Books, Cafés and Art in Athens – a few ideas

By no means a complete list; a mere collection of tried and tested ideas…


Πατάκης / Bookstore Patakis
Massive selection in Greek, small selection on other languages – worth a browse.

Small select selection of books in a variety of languages – as well as cards and other paraphernalia. Great service – and gift wrap.

Οίκος Ανοχής Σκέψης / Free Thinking Zone
Interesting selection of books and other publications, including the quirky.

Οίκος Ανοχής Σκέψης means ‘House of Thought Tolerance’. Worth a browse.


Possibly the best place in Athens for a traditional Greek coffee. An absolute joy. And watch the world go by in the market quarter.

Nice little tri-part hideaway. Very close to Syntagma Sq. Try the homemade lemonade. Kick back, make some notes…

Poems ‘n Crimes Art Bar & Café

2018 08 21 Poems & Crimes Athens - TS Eliot Quote @michaelambjorn
Café / bookshop in Monastiraki – get an coffee and sit out the back. Plot.


National Museum of Contemporary Art

Εθνικό Μουσείο Σύγχρονης Τέχνης – ΕΜΣΤ
Beautiful space in an old brewery. Changing exhibitions – and an amazing view from the rooftop, including of Pnyka (look it up).

The Art Foundation

Gallery / hip bar. Worth a brief stop. Maybe wear black.

The Museum of Cycladic Art

Μουσείο Κυκλαδικής Τέχνης

Blast form the 3000 bc past.

The Onassis Cultural Centre

Shipping a range of activities – including some visual arts. Tasting-menu joint on the top floor (Hytra).

Enjoy – and what would you add?

London: all the caffeine & culinary apps you need

If you’re visiting London for #Eurocomm – or perhaps just visiting London in general, here’s a quick round-up of the top caffeine & culinary apps for downloading to your phone before you depart…

A brief preamble before we get stuck in

Maps, maps, maps
There’s a virtue in being lost from time to time, but if you’re short of time, then you may want to cache a London map onto your phone. You can do this with Google Maps – simply zoom to the area you want to keep and type ‘ok maps’ in the search bar. That should more or less take care of it. See the Google Maps help pages if you run into trouble.

Getting from A to B
Cycling is always fastest and there are Boris bike points throughout the centre of town (and here’s a handy iOS app for that) and lots has been done to make London more legible for walkers. Should you feel compelled to use the underground, be sure to follow @tfltravelalerts – and if you need a cab, book ahead using Kabbee – in fact, here’s £10 off code for your first use: PUEZFDget the app here.

Now onto the actual guide:


The good people a Blue Crow Media have a handy app that covers a lot of the top coffee joints across the city: App Store | Google Play | Website.


That’s a lot of choice though. If you’re a Foursquare / Swarm user then you may want to rely on what your friends have rated – or perhaps a curated list like this: London’s (arguably) Best Coffee.


If you’re attending Eurocomm, then here’s a long list of worthwhile /quirky eateries near London College of Communication.

If you’re looking for more specific suggestions based on cuisine (and less geographically bound), then here are a couple of curated lists ready made for Foursquare users:

App-wise, here are some favourites – that work for London – and well beyond:


A quick list of worthwhile coffee spots in San Francisco

There’s more good coffee in SF than this perhaps, but this is not a bad set of places to start…

Réveille Coffee Co. – for that wake-up shot – and avocado on rye
4076 18th Street, San Francisco, CA 94114, United States

Fourbarrel Coffee – fresh roasted – literally
375 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA 94103, United States

Blue Bottle Coffee – this is one of their several superb locations
315 Linden Street, San Francisco, CA 94102-5109, United States

Ritual Coffee Roasters – get a shot and then nip next door and get a bike
432b Octavia Street, San Francisco, CA 94102, United States

…and for that bike mentioned above? 

Streets of San Francisco Bikes – good bikes, nice people 
370 Linden Street, San Francisco, CA 94102, United States

A quick list of worthwhile spots in Amsterdam

Latei – for that uitsmijter … and a decent coffee
Zeedijk 143
1012 AW Amsterdam

Caffè il Momento – for hipster-grade espresso
Singel 180
1015 AJ Amsterdam

Café-restaurant van Kerkwijk – for the vibe, service and food
Nes 41
1012 KC Amsterdam

De Bekeerde Suster – for that brewed-on-site experience
Kloveniersburgwal 6
1012 Amsterdam

Belgisch Bierlokaal “Het Elfde Gebod” – because does what it says on the tin and the name is a higher order imperative
Zeedijk 5
1012 AN Amsterdam

Amsterdam Public Library – because all modern libraries should have something to aspire to
Oosterdokskade 143
1011 Amsterdam

For more quick lists go here – for more like this more broadly, follow @michaelambjorn 

Big Apple ideas – as of April 2014

One of my favourite megalopoli to meander about is NYC and thus recommendations evolve with each visit.

Three new particularly worthwhile places have been added to this Foursquare NYC Coffee list – in the order that I visited them:

  1. The Smile – tucked away downstairs at 26 Bond St (btwn Bowery & Lafayette St.), New York, NY 10012 and 
  2. Abraço – on 86 E 7th St (at 1st Ave), New York, NY 10003
  3. Everyman Espresso – 301 W Broadway (btwn Canal & Grand St.), New YorkNY 10013

For a more comprehensive collection of coffee joints across New York, check out Blue Crow’s NYC Coffee app (scroll).

This time I sadly didn’t get to update my jazz joint list… but did add a new place to the short, and incomplete, list of worthwhile cocktail establishments

Miami revisited: from Puerto Sagua to Eternity

A friend of mine is visiting Miami and that led me to revisit my notes from my most recent time there, in case I’d find a top tip to pass along.

The two place that stood out from a coffee & culinary point of view are:

Puerto Sagua Restaurant

// The unusual bit about this place

It is a bit of a dive, but pulls it off with panache.

// The five reasons I’ll go back

  1. Good value food – including some wholesome soup and cuban sandwiches
  2. The fact that you can sit and eat at the bar on your own – or bring a boisterous group – I tried both
  3. The mix of locals and out-of-towners – great for people watching
  4. Freshly squeezed orange
  5. Open till 2am

Find it on Foursquare | Google Places | traditional map: 
700 Collins Avenue Miami Beach, FL 33139 | +1 (305) 673-1115

Eternity Coffee Roasters –

// The unusual bit about this place

At the time of visiting there were not many places in Miami roasting coffee, so this one stood out.

// The five reasons I’ll go back

  1. Good XX extraction 
  2. Knowledgable and friendly staff
  3. Good selection of beans to choose from
  4. Tea for those thus inclined
  5. WiFi

Find it on Foursquare | Google Places | traditional map: 
117 Southeast 2nd Avenue Miami, FL 33131 | +1 (305) 350-7761

There are lots of other things to see – here are some visual ideas for you.

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