17 July 2024
Food and Drinks What's on

Best cocktail bars according to the BBC

The BBC sought out the best cocktails in Athens, enlisting the help of Greek mixologist Georgia Georgakopoulou, who shared her favorite cocktail bars with the British media.

Georgia Georgakopoulou, a former bar manager at the acclaimed bar The Clumsies and a top bartender in the city, emphasized that nightlife is a longstanding tradition in Greece. She highlighted the increasing use of Greek gins like Mataroa and Botaniko, which contain mastiha, a valuable resin from the Chios tree, in cocktails along with the citrus-infused Kitron Naxos liqueur from Naxos.

Georgia Georgakopoulou’s top six favorite cocktail bars in Athens are as follows:

Galaxy Athens – Best classic cocktail experience

According to Georgakopoulou, a proper night out in Athens begins at Galaxy, one of the city’s oldest bars. A staple on Stadiou Street since 1972, the bar’s fabric glass spheres add a vintage touch to the walls adorned with wooden paneling and yellowed portraits of famous Greek figures. Informed locals of all ages gather as soon as the doors open at exactly 5:00 PM.Perfectly executed classic cocktails, such as Dirty Gin Martinis and Old Fashioneds, are served in small glasses with a touch of nostalgia: in addition to olives and mixed nuts, strips of toasted white bread arrive drizzled with olive oil – a characteristic Athenian snack bar snack from the past. “There is no molecular gastronomy or crazy mixology here. Just friendly bartenders who know what they’re doing,” she asserts.

Address: Stadiou 10, Athens 105 62

Phone: +30 21 0322 7733

Facebook: Galaxy

Feelin’ Good Athens – Where modern meets old school

For some time now, the Koukaki neighborhood in Athens has been overshadowed by the Makrygianni area, home to the Acropolis Museum and throngs of tourists. During the day, Koukaki exudes a quiet village vibe with its mandarin tree-lined streets and cozy cafes, but it comes alive at night. Georgakopoulou describes it as a place full of energy and creativity. One of the highlights of Koukaki is Feelin’ Good, a minimal and welcoming bar housed in a former bakery on Georgaki Olympiou street. The bar, named after a Nina Simone song, features original bakery tiles from the 1970s, new cinematic neon signs, and a stage for DJs and jam sessions.

Address: Georgaki Olympiou 8, Athens 117 41

Phone: +30 2109214010

Instagram: @feelingoodathens

Line – Best for sustainable cocktails

For tasty “green” cocktails, Georgakopoulou recommends visiting Line in Athens. Line uses whole plants in their creations to avoid waste and take fermentation to the next level. Managed by the mixology team of Vasilis Kyritsis and Nikos Bakoulis, owners of The Clumsies, along with their collaborator Dimitris Dafopoulos, Line has quickly risen to the 12th spot on the list of the world’s best bars in 2023. The menu at Line is guided by creativity and sustainability, featuring a small distillery on-site for producing products from local and seasonal fruits like pomegranates and figs.

Website: https://lineathens.gr/

Address: Agathodaemonos 37, Athens 118 53

Phone: +30 21 1750 7185

Instagram: @line.athens

Drupes Spritzeria – Best for Italian-style aperittivo

The Drupes Spritzeria is located between Koukaki and Neos Kosmos, another up-and-coming neighborhood. Owner Artemis Papadopoulos initially designed the bar as an Italian-style café, where customers of the family-owned legendary bakery, Takis (right across the street), could sit and enjoy their sweets, but it has since transformed into a spot for aperitivo.

Address: Zitrou 20, Athens 117 42

Phone: +30 6970300404

Instagram: @drupes.spritzeria

Jazz in Jazz – Best hidden jazz gem

For a taste of Cajun flavor, head to Jazz in Jazz – a place inspired by New Orleans, which Georgakopoulou calls “a classic gem of a bar.”

Black and white photos of jazz legends crowd the walls, along with trumpets and trombones and a glass case showcasing the owner’s extensive cassette collection, all jazz recordings from the radio.

Address: Deinokratous 4, Athens 106 75 / Phone: +30 2107225246

Brettos Bar

“The Brettos is a place that I love!” says Georgakopoulou. Brettos, a former tavern, is the oldest distillery in Athens and a key landmark in the Plaka area. The wooden shelves built in 1909, the barrels on the wall, and an antique cash register give this place a museum-like quality. “You can come in and try anything from the wooden barrels on the walls,” says Georgakopoulou. “It’s really nice.”

Address: Kydathineon 41, Athens 105 58 / Phone: +30 2103232110

Barreldier – Best for barrel-aged cocktail

Nestled inside a commercial arcade, just outside the bustling Syntagma Square, Barreldier combines the charm of a dimly lit classic bar with a strong local atmosphere. Georgakopoulou suggests coming here for unique signature drinks aged in barrels, such as the White Negroni and the Adonis. “It’s the first and only bar in the city that does this,” says Georgakopoulou. “I love the extra boozy cocktails made with Barreldier’s homemade vermouth and bitters. They are all secret recipes passed down from the grandmother of one of the owners.”

Address: Voulis 7, Athens 105 62 / Phone: +30 2103254711

Address: Voulis 7, Athens 105 62

Phone: +30 2103254711

Instagram: @barreldier

You can read the whole article here https://www.bbc.com/travel/article/20240528-a-mixology-consultants-guide-to-finding-the-best-cocktails-in-athens

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