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Athens Central Market

This modern agora is a vibrant, hectic burst of life in Athens' market district.

TravelCurious Tip

Shoes are certainly recommended over flip-flops, especially in the fish market – the ground is usually wet with puddles of rather fishy melted ice.

Greeks have a well-earned reputation for delicious food, and many of them make a trip to the Athens Central Market when they need supplies. Located slightly to the north of the Acropolis, and sometimes known as the Varvakios Agora, the market is a whirling melting pot that will assault your senses with the sights, sounds and smells of a renowned world food culture.

A Cook’s Paradise

Entering the meat market, you’ll immediately be confronted by carcasses of all descriptions – some recognisable, others not – hung up on meathooks, often quirkily illuminated by brightly coloured lights. The butchers frequently have forefathers stretching back a hundred years or more who have plied the same trade, and they cheerfully bellow the prices of their wares to all who care to listen. In the fish market you can find fish from the Aegean, the Adriatic, and even as far afield as South America. Particularly fun is the vegetable market, where olive-sellers offer some of the finest produce in the world for you to peruse and sample at your leisure.

More Than a Load of Tripe

If the sight of all this food makes you peckish, look for one of four traditional “working class” restaurants located within the market. They are crowded and noisy, and you may have to queue for ten minutes to get in at lunchtime, but they use the freshest produce and serve up delicious traditional meals to order. If you’re feeling brave, try the patsas soup. It’s made using tripe and lamb’s feet, but locals swear by it as a hangover cure – especially in winter.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Athens
Monastiraki Square
Once the site of the largest monastery in Athens, this square is now one of the major shopping districts in the city.
Areopagus Hill
Also known as the Rock of Ares, this outcrop is famed as the location of Paul's sermon to the Athenians.
Old Royal Palace
Overlooking Syntagma Square, this grand palace has been home to the Hellenic Government since 1934.
The Agora was the heart of ancient Athens, acting as a focal point for commercial, political and social activity.
Thissio is one of locals' favorite neighborhoods, with open air concerts and lined with kafeneios interspersed with its many neoclassical buildings.
Temple of Hephaestus
Located just above Thissio, this ancient temple was opened in the 5th century BC and still remains largely intact.

Related Tours

Private Food Tour of Athens
Dine on Greek food today, and you are feasting on a culmination of thousands of years of  history: a fascinating and revealing taste journey of rich, deeply-satisfying flavours. Greeks, it is said, approach food with a mix of passion and nostalgia, inevitably reminiscing about the dishes on which they were raised. On your drool-worthy Greek Food Tour, you will:

  • Embark on a gastronomic exploration of one of the most delectable food quarters of Athens
  • Discover the cafes and delicatessens on Monastiraki Square
  • Enjoy authentic local cuisine well away from the tourist drag. 
  • Explore authentic Greek foods gain an insight into rich, local flavours
  • Yield to the sizzle and smells of street food in Plaka’s backstreets
  • Sample delicious Greek produce such as cheese, yoghurt, Galaktoboureko and koulóuria
  • Discover the bustle and barter at the market, Varvakios Agora of Athens,
  • Enjoy the punchy flavour of homegrown Grecian coffee 
With a foodie guide, your Greek Food Tour will explore some of Greece’s finest traditional dishes as well as mouth-watering local specialities. You will taste things like crumbly greek cheeses, buttery olive oils and succulent pastries and gain an insight into Greece’s unique culinary customs. Perhaps you’ll choose to indulge in fresh koulóuria, a sesame bagel baked crunchy with a delectably soft inside or maybe you will sample yoghurt, spices, local wine and aged aromatised vinegars and treat your taste buds to fresh honey, syrupy Loukoumade, and Galaktoboureko - custard-filled filo pastry. 

On your Greek Food Tour, meet Greek chefs, visit Greek kitchens and spend time in speciality food stores that tourists rarely discover. Gain cooking tips, learn closely guarded food secrets and enjoy a homegrown Grecian coffee during a visit to the city’s finest seafood, meat and poultry market, the Varvakios Agora of Athens.


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