The economic crisis has severely suppressed the reality of the average Greeks, but not their desire for entertainment. Now you can hardly see groups of young people (unless they are tourists) going from establishment to establishment in mild winter week evenings as it was a year or two ago and home parties have come into fashion again. Resources are limited and prices are not falling at the same pace as the monthly income of most working people. However, inventive owners of cafes, bars and small taverns feel the pulse of the new era and start making promotions at certain hours - 'happy hours', or set themselves up as low budget establishments.
Like most new trends born in Athens, the phenomenon of "having fun outside in the time of crisis" has appeared first in the area of the alternative Exarchia Square, which hosts the Red Lotus (Lotus Kokinos) on 5, Zoodohu Street. There, a pure drink costs about 3.20 euros, which is quite decent if compared with the average price of 5 or 6 euros. A classic Mojito costs 4.20 euros which is preferable to the average price of 8 euros at most other places. A mojito of strawberries or other tastes jumps to 5.20 euros. If you want extras such as nuts or water while in the Red Lotus, there is an extra charge of 0.15 euros for each. Self-service in these establishments is respected, as it maintains low operating costs and going out with friends to such places is cheaper for the customer.
If you like beer and if you are slightly north from downtown Athens, GRReporter strongly recommends that you visit the Irish type pub The Local Pub, located on 25, Chaimanta Street, only three minutes walk from the central square of Chalandri neighbourhood. There you can find over 40 beer labels from the U.S., Canada, Great Britain and Ireland, and prices start from 3.5 euros per glass. You can have a beer at the same price at Bronco CafeBar on 17, Diomidous Street, where you can sit quietly at the dry bars on the pavement and for a small amount, feel the spirit of the west in northern Athens. On Sunday evening, you can even see some of the movements of the country-dance fans, who go there. Alco-hole is also in the northern suburbs of Athens, known for their high prices and luxury establishments. There, you can find a nice youthful atmosphere, a drink for 4 euros and cocktails for 5 euros. The establishment is on 21, Elvetea Street and is a favourite place for young people from the neighbourhood, skating and hanging out on the square in the summer.
The region of Keramikos, where there is a subway station of the same name, is another area full of all kinds of establishments, including low budget and affordable ones. Such a place is Anthropos, which translated from Greek means "man" and is located at 19, Yatrakou Street. Its owners Elias and Iraklis emphasize organic grape brandy and cocktails in extra long glasses for 4 euros. Their specialty is the invention of grape brandy with the typical flavours of pear or apple, but also with bubblegum taste. You can buy them in small plastic bottles and take them home if you like them. Two steps away from the grape brandy spot is the cultural complex Laspi ("mud" in literal translation from Greek), which has a promotion of small Amstel beer for 2.50 euros and a pint for 4 euros, which is quite cheap for Athens' standards. There you can see paintings by young artists and various art installations for sale. Furthermore, Laspi hosts other art forms, including circus performances, but no animals. It is located at 125, Megalos Alexandros Street. Across the street, at number 124, you can find another inexpensive establishment – Diari, where you can find all gay free press distributed in Athens.