In the heart of the hustle and bustle of Athens’ main meat and fish market, Diporto has not changed a jot since the 1950s, when the current owner took over. A basement tavern with two entrances (hence the name diporto, literally meaning double doors) this place has been in business since 1887. Its humble menu was originally geared towards workers at the market, but Diporto’s old-fashioned décor and menu has also become popular with politicians, artists and curious tourists.
Inside, it’s dark and smoky, with marble sinks in plain view and gigantic wine barrels covering the wall, a few tables scattered around a concrete floor. Diporto feels like a trip to 1950s Athens. Only a few rustic dishes are served daily: small fry, a Greek salad, broad beans in tomato sauce and boiled greens are usually on offer, but Diporto’s specialty is a hearty chickpea soup. Cooked with onions and olive oil with a warming, melt in the mouth texture, it’s humble home cooking at its best. Don’t forget to wash down your food with some retsina wine—the house specialty.