10 best foods you can eat when in Athens
If you have been to Greece you definitely know that two things stand out. The great food and the beauty of the islands. In this post, we will talk about just-food.
Every time I visit Athens, there are certain food items I can not wait to taste again. These are 10 of the best foods you can eat when in Athens.
Food is definitely a big deal in Greek Culture.
In the movie ”My big fat Greek Wedding”, the greek family tries to force their future son in law to eat the meat they cooked. The fact that he doesn’t want to or the fact that he is vegetarian does not really discourage them.
Let me just say that this scene is not far-fetched.
In Greece, food is used to express love and gratitude. It is an important element of entertainment. A big part of celebratory occasions like weddings, as well as funerals. You can even find some of the best Greek food served after midnight.
You can not begin with anything else. Souvlaki can not be missing from any list of the 10 best foods you can eat when in Athens.
When you arrive at Athens International Airport there is a sign that says: ”There is more to Greece than Souvlaki.” (this is not a joke)
I assure you this sign was made for all the Greeks returning home. A kind reminder to do more with your time when visiting.
If you are a Greek living abroad you know for a fact, that the first thing you want to do when you go back to Greece, is eat Souvlaki.
It costs €2 to €3 each and it traditionally comes with pork or chicken, salad and sauce, or tzatziki sauce.
Nowadays there are many other variations like kebap, burger patty, chicken-bacon, and sausage. You can also find Vegetarian options with cheese or Vegan options with mushrooms and other grilled vegetables.
The best way to describe how Greek honey tastes is ”very real”.
The hard-working bees that produce it, live a fulfilling life and this is definitely reflected in the honey they produce.
Sweet and juicy produced with love and happiness in beautiful fields. There is a rich variety of great honey to be found over different regions and islands in Greece.
3. Feta cheese
Sure you can find Greek feta in most places in the world. But when you are in Greece the variety of feta cheese is overwhelming.
The taste? Exquisite. The variety? Endless. Every supermarket has a dedicated section where they pick up and cut the amount of the cheese you choose.
There you can find feta produced in different regions in Greece. Among others you have the choice of salty (or not) and hard or smoother textured Feta. They will then let you know your options.
It isn’t clear if it is the sun or the climate but tomatoes in Greece just taste different.
The smell and the taste are both delicious. Yes, you read that right, they smell tasty. The fact that tomatoes are classed as fruit begins to make complete sense.
There is no better way to eat them than in a Greek salad (Or just salad when in Greece).
There is not much to say about olives in Greece. At least not much that is not already known. If you visit it’s hard not to notice the most dominant tree around. The olive tree.
Olive trees are everywhere. What I like about olives when in Greece is the massive variety.
You can choose olives of all colors and tastes. Salty, dry, juicy, or bitter, a little bit of everything to choose from. You can find them in local stores, supermarkets, or street markets for groceries.
6. Pitta flatbread
This is a kind of round flatbread that I haven’t found in the UK yet.
It is very popular in Greece. Most wraps are made with it. The combinations can be limitless. From a ‘‘light” version of souvlaki to a toast alternative.
To describe the flavor, I would say that if pitta bread and tortilla had a baby, it would be the pitta flatbread.
Bakeries are quite popular in Greece. Especially in Athens. You can find one in almost every corner. They are usually full of bread, cookies, and other sweet and savory treats.
The pastries in these bakeries are usually sold out by noon. As they are a very popular option for breakfast.
It’s difficult to get bored with them since they come with all kinds of fillings. Among the most popular ones are cheese, bacon, ham, chicken, pepperoni, feta cheese, burger patty, and spinach.
8. Seafood ”fast food”
This is a relatively new trend in Athens. Some of the fish shops that sell fresh fish have added a freshly cooked meal service. Preparing ready-cooked fish and seafood dishes, thus creating a successful market for Seafood ”fast food”.
The dishes can be grilled, fried or oven cooked.
Among the offerings you can find fried calamari, prawns with pasta, lemon rice with mussels, cod fillet with garlic smashed potatoes, grilled sea bream, fresh salads, and many more.
I almost forgot to add this one.
That’s because it is not what I usually crave the most when visiting Greece. However, it would be an injustice not to mention it. That’s because most yogurts labeled as ”Greek’‘ and sold abroad do not really taste like the ones sold in Greece.
Therefore, when in Athens I like to visit my local store and choose from a wide variety of yogurts.
My personal favorite, the old-school, traditional yogurt called ”Proveio’‘. Well known for its thick layered topping. To recognize easily, it is usually in a clay-like pot or a plastic packaging with a drawing of a sheep on it.
10. Ice cream
Summer definitely doesn’t go unnoticed in Greece. Growing up as a kid there you know that summer means, sun, sea, and ice cream.
Ice cream is special in Greece because of the plethora and easy access. You can find ice-cream in fridges placed outside of ”Periptera” (street kiosks), Patisseries, or ice cream shops.
The ice cream industry is big in Greece. Lots of flavors and types to choose from. From ice cream cones to ice pops or cups.
Warning! Due to the wild variety of ice cream, choosing the ”right” one can be a long and difficult process.
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