Home - The Meet Market
This modern-day Athenian market is filled with a smorgasbord of fruits, vegetables, seafood, cuts of meat, and, like its ancient counterpart, tens. Athens Four Hour Cooking Class with Market Visit . All reviews meat and fish great market athinas street meat section fruit and vegetable market halwa feta cheese cured meats worth a trip omonia Date of experience: December The Public Market Place of Athens has been in business nonstop since It consists of a fish market, vegetable market and a meat market. Dates, prunes, raisins, raspberries, blueberries, pineapples and mangos are some of the dried fruit you can find. Go back home with aromatic spices to accompany your grilled.
The chop of a knife against a butcher's block, the silver sheen of a bushel of eels on ice, the sales call of shrimp! Tourists may stroll through the rows of vendors or visit the basement restaurants to experience the pulse of a busy city, but locals undoubtedly come for the groceries. Fruits and vegetables are for sale, but meats and fish are the main products here, and they are on proud display under the glare of hanging light bulbs.
Seafood hawkers continually spray their wares—from the smallest shrimp to the longest face of a swordfish—with water to make sure they glisten with freshness. The butchers, in an adjacent building attached by walkways, hang behind glass or from hooks everything from freshly skinned rabbits with only bushy tails intact to the intestines of cows.
Snapshot: Athens Central Market
Goods here satisfy a range of tastes and budgets, with customers traditionally sticking to pork, rabbit and chicken in the summer and lamb and beef in the winter. The market also serves as a snapshot of a larger Athens. Consumers can gauge the market price of traditional Greek foods for holidays and rituals by checking costs here.
One of seafood stands at the market, this one offers customers a taste of octopus. Most of the seafood comes from the nearby Atlantic Ocean, although some is shipped in on ice.
Giannis Giannelos A spread of pineapples, tomatoes, lemons and more greet customers and tourists. The market is open from Monday to Saturday from 6 am to 6 pm. Louisa Nikolaidou The view from Acropolis Hill shows off a panorama of modern Athens and, in the background, Lykavittos Hill, once the site of a temple dedicated to Zeus.
The Dimotiki Agorais tucked in the streets below. Whitney Dangerfield From pigs feet to intestines to racks of lamb, the variety of meat will satisfy many discerning tastebuds. Two traditional restaurants, four bars and the music hall Stoa Athanaton, where visitors can listen to Greek blues, also make their home at the Dimotiki Agora. Whitney Dangerfield Bare light bulbs hang like pointed fingers over seafood delicacies.
The yellow lighting, wet floors and loud sales calls all contribute to the frenetic energy at the market. Whitney Dangerfield Before the Municipal Market was constructed, vendors hawked their wares from makeshift stalls on the city's streets.
Courtesy of the Library of Congress The whack of knives against wooden blocks welcomes customers to the meat market, where more than butchers cut, wrap and bag to order. Classic European butcher stalls were added during renovations for the Olympics. Whitney Dangerfield Interesting historical facts: Building the market certainly had its problems.
You can buy a half kilo and take them back to your room to have as a snack or on the rooftop bar with your evening ouzo as you watch the lights brighten the Acropolis. There are also spice shops, cheese shops, canned goods, dry goods, live chickens, you name it. If you want to be creative with your shopping for gifts to bring back to family and friends, look around here.
I usually bring back around ten giant cans of Mytilini sardines to go with my ouzo. This last time I brought back two big pickled fish called skoumbri mackerel. Its probably not legal but if you get caught what are they going to do besides take it away? Anyway while homeland security is focused on terrorism people like you and I can smuggle in a skoumbri or two. Tour An Olive Shop If you are hungry visit the two working class restaurants in the meat market and the secret underground restaurant at the bottom of the vegetable market by the olive shops where wine appears on the table whether you ask for it or not and the menu is in the guys head or you order by pointing on whats on the next table.
There are several restaurants and fast food places in and around the market including some old ouzerie-cafeneons and an old Rembetiko cafe called The Stoa Athanaton where you can see Rembetika legends at their afternoon matinees or at night.
The restaurants within the meat market are inexpensive and though you may be a little intimidated by the lack of a touristy atmosphere you will feel at ease when you are eating your roast lamb and potatoes, fricasse, bean soup, or a podi, the soup made from the foot of a cow which actually contains a foot of a cow.
I go to Eiprus restaurant, sometimes even for breakfast. Nope you can't get eggs-over-easy or any eggs at all but you would be surprised how good a bowl of fish soup tastes early in the morning. Don't forget to try the Patsa a cure for hangovers, indigestion, bad blood or eating. Right around the corner is Papandreou which like Epirus has been open for decades or more.
In both restaurants you point at what you want and it comes to the table. T here are also a couple of very good souvlaki shops right on Athinas. Across the street from the fish and meat market is the fruit and vegetable market where you will find the biggest lemons, peaches and some of the most colorful fruit you will ever have seen. There are also Russians and Greeks who have returned from the former eastern block countries selling cigarettes, tissue paper, lighters and just about anything.
There is a Polish food shop, like a deli on the right hand side as you walk towards Sokratous Street. You will also pass shops that sell nothing but eggs, or feta cheese and some shops that have smoked meats and sausages. There are also people from the villages who don't have stalls, just sitting on a box, selling wild herbs, or wild greens from the mountains, or garlic.
At the bottom of the fruit and vegetable market is the beginning of Athens' China town which is also India town, Pakistani town and also the Arabic section of the city. If you are a big goofy American in Bermuda shorts and a camera that looks like the caricature of a tourist you may feel a little uncomfortable wandering around these back streets though the dangers are few and don't have anything to do with being kidnapped, murdered or worse.
Evripidou Street is one of the most interesting and diverse shopping streets in Athens.
The central market of Athens
There are plant and seed stores, the excellent herb and spice stores including the popular Elixerwhere you can find herbs you have never even heard of as well as spatholathothe oil the ancient Greek soldiers used to use to heal their wounds.
Next door is Arapian, a Armenian butcher that specializes in sausages, pastourma and souzouk among other things. Buy their spiciest souzouk and take it home. They will vacuum pack it for your trip. There are many ethnic stores and barbershops, that cater to their clientele from the east. There are Indian restaurants and the famous Teliswhich serves only grilled pork-chops, fried potatoes and salad. If you go back and cross Athinas Street and you continue past the side entrance of the meat market you will come to Eolou Street which is one of Athens' primary pedestrian shopping streets which can lead you to Omonia Square and all the way to the National Museum or back towards the PlakaMonastiraki and the Acropolis.
Hotels Near the Market There are a couple interesting hotels in the area for example the ultra modern and popular Fresh Hotel where Jamie Oliver stayed while shooting his Greece episode.
If you want to stay by the market your best bet is the Hotel Attalos because it is also convenient to MonastirakiPsiri and the Plaka. The hotels on the back streets and going towards Omonia are cheap but at night the streets are dark and a little scary.
The Hotel Economy is right by the fruit and vegetable market and as its name implies is relatively cheap. The Athens Center Square is actually right in the market. The Hotel Arion is right in Psiri a few steps from the tavernas and a block away from the Athens market.