Pouring steamed milk into a cappuccino cup.

Best Coffee in Athens: The Ultimate Coffee Lover’s Guide

Looking for a great cup of coffee in Athens? Need a break from the international coffee chains? Here is a list of the best coffee drinks to try while in Athens.

In A Nutshell

  • Greeks love coffee. Greece specifically ranks 9th worldwide in coffee consumption, with the average Greek drinking 3 kilograms of coffee per year!

  • International coffee chains like Starbucks have a presence in the country but with very few stores, almost all located in Athens.

  • In contrast, local coffee chains are extremely popular, with Coffee Island, Gregory’s, and Mikel being the most well-known.

  • Additionally, Athens boasts numerous independent cafes that focus on quality and serve excellent coffee.

  • The dominant beverages in the market are iced, given Greece’s warm weather, particularly freddo espresso and freddo cappuccino.

  • For a more traditional experience, try Greek coffee in a café or coffeehouse (kafeneio in Greek).

Must-Try Coffee Drinks in Athens

1. Freddo Espresso

Freddo espresso served with ice, a favorite coffee in Athens.

To make a freddo espresso, a double espresso is needed, which the barista mixes for a few seconds with an ice cube and optionally sugar.

Then, the coffee is served in a glass with 4-5 ice cubes and a straw.

A good freddo espresso has a layer of coffee cream on top, created from the mixing, enhancing the flavor experience.

Though mainly a summer drink, it’s enjoyed year-round thanks to Athens’ warm weather.

2. Freddo Cappuccino

Enjoying a freddo cappuccino, a very popular coffee in Athens.

Along with freddo espresso, freddo cappuccino is one of the most popular coffees not only in Athens but throughout Greece.

It is prepared just like freddo espresso but with the addition of cold frothed milk.

Specifically, the barista froths cold milk into a cream and then adds it to the glass over the coffee.

Thanks to the addition of milk, the intensity of the coffee is reduced, making it lighter and more suitable for those who prefer milder flavors.

It’s also served with plant-based milk, like almond or oat.

3. Frappé

Classic Greek frappé coffee, an easy and quick coffee to make.

Frappé is one of the easiest and quickest coffees to make.

A few decades ago, it was Greece’s most popular coffee.

However, it lost its top spot to the higher-quality freddo espresso.

Even today, though, it still has devoted fans who wouldn’t trade it for anything.

To make it, put 2 heaping teaspoons of frappé coffee in a glass, optionally with sugar.

Add a little water, about 2 tablespoons, and mix for a few seconds until the coffee and sugar dissolve.

Then add 2-3 large ice cubes, optionally evaporated milk, and fill the glass with water.

Finally, insert a straw and stir 2-3 times to mix all the ingredients.

4. Greek Coffee

Traditional Greek coffee served in a briki pot.

Greek coffee is the most traditional of the coffees you must try while in Athens.

It’s the same coffee found in neighboring countries, called Turkish or Arabic coffee, with perhaps minor differences in preparation.

To prepare it, add water to a briki (small pot), roasted and ground coffee, optionally sugar, and stir until the mixture dissolves.

Then heat it on low flame and wait for the coffee to froth.

Once ready, serve it in a small cup accompanied by cold water and usually a small loukoumi (Turkish delight) or other local Greek desserts like baklava or spoon sweet.

You will find it served more often in traditional coffeehouses and rarely in coffee chains.

I strongly recommend trying it in a coffeehouse, as many chains save time by making it with the steam wand of the coffee machine instead of over fire, completely altering its flavor.

5. Flat White

Pouring steamed milk into a flat white drink.

Although it is quite similar to cappuccino and latte, flat white is a distinct category of coffee.

To prepare it, the barista uses a double shot of ristretto espresso, which is espresso with less water, and steamed milk.

The main difference from cappuccino is that the milk is mixed with the coffee from the start, rather than separating into layers.

If you like milk but prefer stronger coffee than a cappuccino, it’s ideal.

It also pairs very well with plant-based milks, as it doesn’t require much froth.

6. Iced Latte

A refreshing iced latte, perfect for the warm weather in Athens.

As you’ve noticed, iced coffees are more than popular in Greece.

If you prefer lighter beverages with more milk, iced latte is the perfect choice.

A shot of espresso is mixed with 2-3 ice cubes for a few seconds and then poured into a large glass filled to the brim with ice.

Then fill the glass with milk to the top, stir lightly, and you’re ready!

7. Cold Brew

Preparing cold brew coffee in Athens.

Cold brew is not a particularly popular coffee in Athens, and therefore, you will mainly find it in more specialized cafés.

However, if it’s well-prepared and fresh, it remains an excellent choice!

Coarsely ground coffee is placed in a container with water and left in the fridge for at least 12 hours.

It is then filtered and ready to drink.

Its main advantage is that thanks to the slow cold extraction, it has an intense, almost sweet flavor, ideal for an iced drink.

Street Food Guide and Rooftop Bars

I hope this article helped you understand which coffee to enjoy in Athens, like the locals do.

You may also want to see the street food guide of Athens and the best rooftop bars with stunning Acropolis views.

Finally, if you liked this article, then please subscribe to our newsletter for exclusive tips about Athens using the form below.

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Make Your Trip Easier

Airport Transfer
If you want to get to and from Athens Airport with peace of mind, I recommend pre-booking your taxi with Welcome Pickups. Their flat rate is a few euros more expensive than random taxis, but it is totally worth it. They use local, English-speaking drivers, who will wait for you even if your flight is delayed and introduce you to the city during your ride.

I always book my accommodation with a reliable service like Booking.com. They offer a price guarantee and 24/7 support in case of any problems with your hotel. Always make sure you read reviews from other guests before booking.

From day trips to Greek islands to Acropolis Guided Tours, GetYourGuide will help you find some unique ideas for your trip.

Car Rental
If you decide to rent a car while in Athens, check Rentalcars. It compares the most reliable companies and returns the best prices with free cancellation.

Free Athens Tours
If you have limited time or want a local guide to introduce you to the city, check GuruWalk. They offer free tours, and at the end, you give them the amount you think is fair.

Travel Insurance
Travel insurance will protect you if you get sick or injured while abroad, or if you lose your luggage or your flight is delayed. On my trips, I use SafetyWing as it’s affordable and has a simple claims process.

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