The Delicious Athens Food Tour lets you discover a different side of the city by joining the Greeks in what is probably their favorite activity: eating!
Your English-speaking guide will meet you and take you for that essential eye-opener, Greek coffee, at one of the landmark coffee houses of the city. You’ll get an explanation of the role of food in Greek life, and of the eating habits of Athenians in particular. Next, it’s a treat from the street, as you sample a koulouri, one of the all-time classic snacks on the go, before you duck into a carefully selected specialty food store that prides itself on its wide selection of Greek products. Here, you’ll be able to taste different olive oils, honeys, wines, spreads and other surprises, but remember to pace yourself – there are seven more food stops to follow!
This is your chance to be food-adventurous – among the upcoming stops is a baklavabakery and a store that sells products made from the resin of the mastic tree. Then, it’s time for authentic souvlaki and fried potatoes at a popular grill spot before heading into the traditional “belly of the city”, the bustling Varvakios Market, the biggest and most popular fish, meat and vegetable market in the whole of Athens. This is where the locals come to shop for their everyday needs as well as for their Easter lamb or Christmas turkey. The market is boisterously lively, and the butchers and fishmongers that work here compete with one another for the attention of the passing shoppers, using humor, hyperbole and hand gestures. At the stalls, you’ll see plenty of familiar foods, but you’ll find lots of surprises as well, particularly in the central fish hall, where the catch of the day is often some unusual deep-water denizen.
As we continue our walk, we’ll take the city’s Spice Street and drop in at a shop with an incredible variety of local condiments and herbs such as Greek oregano and Krokos Kozanis, otherwise known as Greek Red Saffron. Find out how these items and others are used in Greek cooking (as well as other culinary secrets the locals have to offer) while you browse the shelves for exotic cooking ingredients. We’ll also stop by a local pastry shop for a serious sugar rush as we tuck into a bougatsa (a traditionalcream-filled phyllo treat).
The last stop on the tour is for a selection of scrumptious Greek meze (like tapas, only better) at a charming little taverna specialized in traditional Greek dishes. When they finally clear the plates away here, our mission will be accomplished – you’ll leave with a full and happy stomach and a much better understanding of the world of Greek food.