Neighbourhoods: the elegant, the hip and the posh at luscious Kifissia
Summer is definitely the time in search of beaches and the Athenian nearby coastline. Yet, there's something much deeper around the suburb of Kifissia that draws the fashionable crowds north.
Having served primarily as a far-out destination where the upper-class locals had their summer house, the area of Kifissia got heavily commercialised in the last 30 years or so. Withstanding the economic crisis of 2010 in a pretty feisty manner, Kifissia still holds strong as the elegant, hip and posh getaway north of Athens!
In and around Kifissia, there are probably three main green and luscious attractions for your Sunday stroll. Alsos Syggrou is the last true forest around the Attica region now home to a number of education institutions, the listed Villa Syggrou and the church of St Andreas. open from dawn to dusk, Alsos Syggrou offers a great trek around its soily hills. If you're more into driving you can also drive up north to Ktima Tatoi, a vast area on the outskirts of Attica and close to the National Road that once also housed the royal Tatoi Palace. It's now preserved and well maintained offering a perfect space for walking, horseback riding and mountain biking.
Now that's more like it! All sorts of cusines and ethnic delicacies are available in Kifissia with Italian dethroning any other cuisine easy. Trattoria Athens is a small, local joint in Nea Erythrea minutes away from the commercial buzz of Kifissia. Enzo has set shop in this cosy and authentic trattoria featuring amazingly tasting pizzas and pastas served at their small but cute patio-garden daily! Nolita Athens, also Italian and located at the Semiramis Hotel in Kefalari has recently launched in a quaint dimly-lit New York atmosphere designed by LoT Architects. The food is not as great as the atmosphere but a visit by the bar (and of course something to nibble!) is definitely worth it!
Finally, if you're up for some old-school class, chances are you need to visit Salumaio and their airy patio. You can feast your eyes over their fridge counter, sampling the best Italian meats and dairy before indulging in a heavenly made truffle pasta (slurp)!
Now, if you're the cook-at-home type of foodie, then you'll definitely appreciate the selection at the newly launched I Fratti Deli. Just behind its sister Italian resto Il Fratti, this deli also offers some eat-in options (see below) that will definitely catch your eye.
Weekends are for lazy strolls and all day coffee around the many colorful establishment of Kifissia. Menta is about the last authentic café remaining with the allure of an old house set in this neoclassical maisonette. Away from the buzz and porched inside this green backyard, Menta gets full after midday so make sure you get there early. Perfect spot for your spring and autumn weekends. Another key spot is Different Beast, a modern-meets-quaint all-day joint that looks as if it was stripped off from some Brooklyn street, serving interesting fusion nibbles and hosts the cool crowd.
When all is said and done, try venturing across the street to Da Vinci for some serious gelato and sorbet ice cream! Big long handmade waffle cones and all sorts of flavours to choose from!
- Goulandris Natural History Museum - very nice collection in this well-established musuem that launched in the 1960s, also featuring a nice patio/garden for a coffee away from the shopping madness around Kifissia
- Alsos Syggrou - one of the remaining forest-like parks inside Attica, located in the borders of Kifissia and Marousi; perfect for a weekend stroll
- Semiramis - funky pop-influenced design hotel by the Yes! group, located in Kefalari and offering a pleasant and lively setting for your summer dip
- Twenty One - also part of the Yes! group, recently redesigned and offering spacious rooms
Eat / Drink
- Il Salumaio d'Atene - upper scale Italian trattoria with a lovely patio and delicious fine dining. Also dubs as a salumeria for carefully selected Italian meat and cheese
- Cafe / Delicatessen I Frati - classy outdoor setting for a quick salad (or pizza!). The Deli that opened back in December 2016 features also great products and a more quiet space for dining
- Buba Bistrot Exotique - Asian-influenced setting in a neoclassical building, Buba opened in 2016 bringing back the crowd that was once high on the infamous Athenian Bar Guru Bar. Food is ok, drinks and ambience are even better
- The Dalliance House - newly established entry in the last few years, Dalliance features a great spot upstairs during the winter to avoid the cold. For most of the time, there's a nice backyard for some breezy summer drinks. The food menu is also very good!
- Artisanal - airy garden with ample space for a nice night out, Artisanal offers a nice spot for a drink although the crowd is a bit mixed
- Blue Pine - the epitome of fine dining at this old school classic of the Kifissia connoisseurs. Blue Pine is a must if you take your food seriously
- Tilemachos - great grill serving kick-ass steaks, with a nice setting away from all the buzz
- Paramalo - honest seafood in a cosy setting off the beaten path in South Kifissia. Read our full review here
- Different Beast - creative fusion cuisine in a setting that (kind of) reminds us some hip New York joint. Famed for its brunch although we mostly like their pizzette served after 8pm
- Nolita - launched in late 2016 as an independent restobar part of Semiramis Hotel, this elegantly designed space by LoT Architects is a great find for its aesthetics. The food is also good, not great
- Open air cinemas - both options of Mpomponiera and Chloi are good for a night at the movies. Just male sure you wear enough mosquito repellent
- Menta - signature setting in this traditional feel neoclassical house, that's hidden away from the busy streets of Kifissia
- Zillions - trendy crowd and tasty gelato! Also a nice outdoor setting
- Kafeina - great coffee and nuts, also serving to-go Kafeina is one of the best espresso options around
- Common Secret Cafe - great brunch, make sure you try the juicy croque madame. If not, read our full review here
- Aristokratikon - famous pure chocolate and pralines from the Athenian Aristokratikon that first opened in the city centre in 1928. Make sure you check opening times before visiting!
- Varsos - renown pastry shop in Kifissia, famous for it traditional setting
- Despina - arguably the best mille-feuille in Athens