This article was originally posted on the College Year in Athens blog as part of my MediaLab internship.
Coffee is no joke in Greece. During our CYA orientation, we learned how to make frappé, an iced coffee, shaken by hand. As every student will tell you, coffeeshops are essential for studying, socializing and caffeinating. Here we’ve gathered students, staff and faculty picks for the best cafes in Athens:
Claire, student–Le Petite Fleur
Claire, a student at CYA.
Claire’s favorite coffee shop is Le Petite Fleur because they have the best hot chocolate.
Le Petite Fleur is Parisian inspired, with retro posters, vibrant patterns and soft jazz music filling the cafe.
“The decor is insanely beautiful. Le Petite Fleur is eclectic and super artsy with an old-time movie feel,” says Claire.
Bailey, student–Small 8
Bailey, a student at CYA.
Bailey really likes Small 8 because it has menu items she enjoys eating, and, depending on the time of day, she can study or socialize.
“It’s a quiet space that’s good for homework, and I can focus. They have big tables where you can spread out.”
A productive cafe during the day, and relaxing bar at night, Small 8 fits every students needs.
Owen, student– Kekkos
Owen, a student at CYA.
One of the first coffee shops students go to is across the street at Kekkos.
“Kekkos is a staple of CYA students. It’s really close, and the people there are very friendly. They know we’ re students, and they’ll help us with our Greek and ordering in Greek.”
Kekkos has a great family atmosphere, where the owners, baristas and students make an effort to get to know each other.
Mary, a student at CYA.
Mary’s cafe of choice is Papia because they have cool music with nice decor and tasty menu items.
“They have really good tea that they serve with honey. What more could you want from a cafe?!”
Papia is just down the road from the CYA buildings and is a great coffee stop before class.
Anthi, Staff Assistant–Sokolata56
Anthi, the staff assistant at CYA.
Anthi loves “SOKOLATA,” which means chocolate in Greek.
“Sokolata has very nice chocolate that is the perfect proportion and doesn’t kill you of sweetness!”
The location is another draw; it’s very small and perfect for people-watching. Some days, when you go in, there will be old men talking about politics and it’s great to listen to–or join in!
Maria, the registrar at CYA.
Lacandona is a coffee co-op with coffee from all over the world. Maria likes Lacandona because it’s very social; there are always interesting people there. It’s women-owned with a small-cafe feel.
Vassilis (Billy), Development Officer–Blue Peach
Billy, the development officer at CYA.
Blue peach is 15 minutes away in the suburbs of Athens, and is one of Billy’s favorites. It’s a great spot where young people in the area hang out.
“It’s a nice local bar-cafe, where I take my buddies from college when they visit Athens.”
Eleni, Classic Greek and Latin professor —Skippers
Eleni Fassa, a professor at CYA.
Eleni enjoys going to skippers because it is by the sea, with a beautiful view of the small boats docked at the marina. It’s not easy to get to but the atmosphere is very nice and relaxing.
Stavroula, Modern Greek Language professor– Da Sotto
Stavroula Alexaki, a professor at CYA.
Stavroula likes Da Sotto because of the cafe’s excellent service and great salads. With luxurious decor and mouth-watering menu items, it’s no wonder why De Sotto is a hot spot for coffee and conversation.
“Among the hundreds of coffee shops in my town, it is the most preferred by young people, even though it is the most expensive.”
Jeff, Photography and Archaeology professor —The Art Foundation (TAF)
Jeff Vanderpool, a professor at CYA
The Art Foundation (TAF) is a cultural arts space housed in a renovated deserted building. They host events, gallery shows and community projects, and they have a bar-cafe for people to relax with a cup of coffee.
TAF is one of Jeff’s favorite cafes because it’s reusing old architecture and bringing life to the neighborhood.
“It’s a nice place to sit in a busy, bustling place like Monastiraki. The time of day matters because it can get overcrowded.”