Eat, Pray, Love: Opa is Austin’s go-to Greek retreat


Chloe Almendarez / Hilltop Views

Opa is perfectly located off South Lamar, less than ten minutes away from campus.

The Greek word “opa” is often used during traditional celebrations like weddings and the occasional plate smashing — purposeful or otherwise. Translators find it challenging to convey the general spirit of a word when there isn’t a direct equivalent handy. The aptly named Opa Coffee & Wine Bar strives to embody the spirit of the word for which it is named. 

The cute and quaint Opa on South Lamar, less than 10 minutes from campus. On its face, it looks like a rustic cottage you’d find wandering around Santorini. A lone arch, made of weathered off-white bricks, stands like a guardian at the bottom of the stairs and leads to the front entrance that overlooks plants and outdoor seating galore.

Opa is charming both inside and out, with its interior carved from wood and pleasantly off-kilter mismatched seating. The centerpiece of Opa is the bar where all your culinary and/or (non)alcoholic dreams come true. As you might have guessed, Opa also serves a variety of Mediterranean and Greek dishes, and features a create-your-own-pizza option with plenty of green toppings to make you feel healthy. Hankering for a gyro? Look no further. Craving creamy, cheesy spanakopita? Fret not, Opa’s got you covered.

Let’s not forget the “Coffee & Wine Bar” portion of Opa’s name. There are thirst-quenching concoctions, both with and without alcohol, and plenty of caffeinated choices to keep you trucking along. You can go for more classic coffee beverages with a variety of plant-based milk options, or a freddo, which I have had, and let me tell you, while I have no idea what’s in it I can say with complete confidence that it is indeed delicious. There’s also an option to make your own Arnold Palmer with the available Texas Teas, lemonade and an empty glass (neat or on the rocks, if you’re feeling fancy).

During the day, Opa tends to be more of a quiet, studious crowd, but not intimidatingly so, considering the dogs  and very cute, mildly feral cats that are always there. Its casual ambience lends itself well to both the scholarly and bar crawling crowds. Approaching evening hours you can find live events like belly dancing, bands, stand up comedy and more. Opa has seen first dates, job interviews, cram sessions, great jams and awkward attempts at comedic performances — the last which sent me fleeing due to secondhand embarrassment.

Consider supporting the locally-owned and -operated Opa to get your coffee, booze and scrumptious food fix. Sometimes, they’ll even cast sports on a tiny TV in the corner; and if you look hard enough, you might even spot me in a different corner, hunched over my homework, trying not to get distracted by said tiny TV.