Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Greek café etiquette

the counter at Mikal Coffee

In my brief time in Greece, I was able to notice some differences in the café culture there. I have noted a few tips and observations here for reference:

  • Grab a seat wherever you like 
  • Wait for the waiter to come to you (it might take a while) 
  • Smoking is legal at all cafes and Greek people smoke like the 90s never happened
  • There may be a menu on the table. If there isn’t one, don’t expect to be given one. The waiter assumes you know what you want. If you don’t, you have to ask for the menu. 
  • It’s not rude to flag the waiter down if you need to order. Don’t expect them to keep checking up on you. They will assume you want to be left alone to talk with your friends.
  • There is so much more than just coffee; Greek cafes have cocktails, snacks, food, beer, wine.
  • After you order, it will take damn long for you to get your drinks 
  • You can stay as long as you want, hours, even all day and you will never be kicked out.
the ubiquitous ashtray - a staple of any Greek cafe
  • All cafes have wifi, but it’s not a laptop culture. People are there to socialize, which brings me to my next point: 
  • It’s really loud. No on seems to go to cafes alone unless they are waiting for someone, and there are always large groups of people chatting. 
  • It’s also normal to see families or small children at cafes, even in the middle of the night. 
  • Many cafes are open early but not all. Some don’t open until 11:00 or 12:00. Depending on the type of café, they can be open as late as a bar. 

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