Greece – Lifestyle

Greece is famous for its nightlife. The animation doesn’t start before 10 or 11 pm and ends only with the first rays of sun or even later. Greeks are party lovers, and big adepts of music, drinks and having fun among friends.

Bars and cafes:

Bars and cafes stay open until late at night and offer all kinds of music, from Greek and international pop, to trance, alternative rock, jazz, Latin and much more. Every corner of every street has its own bar and café. Especially full on week-ends, Greek bars offer great ambiance, from very trendy ones to more romantic.

Everyone can find his own style and enjoy the music he likes while having the time of his life.

Night Clubs:

Night clubs can be found everywhere and remain open until six or seven in the morning. They also offer a wild range of music and some of them, mostly in Athens, guest famous DJs from the entire world. A special care of the decoration gives a unique atmosphere to each club.

The alcohol is abundant and the thirst for fun and party wins over everyone, till the most reticent one.
A lot of places playing live Greek traditional music can be found all over Greece; it is where a lot of Greeks go to enjoy their night, eat, drink and mostly dance all the Greek traditional dances, accompanied by the sound of the famous “bouzouki”. Everybody laughs, dances, sings and throws flowers: it is a delirious and unique experience to live.

Some Greek islands such as Ios, Santorini, Paros and Mykonos are transformed into party islands during summertime. Streets are full of bars and clubs staying open all night long and offering the best of entertainments. Nightlife is so intense in those islands that they are often compared to a huge night club and attract people from all over the world.

Café in Greece and the Greek Islands is not only a place but also a way of life. Every Greek has his favourite café where he enjoys, with his friends, long hours drinking iced coffee (frappe) and playing the traditional “tavli” (backgammon).
Cafes are the best places to enjoy a summer midday or an afternoon drinking cold refreshment to the sound of modern or Greek traditional music.

The Greek traditional café is called “kafenion” and used to be only for men.
Women were not allowed to seat in a kafenion; they were busy the house’s tasks while the men were drinking Greek coffee (or Turkish coffee) at the kafenion and playing tavli or cards, discussing about politics, with the sound of a bouzouki as a background.

Today, only a few traditional kafenion can still be found in some villages and islands, as well as some parts of Athens; women are now allowed but the clientele is still mostly masculine.

Taverna

Taverna refers to a small restaurant serving Greek cuisine, not to be confused with “tavern”.
The taverna is an integral part of Greek cuisine and of Greek culture.
Tavernas usually open at noon, with dinner hours starting at 8.30pm and reaching a peak around 10pm. As tourism has grown in Greece many tavernas have attempted to cater to foreign visitors with English menus and touts or “shills” being employed in many tavernas to attract passing tourists (you will see that in Plaka-Athens and in many islands). Our advice is NEVER eat in such a taverna. Usually, their food is not good, it’s very…touristic. Similarly, tavernas in tourist areas pay commissions to tour guides who send business their way.
We will try through this blog to give you the names of some really good greek tavernas. Always ask the locals for a good place to eat. Not just one local (he/she may give you the name of his…..cousin’s taverna!). Ask a few and then decide. Another way to find out if the taverna you are about to eat is good or not, is to take a good look at the clients before you seat. Are they any Greeks at the taverna or is it packed by tourists? This should be your “guide” for making a choice.

A typical menu for a taverna would usually include many if not all of the following items:

Bread, usually loaf bread, sometimes flat bread;
Salads such as Greek salad;
Appetizers or entrées like tzatziki (yogurt, garlic, cucumber dip), melitzanosalata (eggplant dip), tirokafteri (whipped feta cheese, with hot peppers and olive oil dip), spanakopita and dolmades or dolmadakia – (rice mixture with fresh herbs such as mint and parsley and sometimes pine nuts-and in some regions minced meat is added-tightly wrapped with tender grape leaves and served with a thick and creamy, lemony sauce);
Soups like fasolada (beansoup)
Pasta such as spaghetti napolitano; pastitsio baked layers of thick pasta (Greek pastichio pasta and minced meat mixture topped with a thick béchamel sauce);
Fish and seafood dishes such as baked fresh fish, fried salt cod served with skordalia (garlic sauce); fried squid and baby octopus;
Baked Dishes (magirefta) such as a wide variety of seasonal Vegetable dishes); moussaka (eggplant or zucchini, minced meat, béchamel sauce);
Grilled dishes such as souvlaki;
Wine including retsina, mavrodafni and other Greek red/white wine varieties;
Beer
Spirits such as ouzo, tsipouro and Metaxa brandy.
Fruit