If you are a foodie looking for an authentic gastronomic experience (that will awaken all your senses) in the heart of Athens, you’ll certainly love a visit to Varvakeios Agora, the city’s historic central market.
Athenians have been shopping at the Varvakeios Municipal Market on Athinas St (number 42), since 1886, as it’s an old tradition for locals to come here (especially during Easter, Christmas and other special occasions) from every suburb of the city to stock up on the freshest produce that arrives daily from all over the country.
Open every day, except Sunday, from early morning till late afternoon (around 8 am to 6 pm), here you will find people in search of the best cuts, cured meat products, endless herbs, aromatic spices, nuts (of all kinds), olives (in every size), varieties of Greek cheese; and an array of legumes, fresh fish (and other seafood), colourful fruit and vegetables; as well as traditional Greek sausages like soutzouki and pastourma (plus lots more).
Separated into the “kreatagora” (meat market), a “psaragora” (fish market) and a “lahanagora” (an open-air fruit and vegetable market), the colourful Varvakeios Market is located in the historic triangle of Athens, between Omonia and Monastiraki. It’s also home to old tavernas, where you can sit and enjoy some of the most traditional Greek dishes that are hard to find anywhere else.
For those who are game enough, a visit here enables you the chance to order ‘patsas’ (a soup made from pork leg and tripe) and ‘magiritsa’ (a soup made from lamb offal and greens), as there are a few eateries inside the market that offer these and other very authentic Greek dishes.
One of the most popular eateries at Varvakeios is Oinomageireio H Epirus, also known as Epirus Taverna. It’s a small place, serving comfort meals in a casual atmosphere- a firm favourite early-morning stop for those returning from a big night out at the Bouzoukia (Greek nightclubs).
A: Athinas 42, Athens