Pagrati: Your Complete 2020 Guide to Athens’ Most Underrated District

Pagrati is one of the quirkiest and most artistic neighbourhoods in Athens. The little streets here boast a range of art galleries, eccentric coffee shops, vintage clothing stores and narrow alleyways that open out into vibrant plazas teeming with life. 

This district has been beloved by artists and creatives for centuries. When you arrive here, you see that it isn’t difficult to see why. The best part? Very few tourists will ever venture here. Many Athenians will venture to Pagrati for coffee with friends, or an evening out. However, quirky Pagrati is tucked away behind the old Panathenaic stadium.

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Falling in Love with Quirky Pagrati

Pagrati is to Athens what Greenwich Village is to New York. Those looking to escape the tourist crowds and experience authentic Athens as adored by the locals are sure to fall in love with Pagrati.

I discovered this neighborhood by mistake. When I first moved to Athens in September 2017, an Airbnb just behind the old stadium was all I could find at the last moment. I couldn’t get enough of exploring the streets of quaint Pagrati and have lived here ever since. Pagrati is home now and holds a special place in my heart. 

Pagrati Highlights

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  • Exploring the old Olympic stadium.
  • Sipping freddo cappuccino and playing backgammon at the quirky coffee shops
  • Hanging out with locals at the bars in Varnava square until the early hours.
  • Dining at some of the best restaurants on the Greek food scene.
  • Buying local produce to cook in your Airbnb at the local farmer’s markets.

Coffee Shops in Pagrati

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As a Travel Writer, I work from coffee shops almost every single day. Coffee culture is huge in Greece and that could not be more evident anywhere more than Pagrati.

With quirky places on practically every corner, and new bars and coffee shops opening up every week, you could spend a month in Pagrati and sip your morning coffee at a different place every single day.  

As the evening approaches and the sun sets, most coffee bars in the area double as chic cocktail bars come nightfall. 

The below places are definitely worth adding to your Pagrati travel checklist.

Superfly Cafe

Superfly Cafe, Pagrati
Superfly Cafe, Pagrati

Where: Empedokleous 28, Pagrati

Pagrati’s Varnava Square is one of the neighbourhood’s most happening night spots. The square is encircled by tavernas and bars, though none are more unique and playful than Superfly Cafe.

You don’t need a DeLorean to travel back in time. Stepping through the doors of Superfly offers just that. With retro posters, memorabilia, and jukeboxes, Superfly transports visitors back to the 1970s.

Vinyl records are hung on the walls, old video games consoles are stacked on the shelves and patrons are seated on colourful, mismatching retro vintage chairs.

This is a fresh and fun place to enjoy a coffee. Come night time, the speakers at Superfly blare out classic rock and attract an alternative crowd.

Rabbit Punch

Where: Effranoros 40, Athina 116 35, Greece

If you consider yourself a serious coffee connoisseur, Rabbit Punch is the place to venture for the best brew in town. This happening spot is operated by award-winning baristas. Among a sea of Pagrati coffee houses, Rabbit Punch stands out above the crowd. 

The freshly ground coffee blends served here stem from Ethiopia, Costa Rica, Panama, and Guatemala. Warm cappuccinos and freddo espressos ordered here are that little bit extra special. Better yet, come nightfall, you can enjoy alcoholic coffee-cocktail blends! 

Monsieur Cannibale

Monsieur Cannibale, Pagrati
Monsieur Cannibale, Pagrati

Where: Pl. Profitou Ilia 2, Pagrati

Named after the song which Sacha Distel wrote about his love affair with Brigitte Bardot, Monsieur Cannibale provides its patrons with an adventure to a vintage circus.

Paintings of elephants, freak shows and strong men dance along the pastel-coloured walls. The decor and furnishings are a colourful mishmash and contribute to a wholly unique experience.

Perched on the corner of Profitis Ilias, Monsieur Cannibale is a new establishment that is quickly capturing the hearts of the locals. By day, the spot attracts many writers and creatives who type away on their Macbooks.

By evening, Monsieur Cannibale is a popular spot for locals to unwind after work and enjoy the unusual and innovative cocktail menu. MC also serves a lovely brunch menu that serves up international classics such as eggs benedict, and french toast.

