City Break report: Pangrati, a hip neighbourhood in Athens is born

Α Decrease font Enlarge font
City Break report: Pangrati, a hip neighbourhood in Athens is bornApart from the multitude of great places to eat and drink, Pangrati also boasts a few stores that boost the vibrant daytime energy

Greekcitytimes.com recently published the following article by Alexia Amvrazi on Pangrati, a new hip neighbourhood in Athens:

"Twenty years ago, I used to go to Pangrati only for less than a handful of reasons – chiefly because one of my best friends lived there, just off Embedokleous street, the pavements of which are lined with cement balls. The second reason was that I had an uncle who lived in next-door Mets and we loved to drink wine and dine at Vyrinis, a family-run taverna with tasty home-cooked food and a small but charming courtyard (where kids still run around screaming way past their bedtime) and the service is always friendly. The third reason was that at the time I was singing in a band, and we used to go to a dingy studio off Plastira square to rehearse, after which we end up discussing our LP-releasing dreams while sipping cheap at a kafeneion.

Whenever I visited my friend I felt the difference between Pangrati and other areas – the neighbourhood cannot be described as attractive or charming, but its dense residential, yet hidden away element created a near-suburban, homey feel. It also happens to be right behind the Panathenaic Stadium, and when my friend, who often went running in the small track behind the stadium took me to see it I was surprised by its mere existence and how popular it was – and still is – amongst the track and field fans of Athens. Rising up behind the marble stadium, above the track I’ve mentioned is Arditou hill, a verdant and classically historical natural landmark from where one can see lovely views of the Acropolis, Lycabettus Hill and the Columns of Olympian Zeus. I know it’s at its most magical at the crack of dawn because that’s where a group of us walked up at the end of my Pangrati friend’s party one morning.

My friend left Greece a decade ago so I didn’t return to  Pangrati until another Spanish-French friend temporarily moved there because she was studying at The Athens Centre in the area. One night I was invited to meet out at the Chelsea Hotel bar, and I woke up to how much had changed. The Chelsea bar was thronging with people, so many people from their 20s and way up that they poured out onto the pavement, either crammed around small tables or standing and leaning against the wall. When hunger struck, I was taken next door to another surprising joint, Elvis‘ upbeat souvlaki store, where you feel like you are in Berlin and a rural yet hip Greek souvlatzidiko at once, and which serves perfectly-grilled, succulent meat on a stick and perfectly crispy hand-cut fries to a feel-good boppy soundtrack.

Across from Elvis I noticed Fish Point, which I went to take a closer look at because yes indeed, it has a fishmonger’s stall in its exterior although inside it’s a modern sophisticated restaurant. With their own fish farms, the owners here serve fresh fish in classic Mediterranean, French, Italian and Japanese rendition (there is an entire sushi menu). Their chef is Roman, so the pasta dishes with seafood or pesto are also flavoursome and authentically prepared.

Since that first surprise visit to “modern-day” Pangrati, I’ve often returned and as in the rest of Athens, every time I go I notice a new place, especially near the three main squares – Varnava, Proskopon, and Plastira. Without having lost that comforting homey feel I had enjoyed so many, sleepier years ago, the area now has a fresh, upbeat yet low-key new air about it both day and night.

There are several places that have been around for many years and have now regained popularity or are being discovered by a wider public – such as Mavro Provato, which serves modern Greek creative dishes made with ingredients from around the country, Pnyka bakery, which is known for its great tsoureki and savoury pies, Lido also for tsoureki-lovers, Aerostato bar/cafe, two-Michelin-star awarded Spondi, and classic tavernas such as Vyrinis, Magemenos Avlos (a ‘60s taverna that has catered to much of the capital’s intelligentsia), Mouries and Kekkos.

