In the middle of the harbor of Nafplio, the "Aktaion Mare" all day café & bistro stands proudly unique, really hard to miss! One of the most historic cafeterias, of the most popular spots in the city, is housed in an impressive and recently renovated neoclassical mansion.
One of my favorite habits in Nafplio, is to go for a walk in the harbor early in the morning. In the quietness of the city, I enjoy my stroll with relaxed steps, which finally lead me to "Aktaion Mare" for the first coffee of the day.
Somebody else in my place would choose a table in front, with an unobstructed view, with Bourtzi cutting across the sea and the sky. And yet, I prefer to sit a little further in, where the "painting" in front of me is framed by exotic palm trees, while I can also observe the people and the decoration around me.
My double espresso, as strong as I want it, arrives in front of me to remind me of the value of small pleasures. After a while, Aris Georgopoulos arrives -co-owner of Aktaion together with Vassilis Stavropoulos. He welcomes me and states out that we are in one of the most historic shops of Nafplio, housed in a neoclassical mansion of 1913.
Once upon a time, here was the "Kosmikon" Cafe, the first billiard shop in the city, but also the place where the first Greek beauty pageants took place (for this reason the shop, in the 1960s and '70s, had many mirrors on its walls)! In 1990 the father, Dimitris Georgopoulos undertook it, renamed it "Aktaion" and kept it as a coffee-snack bar, with coffee, dessert and ice cream until 2015. It was then that the new generation took over and Aktaion changed its name, became "Aktaion Mare", changed its decoration, logo, style, clientele, and became the favorite hangout for coffee, drinks and food that we know today.
Chill out decoration
The place is slowly filled with loving couples, close friends, larger groups of people, Greek and foreign tourists, sitting relaxed on the sofas of gray and blue sea-like color and at the tables with the leather chairs.
The space radiates a spontaneous intimacy and wins you over immediately, perhaps thanks to the decorative details, such as the wooden lamps suspended from the huge umbrellas, the artificial and the real plants in the tall pots, but also the "little garden", as Aris calls it, with the roses and trees.
The outdoor bar (cocktail bar) as a new addition, along with the temporary expansion of the tables to the left, are sure to make our summer nights even more relaxed.
Your hangout, all day long
At Aktaion your day starts with a hearty breakfast (I suggest the "Greek" one with coffee, orange juice, honey, tahini, whole egg yolks, gruyere, tomatoes and sausage), with a delicious omelet, a refreshing fruit salad or a crepe, sweet or salty.
If you woke up late, a delicious brunch will satisfy both your hunger and your palate and together with a fresh orange juice will fill you with energy.
If it is already evening and you want to enjoy a good beer with your friends and catch up, the variety of the labels is really great. And of course, you will accompany your beer with a variety of cheeses and cold cuts on a plate, or with an easy dish, such as a burger, club sandwich or pizza.
Us followers of #sweettooth will not be left complaining, since we have waffles, ice creams, crepes, and sweets to choose from, such as: homemade apple pie, pancakes, chocolate souffle, ekmek kadaifi and ice cream!
Hungry for more
From the main Menu, I would suggest that you try the burgers and specifically the Aktaion special burger, with fresh beef meat, cheddar, bacon, fried egg, tomato, pickle sauce, ketchup-mustard. Not only it sounds great, it honestly is!
The Greek country pizza is also very good, the risotto with mushrooms and "apaki", the Frutti di Mare pasta (spaghetti with shrimp, mussels, garlic, boukovo spice), the filleted sea bass and, as for meat lovers, the ultimate and properly cooked rib-eye black angus.
The polite staff will help you accompany your food by ideally combining it with a selected Greek wine label, from the well-informed wine list or with one of Aktaion's premium cocktails.
And so, in this lively place full of history, people and friends relax, talk and laugh with a glass of wine in hand, and write their own stories.
In your choices...
Breakfast, Coffee, Dessert, Drinks, Sandwiches, Pasta, Meat dishes, Crepes and Pancakes, Wifi, Take-away
Did you know that?
The place operates with coffee-sweets and the name "Aktaion" since 1955 (while it was formerly called "Kosmikon", since 1915)!
If you're vegan, you will find here a delicious vegan burger, and if you watch your diet, I recommend the excellent burger with grilled vegetables.
From the savory crepes, try the "Aktaion Mare" with cheese, sausage, bacon, mushrooms, pepper and sauce!
The interior may lately not be used due to Covid-19, but I cannot but mention how impressive and warm it is! Standing out: The oversized pop-baroque lamps, which hang from the high ceiling, the preserved characteristic tile on the floor and the large bar with the stools in black velvet.
In your choices
Coffee, Breakfast, Sweets, Drinks, Cold Dishes, Crepes, Varieties, Pasta, Meat, Snacks, Wifi, Take away.
All year round
Everyday from 07:30 am until 02:30, the next day's morning!