 21 0380 0014
- Website: http://www.cafetaf.gr/
Situated very close to the Greek National Archeological Museum café Taf is the perfect place to relax in after visiting this Greek national treasure. As soon as you cross the threshold of the Taf café you notice what it’s all about – coffee! Every corner is decorated with a coffee machine a grinder or such similar paraphernalia.
Other then the coffee stuff the interior is quite modern and sleek. The lightbulbs hanging from the high ceilings light up the place perfectly during the night. The huge windows hold that duty during the daytime which give the visitors a view over the quiet street while sipping on their favorite brew.
The people at the café Taf take their coffee serious – very serious! Every coffee bean has its origin and you can find out about it from their very polite and might we add informed staff that have the patients to go by every kind if you really want them to. First to mention is the specialty that you can’t find in many places the single estate coffee.
It’s the coffee that originates only and singularly from a particular farm or an individual grower. The estates they pick go through a tuff screening process that includes the highest quality, making sure that nobody is being harmed in the production and that the environment is safe.
The exquisite taste of the single estate coffee will blow your mind and have you coming for more because of its special acidity, taste and the aroma. You shouldn’t be shy to try any other of their rare and also not so rare – regular coffees.
The “Ninety plus” with its delicate taste in any of their coffees or the exotic varieties of the “Taloumis Family Limited Reserve” should definitely be on your menu. Every cup is a small work of art by devoted baristas especially if you order something with latte art.
Every coffee is a new experience. This place is a must for every coffee connoisseur coming to Athens! You don’t only drink the coffee you get, you learn a lot about the process which it took to get from the bean to your cup.
We gave you a tour around the big part of the Athens cafe scene. From the foreign, non-Greek, classics such as the macchiatos or the espressos which are remarkable all the way to the domestic Greek coffee which is something you shouldn’t ignore, because Greece is the only place you can get it in its original pride and glory.
We showed you all! The history of the great city of Athens will amuse you and will also wear you out, when the moment comes you can consult our comprehensive guide in order to visit any of the cafes from the above list, and you won’t be disappointed!
Since the Greeks enjoy and nourish the coffee culture carefully and with love, their café offer mirrors what the people enjoy. Therefor Athens, Greece is the place to visit for every coffee connoisseur or enthusiast as the capitol of coffee lovers.
Every taste bud will be satisfied and you will find those buds that you didn’t even know you have, awake and ready for craving new tastes. If you enjoyed this article consider looking at our 10 best cafes of Prague or the more eastern ten best cafes of Singapore and 10 best cafes of Beijing.