Athens Food and Wine Tours
Get to know the city of wisdom through gastronomy
When you think of Athens, it’s easy to picture an ancient city brimming with architecture and historical sights; one whose tales have inspired western literature for centuries. And, with the legendary Acropolis perched at the top of Greece’s historic capital, it’s easy to see why the city tends to look to its past. Yet while a trip to Athens is never complete until you have marvelled at these fifth century monuments, an alternative scene of concert halls, bars, beaches, bazaars and restaurants makes the city well worth a visit anyway. Dotted with UNESCO world heritage sights, a short stay in Athens leaves enough time to uncover the wonders of the cuisine here. And Greek food certainly doesn’t disappoint.
Greek cuisine is appreciated around the world for its simple, fresh ingredients, and the no-fuss way in which they are often combined. But whatever interpretations you’ve tried before, nothing can prepare you for the sheer volume of tasty bites on offer in Athens. Take a wander around Athen’s famous farmer’s market. There your senses will be awoken to the aromas of fresh seafood, the sight of traditionally cured meat hung to dry and, of course, the flavours of olives, freshly made cheeses and anchovies - to name a few!
One dish you will come across often is Spanakopita, a filo pastry filled with spinach, feta and onions traditionally served with a dollop of Greek yoghurt and salad. This pie has been part of the Greek diet for generations and is usually the centrepiece of a family Sunday dinner. Another favourite in this part of the world is Taramasalata, a delicious dip made up of salted fish roe, usually from cod, carp or mullet, mixed with lemon juice, olive oil and potato to give it a thick, creamy texture. In Athens, you’ll often find this pink delicacy served as a mezze dish with some freshly baked pitta on the side.
Restaurants in Athens tend to be nice to look at, not just to eat in. Naturally, authentic Greek interiors are easy to find, with alfresco options and dinner by candlelight recommended for that extra romantic touch. Quaint tavernas will take you back to rural Greece, serving up filling dishes such as lamb baked in lemon and garlic, or lathera - a casserole soaked in olive oil and fresh tomato sauce. For something more extravagant, the city is brimming with Michelin starred restaurants, several complete with stunning views of the illuminated Parthenon.
Greek wine is definitely on the up, but wherever you choose to eat it’s likely that you’ll come across the local tipple, Ouzu. It’s a sweet and strong spirit made from aniseed, best served ice cold and paired with a mezze of cheeses, grilled octopus and shrimp - if you want to dine like a true Athenian that is.
With world renowned cultural sights, markets galore and glorious weather, Athens is a spectacular destination in its own right. But the Greek capital comes into its element where food is concerned. This remarkable city serves up high quality mediterranean ingredients in simple, fresh combinations that will keep you coming back for more.