And for our next trick, we will reveal Santorini is in Garhoud, not Greece.
Lo and behold, Barista Lab. One of our favorite discoveries while doom-scrolling through Instagram (it has its upsides, see?). This unassuming little whitewashed coffee shop with angular Greek-style signage is holed up amidst a cluster of salons and small-scale businesses in Garhoud.
All pretense at being inconspicuous, however, goes out the window the minute you walk through the tiny cafe’s blue doors. For all we know, it’s a portal into Santorini.
Done up in stark whites offset by brilliant cyan blues synonymous with the Aegan island, this coffee shop nails the ambiance to a tee.
From striped white and blue cushions to shuttered windows with their striking blue door flung open, right down to the bright pink bougainvillea spilling over the walls of the cafe’s courtyard.
Those bursts of fuschia flowers create the perfect frame for that postcard holiday shot. Except, here, you don’t have to board a plane or jostle through packs of tourists and wait hours for a clear people-free shot of that exact image.
The big fat Greek resemblance ends there, though. The menu is a hotchpotch of delectable breakfast food, drinks and desserts cobbled together from different parts of the world, save four Greek items.
Usual suspects such as Greek salad and Greek omelette sit alongside the quintessential freddo coffees of Greece – iced coffees that give Greek natives their caffeine kick and help withstand the Mediterranean sun.
Barista Lab plays to their strengths as a coffee specialist and serve up a mean Freddo cappuccino and Freddo espresso.
Would we love to hear the sounds of waves gently crashing on the cliffside and see the iconic blue domes of Oia’s Anastasi Church as we sip on our Freddos? Yes, we absolutely would.
But we’ll settle for a midday escape that will allow us to reclaim our lunch hour while deluding ourselves into thinking we’re enjoying that big fat Greek holiday this summer. Some Santorini blues to overcome Monday blues? Sign us up!