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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.
Hadrian's Library
See the remains of the largest structure erected by Hadrian in the 2nd century AD, which held not just a library but also music and lecture rooms.
Tzaziki
A healthy Greek cucumber yogurt dip or sauce you can serve with chicken, veggies, pita chips, gyros, and more.
Koulouri
A ring of bread sprinkled with sesame seeds.
Charcuterie and cheeses
Taste the delicious assembled cured meats and cheeses on your way.
Dolmadakia
Delicate little wraps made with vine leaves that are usually stuffed with rice and herbs or meat and rice too.

Related Tours

Private Food Tour of Athens: Monastiraki Markets, Charming Plaka & Cretan Cuisine
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:

  • Enjoy personalised attention of your local expert guide on this private tour
  • Embark on a gastronomic exploration of one of the most delectable food quarters of Athens: Monastiraki
  • Sample delicious Greek produce such as charcuterie, cheeses, dolmadakia
  • Explore authentic Greek foods such as traditional pies loukoumades and gain an insight into rich, local flavours
  • Visit a local food market Market and taste some Greek olive oil.
  • Walk through the charming Plaka district, with its white staircases, cafe's and terraces and see the Lysicrates Monument
  • Learn how to make a typical Greek starter with a professional chef!
  • Enjoy authentic Cretan cuisine as you sit down to lunch in our favourite local restaurant, well away from the tourist drag. 

With a foodie guide, your Greek Food Tour will explore some of Greece’s finest traditional dishes as well as mouth-watering local specialities. Meet Greek chefs, visit Greek kitchens and spend time in speciality food stores that tourists rarely discover. 
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