Flamingo

Flamingo
Flamingo

Where: 22-24 Euphranor and Krisila, Pagrati

With glass-paneled walls, sky-high ceilings and contemporary furnishings, Flamingo Pagrati is a chic place to enjoy a daytime coffee or an evening tipple.

By day, the glass walls that encapsulate Flamingo make the place incredibly bright and cheery. By night, the place is illuminated by candlelight making it all the more elegant. 

Flamingo Pagrati serves American style breakfasts and brunches and has a dinner menu that changes with the season.

Rizzari

Rizzari is an elegant choice for coffee and brunch

Where: Rizzari 22, Athina 116 35

Close to Evangelissmos metro station, Rizzari is a cute coffee shop that is designed like a library. Sink down into the comfort of one of the ornate old armchairs that sit beneath the bookshelves.

The beauty of Rizzari is that it is a place where you can spend many hours unwinding on a relaxing afternoon. You will find older locals whiling away the afternoon reading a good book, and students and entrepreneurs working on their laptops. 

Rizari attracts an elegant crowd. Come nightfall, the place is illuminated by candlelight and the coffee menu is replaced with wine lists serving exquisite Italian vino, and a selection of classic and contemporary cocktails.

Medez Cafe & Bar

Medez, Pagrati
Medez Cafe & Bar, Pagrati

Where: Frinis 2, Athina 116 34, Greece

The atmosphere at Medez is reminiscent of visiting the home of an eclectic, kooky relative that collects obscure things from around the globe. The coffee shop has a cosy atmosphere that makes you feel as though you are sipping your cappuccino in a friend’s living room.

Comfy, oversized armchairs and an array of weird and wonderful knick-knacks make for a charming atmosphere. 

Medez also hosts outdoor covered seating from where coffee aficionados can enjoy watching the sights and sounds of Athenian street life. Live bands and local Greek singers often perform within the tiny main room here in the evenings. 

Hotel Chelsea

Hotel Chelsea, Pagrati
Hotel Chelsea, Pagrati

Where: Archimedes, and Proklou

Hanging out at Hotel Chelsea is kind of the “in thing” for young, hip Athenian locals. Affectionately named after the notorious New York hotel of the same name, it’s rare to stop by Hotel Chelsea and not see colossal crowds. The place is always so crowded that youngsters are often spilled out into the streets surrounding Chelsea, standing in the roads and holding their glasses of wine. 

The bohemian decor reflects Chelsea’s crowd. Sit on cushions on the floor beneath the fluttering Nepalese prayer flags. Sure it’s busy, but it’s worth stopping by for the atmosphere and the chance to mingle with the locals if you are able to find a table.

Metz

Where: Mark. Mousourou 63, Mets

Metz coffee bar is situated on a leafy green promenade in the Mets – an extension of Pagrati. Its unsuspecting location means that only those that know of this place are likely to come here. Surrounding Metz coffee there are just residential buildings and green open parks. This is as far from the tourist trail as it gets.

The tranquility of the area is one major plus point for opting to indulge in your cake and latte at the Metz. The most wonderful thing about stopping by here though is the musical atmosphere.

Jazz, bossa nova and blues rhythms echo through the building adding a pleasant background soundtrack. On Saturday and Sunday afternoons, live jazz performances often take place here. Oftentimes, spectators are handed an instrument and encouraged to join in the jam session.

The Best Bars in Pagrati

New cocktail bars and speakeasies are constantly opening up in Pagrati. You will find many of these spots tucked away down the most unsuspecting of sidestreets.

Frater & Soror

Where: 6 Amynta, Proskopon Square, Pangrati

Frater & Soror is a new face on the Pagrati nightlife scene. This snug little bar is a popular haunt on Friday and Saturday nights when patrons spill out onto the surrounding streets. 

The bar, whose name is short for “fraternity & sorority” specialises in gin concoctions. There is also a “secret” restaurant hidden away in the basement named Phi Beta Kappa which is operated by Chef Dimos Balopoulos. Phi Beta Kappa serves “high end” Bistrot food and hearty brunch dishes. 

