Food Tour with Athens Insiders in Athens, Greece

Flavours of Athens with Athens Insiders

We arrived in Athens late at night after a flight from Santorini, and we groggily made our way to our hotel without seeing much of the city. So, the next morning was quite a treat when we joined Athens Insiders on a walking and food tour to explore Athens—it was the perfect introduction and gave us a good base for the rest of our week in the city.

Food Tour with Athens Insiders in Athens, Greece

Natalie, one of the co-owners of Athens Insiders, invited us on one of their tours to experience Athens, and we are so happy that we could join them. The Athens Insiders tours are set up to give you a view of the city through a local’s eyes.  The tours range from a few hours to all day trips, and you can join a themed tour or book a tailor-made experience that can be completely customized to fit your interests and schedule. Our tour was a 3-hour tour that showcased the best of the city and an introduction to Greek gastronomy and local food culture. I love getting a glimpse into a city’s food scene and it was great to learn about the history of Athens as we were walking around as well.

Food Tour with Athens Insiders in Athens, Greece

Food Tour with Athens Insiders in Athens, Greece

Food Tour with Athens Insiders in Athens, Greece

The entire afternoon  was very relaxed, and it felt as though we had an old friend guiding us through the city—we were entertained with lots of facts, and we weren’t led around with an impersonal microphone shouting at us, which has unfortunately happened to us in the past. It was the perfect mix. Our guide, George, is a chef, so he really knows the ins and outs of the Athens culinary scene, and our tour was focused on backstreet eateries that have been around for more than 50 years. One of our favorite treats we sampled was loukoumades, which are a Greek style donut—just look at how we cleaned up two entire plates!

Food Tour with Athens Insiders in Athens, Greece

Food Tour with Athens Insiders in Athens, Greece

Food Tour with Athens Insiders in Athens, Greece

Food Tour with Athens Insiders in Athens, Greece

Food Tour with Athens Insiders in Athens, Greece

Food Tour with Athens Insiders in Athens, Greece

We also enjoyed a traditional hand-made cheese pie called kourou—this buttery pie was filled with a deliciously crumbly cheese.   There are many different types of cheese pies in Greece, and something I had too many samples of over the course of our time in Athens…but they were just so delicious they were nearly impossible to resist.

Food Tour with Athens Insiders in Athens, Greece

Food Tour with Athens Insiders in Athens, Greece

Another delicious snack we were able to try was a pita kebab at Thanasis, a restaurant near Monastiraki Square. We even ended up coming back to this spot with some friends later on during our trip.

Food Tour with Athens Insiders in Athens, Greece

Food Tour with Athens Insiders in Athens, Greece

Food Tour with Athens Insiders in Athens, Greece

One of my favorite stops was the oldest coffee shop in Athens—we all crowded around a couple of tables and took a break from walking to chat for a bit. We had the choice of coffee or tea, so Micah got the Mountain Tea and I tried the Greek Coffee. Both were delicious, and as much as I love coffee, we both really adored the tea. We were going to buy some to take home with us, but we didn’t have any extra room in our bags, so we are thinking we might have to order some online now! While relaxing and chatting at the table, the owner explained the history of the café and showed us the view of the Acropolis out the window. Apparently, the view was an important part of the location selection.

Food Tour with Athens Insiders in Athens, Greece

Food Tour with Athens Insiders in Athens, Greece

Food Tour with Athens Insiders in Athens, Greece

Food Tour with Athens Insiders in Athens, Greece

Food Tour with Athens Insiders in Athens, Greece

Our last stop of the day was walking through the central market, Varvakios Agora. The meat portion of the market is not for the faint of heart—although it is clean and friendly, there are butchered animals hanging everywhere right in the open. It didn’t bother us, but I can definitely understand where it might be disturbing to some!

Food Tour with Athens Insiders in Athens, Greece

Food Tour with Athens Insiders in Athens, Greece

Food Tour with Athens Insiders in Athens, Greece

From there, we made our way to the fish portion of the market. I love seeing a city’s markets—they always provide a unique look into the city and the local food.

Food Tour with Athens Insiders in Athens, Greece

Food Tour with Athens Insiders in Athens, Greece

Food Tour with Athens Insiders in Athens, Greece

Food Tour with Athens Insiders in Athens, Greece

The three hours were over all too soon—I guess time flies when you are having fun! Overall, the tour was a great way to get introduced to the city and we really enjoyed it. I especially like how the guides are all specialists in the topic of your tour, such as food, history, architecture, etc. This means that you will get that extra edge of knowledge and you will have a deeper understanding than if you had a guide who knew a little about the topic of the tour. I’m glad we had the opportunity to join in on an Athens Insiders tour and get to know Natalie better at TBEX. She has a passion for sharing her city and it comes through in all the tours that are offered by the company. Getting a peek into a local’s Athens was the perfect way to start off our exploration of the city!

Many thanks to Natalie, George and Athens Insiders for providing us with a complimentary tour. As always, all opinions are our own.

