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The Best Food Markets in Athens


These are the best food markets in Athens, a city known for its culinary offerings.

In terms of gastronomy, Athens is a highly sought-after travel destination worldwide. It boasts an exciting and dynamic food scene that is always evolving and revitalizing.

You can sample both contemporary and traditional Greek food in its restaurants, along with global culinary trends and other international cuisines.

Greek chefs have been emphasizing and favoring high-quality Greek goods in recent years.

However, Athens falls short of other European cities, when it comes to organized food markets. The residents of the city prefer the grocery store or the street market in their neighborhood to a more organized structure. Moreover, the weather in Athens, with its many days of sunshine, did not make it necessary to have a covered market.

But there are some exceptions and some interesting food markets worth discovering in Athens.

Related read: One Day in Athens for Food and Culture

Here is an overview:

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Top Food Markets in Athens

Here are our favorite food markets in Athens.

Central Market of Athens

Meat stands at the Central Market of Athens.
Meat stands at the Central Market of Athens.

The Central Market of Athens is on Athinas Street. It is located between Omonia Square, one of the city’s most central squares, and Monastiraki Square, the center of tourist traffic.

It has the name Varvakeios Market because it was built from 1876 to 1886 with a donation from the national benefactor Ioannis Varvakis. Since then, its operation has never been interrupted.

It’s a unique building of an organized and covered market with corridors and perimeter entrances. It houses mainly traders of food products such as meat, poultry, seafood, and some with agricultural products and other foodstuffs.

For most of the 20th century, it was a basic market for all the city’s residents. However, the great development of the city from the 1960s onward and the expansion of Athens into many suburbs gradually weakened its importance. However, it will always be a destination for quality and economical food purchases.

In recent years, with the development of city tourism in Athens, the central market has also developed as a pole of attraction for tourists.

In addition to seeing and buying quality products from all over Greece, visitors can also try them cooked in the traditional restaurants hosted inside the market.

Food stalls at the Central Market of Athens. - Photo by Antonis Tsapepas
Food stalls at the Central Market of Athens.

Operating since 1898 in the market, Oinomageireio Epirus is the most timeless dining value in the market. Here you will try excellent traditional foods such as stew, chicken soup, and beans.

Also, another tavern worth visiting in the Central Market is the beloved, traditional Taverna Aris. This tavern for over 25 years has been serving daily fresh fish dishes. In the tavern that reminds of old Athens, the owners give great importance to the quality of raw materials.

Also, around the square opposite the market, you can find stalls selling fresh fruit and vegetables. They are, in a way, an extension of the Central Market.

Grocery stalls outside the Central Market of Athens.
Grocery stalls outside the Central Market of Athens.

Evripidou Street

Evripidou Street is another location worth a visit if you’re in the vicinity, even though it’s not a traditional food market.

Known for its businesses selling spices and herbs, it’s one of the oldest streets in the city. The odors from the stores fill the entire street, and pepper permeates everything.

Many restaurant owners visit these vendors, as well as Athenians, looking for a spice that they can’t find anywhere else.

Spices and herbs at a shop on Evripidou Street in Athens, Greece.
Spices and herbs at a shop on Evripidou Street in Athens, Greece.

The Hatzigeorgiou Shop has been selling premium spices and herbs since 1937 and is located at 37 Evripidou Street.

The shop is a feast of colors, tastes, and quirky titles. Pepper comes in a wide range of kinds, from common to uncommon, like habanero and Szechuan.

But what’s even more amazing is the variety of herbs—from dried orange blossoms to bee pollen.

Hatzigeorgiou Shop on Evripidou Street in Athens, Greece.
Hatzigeorgiou Shop on Evripidou Street in Athens, Greece.

Don’t want to explore the markets on your own? Join a food tour!

Experiencing the best food in Athens is easily done when joining a food tour. Why? Because you’re joining locals who know the city and cuisine best – that includes the hidden spots, the must-try dishes and the secrets to the city.

Here are our favorite food tours in Athens:

→ Lunchtime Food Tour: This walking tour will lead you to iconic local spots, including the bustling central food market and storied delis, some over a century old. – BOOK NOW

Athens Street Food Tour: Taste a variety of snacks/street food while exploring the Central Food Market. – BOOK NOW!

The Ancient Foods of Athens: Explore local neighborhoods and food markets while meeting local food vendors and learning about Greek history and cuisine. – BOOK NOW!

Kallithea Market

A few kilometers from the city center, Kallithea’s very interesting neighborhood has its own covered market. It is the only one that still operates, except for Varvakeios Market. It is located near Davaki Square between Gripari and Platonos Streets.

The market’s history begins in 1955. From 1922, the Pontian refugees who settled in the area of Kallithea operated open-air food stalls on Filaretou Street. In the 1950s, they founded a cooperative and built the covered market of Kallithea in its current location to sell their products in a better-designed space.

Hallways at the Kallithea Market in Athens, Greece.
Hallways at the Kallithea Market in Athens, Greece.

Although most of the shops have been sold to new owners, the market retains its traditional character. It is undoubtedly an excellent shopping destination. You can find excellent fruits and vegetables, fish, shellfish, and poultry here.

