Old school tavernas, all-day bars, punk bistros and a classic outdoor cinema. Editor and publisher Kimon Frangakis welcomes you to the eclectic Athenian neighbourhood of Petralona.

Petralona, and especially its upper half of Ano Petralona, is a neighbourhood often quoted as an example of contemporary Athenian gentrification. However, this is far from the truth since Ano Petralona always was, and remains, a charming residential area. Built on the foot of the Philopappou Hill hugging the Acropolis, below the ancient settlement of Koile, Ano Petralona has a truly Athenian vibe. This is why the addresses worth visiting are those with a neighbourhood feel, rather than the faux traditional joints that have sprung up in the last few years.

Oikonomou

Come here for some no-nonsense—and seriously good—Greek food.

Photo: Georgios Makkas

Craving Pad Thai? Then Blue Bamboo is definitely the move.

Photo: Georgios Makkas

Blue Bamboo

Zefyros Cinema

One of Athens' oldest and most loved open-air cinemas, with a recurring repertoire of neo-realist, nouvelle vague and even Soviet classics. It doesn’t have the Acropolis view of the famous Thissio cinema nearby, but it doesn’t attract so many tourists either. If you want to feel like a true Athenian, come here on the warmest night and drink beer under the stars. Never mind if you have watched what’s on before—that’s beside the point.

“If you want to feel like a true Athenian, come here on the warmest night and drink beer under the stars.”

The Prosfygika apartment complex has survived deterioration, redevelopment and threats of demolition.

Photo: Georgios Makkas

Klouvi

The coolest of the area’s bars, this 'cage' as it’s named in Greek, is a neighbourhood dive that somehow managed to get a full revamp without losing its relaxed attitude. Don’t let the unfussy crowd fool you: the bartenders here are quite crafty with cocktails. Try the potent Negroni for a generous aperitif. If you don’t mind the indoor smoking, this is also a good option to hit the bar later in the evening for a nightcap, after dining in the neighbourhood’s various eateries.

The urban-cool interior at Chryssa.

Photo: Georgios Makkas

Chryssa

To Theio Tragi

This punk bistro is the full package, with a short menu, innovative dishes and wonderful wines.

Photo: Georgios Makkas