Athens for food lovers can be one of the best travel experiences ever! And we suggest you bookmark our Ultimate Guide to Athens for Foodies as it will certainly please all your senses!
Many visitors to the Greek capital tend to wonder: what are the spots every foodie shouldn’t miss? From three-level stores to tiny hole-in-the-wall shops, we’ve put together an unmissable itinerary of edible adventures for a DIY food tour in Athens.
These are our picks of distinctive stores that will guide you to the best cheese, coffee, olive oil, spices, herbs, seafood, bread, and wine in town—surefire hits to taste while you are there and also some great gifts for yourself or others when it’s time to go home.
Ten thousand square feet of pure bliss where you’ll find urban farmers harvesting a vertical orchard; and where bakers, butchers, fishmongers, and greengrocers bring the best and freshest of everything to market. Here chefs are at hand to prepare your purchase for you to enjoy on the spot or even takeaway.
A: 23, Mitropoleos Street, Athens
Open every day, except Sunday, from early morning till late afternoon (around 8 am to 6 pm), at Varvakeios Markets 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).
A: Athinas 42, Athens
This year, 2021, marks a century since this warehouse-like shop (Ariana’s Olives) has sold almost nothing but olives. Open to the street, this hole-in-the-wall store invites you to taste the contents of 23 large free-standing barrels as well as smaller containers poised on shelves along the side walls. This wide collection features the fruit of some 20 varieties, with emphasis on the big oval greeny ones from Amphissa, the famous olive grove below Delphi.
A: Theatrou 3, Athens
This is the city’s oldest coffee store, serving freshly ground coffee the Greek way: strong and poured into mini white cups. Beyond the classic blends, Loumidis sells flavoured coffee including almond, hazelnut, cinnamon, orange, and amaretto. The utensils needed to prepare strong Greek coffee—such as the traditional Briki and grinding mills—can be bought at Loumidis.
A: 106 Aiolou, Omonia Square
Karamanlidika tou Fani
In 2014 Evripidou St, the “spice street” of Athens, became even more sensorily exciting with the opening of the restaurant-deli Ta Karamanlidika Tou Fani, located in an old lovely stone house with a pretty, naturally-lit courtyard. Here you will find cold cuts and cheeses from all parts of Greece and you can sit in or take away.
A: 119 Ermou, Monastiraki
An authentic dairy store that dates back to 1931, here you can try traditional yogurts, made from cow and sheep milk, which have been awarded a certificate of authenticity, as well as a gold medal in the International Food Exhibition of Thessaloniki. You can also taste rice pudding and cream, especially enriched with aromas, along with other fresh pastries such as galaktoboureko (Greek custard pie.)
A: 10 M. Kotopouli str, Omonia
If you would like to taste traditional Cretan delicacies in the heart of Athens, head to Zouridakis, where you’ll find authentic Cretan products including meat, olive oil, cheese, herbs, rusks, and pasta. The story of Zouridakis deli goes back to 1930 when the family opened their first bakery in Chania, Crete. Over the years, they have expanded their business and range of products.
A: Evripidou 25, Athens
Pantopoleio tis Mesogeiakis Diatrofis
A local favourite, this is a store where you can stock up on products that allow you to follow a true Mediterranean diet. From olive oil and herbs to teas and handmade pasta, there is also a great selection of organic wines to choose from.
A: Sofokleous 1, Athens
If you would like to stock up on some local Loukoumia, Koufeta (sugar-coated almonds), mountain tea, spoon sweets, oregano, and legumes, head over to Matsouka, where you can also purchase locally produced dried fruits, nuts, and irresistible confectionery.
A: Nikis 4, Athina; Kanari 8, Kolonaki
With a four-storey flagship store in Kolonaki, Yoleni’s is the ultimate Greek Gastronomy centre showcasing the best of Greece’s goodies under one roof. Stock up on wines, oils, herbs, and sweets from the Aegean, as you try the freshly baked pita (pie) of the day. There is also a great steak bar where you can choose your favourite cut and have it cooked just the way you like it, or arrange to have a private wine tasting session on Level 3!
A: Solonos 9, Athens
Did someone say cheese? If you love dairy, add Kostarelos to your list as this institution dates back to 1937 when the family began making cheese and yogurt using milk from their farm. Fast forward to 2021 and now you can enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinner at this specialty store that allows you to sample all their famous goods on-site. The irresistible menu includes Greek cheese fondue and a tailor-made platter, featuring 20 different cheese options such as their specialty Feta, Graviera, Kefalotyri, and Maestyri.
A: Patriarchou Ioakim 30-32, Athens
For healthy and delicious delicacies enter the doors of Carpo, where you can purchase handmade pasteli (sesame seeds with honey), dried fruits (such as dates, figs, and apricots), premium nuts (roasted, unsalted, sea salted, and coated) homemade chocolate (pieces, slabs, pralines, and truffles), plus a range of Greek honey and state of the art coffee beans, which are all beautifully packaged- making it the perfect spot to pick up some edible gifts.
A: Kanari 6, Kolonaki; 1 Dimitriou Vassileiou Ave, Athens; Panepistimiou 9, Athens