Neighbourhoods: the rough, homey and beautiful world of Metaxourgio
Neighbourhood Guides

Neighbourhoods: the rough, homey and beautiful world of Metaxourgio

Dimitris Kossyfas | 28 October 2017
Metaxourgio, Athens
Best time to go:
Ideal trip duration:
3-4 hours
Last updated:
10 October 2023

As I drive away from the crowded city centre of Athens and to the west, I find myself in the more quiet, downtempo and almost communal neighbourhood of Metaxourgio. Gone are the days of trashy Psyri and Gkazi. Metaxourgio is now acquiring a reputation as an artistic and fashionable neighbourhood due to the opening of many art galleries, trendy restaurants and cafes. Moreover, local efforts to beautify and invigorate the neighbourhood have reinforced a budding sense of community that makes everything even more homey.

Originally a thriving working-class neighbourhood, mostly due to the silk factory that has now transformed to a municipal gallery of Athens, Metaxourgio almost got abandoned for a period starting in the 1970s. Thanks to the 2004 Olympics, renovation projects in the form of modern lofts and other infrastructure buildings led to the attraction new higher-income residents. Along came the first signs of nightlife attractions such as the first mainstream bar Bios that remains a landmark multi-function space even today. As you walk up the stairs of this repurposed neoclassic house, you come on to the rooftop and the breath-taking view to the Acropolis (and mostly Erecthion).


Hummus with zaatar, sesame seeds and Egina pistachio by Records In The Den @ Bios pop-up diner


On a warm September morning, I met a friend at the leafy square of Avdi where classic 40s Athenian houses emanate an old-school allure. Walking past Astari, a dive for traditional raki, and the beautifully colorful, modern lofts of Milierou street, we made our way to a pocket park tended by the local commune of Metaxourgio to catch some of the early autumn sun.

Patrons here are more polite, away from the frenzy of the Athenian joints below Syntagma square, and the ambience is more calm. Going round the hood, we stumbled upon latraac, a unique place in Athens to eat, drink and… skate (read our full review here)! Located next to a homeless shelter we even saw people airing the laundry out in the street.

A bit further down on Leonidou street we stopped at the vestigial park that locals have created simply by using some wood and rocks. The smell from the grilled souvlaki across the street at Elvis quickly got to us and as we had worked an appetite we made a quick stop for the famous Greek street food.


But Metaxourgio is also a treat during the night hours. The gourmet crowd first visited the area because of Funky Gourmet (and their two Michelin stars) and Aleria‘s garden, but regulars come back here for the ever-creative menu of Proveleggios (read our full review here) by chef Sotiris Kontizas or the afterhours at Boulis, one of the best souvlaki joints in town. Regardless of which one you identify the most with, there are plenty of other options that are worthy for a few nights out here.

Seychelles (Read our full review here) remains at the to of the list if you’re looking for a budget meal at a cosy restaurant with a killer menu! Rakor also offers tasty bites and a nice indoors/outdoors experience and the most recent addition of Seramiko (read our full review here) is a definite must if you like hearty dishes and comfort food of all kinds. When the food is in and the night is on, head over to Beauty Killed the Beast for some nice cocktails and some loud music.

Travel Food People - Rafiki, Athens

A hearty rocket and beets salad at Rafiki


  • Municipal Gallery of Athens – open in this location since October 2010, this 1500 m2 gallery is housed in a renovated 19th-century building by Hans Christian Hansen
  • Alekos Fassianos Museum – contemporary art museum for the life work of an important painter and artist, housed in a beautifully designed building by Kyriakos Krokos architect in 1995
  • Avdi Square – cute and cosy square with numerous coffee shops to hang at
  • Open-air market – held every Monday on Kerameikos St., this large market offers a vital source of fresh produce for the neighbourhood.
  • Chinatown – a shopping mall, as well as numerous Asian grocery stores and clothing outlets can be found in Metaxourgeio between Kolonou and Kolokynthous streets


  • Proveleggios – chef Sotiris Kontizas new project and experimental kitchen after the success of NOLAN; casual, tasty and laid back. Read our full review here
  • Aleria – proper old-school restaurant with a nice patio at the back and a great Greek creative menu by Gikas Xenakis. You must try their pasticcio signature dish!
  • Seychelles – top value for price paid, this casual dining spot offers gourmet Greek fusion cuisine with a nice crowd. Read our full review here
  • Seramiko – the Athenian outpost of Thessaloniki’s Sebriko, serving hearty dishes and a killer sirloin steak! Read our full review here
  • Rafiki – cosy taverna joint with slightly twisted Greek originals. Try their rocket and beet salad! Read our full review here
  • Rakor – nice casual spot for a tasty meal and a homey feel to it. Also, some tables out in the pedestrian street
  • Sam has the wrong boy – budget and cosy restaurant for small bites. Nice variety of salads and very friendly service
  • Kalamakia Elvis – great spot for late night cravings of the proper Greek street food: souvlaki. Also has a sister outlet in Pangrati
  • Boulis – hands down the best souvlaki spot in downtown Athens!


Travel Food People - Metaxourgio, Athens

Late night souvlaki bites at Boulis


Curbside dining at Seychelles

  • Beauty Killed the Beast – new stylish entry in the bar scene of Metaxourgio with very good cocktails and service. Also offers some bites like pizza and tacos
  • Blue Parrot – buzzing bar in the most central location of Metaxourgio
  • Kerameion – more downtempo and mellow bar
  • Bios – the first establishment in the area, a multi-functional space featuring a bar downstairs and at the rooftop (great view to the Acropolis!) as well as pop-up exhibitions and events

Graffiti at Beauty Killed the Beast

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