The Athinorama Bar Awards – Shaker Trophy 2017 were given to the best bars in Athens and Thessaloniki during a ceremony that was held recently by the “athinorama” magazine, confirming the enormous potential of Greek bartending and its tuning in with international trends.
BABA AU RUM
This cozy and colorful mid-century salon on Kleitiou Street begun serving concept cocktails in 2009 and has not stopped inspiring and taking the bar scene of Athens to the next level ever since. The list is enviable and is enriched by the cocktail choices draw inspiration from the avant-garde scene that this year.
6, Kleitiou Str., historic centre
The bar of Stefanos Psillakis, whose aesthetics take us back to the Prohibition era, arguably boasts the most impressive cellar in Athens. One would say that this is an authentic temple of whiskey, as there are more than 800 labels, including some dating from the ’30s, the ’40s and the ’50s, and whiskey produced by distilleries that have now closed down. However, the bar’s shelves are also full of hundreds of bottles of rum, tequila, gin, cognac, Armagnac and aged Greek spirits.
7, Hadjigianni Mexi Str., Ilissia
The elegant bar on Aristotelous Street features an original collection of rare labels that are worth trying. In the cocktails section, Alexandros Sourbatis goes beyond what’s ordinary, suggesting mixes rich in alcohol and unexpected flavors.
6, Aristotelous Square, Thesaloniki
The bar of Nikos Bakoulis, Vassilis Kyritsis, Lefteris Georgopoulos, Thanos Tsounakas and Yiorgos Kessaris has a European air and cocktails that go off the beaten track. The menu is the outcome of many experiments and high-level techniques that take place in the first organized bar laboratory, on the upper floor of the “Clumsies.”
30, Praxitelous Str., historic centre
THE GIN JOINT
Though small in terms of square footage, the “Gin Joint” in Karytsi Square holds all the magic of the spirit that is based on the juniper. Select bottles usher us into the unexpected, fragrant world of gin and become the best introduction to the impressive mixes that bear the signature of Dimitris Kiakos and Natalia Livitsanou.
1, Christou Lada Str., Karytsi Sq., historic centre
In the tiny “Vogatsikou 3” in Thessaloniki, Yiannis Kedes takes us on a trip to Europe’s best bars. Through the list, he pays tribute to all the great people of the sector with cocktails that have won awards and have made history.
3, Vogatsikou Str., Thessaloniki
Α FOR ATHENS
The head bartender and the unparalleled views make the “A For Athens” a prime destination for drinks. Thodoris Pyrillos leaves no room for complacency and never stops studying.
“Α for Athens” Hotel, 2-4, Miaouli Str., Monastiraki
This bar is a category by itself. The “Alexander’s” of the “Grande Bretagne” Hotel does not rest on its laurels and its unique character; it works with an experienced team that monitors new trends and incorporates them to the requirements of a hotel bar.
1, Vassileos Georgiou Str., Syntagma Square
A cosmopolitan all-day spot with incredible views of the Saronic Gulf, well-lit, dressed in relaxed luxury and a colonial aura, with impressive light fixtures in the style of the ’50s and beautiful peacock chairs. In the “Ark”, Thanos Krimpouras has curated the cocktail list, drawing inspiration from drinks of the world.
2, G. Lambraki Str., Glyfada
ARTISANAL LOUNGE AND GARDENS
This place is the paradise of design, a gorgeous collage of unique antique items that creates one of the most beautiful theatrical settings in Athens. But it goes even further. It steals the show also with its excellent drinks.
2, Zirini Street, Kifissia
We are in the city’s center, at the edge of a beautiful arcade, in a bar with retro atmosphere, where Mario Basso keeps a collection of wooden barrels, in which he ages Negroni, Margarita, Manhattan and other all-time classic cocktails.
7, Voulis Street (Bolanis Arcade), Syntagma
On Kolokotroni Street, Yiannis Korovesis and his colleagues created the “Borsalino,” a stylish bar with a passion for hats. The head bartender Stamatis Stamatiadis has prepared a collection of cocktails for demanding palates, and Chef Michalis Nourloglou has complemented the experience with matching dishes.
59, Kolokotroni Str., historic centre
The “Gorilla” of Achilleas Plakidas, Sotiris Petrou, Marios and Elina Zlatini was this year’s grand new arrival in the district of Ladadika. With a pop art attitude and against a yellow backdrop, the team coupled fine drinking with fun.
3, Veroias Str., Thessaloniki
A beautiful detached house of the 30s underwent a face-lift, renewed the courtyard with plants and flowers, added colors, and, in the interior, put emphasis on the bar, with eye-catching chandeliers and beautiful wooded floors. The “El Jiron” became a destination for exquisite cocktails and flavors that take us on a trip to the world.
14, Glafkou Str., Neo Psychiko
9 ΒΗΤΑ HOME BAR
The “9 Beta Home Bar” is perfect for hanging out with one’s friends and serves original cocktails that come out of the shaker of Konstantinos Vasilakopoulos, to the sounds of jazz and rock music. For the new list, Konstantinos drew inspiration from his favorite movies, songs and books and created recipes that cater to all tastes.