At Farma Naxos butcher shop, you can buy excellent meats from Naxos Island, which is famous for its high quality.

Finally, a special shop in the market is the Armenian shop, Batanian, with a tradition since 1922. Grandfather Kaspar Batanian learned the art of pastourma in Kayseri, and, arriving as a refugee in Greece, he continued to do what he knew well. The store’s windows are full of interesting cold meats such as soutzouki. They also produce their own pastourma and veal prosciutto.

Cold meats at the Batanian market stall at the Kallithea Market in Athens.

Piraeus Municipal Market

Leaving Athens and going to the port of Piraeus is another small example of a covered food market. It is located on Gounari and Lykourgou streets and is what is left of the area’s once extensive and rich municipal market.

The original market opened in 1864 and consisted of dozens of shops and approximately 1000 employees. After about 100 years, at the beginning of the 1970s, the largest part of the market was demolished to make way for the Tower of Piraeus. This resulted in only a small part of the covered market remaining with food stalls.

Meat stands on one side, restaurants on the other side at the Piraeus Municipal Market in Athens, Greece.
Meat stands on one side, restaurants on the other side at the Piraeus Municipal Market in Athens, Greece.

In order to give the market the role it deserves in Piraeus everyday life, the municipality is currently planning to expand and rebuild it.

Basically, you may obtain high-quality fruits, vegetables, fish, and meats at the market. However, you can also purchase excellent cheeses and cured meats from throughout Greece.

To Tsipouraki is a tiny cafe-tavern where you may have small plates and appetizers made using market products.

Vegetables and lots of fruits at the Piraeus Municipal Market in Athens, Greece.
Vegetables and lots of fruits at the Piraeus Municipal Market in Athens, Greece.

Kallidromiou Street Market

As a final addition to my article on food markets in Athens, I would like to mention the so-called street markets. These are organized to sell fresh food directly from the producers to the city’s residents.

In addition to agricultural foods, in the street market, you also find other products, food and non-food, e.g., fish, clothing, and more.

The street market usually occurs once a week in a predetermined, always the same place. It lasts a few hours, and the day varies according to the municipality in which it is held.

Related read: A Guide to the Best Street Food in Athens

Fruit stalls at the Kallidromiou Street Market in Athens, Greece.
Fruit stalls at the Kallidromiou Street Market in Athens, Greece.

Greece has been familiar with these markets since the Ottoman era. Subsequently, major residential towns hosted the well-known “bazaar” on a designated day each week. Producers, farmers, gardeners, breeders, and craftspeople in the area advertised their goods throughout that time.

In the 1920s, street markets were formally established in the newly formed Greek state.

Lots of peaches at the Kallidromiou Street Market in Athens, Greece.
Lots of peaches at the Kallidromiou Street Market in Athens, Greece.

It is worth noting that the impressive work that adorns the entrance of the National Gallery in Athens depicts a street market in the area of Kolonaki.

The painting is the work of the famous Greek painter Panagiotis Tetsis (1925–2016).

Painted "Street Market" (1979 - 1982) by Panagiotis Tetsis (National Gallery of Athens).
Painted “Street Market” (1979 – 1982) by Panagiotis Tetsis (National Gallery of Athens).

Although public markets exist in every neighborhood of Athens, without a doubt, the most famous one in the city center is the one that takes place every Saturday on Kallidromiou Street in Exarcheia.

This is an excellent market in terms of quality. From its colorful stalls, you can mainly buy agricultural products from the regions of Attica, Boeotia, and the Peloponnese.

In recent years, this market has been discovered by tourists, who visit it not only to photograph it but also to try fresh Greek fruits.

Related read: 6 Underrated Athens Attractions Worth Visiting

Vegetables at the Kallidromiou Street Market in Athens, Greece.
Vegetables at the Kallidromiou Street Market in Athens, Greece.

A Promising Future

In the few but extremely interesting markets of Athens, you’ll discover real culinary treasures. You will see and taste excellent-quality Greek products.

Also, recently, efforts have been made to upgrade the Central Market of Athens. The Municipality of Athens wants to transform it into an organized attraction for tourists and also as a dining venue.

Finally, in the city’s center, an important project is developing to convert a shopping arcade into a food hall. The hall will host shops with excellent-quality products and unique restaurants.

Athens is evolving, and its food markets are evolving along with it.

Store at the Kallithea Market in Athens, Greece.
Store at the Kallithea Market in Athens, Greece.

  • Antonis Tsapepas

    Travelling is a way to escape, learn, discover unforgettable places, meet interesting people, and try unique gastronomy. After many trips to Europe and Greece as a group of friends, we decided with our website Food and Travel (byfoodandtravel.com) to share our travel and gastronomic experiences with others. We want to approach popular destinations in a different way and discover new unexplored places.



    View all posts


    Travelling is a way to escape, learn, discover unforgettable places, meet interesting people, and try unique gastronomy. After many trips to Europe and Greece as a group of friends, we decided with our website Food and Travel (byfoodandtravel.com) to share our travel and gastronomic experiences with others. We want to approach popular destinations in a different way and discover new unexplored places.





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