And then there are newer openings such as Mystic, which has a sister-restaurant in Exarchia and serves cannabis-dough pizzas with plenty of vegan and vegetarian toppings, Baba Ganoush that in the know falafel-lovers swear by, T & Togg’s for ice cream and pancakes and Gepetto cafe-bar, Flamingo Drinks and Stories, Mint all-day bar, Monsieur Cannibale restaurant/cocktail paradise, Pournarousa hipster kafeneion and Mavros Gatos. One of my favourite contemporary Pangrati places is Superfly, where you can sip coffee or a cocktail in what basically looks like a ‘70s- ‘90s vintage store. You won’t need any company here, you can simply sit taking in the odd combination of objects and furnishings, from dolls, street signs, shoes and football, music and film posters to a ‘60s telephone, a flipper game, old-school classroom chairs, and Donald Duck.

Apart from the multitude of great places to eat and drink, Pangrati also boasts a few stores that boost the vibrant daytime energy. If you’re looking for a ‘bookish’ bookstore with a quirky style, look no further than Lexicopoleio, where you can find foreign as well as Greek literature and textbooks. Art lovers should head to Chalk of the Town, which offers creative seminars, or gallery / creative space Art Zone 42, which presents art exhibitions and organizes thematic talks. If you have time, just stroll around looking out for these hotspots but also for the neighbourhood’s hidden corners, and don’t miss out on the neighbourhood’s most interesting building, a re-done three-story polykatikia named Urban Cubes because of its cubist design by Klab architects. Pangrati is also home to Athens’ oldest cinema, Pallas, which opened in 1925."

Read more at greekcitytimes.com

RELATED TOPICS: GreeceGreek tourism newsTourism in GreeceGreek islandsHotels in GreeceTravel to GreeceGreek destinations Greek travel marketGreek tourism statisticsGreek tourism report

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons Copyright: Jebulon License: CC-BY-SA 

 

 

 

Tornos
  1. 26/05 00:45

    City Break: The evolution of Aghiou Mina street in Thessaloniki

  2. 25/05 23:57

    No tolls on Greek motorways on Sunday due to elections

  3. 25/05 23:23

    PwC: Approved but unfinished infrastructure projects of €25 billion in Greece

  4. 25/05 15:22

    Greek Deputy Foreign Minister in Pretoria of South Africa

  5. 25/05 11:17

    School student march for climate crisis takes place in Athens (video)

  6. 24/05 13:15

    Media: Mykonos taverna shamed on social media also violated of tax laws

  7. 24/05 09:58

    Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg – Yuja Wang – Gustavo Gimeno

  8. 24/05 02:43

    Hellenic Mediterranean University inaugurated on Greek island of Crete

  9. 24/05 02:36

    UNWTO Secretary-General on official visit to Italy to enhance partnership

  10. 24/05 02:20

    Japanese boy band sings Greek folk tune “Mpikan ta Gidia sto Mantri” (video)

  11. 24/05 01:59

    Infographic: The most expensive cities in the world for public transport

  12. 24/05 00:30

    Research: How do Brits rate different aspects of Airbnbs and hotels

  13. 23/05 23:55

    United States Embassy and Consular services in Greece closed on May 27

  14. 23/05 23:41

    Third Halki Summit on ecology to be hosted by Ecumenical Patriarch

  15. 23/05 21:35

    €461 million contract for replacing urban buses in Athens and Thessaloniki

  16. 23/05 21:30

    Six professors of Athens University in top 200 influential scientists

  17. 23/05 19:16

    Experiental Tourism: Why there is nothing like a Greek summer

  18. 23/05 17:11

    EBRD supports acquisition of Pangaea promoting Greece's real estate sector

  19. 23/05 13:02

    Thessaloniki Metro: Studies for extension to Makedonia airport in auction

  20. 23/05 10:57

    OECD's Gurria interview: Greece has recorded significant growth

  21. 23/05 03:45

    Elstat: Maria and Giorgos are the most popular names in Greece

  22. 23/05 02:50

    UNWTO head meets Pope Francis marking shared values of religion and tourism

  23. 23/05 01:16

    Greek composer wins Best Music Video Award at Festival in Cannes (video)

