Athens’ Best Museum Cafes
Want to grab a coffee? Get your caffeine fix with art, sculptures and music for company at these four great museum cafes. Photos by Marie-Irène Moschona
With a cafe on the ground floor and a restaurant on the third floor, the Acropolis Museum offers a choice of venues for those who just want to soak in the museum atmosphere with a quick coffee or want to make an experience of it with an extended lunch. The café downstairs is just adjacent to the museum shop and has a vertiginous overview of the archaeological excavations just below, while upstairs the majestic Acropolis seems just an arm’s length away. Ideal for a quick break before venturing into Plaka for the evening, the café offers hot and cold beverages, scrumptious desserts (try the lemon tart), light snacks and salads.
15 Dionysiou Areopagitou, www.theacropolismuseum.gr
The sound of water trickling, a verdant wall of cascading plants, vivid hues of turquoise, vermillion and yellow from the museum shop across and the whiff of aromas from the kitchen make cafe Aethrion in the atrium of the Cycladic Museum a welcome retreat from the hustle and bustle of Athens. Perfect as a pit-stop from a tour of the museum or for a break after shopping in Kolonaki, here is an example of an intelligent use of space in the city centre. Its compact size lends it a sense of coziness and the service here is especially commendable. Great coffee, even better lunch options.
4 Neophytou Douka, www.cycladic.gr
A favourite haunt for diplomats and ladies-who-lunch, the Benaki Museum’s café-restaurant offers panoramic views of the city’s key landmarks: the Acropolis, Lycabettus and the National Gardens. Open weekdays for lunch and on Thursday evenings for dinner (when the museum is open until midnight), the cafe has an air of easy elegance. Antonis Kyriacoulis’ quirky characters that adorn the table mats lend humour while the Greek-inspired menu (try the stuffed courgettes with avgolemono sauce and the eggplant imam) is a hit with regulars.
Koumbari 1. & Vas. Sofias, www.benaki.gr
An absolute oasis of tranquility with larger-than-life statues benignly looking on as you sip on a frappe, the Numismatic Museum’s café is gaining currency as the best value-for-money spot in town. The sprawling 800m2 garden boasts rare species of Greek flora and is a terrific venue for parties and corporate events. With wi-fi access, an interesting lunch menu and live jazz on Wednesday evenings, the Numismatic Museum is easily accessible from Syntagma. And while there, check the Museum’s amazing coin collection. Perhaps, its never too late to learn a few lessons in money management!
Iliou Melathron, 12 Panepistimiou, www.nma.gr
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