Head to Athinas Street in the heart of the buzzing Athens Central Market also known as “Varvakeios”, where you can taste the real culinary rhythm of the city. Here producers sell their merchandise and Athenians and restaurateurs carefully choose their daily stock of meat, fish, vegetables, fruit and cheese. If you love open-air markets, along with Athens’ Central Market, each neighborhood has its own small open market on specific days where people buy fresh goodies. You can buy some fruit to have a healthy snack in your bag for the long walks under the Athenian sun.
In the city centre you can find the market of Xenokratous Street in Kolonaki every Friday, in Kallidromiou Street in Exarcheia every Saturday, a flower market is in Agia Irini Square, and many open-air organic markets where organic farmers set up their stalls and sell their organic produce.
HERBS & SPICES
Behind Omonia Square there is a district where you can search for every herb that grows under the Greek sun and all kinds of spices. Welcome to Evripidou Street, Athens’ famous spice street. Let the smell of cumin, cinnamon, oregano, basil and mountain tea “spice up” your Athenian walk!
‘PERIPTERA’: THE GREEK KIOSKS
Are you searching for a lighter? Do you need some soft drinks, water, or tobacco? Feeling hungry and want some chips, biscuits or chocolate? Do you need a bus ticket or someone to tell you the street name or the right direction? In that case, find the nearest kiosk (periptero in Greek) present in every neighborhood.
They are usually open all day long, from morning until late at night (some of them 24/7). You might think that these 2x2 metallic boxes cannot hold much, but Greek periptera have nearly everything: Milk, biscuits, chips, pens, postcards, condoms, cigarettes, press and magazines, water and sodas, soft drinks and beers, batteries and more. Around the most touristy areas, kiosks sell kitschy souvenirs, plastic sunglasses, umbrellas, leather belts, bags etc.
Periptera were established after WWII, when the state decided to give them to disabled veterans to earn a living. Today they’ve been transformed into mini markets!