9B, Thoukididou Str., Halandri
HIDE & SEEK
The lush garden, the large and shimmering bar, the updated cellar, the remarkable bartender Lykourgos Christothanopoulos and the use of materials that are rarely used in cocktails, such as homemade jams, different kinds of chocolate and blends of strange spices, make the “Hide & Seek” the place to be.
250-254, Kifissias Ave., Halandri
IPITOU THE BAR
In the tiny street bar, you enjoy eccentric and exotic cocktails listening to swing and funky music. Dionysis Polatos has created exceptional seasonal cocktail lists over the last few years. In his most recent one, he mixes rare spirits with unusual materials and creates cocktails that are a must-try.
4, Ipitou Street, Plaka
Akis Simeonidis created something between an authentic street bar and an intriguing multi-purpose venue. It is a destination for those who want to live new drinking experiences and love classic recipes such as the Bloody Mary and the Margarita.
1, Vilara Str., Thessaloniki
A colorful, youthful and happy hangout for cocktails that carry you away under the watchful eye of John Coltrane. This year’s trump card is the hiring of bartender Alexis Kondinis, who creates cocktails often reminiscent of Mexico.
7Α, Thoukididou Str., Halandri
In the third year of the “Momix,” the public clearly shows their love for the bold idea of Aris Hadjiantoniou and Thodoris Koutsovolos to create drinks that result from endless hours of search by the Momix Innovation Team in the magical lab upstairs.
1-5, Keleou Str., Gazi
The lively bar of Petros Zissos and Nelli Bofiliou in Avdi Square is an all-time classic and a favorite haunt of many Athenians. You’ll get carried away by with its retro exotic atmosphere, the great music and, of course, the new cocktails by Simos Tagaras, who loves unusual materials and unexpected mixes.
31, Leonidou Str., Avdi Square, Metaxourgeio
The all-day bar gains points with its bright lounge and the eye-catching light fixtures that are made from different materials. As for the list, the recipes have a clear pop mood, are easy to drink and very pleasant.
7, Katsoulieri Str., Halandri
The “Nikkei” make Peru come into vogue and put the ethnic cocktails into play. The imposing figure of Mary Talaiporou at the bar and the Peruvian cocktails that come out of Spyros Kerkyra’s shaker add a different color to the experience.
3, Leventi Str., Kolonaki
The first vermuteria in Greece has Italian style, boasts an enviable collection of vermouth and an absolutely tuned-up team at the bar, led by Manolis Lykiardopoulos. All that quickly brought the “Odori” to the forefront of the bar scene of Athens.
2, Skouleniou Str., historic centre
The space is modern, tasteful, with many industrial elements and one of the largest bars in the city. As for the cocktails, both the first and the second list draw inspiration from famous hound breeds, and the result is excellent.
6, Sardeon Str., Nea Filadelfia
ΟΟZORA THE HOUSE
Already from the entrance, you feel the sensuality of the Far East embrace you. Wood, bamboo, marble and silk create the appropriate Asian setting for you to enjoy the impressive cocktails, starring sake, tea and Japanese whiskey.
54, Diliyianni Street, Kifissia
THE BANK JOB
At one time, the money of the General Bank was vaunted in here. The “Bank Job” may not have a great robbery in its record, but has the reputation of its exquisite cocktails.
13, Kolokotroni Str., historic centre
THE DALLIANCE HOUSE
The bar plays a leading role and steals the show with the sturdy wood but mostly with its rare, valuable content – especially when it comes to malt whiskeys, it has no equal.
19, Kyriazi Street, Kifissia
THE 7 JOKERS
The theatre-like setting and the coziness of the fairy tale decoration are one element that makes the “7 Jokers” a favorite hangout with many Athenians; the sweet musical background and the exquisite classic and signature cocktails are the other ones.
7, Voulis Str., Syntagma
In a historic arcade in the city center, two prominent figures of bartending present a collection of signature cocktails with high-level techniques, unique materials and plenty of imagination.
10, Othonos Str., Syntagma
THEORY BAR AND MORE
Casual, beautiful and always packed, it has set the tone in a district with plenty of options when it comes to going out for a drink. Refreshing, stylish and pleasant cocktails that reveal sensibility without lacking in dynamism create the perfect mix that brings the “Theory” once more to the top.
14, Platonos Str., Halandri
The action is split between the beautiful courtyard that is reminiscent of the old 1930s’ Athens and the rectangular wooden bar. All the emphasis is put on the collection of cocktails, which are made only with fresh ingredients that highlight the clean flavors of the spirits.
7, Alkminis Str., Kato Petralona
The new cocktail list “Tales of the White Monkey” puts you right into a shot of a 50s’ movie, as you enjoy the exquisite tiki cocktails of Angelos Triantafyllopoulos and Spyros Tsopelakos, starring their secret blend of three rums.
6, G. Gyftopoulou, Halandri