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Protogenous Street: Inside Athens’ Hippest Hangout

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Hidden in plain sight in the colorful area of Psyrri, among touristy tavernas, budget hostels, and tailor workshops-turned-hookah bars, Protogenous is the city’s overnight sensation, a vibrant street that’s unceasingly jam-packed with bohemian glitterati, fashionable hipsters, and jet setters of the local art scene.

Night and day, locals swarm its narrow pavements in search of the most peculiar cocktails, records of newfangled bands, or sizzling-hot slices of oven-baked pizza.

Here’s how Protogenous street has combined all of the above to claim the crown as the hippest hangout in Athens.

Barrett

Attracting a flamboyant hipster crowd with a see-and-be-seen attitude, Barrett bar is beyond any doubt the flagship of Protogenous’ nightlife scene.

Here you’ll find local star photographers and journalists rubbing shoulders with budding skaters and seasoned barflys under the sounds of indie, punk and rock hits.

The bar also serves drinks outside, at small tables on both sides of the street that leave just enough space for what has become a famous trendsetting catwalk.

  • Address: 11 Protogenous str., Psiri, 105 54, Athens, Greece
  • Phone: +30 210 32 18 373
Barrett bar. Courtesy: vasiasem / instagram
Barrett bar. Courtesy: anta_paparapti / instagram

Tranzistor

Being located right across the street from Barrett means that the competition has always been fierce for this small charming bar. But Tranzistor has really shown its teeth by serving exquisite cocktails, brunch and snacks, hosting parties and DJ sets, and featuring an elegantly decorated interior that is ideal for finishing off a day after exploring the narrow streets of Psyrri.

  • Address: 10 Protogenous str., Psiri, 105 54, Athens, Greece
  • Phone: +30 210 32 38 270

Syd Records

Providing concrete proof that size doesn’t matter and offering a curated selection of records by both local and international artists, Syd Records is a hole-in-the-wall record store that has become a hub for the city’s pompous music connoisseurs. It is also responsible for a wide array of impromptu street concerts that take place in Protogenous Street, primarily during summertime.

  • Address: 13 Protogenous str., Psiri, 105 54, Athens, Greece
  • Phone: +30 210 32 18 374
Syd Records is a small record store in Protogenous Street in Psirri, Athens. Courtesy: Syd Records

Crust Pizza

The notion of a true Athenian hangout is simply not conceivable without at least one crowded street food joint.

And when the need for one presented itself, Crust was there to deliver by offering mouthwatering pizza with fresh ingredients baked in a handmade oven. Still, Crust holds much more than meets the eye. Its basement is what they affectionately call a micro-club that hosts DJ sets and live gigs of all kinds.

  • Address: 13 Protogenous str., Psiri, 105 54, Athens, Greece
  • Phone: +30 210 32 57 179

Kokkion

Imagine walking through the narrow alleyways of Psyrri on a hot summer day and arriving right before a storefront window filled with all kinds of mouthwatering ice cream and sorbets.

Kokkion can sometimes really be a dream come true rather than a mere ice cream shop. Standing on the corner of Protogenous street, Kokkion offers delicious ice cream in all kinds of flavors (such as strained Greek yogurt and Chios mastic) including a few vegan options.

  • Address: 2 Protogenous str., Psiri, 105 54, Athens, Greece
  • Phone: +30 698 15 63 511
Big smiles and excellent ice cream. Courtesy: Kokkion
Kokkion ice-cream. Courtesy: Kokkion

Monster Burgers & Beers

The name makes it pretty straightforward. Monster Burgers & Beers is the place everyone heads for right before or immediately after a long night of heavy drinking on Protogenous street. Their menu is quite extensive and includes mouthwatering beef, chicken and pulled pork burgers (with a couple of vegan options) as well as a wide range of beer labels that you won’t be able to find anywhere else in the city.

  • Address: 8 Protogenous str., Psiri, 105 54, Athens, Greece
  • Phone: +30 210 32 50 324

Color Skates

A natural favorite among skaters and punks, Color Skates is a small boutique skate store that opened its doors at the outset of the financial crisis in 2008, owned and operated strictly by skateboarders.

Passing through the unruly crowd that tends to hang by the entrance, you’ll find snazzy skates and hoodies made by their own fashion brand called Goodbie Skateboards. The team behind Color Skates is also notorious for throwing some of the city’s most extravagant parties.

  • Address: 5 Protogenous str., Psiri, 105 54, Athens, Greece
  • Phone: +30 210 33 17 119
Whether you’re a skater or just want a fresh pair of Vans, head to this long-established dealer of gear and streetwear. Courtesy: Color Skates – Alexandros_Tzorouchof

Treasure House Boutique

Treasure House Boutique is one of the most popular vintage clothing shops in Athens and a hub for all local fashion lovers that are always out on the hunt for any kind of extraordinary vintage attire. Owned by Geroge Karras, a famous collector of fashionable clothing and accessories, this charming shop boasts a large collection of garments and shoes – some of which even date all the way back to the 1940s.

  • Address: 6 Protogenous str., Psiri, 105 54, Athens, Greece
  • Phone: +30 694.645.2029

Lemon Poppy
Seed

Lemon Poppy Seed is a boutique hair salon that stands right in the middle of Protogenous street and has gained a reputation as one of the most hip salons in the city of Athens. It’s responsible for some of the most peculiar haircut styles you’ll inevitably notice on the patrons of the street’s bars. According to the locals, anyone who aspires to be someone should first be making a stop at Lemon Poppy Seed for a total makeover.

  • Address: 7 Protogenous str., Psiri, 105 54, Athens, Greece
  • Phone: +30 210 32 38 270

How to Get To Protogenous Street

Getting to Protogenous Street is quite easy. All you have to do is take the metro and get off at the Monastiraki Station (green and blue line).

From there you’ll only need to walk a couple of minutes through Psyrri on Miaouli street and you’ll find Protogenous on your right-hand side.

Alternatively, you can walk to Psyrri from Syntagma Square via Ermou street or from Omonoia Square via Athinas street.

All in all, Protogenous street is much more than just the sum of its parts. The shops, bars, and food joints you’ll find there are definitely worth your time but the real prize of visiting the narrow street is experiencing the youthful atmosphere and blending in with the locals in the hippest hangout in Athens.

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