Pink Freud 

Where: Archelaou 7, Athina 116 35, Greece

Pagrati’s Pink Freud is a cosy place to study with a coffee or stop for an evening drink with friends. The bar attracts a crowd of students and intellectuals and boasts moody lighting and industrial-style decor. 

The atmosphere is homely and casual, making Pink Freud a wonderfully non-pretentious place to stop for an evening tipple after the end of a long day’s sightseeing.

Arbaroriza

Where: Eratosthenous 33, Athina 116 35

If there was a “go-to” Friday night spot to enjoy the best cocktails in the neighborhood, Arboriza would be it. This place is especially popular during the summer months when revelers can sit outside on the terrace.

Sit beneath the trees of Arboriza that are illuminated by fairy lights and watch life go by before venturing into the city and enjoying more Athens nightlife

Things to See and Do in Pagrati 

Far from the main Athenian shopping streets at Syntagma and Monastiraki, Pagrati’s wonderful, yet unpretentious shopping scene has a little something to offer everyone.

Shop for Edible Souvenirs 

Oliver - Pangrati Athens Artisan Food Store
Oliver – Pangrati Athens Artisan Food Store

Those interested in sampling and buying Greek agro products will enjoy sampling the exquisite quality wines, nuts, dates and delicatessen items at Oliver – a local artisanal food store. This is the perfect place to pick up thoughtful, edible souvenirs from your trip to Greece.

If your trip coincides, it’s also worth stopping by the weekly laiki (farmer’s market) that is hosted every Tuesday from 8 am until 3 pm at Laskou V and provides an interesting insight into local life.

Shop for Vintage Clothing

Vintage products from the most notable designers in fashion history (Chanel, YSL, et al) can be found at the vintage stores on Rizari and Spirou Merkouri. For unique “one-of-a-kind” items and accessories that have been lovingly designed by local independent designers, head to Hremonidou and Filolau.

Unearth the Pagrati Art Scene

As a popular stomping ground for artists and creatives, it makes sense that Pagrati would have a vibrant art scene. Art lovers and collectors can check out the galleries at Titanium Yiayiannos Gallery and Art Zone 42 – both of which feature ever-changing contemporary art exhibits. 

At Chalk of the Town, a more hands-on approach to art is offered. This cute little arts and crafts shop not only sells artsy products but here, aspiring artists can engage in practical workshops or take lessons to hone their artistic talents.

Visit the Old Olympic Stadium “Kallimarmaro”

The old marble Olympic Stadium (Kallimarmaro) is a must while in Athens. The stadium dates all the way back to 144AD and is the only structure of its kind in the world. Admission is just 4 euros and contains the entrance to the Olympic museum inside which showcases the Olympic torches from around the world.

Where to Eat in Pagrati

Pagrati is developing a growing presence on the Athenian food scene. From fine dining to traditional tavernas and fast food, Pagrati has something for everyone.

Mavro Provato

Where: Arrianou 31, Athina 116 35, Greece

Mavro Provato is quickly establishing itself as one of the best restaurants in Athens. Diners flock here from across the city to sample the dishes from the restaurant’s innovative menu.

Mavro Provato translates to “black sheep” in English. The dishes here place a modern twist on Greek contemporary classic recipes. You can opt to enjoy the main dishes, or order up a selection of meze plates.

Spondi

Where: Pirronos 5, Athina 116 36, Greece

Elegant Spondi is a two-star Michelin restaurant in the heart of little Pagrati. Spondi offers an interesting fusion between Mediterranean and French cuisine, combining flavors that appear to be obscure pairings, yet somehow just work. Reservations here are highly recommended, especially on weekends.

Byzantino Restaurant at Hilton Athens

Where: Leof. Vasilissis Sofias 46, Athina 115 28, Greece

The Byzantino restaurant sits on the ground floor of the Hilton Athens hotel. This light, spacious eatery has been a popular rendezvous point for sophisticated Athenians for several decades. 

The menu has been compiled with love by resident chef George Kaperdas. Dishes change periodically to make the most of seasonal ingredients.

Expect to see a range of traditional Mediterranean and Greek classics served with a modern twist. Think pasta masata from Folegandros prepared with marinated beef, black truffles, mushrooms, and kefalotiri cheese.

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