You’re in Koukaki, Athens. You’re hungry — perhaps a bit tired. Cantina Bella is there for you. Having opened in April 2018, it aims to be one of the neighbourhood’s most quality spots for yummy, joyous and creative street food. Years later, every time is like the first time.
Marilena and I first discovered it when we lived in Koukaki, and now we’ve moved, Nektarios, Martha & Kyriaki and their friendly demeanor is one of the things we miss the most about our old neighborhood. They still always ask “are you taking this away or are you staying here with us?”
These guys started out with just a handful of items, but over the years their menu has expanded considerably: avocado bruschetta, hot dogs, vegan burgers, and lahmajoun (haven’t tried those), or my favorite “mushroom lafel” — that’s a falafel wrap with added mushroom inside the falafel balls. Their tomato jam makes everything taste amazing.
You can also try a local beer, like a bottle of Noctua IPA (check out Sofia’s article).
The space has a minimal aesthetic with a unique, eclectic, tongue-in-cheek decorative style. Their blend of shelves loaded with VHSs of live concerts, walls painted bright pastel colours, a poster of the Soviet movie Battleship Potemkin and rock and roll playing in the background feels very personal and is unlike anything else I’ve seen in Athens.
Marilena’s made the big statement that Cantina Bella’s lahmajoun would be her wish for a last meal. Just saying…