With its walls of colorful glass bottles, this charming little bar can be elusive—nestled deep in downtown Athens, in the warren of streets that make up the Plaka. Day or night, Brettos (pronounced Vrettos in Greek) is frequented by locals and tourists alike—the oldest distillery in Athens. While you can opt for beer, wine, homemade moonshine, or perhaps a cocktail, you might kick yourself later for passing up the chance to have an ouzo, Greece’s signature anise-flavored liquor, in such a storied watering hole. Who knows where that first sip might lead?
Drinking Ouzo at Brettos: The Perfect Old Place to Try Something New
While sitting outside at a café in Plaka, the historical neighborhood in Athens, a brightly colored wall across the way—filled with bottles—caught my eye. Ouzo was something I wanted to try, as it is for many first-time visitors to Greece, but stumbling upon Brettos was definitely a surprise treat. This is the oldest distillery in Athens, where both locals and travelers stop in to drink homemade ouzo, brandy, and liqueurs. We sat at the bar and drank ouzo, then moved on to sampling liqueurs in a variety of flavors. I will always remember the banana liqueur as being my favorite that day. There were so many colorful liqueurs, more than 36 flavors waiting to come down off the wall and each poured in a glass to try. It was hard to stop at only a few to leave and continue on our way to the Acropolis. Enjoying some drinks at the Brettos distillery and bar was not a planned stop on our trip. But should I ever return to Athens a second time, it definitely will be, and is a memorable spot to have your own first glass of ouzo.
Old Athenian Liquor Shop
If you’re wandering around Plaka on a chilly winter day, there is nothing better than dropping by Brettos for a tall glass of iced liqour. With countless options, it is impossible to go wrong. We swung by around 3 pm on a Wednesday and enjoyed the always unbeatable Greek hospitality. The shop has a wall of century-old whiskey and brandy barrels alongside shelves clad with multi-colored liquors. I recommend their coffee liquor, but they also specialize in citrus flavors.
Grab a drink after a long afternoon of sightseeing
I read about Brettos in highlights on AFAR and just happened upon it while wandering the Plaka, the neighborhood at the foot of the Acropolis with its twisting, intricate streets. Considering it fate, my travel companion and I stopped in for a refreshing glass of Assyrtiko, the white wine from Santorini. The brightly colored room is a breath of fresh air and the staff welcoming and helpful. The ouzo and brandies are tempting to try but in the hot weather head straight for the well chosen wine list!