Where better to sample of a slice of Athens’ bygone past than one of the beautifully preserved historic cafés and chocolateries? The most historic Athenian cafés congregate around Panepistimiou Boulevard. Café Brazilian and Zonar’s have been the favorite meeting point for artists, journalists and authors, for many years. This is the neighborhood where Henry Miller discussed the ideas that made up the Colossus of Maroussi, where Melina Mercouri would spend much of her leisure time with good friends, and that the MacFarlands frequent in Patricia Highsmith’s novel the Two Faces of January.

Another historical establishment is Aristokratikon chocolaterie, this is where Maria Callas used to buy chocolate peanut clusters, while Jackie Kennedy had a preference for Turkish delights and Grace Kelly had a weakness for caramel peanuts.

Chocolat Constantino is hidden back on an arcade on Sophocleous Str., but don’t let that stop you seeking out this small, local business that creates some of the most delicious handmade chocolates in town. Flavors range from traditional praline and espresso to cointreau and black forest and can be very inexpensive (€4 for 8).

Meanwhile, the dark side of chocolate (Perhaps the smallest café – chocolaterie in Athens) has been a fabulous new addition to our city’s exploding coffee/chocolate scene.

Café Brazilian
10, Valaoritou Street, 00302103622845, http://www.brazilian.gr

Café Zonar’s
9, Voukourastiou Street; 210 3211158 – 3211182

7, Voulis Street; 00302103234373

Chocolat Constantino
4, Sofokleous Street; 00302103243931

The dark side of chocolate
49, Solonos Street, 00302103392348

Text by: Nicolas Nicolaides
Photo: Katerina Nikakis

Big Olive’s Picks: Our Favorite Coffee and Chocolate Spots in Athens