Cozy Night Out In Athens

  • by XpatAthens
  • Monday, 12 December 2016
Cozy Night Out In Athens
Oh the weather outside is frightful… So the song goes, and so the season brings! Winter doesn’t seem to scare off most Athenians from their nighttime fun. Let’s face it, even the coldest day in Athens is like a warm spring breeze in more northerly climates. But with decidedly chilly winter temperatures outside and Christmas around the corner, the best weekend plan is to phone a friend and plan a night out in a warm and cozy place…

We started our evening at Sowl in Thiseio. I’ve been here a few times, and even written about it in this space. Sowl is a restaurant-bar-art space in the old Stavlos space that used to house the stables of King Otto in the 19th century. It’s a cool, interesting space, with a newly refined menu that focuses on great Latin American-style food, everything from gourmet tacos to ceviche – with lots in between. A great Greek and international wine list, friendly service, DJ-led creative music soundtrack - definitely a cut above. The place on Saturday was almost fully reserved, but we managed to slip into a couple spots at the bar. When you’ve had your fill of tavernas, and have a couple extra euros to spend on something ‘different’, Sowl is worth a visit. Check out their site and Facebook page for events and gallery exhibits!

By the time our wine glasses had run dry, we had received an invite to meet another group of friends at Riza Riza in Koukaki. It was a last-minute birthday get together, and this is a newish place in the area. Now, let’s be clear: to walk from Thiseio to Koukaki should take between 10 and 15 minutes. On this particular Saturday night, we decided to drive over in my friend’s car. The drive over took about 5 minutes. The hunt for parking in Koukaki’s winding streets took – no exaggeration – 35 minutes! What started as an attempt to save some time ended up as an exercise in patience. I know I know – how long have I lived here?? But seriously, I think I had forgotten…

Frustrated and fully convinced of my decision to not own a car in Athens, we finally arrived at Riza Riza and joined our friends. Riza Riza is a casual, happening bar, with indoor/outdoor seating, extended seating in the back, a modern Greek styling and a hip attitude. It was really buzzing that night, and felt like a warm neighbourhood ‘local’. This is an all-day bar/café, with a small food menu, a great Greek-inspired cocktail list. Best feature for a cold winter’s night: hot winter cocktails like rakomelo and oinomelo. Exactly what the doctor ordered.

Lesson #1: Don’t let the cold stop you from enjoying a night out!
Lesson #2: Leave the car at home.

Until next week,


p.s. for those of you yet to explore the Koukaki district – here’s a great place to start:

Iraklidon 10, Thiseio

Riza Riza
Drakou 19, Koukaki