Why you should care

Because communal drinking can unite us all for the cause.

You’d be forgiven for avoiding Monastiraki, the neighborhood home to the famous flea markets of Athens, on your next trip to Greece. Brimming with souvenir shops, overpriced tourist-trap restaurants and, well, tourists, the central neighborhood isn’t exactly the first place you think of when looking for authentic Greek culture. Unless you’re willing to pull back the curtain.

Winding through Monastiraki’s busy streets, with their absurdly small sidewalks, and down an unassuming alley, you’ll find a flight of stairs that leads you downward, momentarily into a dimly lit tunnel, and out into a humming, vibrant backyard atmosphere where beautiful young Greeks, illuminated in the glow of fairy lights strung between trees, chain-smoke, drink and banter. This is Six d.o.g.s.

Six d.o.g.s bar

 The atmosphere at Six d.o.g.s. is infused with the spirit of anarchy.

Source Courtesy of six d.o.g.s/Facebook

I was first led there in the sweltering height of summer, by a friend who’s lived in the busy city her entire life. Following her through the post-work crowds and tourists with no sense of communal space, we emerged into the Six d.o.g.s backyard. On stools at a high table, elbow to elbow with the patrons next to us, we drank Campari sodas. Ambient music and the hum of voices buzzed at just the right volume around us. It’s an intimate place, where empty jars hanging from tree branches serve as lighting, and there’s just enough room on the table to savor a deconstructed salad of cheese, oily tomatoes and Cretan bread rusk, on the menu for €7 (about $7.50).

Young Greeks come here to hang out, infusing the atmosphere with the spirit of anarchy.

Open since 2009, Six d.o.g.s bills itself as an “all-day/all-night cultural entertainment center.” But it’s not just any old bar with a backyard. It’s something of a cultural hub, where you’ll find local artists displaying their craft in the Project Space and open-air garden. In the Gig Space you can catch a band or DJ, performance art or even a comedy show. It’s “a place that is open in every way,” says Yannis Palaiologos, a journalist and Six d.o.g.s frequenter. Anyone can feel at home here, he adds, from “hard-driving professionals to artists and punk rockers.”

Six d.o.g.s bar

 Catch a band or DJ, performance art or even a comedy show in the Gig Space.

Source Courtesy of six d.o.g.s/Facebook

The drinks are cheap (it’s €4 for beer, €5 for wine), but it doesn’t draw a cheap-drinks crowd. Young Greeks come here to hang out, infusing the atmosphere with the spirit of anarchy — no surprise with the anarchist neighborhood of Exarchia only a stone’s throw away. And what’s more anarchic than perching on a stepped, sandy hill flecked with wooden benches and low tables, refusing to shun the joy of conversation, imbibing in the company of others when the country’s in a downturn?

Six d.o.g.s bar

 The drinks are cheap, but the crowd isn’t.

Source Courtesy of six d.o.g.s/Facebook

As my uncle explained to me one night over a half-liter of tsipouro: “Our country is in trouble. People have no money, but the Greek way is to commune.” If you can’t afford your drinks one week, others will chip in, he explains. “Going out for dinner and drinks is a political act here — it’s Plato’s symposium.”

Six d.o.g.s indeed embodies the spirit of the symposium. Between the experimental creatives and local crowds that convene here, the bar is a celebration of grassroots Greek contemporary culture. I like to think of it as the meeting of the taverna (Greek tavern) of my grandparents’ generation and the ancient agora (public gathering space) mashed together, where everyone is welcome. But first you’ll need to find it.

OZYGood Sh*t

If you’d want to drink it, eat it, wear it, ride it, drive it; if it’d be cool to see, listen to or do, we’re writing about it.

  • 12 Books You Need To Read
    12 Books You Need To Read
    Good Sh*t

    12 Books You Need To Read

    Summer is coming to a close in the Northern Hemisphere. But as the evenings draw in and temperatures fall, there’s never been a better time to curl up with a book and enter a world not of your own making. The international literary world has never been as diverse — or downright interesting — as it is today. That’s why we’ve collated for you, dearest OZY reader, some of the best new reads from Argentina to Zimbabwe and many fascinating places in between. Read on because we guarantee you this: There’s no list as interesting as ours.

  • The Hidden Wonders of Latin America
    The Hidden Wonders of Latin America
    Good Sh*t

    The Hidden Wonders of Latin America

    When it comes to popular depictions of Latin America and its culture, shallow stereotypes of what is a profoundly diverse region abound. Which is why, to truly get Latino culture, you need to tune out of popular — and often sadly inaccurate — tropes and tune in to today’s Daily Dose.  Indigenous rappers, quinoa sushi and cannabis-infused teas are transforming Latin America’s cultural and gastronomic landscape even as brave activists work to preserve the region’s astonishing natural beauty. Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month by diving deeper than just salsa rhythms, Caribbean beaches and pisco sours for a sensory journey to a stunning part of the world that’s in flux. I should know: I’m from Argentina.

  • Ready to Be Hypnotized by Tasmania’s Rainforests?
    Ready to Be Hypnotized by Tasmania’s Rainforests?
    Good Sh*t

    Ready to Be Hypnotized by Tasmania’s Rainforests?

    From soft sand and wild rivers to long trekking trails, Tarkine in Tasmania has you covered.

  • If We Ever Go On Vacations Again
    If We Ever Go On Vacations Again
    Good Sh*t

    If We Ever Go On Vacations Again

    If this COVID crap ever ends, you'll want to get away. We mean REALLY get away. From Wi-Fi and all that entails.

  • Love Fiction? We've Got Some Podcasts for You
    Love Fiction? We've Got Some Podcasts for You
    Good Sh*t

    Love Fiction? We've Got Some Podcasts for You

    This week on Wherever You Get Your Podcasts, we showcase some of the best scripted fiction podcasts, many of which are heading to the small screen.