If Glyfada, Voula and Vouliagmeni were siblings, Voula would be the underappreciated middle child. There's Glyfada, or the eldest, a perpetual valedictorian, and Vouliagmeni, the youngest, always ready for a party. But Voula: What does the quiet, family-centric seaside neighborhood have to offer? Well, buckle up, because over the last few years, Voula has come into its own. Gone are the days where all you could find was a taverna or a souvlaki joint. From wine bars and restaurants to cafes and all-day bars, Voula is dishing out quality cuisine and cultivating an atmosphere that rivals its siblings'. Don't ever count out the middle kid.

Rey Pablo

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If your idea of  Voula hasn’t changed much since the '90s, then prepare for a mental shake-up at Rey Pablo, an all-day cafe and restaurant on Vasileos Pavlou. Besides the industrial decor, the major draw here is the friendly “make yourself at home” atmosphere that brothers and co-proprietors Michalis and Yiannis Travlos foster. (You’ve got to love the mind that came up with the name Rey Pablo. Look at the address, remember your rudimentary Spanish and you’ll get it.) And with a menu featuring comfort food, superfoods and killer cocktails, it won’t matter what time of day you show up — you’ll feel right at home. Pro tip: Have a coffee. Nine blends are made exclusively for Rey Pablo from Arabica beans, so you won’t find flavor like this anywhere else.  
Where: Vasileos Pavlou Ave. 89-91, Voula
When: Mon.-Fri., 7:30 a.m.-late; Sat. & Sun., 8 a.m.-late
More info: Facebook


Dry & Raw

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Drakoulis Meats has been serving some of the best cuts (and beats) in the southern suburbs for years. For the uninitiated, when you enter the butchery you will be blown away by techno music. With that same level of passion, Stratos Drakoulis created Dry & Raw, a “restauroom” in the cellar of the shop. From here, Drakoulis and chef Michael Merzeni serve dishes where meat is always the protagonist. You choose your cut from directly from the refrigerators, and then it's served with either roasted or mashed potatoes, or a salad. Dry & Raw has been operational since December, and on any given day the menu will include surprise dishes, a variety of appetizers and desserts. Since you’re dining in a cellar, it’s only natural that Drakoulis will propose the right vino to bring out the flavor of the meat you've chosen.
Where: Vasileos Pavlou Ave. 103, Voula
When: Tues.-Sun., noon-midnight
More info: 694 989 0002; Facebook



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Look around you. Somewhere in your home you have a Snitta, Bjursta, Aläng or Ektorp — but you definitely don't have an Öppen. That's because Öppen is not a piece of DIY furniture, but an all-day bar set in an intimate garden. With a name that means "open" in Swedish, the space's Nordic evidence is clear (think muted colors, sleek lines and Swedish wood). The menu is a meticulously crafted offering of breakfast, brunch and burgers, plus coffee and cocktails. Try the signature patty with goat cheese or, for herbivores, the quinoa and beetroot burger. Both go down well with a bottle of Ludwig Weiss beer or a cocktail.
Where: Poseidonos 15 & Plastiras, Voula
When: Daily, 9 a.m.-1 a.m.
More info: 210 965 8841; Facebook


Cava Faidon

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If you're a grape connoisseur, you'll want to make a regular pilgrimage to Cava Faidon. The wine shop has more than 900 labels with a special focus on wines from Bordeaux, Italy and New Zealand. Pop over to the delicatessen and resistance becomes futile, as sausages, cheese and other deli products line the shelves. Try the Tuscan salami, jamón ibérico, Tinos Gruyère and the pecorino with black truffles. Fortunately, the deli also functions as a bar. With views of a lush green park, and jazz and swing tunes wafting in the background, it's a magical spot in which to sip wines by the glass (or pick a bottle from the cava).
Where: Agiou Ioannou 28, Voula
When: Daily, 9 a.m.-11 p.m.
More info: 21 5510 9975; Facebook 


Peri Gis

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Then there’s Peri Gis, where owners Kostas and Christos have set up a self-proclaimed "grocery bar." Stock up on groceries like fruits and vegetables from their own family farm in Koropi, among many other healthy offerings. Before you leave, stop by the bustling bar at the entrance to make your own juice (crowd favorite is the cherry and pineapple), slurp a peanut butter smoothie or pick up a salad topped with bright veggies.

Where: Leoforos Vasileos Pavlou 105, Voula
When: Mon.-Fri., 8 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sat., 8 a.m.-8 p.m.
More info: 21 0899 4457; Facebook



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If Cava Faidon tricked you into thinking you’re in France, then Ballaro will have you believing you’re in Palermo. Sitting pretty on a pedestrianized street with a mishmash of wrought iron furniture, Ballaro is inspired by the Sicilian capital in terms of both style and sustenance. A perfect spot for date night, the menu is short and refined, focusing on classic Italian pasta dishes and some regional Sicilian flavors. It's rounded out by well-loved antipasti, salads and desserts. You can't go wrong with the tagliata served with sweet potato mash and truffle, the tortellini al ragu and the porcini risotto. Don’t leave without trying the affogato.
Where: Poseidonos 12, Voula
When: Tues.-Sun., noon-midnight
More info: 210 899 4464; Facebook

By Eleni Zoe

Jo'burg born, London-educated, Athens-based. Eleni Zoe is a copywriter, daily chai drinker and the curator of Cats & Greece