Roof Top Bar Hotel Grande Bretagne Athen

Bars & Cigars: Exploring Athen’s Bar Hotspots

If the apocalypse looks like this, then, you can anticipate it with confidence – with a cocktail and a cigar in hand. Perhaps in one of the wonderful roof- top bars of the city. For us, Athens provided the proof with flying colors. People populate the streets; Greeks and guests alike enjoy cocktails in a blossoming, growing bar scene. 

To get an overview, we recommend starting on the roof. Either in the trendy A for Athens Bar, which serves fine daiquiris and aperitifs at a very good price. Or a tad more noble, in the roof-top bar of the Hotel Grande Bretagne on the famous Syntagma Square. Here, watching the sunset and the city lights come on (Acropolis included) with a classic Manhattan is breath taking. When the barman Konstantinos then gives a talk about spirits like the well-known brandy Metaxa or the local Grace Gin, as a guest you quickly become an expert on Greek spirit mythology. But before you leave the Grande Bretagne for the continuing bar odyssey, you should definitely make a stop in the hotel’s Alexander’s Smoking Lounge: a dignified, elegant room, surrounded by a terrace, and with a fireplace and Chippendale sofas. Enjoying a Cohiba here with a Metaxa Reserva is first-rate. 

Photo: Pavlos Tsokounoglou | Alexander’s Smoking Lounge

We continue our journey. The beautifully designed Odori is convincing with its own bottlings of vermouths – ideal for Negroni variations. The Clumsies bar around the corner has managed to place itself in the top-50 bars worldwide during the past few years. It’s recommended to stop by in the early evening and to try one of their excellently balanced prefab cocktails. From Clumsies we go on to Baba au Rum. The bar was one of the first in Athens that placed value on top international mixology standards. In the extremely pleasant atmosphere, the bar’s own Sazerac variation is recommended.If you need to satisfy a small appetite between bar hopping, you should plan a visit to the Borsalino, where there’s not only an extraordinary cocktail menu (particularly recommendable are the BBC or Nut Roast), but also excellent bar snacks. From Borsalino we carry on to the founding father of the Athens bar boom – to Dimitris’ The Gin Joint. While drinking the cocktail classic Last Word, Dimitris tells us about the Ikarus-like risks that he has taken to make this boom visible and sustainable. He and his fellow campaigners were successful, thanks to Dionysus! Jamas! 



A for Athens

Baba Au Rum


Hotel Grande Bretagne 

Roof-Top-Bar & Alexander’s Lounge

The Clumsies

The Gin Joint

This article was published in the Cigar Journal Summer Edition 2018. Read more

Christof Habres is a freelance journalist, writer and art dealer based in Vienna, Austria. In addition to Cigar Journal, Habres writes for the Wiener Zeitung, the Weiner Journal, and Weltkunst and Skylines magazines. His articles for Cigar Journal search out cigar-friendly nightlife in major cities.


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