Greece has tons of delicious food but it is impossible to try them all in one visit. Thankfully, I have a great solution… a food tour! Athens Walking Tours provides a fun tour that brings you to some of the best restaurants, vendors and stores in Athens. Not only do you try different kinds of Greek food but you also get to discover the best places to eat, learn about the Greek culture and explore the city while doing it.
Our guide, Artemis (fun fact: is also the name of the greek goddess of archery and the moon) brought us to 10 different locations, starting with a street vendor that sells Koulouri. It is a round shaped bread covered in sesame seeds. Greeks don’t typically eat breakfast (it’s more of a cigarette and coffee!) but if they do get hungry in the morning or afternoon, this is a popular thing to eat.
Then, we were brought to Lesvos Shop where they sell many different condiments along with olives, cheeses, liquors and even donkey milk! First, we had bread with olive oil and then with olive spread. The samples kept on coming after that… olives, honey, citrus honey mustard, cherry spoon sweets and feta cheese (once plain and again with honey on it). Before we tried each thing, we were given some interesting facts about it and told how Greeks use it. We also tried two different Greek liquors, one is for during dinner and the other for after. Wooo!! Both were too strong for my taste!!
My favorites were the honey, mustard and spoon sweets. The cherry spoon sweets is basically a giant upgrade from the standard jelly. It is sweet with a syrup kind of texture and cherries in it. It would give a whole new meaning to peanut butter and jelly sandwiches! Unfortunately, I had to choose only one to buy between the three because I don’t have much room left in my luggage. In the end, I got the orange honey mustard. In the United States, I hate mustard!! However, the flavors of citris and honey that are added into it, may sound odd with mustard but it is amazing. I can’t wait to buy some meat and bread to make a yummy sandwich with it!
The group then walked over to the central meat and fish market… right next to an H&M! Who would have thought? All of the food looked incredibly fresh, which is probably because, well, it is! Once the meat distributors cut the meat, it has to be sold that day otherwise they have to toss it. The fish is also brought in every morning, so you definitely won’t get any stale food here.
Within the meat market is a restaurant, Epirus Tavern. We sat down here and were given water and some wine while trying giouvetsi. It reminded me of orzo pasta. Just add some parmesan cheese on top and you have a sure thing!
Now it is time for the dessert lovers to drool. There is a doughnut called loukoumades which is the best treat ever created. It is fried dough, drenched in honey and sprinkled with walnuts. Sounds simple but my mouth exploded as soon as I took a bite. I could have easily eaten the whole box. Anytime you want to fly to Greece to have some, I will come with you. The shop is called Krinos, I just need a few days notice. 😛
It was then time to add some healthy fruit into the mix as we headed over to the fruit market, where we tried some delicious grapes. I was still thinking about the loukoumades. 🙂
Nearby was a charcuterie store that sells different meat. I had a piece of pastourma wrapped around rusk bread. The combination was incredible!
Right next to it is an herb store, Fotsis. Artemis explained some of the different herbs and spices. She passed around a few jars of herbs used for tea, they all smelled amazing! Everything in the store was incredibly fresh. It would definitely be a tea lovers heaven.
Next up would have been my favorite stop if it weren’t for the loukoumades (yes, I am still talking about it!). At Crème Royal, we watched as the baker made bougasta faster than I can tie my shoes. Then, it was time to try it for ourselves. The first pie was filled with feta cheese and spinach. I have had it in New York before but nothing compares to this one!! Fresh, fresh, fresh! I also tried one filled with custard.. yumm!
The last dish was souvlaki, of course we had to try that! It wouldn’t be a Greek tour without it. You can choose between pork, chicken or no meat. I ordered the pork. The traditional version is a pita filled with onions, tomatoes, tzatziki and surprisingly.. french fries “potato”. Talk about a delicious day!
**Thank you Athens Walking Tours for hosting me. As always, my opinions are my own.