Best Food Around Athens? If you are a follower of my Family Experiences Blog, you are probably well aware by now that I love Athens and I love food…In an effort to combine these two passions and to find the best food around Athens, I signed up for a tour with Food Around Athens. A day of tasting the city that has become my home. And to complete this tasty experience in my favorite place, my besties – my two daughters – came along.
Best Food Around Athens
Before I start divulging into the amazing day that we spent in the Greek capital with Food Around Athens, let me give you a little background on the company:
Food Around Athens was started up by a group of friends who have known and loved Athens all of their lives. They are passionate about Athens and food and have made it their goal to let visitors experience the city through its food. Food is at the heart of Greek history and culture and through food, one can truly experience the Greek life. I feel that I have a lot in common with the people of Food Around Athens: four are Athenians and two others loved it so much that they left their hometowns and moved here.
This unique food tour group, however, is not just about food. It is about getting to know the city and its locals. Aside from tasting all the regional delicacies, they also want their customers to gain knowledge about the local community and the way of life of the city. As is quoted on the Food Around Athens website
If you really want to make a friend, go to someone’s house and eat with him…the people who give you their food give you their heart – Cesar Chavez
A day with Food Around Athens
On a sunny Wednesday morning, I was invited to join a tour of the best Food Around Athens. We met our guides Maik and Savvas at the Thissio metro station at 9:45. The Thissio metro station is right in the historic heart of Athens. This was the perfect place to start the 10 o’clock food tour. With a marvelous view on the Acropolis and near all the important monuments such as the Ancient Agora, we were introduced to the history of Athens. From Thissio we made our way through the narrow streets of the old town towards the hip neighborhood of Psiri. Bohemian Psiri is, in fact, an old and very historic part of Athens now famous for its artisan shops and vibrant nightlife. The children were marveled by the colors, noises, and scents of food and drinks around.
Here we visited the famous oldest Koulouri bakery in Athens. A Koulouri is a traditional Greek sesame-crusted bread ring and street food that is still very popular with young and old. My kids loved watching the process of the Koulouria being baked in the ovens and much enjoyed this breakfast snack.
Sweet and Savory
Our next stop was at the square outside the church nearby to savor the traditional Greek spinach pie or Spanakopita. This was not just a small piece of pie to taste… this was a huge mouthwatering classic Greek savory pie with fresh soft spinach, crispy phyllo, and feta. This pie was exquisite!
Our stomachs already full, we continued our tasting to a famous sweet shop were my kids looked at the inviting desserts display. Here we were offered a piece of sweet bougatsa. The kids absolutely loved it and we had as much as we wanted. The sweet shop offered us extra portions but we felt already full!
Food Around Athens took us to our next stop on the lively Eirini Square. The children loved running around on this car-free square and they worked up an appetite for our dish. At the charming square, our group sat down in the sunshine to enjoy the ultimate Greek street food: souvlaki. Together with the guide’s explanations about the history and current developments of this part of Athens, we truly felt part of the city.
Feeling like real Athenians by now, Maik and Savvas took us to a large shop specialized in Loukoumades or Greek donuts, another family favorite. We had three Loukoumades but were offered more!
Spice it up
The exotic colorful spice market was probably one of my favorite stops during our tour. There is so much to see, to hear, to smell and to taste. The spice market hosts some of the oldest spice and herb shops in Athens. The amazing display of products is fascinating!
After the spice market, we visited the next door Athenian fish market. No other place in Athens offers such an abundance of fresh fish and seafood, some of them still moving! Live crabs, lobsters, the fish market was a true adventure, lots of people, noises and fish everywhere!
Next to the fish and meat market is the Athenian fruit market. Another explosion of color, in products and people. We also talked about the importance of fruits and vegetables. And what their role is in the Greek diet. The children admired the many pots with olives in all colors and shapes. Here we tried three different types of olives and mandarins.
If you really want to make a friend…
We then moved onto our next sit down of the day, a Meze bar. If you’ve never had mezze before, then you’re seriously missing out! Not only is it delicious and simple, but it’s the perfect meal to share with friends. We immediately began to feel tranquil and in our element. It was great enjoying the food and talking with the other people on the tour. Some people bought their own wine. The atmosphere was very relaxed and informal.
Feta in the Greek diet
We stayed there for about 45 minutes and had the choice of four different dishes. These introduced us to the use of Feta in the Greek diet: we tried chickpeas, meatballs, and several vegetables. Savvas and Maik told us more about Greek life, there was plenty of time for questions and they did not seem to be in a hurry. We ended the tour because my children wanted to leave but I had the feeling that our guides were happy to stay as long as everyone wanted to.
It was a relaxing day filled with the best food around Athens and great people. Our Food Around Athens guides gave us lots of information about the places that we visited. Maik and Savvas were amazing tour guides. Their enthusiasm is infectious. It was very helpful to have two guides. We did not have to wait anywhere and we did not leave anyone behind. The children and I could fully focus on what we came for: experiencing Athens and its food. The portions were large, these were not small tastings!
Do you want to find the best food Around Athens and get to know its locals? This tour with Food Around Athens is a must. It is a great way to taste the city and learn more about its culture. Plus, who can pass up the opportunity to eat great Greek food with new friends!
Celeste Tat is a Dutch Travel writer with a big passion for exploring Greece. She is the creator of Family Experiences Blog / Making Memories in Greece.