To source ingredients for a plant-based meal with zero compromise on flavour, the impressive Varvakios Agora (Athens Central Market) in the historic centre is your one-stop shop for the freshest of seasonal produce. Fruit and veggies sorted? Now walk around the corner to the aromatic spice markets of Evripidou Street, and choose from some of Greece’s finest herbs and spices to ramp up your cooking.
Unlike many European cities, where overpriced farmer’s markets attempt to roll back the dominance of supermarkets, Greeks have never lost their connection with where their food comes from. The laiki agora (people’s market) remains the best place to pick up fruits, vegetables and herbs, usually sourced from farms around Athens or across Greece, at incredibly reasonable prices (though you’ll need to push back against the tendency of stall owners to put everything into plastic bags). Every Athenian neighbourhood has a weekly laiki, so just ask a local when and where. For a buzzy atmosphere with street musicians, venture to the Kallidromiou Street laiki (every Saturday morning in Exarchia).
At the Kypseli Municipal Market, a social enterprise hub in the multicultural Kypseli neighbourhood, you can interact every Wednesday with a new model of community-supported agriculture. Eco-minded Bostani sells weekly fruit and vegetable baskets to help small independent farmers reduce wastage and plan their crops more effectively, while also educating consumers on seasonal produce and how to use lesser-known local vegetables. You can order boxes online and pick them up from the market each week. Or buy direct from the producers themselves, who turn up at Kypseli Municipal Markets to sell their wares every Wednesday, 4-8pm.