Images from Kolokotroni Street, in Athens city center

Staying with the Athens city center motif in this post, with pictures from one of the main, narrow streets passing through the maze of the "historic triangle" of Athens with a West-to-East direction. Kolokotroni Street is named after Theodoros Kolokotronis, one of the main heroes of the Greek war of independence of 1821-29, who happened to leave in a house on this street (Kolokotroni St. & Lekka St.) towards the end of his life.

Just like its quasi-parallel "Karageorgi Servias / Perikleous / Athinaidos / Agias Irinis" Street (see previous posts), this is a street dominated by textile shops and small eateries. Together with the rest of the "historic triangle" (see a map of Athens neighborhoods here), it has gone through a relative renaissance in the past 4 years, turning from a dangerous place to pass though after sunset, to somewhat of a nightlife (and daytime) hub. To get a feel of this area see the photos and read the legends below them. Enjoy!

Bobbins and textile reels behind a shop window; Kolokotroni St., Athens, Greece

Tie store; Kolokotroni St., Athens, Greece

Fabric rolls, at 58 Kolokotroni St. & Nikiou St., Athens, Greece

Cars moving up at Kolokotroni St, during an August noon; Athens, Greece

Orange juice machine and various snacks, in one of the many small eateries dotting Kolokotroni St. in Athens, Greece

A blackboard for a traditional coffee-shop / mezedopoleio, at Kolokotroni St.,...

...leads you into this cool and peaceful little arcade, and the entrance stairs of a building.

Barley Cargo, a beer pub that has been around since 2012,  at the corner of Kolokotroni & Karytsi streets; Athens, Greece.

Another entrance to a secret spot, with some hidden stores offering...

...coffees, drinks, hot dogs, music and second-hand clothes, harmoniously hanging in there.

Last but not least, the rear side of the Old Parliament Building, at the corner of Kolokotroni & Stadiou Streets; Athens, Greece

The back entrance of the Old Parliament Building (1875-1935), now hosting the National Historical Museum; Athens, Greece

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Ariston: a snack food tradition in the center of Athens

Walk around Athens for even a few minutes and you are bound to come across a bunch of snack-food places selling tyropitas, a local favorite of a quick grab, often used by Greeks as a breakfast alternative or as something to eat on the go, when rushing from one appointment to the other. Tyropita stands for "cheese pie" but the combinations these 2 little words entail are practically endless. The cheese may be -and usually is- feta, but quite often it is also kasseri (in which case it may be referred to as kasseropita), or anthotyro or some combinations of these or various other cheeses. The surrounding pocket may consist of layers of phyllo dough or "regular" dough and can range from being very oily to dry, with or without sesame on top, and in various degrees of thickness. The majority of these snack places are unfortunately just selling points for food stuff produced in local workshops, that procure to many clients and don't really have a major interest in producing something memorable. Truth be told however, many foreign visitors are thrilled with whatever they can find, since the novelty of the taste and the lack of experience in their taste buds makes up for any shortcomings in craftsmanship.

The long introduction is to let you know that Ariston, at 10 Voulis Street, right next to central Syntagma Square is not one these places. Having being around for more than a century, as their entrance sign proudly proclaims, they rightly are one of Athenians' favorite snack food places. Come here on any week day morning / early afternoon and you're bound to find a number of locals grabbing their favorite pie on the way to some place else. Their dough is a really tasty, non-oily type, that can accommodate a large variety of combinations for fillings. 

A constantly refilled shop window at Ariston, 10 Voulis St., Athens.

Pans of pies behind a shop window at Ariston, 10 Voulist St., Athens

During times of religious fasting, their offerings include delicious pies with shrimps or vegetables, which are permitted or tolerated by the Greek Orthodox fasting tradition. You may also find pies you won't get to see anywhere else in Athens, such as ones with burgers, sausages, bacon, chicken, sweet red peppers etc, all of them produced on site and not in some anonymous workshop miles away.

The very simple, practically non-existent, decoration of the place should not deter you from entering the premises.

Ariston also offers various local pastries that you might want to experiment with if you have a craving for something sweet.

A smile goes a long way!

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Walking along Agias Irinis St., in Athens city center

Following the previous post on Perikleous / Karagiorgi Servias St., here are some more pics from the same street as it changes name, first to "Athinaidos" and then to "Agias Irinis" (don't ask me why...).

This must have been an architectural eye candy, before turning into an eye-shore

Curtains and linens, at Athinaidos St.

Looking back at Athinaidos, at the corner with Kalamiotou St., Athens, Greece

8 Athinaidos St. - Kids formal wear, tagging and graffiti ("S**t to Fascists!" reads the slogan), in a surreal ensemble!

The Church of Agia Irini, the first Athens Cathedral two centuries ago, at Agias Irinis Sq.

Agia Irini, Athens, Greece

Pigeons at the awning of derelict shop - Athinaidos St., across Agias Irinis Sq., Athens

Graffiti front with a block of flats in the background; view from Agias Irinis St., Athens

Fabric rolls outside a shop; Agias Irinis St., Athens, Greece

Gavriilidis Editions, housed here, have come up with an interesting and rather ironic response to the surrounding plague of tagging.

Corner of Agias Irinis St. (ending here) and the main, noisy, and full of smells, Athinas St., Athens, Greece


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