Photo: Manos Chatzikonstantis

There’s an art to whiling away a morning or afternoon in the kafenion, the traditional Greek café. Read our beginner’s guide to blend in with the locals.

By Stavros Dioskouridis

Oraia Ellas is one of the most historic cafés in Athens.

Photo: Thomas Gravanis

Oraia Ellas

To Kafeneio

A table full of meze at To Kafeneio.

Photo: Manos Chatzikonstantis

Louis is fairly new, but you shouldn't miss it on your kafeneio tour of Athens.

Photo: Manos Chatzikonstantis

Louis Kafeneio

Dexameni

A sunny day outside at Dexameni.

Photo: Orestis Seferoglou

Klepsydra is a hidden gem in Plaka.

Photo: Thomas Gravanis

Klepsidra

Kydathinaion

On the main square of Plaka, Kydathinaion opens early in the morning for coffee and homemade sweets, moving onto meze, ouzo, and rakomelo (warm raki with honey and cinnamon) as night falls. They even do cocktails after hours. Must-try: the slow-cooked pork dish from Mani in the Peloponnese.

Captain Michalis

After almost 50 years in business, this kafenio is still going strong.

Photo: Manos Chatzikonstantis

Order a Greek coffee and prepare to spend hours at this idyllic spot.

Photo: Thomas Gravanis

Glykis

Mouria

A happy Mouria customer.

Photo: Manos Chatzikonstantis

Make sure to check out the specials of the day, displayed as you walk in.

Photo: Manos Chatzikonstantis

Olympion

The Kafeneio at Plato’s Academy

Long philosophical discussions may as well be on the menu at this café named after the first institution of higher education in the Western world. Accompany your topic of passion with affordable, organic and mostly vegetarian dishes. And, of course, a strong Greek coffee.

Sintrimi Cooperative Kafeneio

Sintrimi's sunny doorway.

Photo: Thomas Gravanis