28 Comments
  • Lauren Bassart
    Twitter:
    Posted at 12:55h, 02 December Reply

    I don’t have any food on my bucket list, but those donuts seem like they need to be on there 🙂
    Lauren Bassart recently posted…Exploring the Asa Wright Nature Centre in Trinidad & TobagoMy Profile

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 00:32h, 04 December Reply

      Yeah, there a
      were so delicious–definitely bucket list worthy 🙂

  • Christina S.
    Twitter:
    Posted at 14:47h, 02 December Reply

    Ohhhhh – I love me some traditional Greek food! Those loukoumades look dynamite.
    Christina S. recently posted…5 Reasons I Love BarcelonaMy Profile

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 00:33h, 04 December Reply

      It was all so delicious! Especially the loukoumades 🙂

  • Meg Jerrard
    Twitter:
    Posted at 15:56h, 02 December Reply

    Sound slike a great introduction to the city – and especially great to be able to have a local guide you. Thanks for the awesome photos – i can’t wait to get to Athens to experience it all for myself!

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 00:34h, 04 December Reply

      Thanks! Yeah it was so fun having a local guide us around–we had a great time!

  • Hannah
    Twitter:
    Posted at 16:41h, 02 December Reply

    Probably not the best thing to read while I’m hungry but YUM! What a great way to see the city- especially with a chef!
    Hannah recently posted…The Weirdest Thing I’ve Done For Travel MoneyMy Profile

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 00:35h, 04 December Reply

      Haha, yeah sorry to make your hunger worse! 🙂 It would so great–would definitely recommend it!

  • Dennis Kopp
    Twitter:
    Posted at 18:32h, 02 December Reply

    Thanks for sharing your impressions of your tour through Athens, Jenna! It looks like you had a really good time and I am not only saying this because of the clean plates. Unfortunately you just made me realize that I missed out on the cheese pies, but on the other hand you just gave me one more reason to look forward to the next visit in Athens… 🙂
    Dennis Kopp recently posted…Adventure Climb of Great Saint Rock in MeteoraMy Profile

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 00:37h, 04 December Reply

      Oh no! They were so good–you will definitely have to try them on your next visit! 🙂

  • kami
    Twitter:
    Posted at 08:14h, 03 December Reply

    That sounds like such a great and yummy way to discover the city! I wish I knew about it before I visited Athens earlier this year, I’d definitely go for it!
    kami recently posted…Sunday with Pictures: bohemian Kazimierz Dolny, PolandMy Profile

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 00:38h, 04 December Reply

      Ah that’s too bad–you will have try taking one on your next visit if you head back! It was great and so delicious 🙂

  • Tracy Antonioli
    Twitter:
    Posted at 11:37h, 03 December Reply

    I love food tours as a way to get to know a new city. I did my first tour in Charlottetown, PEI and have been hooked ever since. There’s so much to be learned through a culinary tour, as food and history are almost always linked.

    Great market photos, by the way!
    Tracy Antonioli recently posted…Fat in a Bikini: The South Beach ExperimentMy Profile

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 00:39h, 04 December Reply

      Thanks!! Same here–such a great way to start exploring a new place! 🙂

  • Angela
    Twitter:
    Posted at 15:40h, 03 December Reply

    What a great way to explore a city by eating the food! Great post and photos, as usual!
    Angela recently posted…How to Survive a Beer FestivalMy Profile

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 00:39h, 04 December Reply

      Thanks, Angela! It was so fun! 🙂

  • Helen Anne Travis
    Twitter:
    Posted at 17:36h, 03 December Reply

    Oh man, I went to Athens years ago and somehow I missed these cheese pies! How did this happen?!!!

    Great roundup of your experience! And excellent photos too. It’s always so fun to see a city from a local’s point of view (especially a local foodie!)
    Helen Anne Travis recently posted…Grand Traverse Commons: Eating Lamb Brains in a Mental InstitutionMy Profile

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 00:41h, 04 December Reply

      Oh that’s too bad–they were my favorite! Hopefully you can try one next time 🙂 And thanks, it really was so fun to have a local foodie show us around!

  • Matt
    Posted at 21:07h, 03 December Reply

    Having a guided tour is really different than wandering around the city. It’s a different kind of fun!

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 00:41h, 04 December Reply

      Definitely agree–love wandering around but it’s nice to have a bit more info sometimes too!

  • Lauren
    Twitter:
    Posted at 23:01h, 04 December Reply

    What a great introduction you had to the city! Looks like you ate and drank lots of goodies 🙂 I want to try the coffee!
    Lauren recently posted…Scooter Rentals in Bermuda (and Other Modes of Transportation)My Profile

    • Jenna Kvidt
      Posted at 02:55h, 17 December Reply

      It was great! The coffee was so good–I could go for a cup right about now! 🙂
      Jenna Kvidt recently posted…Christmas in ChicagoMy Profile

  • A Cook Not Mad (Nat)
    Twitter:
    Posted at 05:02h, 05 December Reply

    Food tours are a great way to get to know a new country and culture. We’ve loved the ones we’ve taken.
    A Cook Not Mad (Nat) recently posted…365 Project 2014 – week 48My Profile

  • antonette - we12travel
    Twitter:
    Posted at 08:05h, 05 December Reply

    Yummie! I can’t help but loving tzaziki the most … great stuff only not when you have a meeting the following day 🙂

  • blake more
    Posted at 13:29h, 19 February Reply

    I know Athens pretty well. You have presented here some very beautiful photographs and your prose style is a delight. The Greeks probably treated you extra well because you seem to be a nice couple.

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