A Local’s Guide To Thissio

  • by XpatAthens
  • Tuesday, 06 October 2020
A Local’s Guide To Thissio
Hills dotted with ancient ruins, sun-soaked brunches – and a front row seat to the Parthenon. Local resident Alex King explains why Thissio is hard to beat.

Every neighbourhood in Athens lucky enough to have a view of the Acropolis thinks that theirs is the best in the city. But you really can’t beat Thissio to appreciate the majesty of the Parthenon. My favourite thing about living here is walking up the footpath behind the Church of St. Marina and past the National Observatory of Athens up to Pnyx Hill (just the birthplace of democracy, you know…), where you’re greeted with a spectacular perspective on the entire ancient city.

While most views of Athens reveal a sun-bleached concrete jungle, from this tree-lined summit you see how the historical centre is really a green island. After a long day exploring the city, venturing up at sunset is a great way to unwind. If you ever grow tired of staring down on the Propylaea, the main entrance to the Acropolis, and the temple of Athena Nike, you can always turn around and look out towards the sea, Piraeus harbour, the ships coming to and fro, and the islands that dot the horizon.

The Underdog

This is one of the best brunch spots in Athens. It has the wide range of painstakingly-sourced coffee options you would expect from the best third wave coffee shops, from single origin blends to ethically-sourced brews. In a beautiful restored neoclassical building, it’s the perfect start to a day exploring the neighbourhood on foot. Pedestrianised Iraklidon Street leads to the city’s ancient fortifications and is lined with restaurants, bars and greenery.

Address: 8 Iraklidon, Thissio, 118 51
Telephone: 213 0365393

Mikra Asia

A personal favourite, this cute little taverna serves meze (small sharing plates) inspired by Greek cuisine from Asia Minor (Mikra Asia in Greek). Occupying a tranquil spot on pedestrianised Iraklidon Street, this laid back and great value eatery really is a community hub. Highlights include the roasted peppers and flogeres, pastry cigars filled with cheese and covered in honey.

Address: 23 Iraklidon, Thissio, 118 51
Telephone: 211 1847609

To Steki Tou Ilia

One of Thissio’s best kept secrets is the pedestrianised Thessalonikis Street, which begins at Agios Athanasios church. With stellar meat dishes, To Steki tou Ilia appeals to committed carnivores—and is famous for its lamb chops by the kilo. Tables are set in the church yard and stretch along the pavement in summer. Cafe Loux just along the street is great if you’re just looking for drinks or a nightcap to wash down all your overindulgences.

Address: 5 Eptachalkou, Thissio, 118 51
Telephone: 210 3458052

Gevomai Kai Magevomai

This charming family-run taverna is another pillar of the neighbourhood—the place where locals celebrate anything from birthdays to christenings. The ever-changing menu is personally sourced by the family and the spirits are always free flowing. It’s also one of the few good indoor options in Thissio; so if it’s a rare rainy day or you need to escape the heat for some air-conditioned cool, this is a solid choice.

Address: 11 Nileos, Thissio, 118 51
Telephone: 210 3452802

Skales Kafeneio

The heart of Thissio is the little square where Nileos, Iraklidon, Akamantos and Apostolou Pavlou Streets come together. You’ll find tourists and Athenians rubbing shoulders long into the night at the restaurants and kafeneia (cafés) that surround the square. Slightly hidden down some steps, this is a typical local kafeneio that serves up great coffee and spirits, with tasty snacks—like tirokafteri (spicy cheese dip), fava or dakos. Just be careful about making plans afterwards, because sitting down for a quick drink here often turns into hours of boozy discussion with friends and locals.

Address: 2 Akamantos,Thissio, 118 513
Telephone: 210 3465647

This content was originally published on This is Athens

Whether you’ve just arrived in town – or have been here for years – Athens always has new secrets to share! This is Athens is the official guide to this captivating city of ancient energies and booming urban culture. Compiled by a team of specialist local writers, This is Athens brings you an authentic and intimate portrait of a living Athens beyond the guidebooks – along with daily curated listings of all the best events and great weekend inspiration all-year round. From must-know neighbourhoods and emerging art hubs, to gourmet hotspots, cool shopping and the buzziest bars, This is Athens will help you to get the most out of living in Athens!

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