  24. 23/05 01:02

    Israeli funds focus on Thessaloniki tourism-related real estate market

  25. 23/05 00:56

    Mature British market seeks quality Greek wine

  26. 23/05 00:54

    US Embassy: IGB construction a very positive development for Greece

  27. 23/05 00:47

    New Archbishop of Australia Makarios’ enthronement scheduled for June 29

  28. 23/05 00:41

    Two tons of “ghost nets” removed from Greek seabed by Healthy Seas initiative

  29. 23/05 00:33

    Spokesman: International Monetary Fund supports Greek debt relief

  30. 23/05 00:26

    INSETE: Tourist per capita spending in Greece shrinks over last 15 years

  31. 23/05 00:17

    More than 13,000 taxpayers apply for 120-installment debt settlement in Greece

  32. 22/05 23:08

    UNWTO and Fundación ONCE seek best accessible destinations in the world

  33. 22/05 23:03

    Arrivals of travelers in Cyprus show decrease during March 2019

  34. 22/05 22:33

    Network of walking Greek paths of Culture wins Europa Nostra award

  35. 22/05 21:57

    British Council marks 80 years of presence in Greece with rich programme

  36. 22/05 19:53

    UNWTO: Global tourism numbers and confidence on the rise

  37. 22/05 17:45

    Iconic rack railway train of Kalavryta 'Odontotos' returns to service on Thursday

  38. 22/05 15:37

    Lavrio-Cesme ferry service expected to commence in mid-June of 2019

  39. 22/05 13:29

    Expedia: Two thirds of travellers plan holidays around sporting events

  40. 22/05 12:20

    Ten reasons why you shouldn’t miss Yo-Yo Ma’s concert at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus on 30 June

  41. 22/05 11:22

    27.7% rise in average tourist expenditure per trip to Greece during Q1 2019

  42. 22/05 01:21

    Passenger traffic in Greek airports soars by 8.4% in January-April

  43. 22/05 01:12

    Imports of fresh fruit and vegetables up in Greece during Q1

  44. 22/05 01:04

    Tennis.com: Tsitsipas and Sakkari are transforming the sport in Greece

  45. 22/05 00:50

    Amazing sight as dolphins appear in Greek island of Mykonos

  46. 22/05 00:41

    Tenders for services at Alexandroupolis and Kavala ports delayed in Greece

  47. 22/05 00:34

    Schools in Greece will close for the European elections of May 26

  48. 22/05 00:24

    Italian owned Trainose disqualified from tender for Thriasio II project

  49. 22/05 00:12

    The Big Bang festival returns at the Onassis Cultural Center in Athens

  50. 21/05 23:25

    U.S. play of Greek philosopher Socrates’ life offers lessons for democracy

  51. 21/05 21:21

    Physics Nobel winner Mourou speaks at the Acropolis Museum in Athens

  52. 21/05 19:06

    OECD forecasts 2.1% GDP growth in Greece for 2019

  53. 21/05 17:01

    EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier visits Athens

  54. 21/05 15:56

    Colour and essence of Greece at Festival in Byblos of Lebanon

  55. 21/05 13:49

    Inside, Outside, and Beyond art exhibition opens in New York on June 4

  56. 21/05 11:43

    Athens Photo World 2019 to open June 7 at Stavros Niarchos Foundation

  57. 21/05 01:27

    Religious Tourism: May 21 Feast Day of Agios Konstantinos and Agia Eleni

  58. 21/05 00:52

    'Pint of Science' festival at bars in Greece on May 20-22

  59. 20/05 10:29

    GNTO promotes Greece in Chinese, Dutch and German markets

  60. 20/05 06:21

    Law firms unite to support Israeli investors in Greek real estate market

  61. 20/05 02:15

    Italy's Scafi buys 50% of Vernicos Tugs & Salvage

  62. 20/05 00:01

    Museum shops in Greece get facelift despite bureaucracy

  63. 19/05 00:39

    Statue if Liberty: A new museum for the new Colossus (video)

