Avissinias Square

Avissinias Square

Just off Monastiraki Square is the Athens Flea Market, a warren of small streets filled with vendors selling antiques, used clothing, and countless other things of dubious necessity. The heart of this area is the smaller Avissinias Square.

Ifestou Street
Avissinias Square

The vibe (and smell) is very reminiscent of Kensington Market in Toronto, maybe 20 years ago before the trendy bars moved in. The off-season crowds were thin and it was a relaxed wander.

Avissinias Square

Sadly for the vendors we’re not much into buying stuff when we travel, instead tending to spend our money on seeing stuff and… eating stuff. And so we eventually found our more specific destination, Cafe Avissinia, tucked into one corner of the square.

Cafe Avissinia Outside

Cafe Avissinia is one of those places that is touristy but it has a long history in the neighbourhood and also attracts locals. The ground floor has a classic bistro feel, with dark walls and a long coffee counter.

Cafe Avissinia Downstairs
Cafe Avissinia Upstairs

Upstairs feels slightly more generic, but the space is dressed up with eclectic art and a pristine view of the Acropolis through the giant windows. Athenians are obsessed with views of the Acropolis — or at least selling them to tourists. Many businesses seem to have extraneous extra floors simply for the purpose of claiming a view.

Looking for a something slightly lighter than the Greek food we’ve been enjoying (which seems to only come in XXL portions) we shared an order of vegetable couscous and skewered chicken, along with surprisingly spicy chutney and a side of crushed lemon and coriander olives. It turned out to be a great combination. The coffee was good, and complimentary glasses of fiery raki with the bill was also a nice touch.