Going out with friends for a leisurely coffee is a part of life in Greece. While it’s a lovely aspect of Athenian culture, if you want to sit inside during the cooler months you can end up stinking like an ashtray. It doesn’t have to be that way! Here’s my list of scenic and smoke free indoor cafes in Athens – lately.
I say lately because things are changing.
Smoke Free Cafes in Athens?
For those who aren’t familiar with smoking habits in this part of the world, smoking is still a thing here — a widely accepted habit. So, it isn’t a big shock to enter an indoor cafe, restaurant or tavern with most of the customers lighting up freely. It can be bothersome for non-smokers during the two or three winter months when its preferable to sit inside. Other times of the year, the weather is pretty lovely and its nice to be outdoors. Venues are typically designed to take advantage of Mediterranean weather, sea views and city views.
Here’s how things are changing. When I first arrived in Greece seven years ago, you couldn’t find one smoke free café if you wanted to enjoy your warm drink indoors and sheltered from the elements. Since then, laws have been passed and it’s illegal to smoke inside of most places. However, as some things in Greece go, laws aren’t always followed.
Whether or not a café follows a smoke free policy depends on the proprietor many times. So, now that cooler days are upon us, sitting indoors for a nice coffee doesn’t mean you need to cope with cigarette smoke blowing in your face. Here are some beautiful smoke free cafes in Athens.
A List of Indoor No-Smoking Cafes
Giorgiou Karaiskaki 17, Psirri
Step into a story book at this beautiful indoor café. The new venue is decorated to the nines for Christmas. You can sit under a huge Christmas tree and sip your tea! Everything inside Little Kook follows a story book theme. The waitresses and waiters even dress the part of various fairy tale characters. The menu is a scroll!
There’s an ample selection of gourmet hot chocolates, coffees, teas and sweets like cake and crepes. Check out the second floor, too. The café’s décor will have your eyes wandering!
Omirou 33, Kolonaki
Petit Fleur is simply charming. The décor is cozy, warm and bright. The one I frequent, when I can, is in Kolonaki. I say that because there aren’t many indoor tables at the Kolonaki venue, our outdoor seating for that matter, so many times I’ve had to move on. There are several other locations throughout Athens including Halandri, Erithrea, Kifisia and Pangrati. The large, thick and delicious hot chocolates are definitely worth trying. The carrot cake is super.
Irodotou 15, Kolonaki
I love Cake because the cafe makes cake just the way I love it – American style. Greek bakery cakes are delicious too, don’t get me wrong. The Greek version is typically like a cream cake, very rich and, well, super creamy. It’s always nice to know there’s a place in town where I can dig into a thick piece of moist and fluffy cake in the flavors I love. There are cute tiny cupcakes, regular cupcakes with thick sugary icing and you can even order from savory quiches. I pre-ordered my red velvet chocolate birthday cake here last year. Cake has grown to several locations in Athens including Glyfada, Nea Smyrni and Kifisia.
The Dark Side of Chocolate
Solonos 47, Exharcheia
This tiny café specializes in, well, chocolate! I seriously had the best cup of hot chocolate here recently. I tried the Madagascar blend. If you prefer your coffee, there is a selection of coffee as well. The Dark Side also sells handmade truffles and beautifully boxed chocolates. There are just a few tables inside that look out onto a view of Solonos Street. The interior is plain, simple, relaxing and quiet.
Aegli Café Zappeio
National Gardens, Athens
Located in the heart of the National Gardens next to the stately neoclassical Zappeio landmark, you’ll find Aegli Cafe. There are dozens of tables both inside and outside. I think it’s really much nicer to sit outside in the open café space where you can have a view of the park or Mt. Lycabettus hill. There are also some outdoor heated spaces. However, if the weather is too cold for you, the inside space is wonderfully smoke free! There’s a large menu of snacks, sweets and all the typical coffees and teas you desire. Take a walk around the beautiful park afterwards. The outdoor cinema is a favorite in the summer months.
Public Café Syntagma
On the top floor of Public you’ll find a smoke free haven to enjoy your cup of coffee and a great view of the city’s main square and historic Greek parliament building. Public Cafe’s outdoor balcony seats are the best. However, if the weather is too chilly the indoor portion of the café, with its windows looking out onto the view, is perfect too! There are couches and a bar-like area as well. The menu has snacks, sandwiches, pasta and salads. Many people just go for coffee, tea and a good piece of cake.
What’s always a safe and smoke free place for a good coffee in Athens? Good ‘ol Starbucks. In the center, I frequent Starbucks Kolonaki on Patriarchou Ioakim, Starbucks Monastiraki on Mitropoleos and Aiolou and Starbucks Korai (next to Panepistimeio metro). Okay, Starbucks is a coffee chain, but it a good one you can count on for a smoke free environment.
Pin for Later
As time goes on and Greece tourism grows, there are bound to be more great cafes to add to this list.
Are there any smoke free cafes in Athens that you love? I’d love to know!
Plan Your Trip to Athens
How to Get to Athens
To get to the Athens, many international travelers arrive by air. You can find the best flight deals here on Vayama.
What to Do in Athens
Athens is my adopted hometown and much of this blog is about that very topic. Check out more posts from nightlife to gastronomy on this blog here. It’s a wonderful city break you should plan at least two to three days for — even up to a week — depending on how much time you have and what you’d love to do.
I highly recommend the Athens City Pass, a discount city card that gains you access to many of the capital’s most loved sights. I reviewed it earlier and featured it on this blog.
If you want to hop to the islands or spend time at one of the many Greek island destinations – you should! Also, check out my Greek islands category for the best places to stay, eat and best things to do. I only recommend places and experiences that I have tried and tested myself.
Where to Eat in Athens
Check out my post, 17 Awesome Greek Food Experiences which also lists where to find these delicious experiences in Athens.
Where to Stay in Athens
A full rundown of places I recommend coming soon. Be sure to sign up for my bi-monthly newsletter here for more tips and insights from my travels around beautiful Greece and amazing Europe.