Glyfada has changed over the years. Little remains of the cosmopolitan resort of the 60s and the American influences of the 70s. Yet, it is still a lively and somewhat idle neighbourhood. The smell of the sea when the south wind blows, the wide streets and broad sidewalks, all give you a sense that everything here is much simpler, more relaxed. You even notice it in the way people dress, or go about their daily routine. It is also one of the main reasons that in recent decades, Glyfada has welcomed tens of thousands of new residents who are willing to embrace its spirit and follow its pace. One favourite pastime is taking an early morning bike ride by the beach, where you come across plenty of Glyfadiotes (as the people in Glyfada are called) jogging, or even having a quick swim before work. You can buy fresh fish at the open-air fish market which is set up regularly at the small fishing boat marina in the morning, and you are once again left awestruck by the majestic dawn by the sea. A quiet early morning coffee at Delfinia (delfiniafishrestaurant.gr) at the end of the beach with fishing boats and small yachts for a backdrop is a must.
The walk continues from here towards the square of Esperidon, where you will find the patisserie Tasos (otasos.business.site) on Marangou Street no.6 with the best cheese pies in the vicinity. Grandfather Mr. Tasos opened this cheese pie shop in 1955, and although he is no longer with us, the good work still carries on keeping the spirit of the business alive and, above all, without compromising on the quality and taste of their recipes. Apart from the amazing savoury pies, you can also enjoy fresh éclairs and the negrakia sweets, an old-school chocolate dessert loved by young and old. A bit further up, is Pecati di Gola (+30 210 8981.511) the best Neapolitan trattoria in the southern suburbs. For many years, the cuisine relies on the traditional recipes of the Italian owner and chef, but also on his daughters who won’t rest on their laurels; they are in a constant, high-spirited search and produce excellent results. Returning to the area around the Esperides Square, my personal neighbourhood where new shops pop up all the time, there are some hangouts that are my all time favourites. Pere Ubu (pereubu.gr) is an all-day bar-restaurant full of people from the early morning for coffee, until late in the evening for food, drinks and good lounge music. Its sister restaurant SeaSpice (+30 212 1054.489) right next door, is also intriguing and atmospheric with a contemporary fish-based cuisine and an equally nice bar.
At the pizza bar Aperitivo (aperitivopizza.gr), I will enjoy tasty sandwiches, pizza and pasta, and I can’t help but mentioning the ever popular since my childhood burger place Queen (queenburger.gr) which was the first to open in the area. I used to hang out there during my teenage years and still do occasionally with my children! And the tour continues. Molly Malone’s (mollymalones.gr) is an authentic Irish pub, with English football shown on the screens, and the commotion coming from the expat residents of Glyfada chattering and cheering, who are the regulars in this pub. I will go to Mosaiko (mosaikobar.gr) for cocktails, music and a sense of the Athenian centre, and the outdoor cinema Arian (ariancinema.gr) that reopened just last year after thirty odd years, with its cushions, sofas and the canteen serving from popcorn and hot dogs, to whiskey. Finally, one of my favourite routes is going with my car towards the Glyfada golf course and driving around the old airport at sunset. It is a quiet, almost like a countryside road with the old Olympic airplanes still there, and the view of the huge empty airport that ends up in the sea is another reminder of why I love this southern neighborhood of the city so much. There is a plan of building the Hellinikon Metropolitan Park here in the coming years.
- RANIA RANGOU is an artist based in Athens, Greece. She studied painting at the School of Fine Arts in Athens and at the School of Fine Arts in Madrid. She also studied Video Art and Music & Sound Techniques at the School of Visual Arts in New York. She has presented her work in solo and group exhibitions in Greece, Germany, Portugal, Spain, Brazil, Italy and Turkey.