Markets in Athens

Our central location is good for provisioning. Less than ten minutes walk north is Kallidromiou Street, site of the Saturday Farmers Market. The market sells only fruits, vegetables, and fish, a nice change from “farmers markets” that emphasize tshirts and jewelry. The produce is beautiful. We returned home vowing to take the shopping trolley with us next time. We were laden with a whole red snapper, mushrooms, eggplant, onions, potatoes, oranges, arugula that will need a lot of washing (!), and fresh flowers. We looked in a neat storefront and found a small deli that stocks wonderful Greek products. We bought delicious cheeses, including goat cheese made on a Greek island, and peanut butter made in Thessalonika. Next week, Jonathan will buy blood oranges to make beautiful marmalade. We just couldn’t carry one more thing.

The Kallidromiou Farmers Market is held on Saturdays.

Having seen our neighborhood market, we had to visit the main Varvakios Market that stocks the entire city. For a moment, the market reminded me of Peru, with whole carcasses hung up on display, and the fish zone a bit squishy underfoot from dripping fish. So many squid, fish with sharp teeth, eels, shrimp and crawfish, and fish from tiny anchovies that you would fry by the handful to giant tuna ready to cut steaks. So many octopi! We thought we’d sit down for a fish lunch, but no luck. The restaurants serve fried things. Finally, we found Igeios, a small restaurant down a corridor, and were able to enjoy our fish, salad, and bread. The central market is so big that we walked past all kinds of meat and fish before we finally stumbled on the fruit and vegetable sellers.

The Athens Central Market, or Varvakios Market is open M-S, closed Sunday.

Compared to these huge markets, the regular supermarkets are small, with a limited selection, but useful for necessities like cleaning supplies. We are well stocked and looking forward to return visits to the farmers market.

We next visited the Sunday Monastiraki flea market. Emerging from the Metro, we looked around until we saw the big banner “Flea Market”, then headed down the street. Though there are stores that sell used goods and antiques all along both sides that are open every day, on Sundays sellers set up tables everywhere and fill every possible space with items for sale. We took quite a while making our way as far as Avissinias Square, and then found that the vendors continued even further for several blocks, merging with the flea market around the Theseio Metro stop.

Scroll through the slide show above to see more of the flea market.

We paused for a delicious cappuchino at a lovely restaurant. I love tropical birds, so we sat by the chairs upholstered in cockatoo print fabric. When we moved on toward the metro and home, I stopped to look at a teapot, as our apartment doesn’t have one. I ended up getting a perfectly nice teapot for 4 E. On the way home, the lid seemed to be clanking a lot in the bag, but when I looked, the pot was not rattling. Finally, I looked inside, and found a tiny metal table favor of some sort that was making the noise. My free find! Maybe it will become dollhouse furniture for my granddaughter?

Our market experiences have been very good, and we will continue to stock up as we go along.

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Published by winifredcreamer

I am a retired archaeologist and I like to travel, especially to places where you can walk along the shore or watch birds. My husband Jonathan and I travel for more than half the year every year, seeing all the places that we haven't gotten to yet.

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