Greek cuisine is one of the most famous cuisines in the world. It is well known for its useful ingredients but also for its excellent taste. The main feature of national cuisine is natural, environmentally friendly products that are locally grown and produced within the country. In Greece, everything is soooooo tasty, so if this is your first time in Athens and you want to try the main traditional products of Greece, then the Athens Food Tour is what you need.
I was very pleased when the Athens Walking Tours invited me to join their most famous walking tour – Athens Food Tour. In addition to tasting national local products, I had the opportunity to explore many “secret delicious” spots in Athens, and all this with an English-speaking guide.
Review of the Ultimate Athens Food Tour
The food tour in Athens is held twice a day ( one in the morning and one in the evening) and every day except Sunday. The morning tour is more eventful since you have the opportunity to visit the main food market in Athens, which is closed in the evening. Therefore, I decided to attend the morning tour.
Athens Food Tour – Let’s start
The meeting point for the Athens Food Tour is quite convenient, not far from the Athenian Trilogy in the city center (Panepistimio metro station). The tour starts at 9:30 a.m. and lasts about three and a half hours. Get ready to walk a lot, so wear comfortable shoes and clothes are a must.
When I arrived at 09:15, I was greeted by a smiling girl called, Rena ( who may I add was a fantastic tour guide!). She was already there at the meeting spot, holding a sign in her hands. The groups for these types of tours are usually small up to 16 people, so during the high season, it is better to book the tour in advance, due to the high demand. On the tour with me were two of my colleagues, a large family from Japan, two girls from Israel and one young lady from New York.
After getting to know each other and with her short introduction into the history of Greek cuisine, the most delicious part of our tour began.
A Unique Gastronomic Journey
Our gastronomic journey began with a tasting of koulouri – Greece’s sesame seed bread rings, which the Greeks love to eat for breakfast.
After that, we went on foot through the Old Town to one of the sweetest spots in Athens, where we were treated to loukoumades. In this neo-classical building, the most delicious Greek donuts with natural Greek honey are prepared according to old recipes and they are very yummy.
The next stop was a visit to a butcher shop where you can try basturma and traditional Greek cheeses. This place was not only tasty but also very attractive, as a variety of sausages, garlic, and spices are hung on the ceiling throughout the store.
On our way, we visited a herb store, where we were introduced to the main herbs and spices that are used in Greek cuisine, here you also can buy soft natural olive soap.
After that, we headed for the central market of Athens, which is called the Varvakios Agora. Our group following our guide walked through the meat rows, then fish rows, where you can find a variety of seafood and fish and then finally getting to the famous fruit market, where we tried seasonal fruits and Greek sweet snacks.
The next place we visited, wasn’t on our planned tour. But since our tour guide offered us to taste a few Greek liquors, we couldn’t resist! Having lived in Athens for more than 10 years, I myself didn’t even know about this amazing liqueur shop, and I love liquors. We were greeted by the friendly owner of the shop, and we were treated to cherry and coffee liquor first. Such a divine taste! So, you can imagine that I tried all the liquors from mint to orange flavors.
The next stop of our delicious Athens Food Tour was a traditional grocery shop. We stuck around here for a bit longer and tasted many mouth-watering Greek products, delicacies, and drinks. Included are also several types of olive oil, olives, cheeses, honey, Greek yogurt with jam, the traditional alcoholic drink – tsipouro and sweet liquor from the mastic. It was not only tasty but also quite informative since we learned about different types of olive oils, how green olives differ from the black one, which island is famous for ouzo and which for mastic and much more.
Next, we passed through the most beautiful part of Athens – the heart of the Old Town – Plaka and were invited to one of the pie stores to try the famous Greek pies – Spanakopita and Bougatsa. Spanakopita is an authentic, traditional pie stuffed with spinach, onions, cheese, and herbs that are all enfolded by crispy phyllo dough..mmm. Bougatsa was for a dessert, as this is a sweet pie made with a creamy custard wrapped in golden brown crispy phyllo, sprinkled with melted butter and garnished with icing sugar and cinnamon. Delicious!
Last stop of our Athens Food Tour
The main traditional Greek dish awaited us at the end of the tour in a cozy Greek tavern. Of course, it was Gyros (souvlaki). Imagine only, a fresh fluffy pita stuffed with melting in the mouth meat (chicken, pork or lamb), homemade tzatziki sauce, fresh tomatoes and parsley, and crispy potatoes. Such a simple and tasty dish!
A bit tired but happy I with a group sat at a long table and shared our impressions. As we say in Greece we don’t just dine, we share a common meal by talking. What a wonderful tour it was!
Don’t forget to book the Athens Walking Food Tour in advance during the high season in Athens as a lot of tourists interested in this tasty tour, and the number of participants is limited!
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