  64. 19/05 00:34

    Second Annual New York Greek Film Expo comes to a close with awards

  65. 18/05 12:24

    Roads at Syntagma Square in Athens closed to traffic on weekend for repairs

  66. 18/05 12:19

    Tourist arrivals to Cyprus reach a historic high in April 2019

  67. 18/05 12:11

    Thessaloniki Street Food Festival kicks off

  68. 18/05 11:19

    Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg posts selfie from the Acropolis in Athens

  69. 17/05 16:51

    Little Theatre of Ancient Epidaurus

  70. 17/05 11:41

    DNA mystery: The connection of Ashkenazi Jews to Ancient Greeks

  71. 17/05 10:40

    Cyprus IT Forum to be organized in Cyprus on 20-21 May 2019

  72. 17/05 10:18

    Greek tennis stars Tsitsipas and Sakkari triumph in Italian Open (video)

  73. 17/05 00:58

    GetYourGuide raises $484 million from Consortium led by SoftBank Vision Fund

  74. 17/05 00:47

    Celebrating International Museum Day on May 18 in Greece

  75. 16/05 22:25

    ITB China Travel Trends Report: Cultural tourism top choice of Chinese travelers

  76. 16/05 16:47

    Greece’s unique guitar-shaped islet Agia Triada loved by the Beatles

  77. 16/05 16:44

    Public hospital staff on national strike in Greece on Thursday

  78. 16/05 16:43

    Guardian: Five Greek beaches among top-40 in Europe

  79. 16/05 16:31

    Athens to host 8th HbbTV Symposium and Awards in November 21-22 2019

  80. 16/05 16:26

    Reuters: National Bank of Greece sees NPLs dropping to 5% by 2022

  81. 16/05 16:19

    Blue Flags: Greece ranks 2nd in the world for 2019

  82. 16/05 14:41

    Temple of Nemesis discovered under remains of ancient Mytilini theatre

  83. 16/05 14:20

    UN: Nine out of ten most dangerous cities in the world in Latin America

  84. 16/05 14:16

    Cyprus, Greece, Israel and UK take part in Firefighting Games 2019

  85. 16/05 14:14

    Legislation on 120 installments approved by Greek Parliament

  86. 16/05 14:08

    Infographic: Global alcoholic consumption around the world

  87. 16/05 14:03

    Convention on double taxation and fiscal evasion between Cyprus and Kazakhstan

  88. 16/05 13:53

    Greece to restore Pella Palace, birthplace of Alexander the Great in Macedonia

  89. 16/05 12:31

    Reliquary case stolen from Cyprus church repatriated from Germany

  90. 16/05 11:31

    Cyprus Antiquities Department issues statement on Pafos Museum renovation

  91. 16/05 09:28

    Greek minister hails very important day for Thessaloniki and its metro

  92. 16/05 08:54

    General Accounting Office: Greek primary surplus at 4.1% of GDP in 2019

  93. 16/05 08:24

    Record-breaking WorldChampion Jet launches Aegean routes for Seajets

  94. 16/05 00:25

    "Hellenic Aesthetic" company aims to bring “meraki” to Greeks abroad

  95. 16/05 00:10

    Greek Jews exhibit set for Auschwitz concentration camp museum in Poland

  96. 15/05 23:42

    Crete island power linkup to central Attica Region set for more delays

  97. 15/05 23:23

    Enjoy Frappé and Freddo, Greece’s popular summer coffee drinks

  98. 15/05 23:19

    ESM extends by 10 years maturity of €96.3 billion of loans to Greece

  99. 15/05 23:01

    Greek island of Syros swings to tango rhythms in International Festival (video)

  100. 15/05 22:21

    UNWTO and Basque Culinary Center guidelines for development of gastronomic tourism