Athens Culinary Tours

Athens culinary tours are among the food walking tours offered by an unusual company, Culinary Backstreets. Their food tours are not in the obvious cities like Paris and London, but in more interesting foodie destinations, such as Istanbul, Tbilisi, Mexico City, Shanghai, Naples... and Athens, of course.

Culinary Backstreets started their tours in 2009, and one look at their website shows they're no ordinary tour company. We got absorbed in the stories they tell, the features they write, their interesting online shop and the projects they support. Take a look at The Syrian Kitchen in Exile, for one fine example.

Culinary Tours of Athens

So what kind of walking tours have they come up with for Athens? We haven't yet sampled these ourselves but we are definitely going to on our next visit to Athens. But how to choose from these:

Culinary Secrets of Downtown Athens

This tour lasts 5.5 hours and they describe it like this: "We’ll visit an old-school dairy bar and a hidden gem of a loukoumades joint. We’ll sample souvlaki, and a kebab made according to a recipe brought to Athens by refugees from Constantinople. 

"The walk will explore the hidden seafood eateries of the stoa, the arcades that are among downtown Athens’ most unique architectural features. There will be artisanal cheeses and honey and even a few sips of homemade spirits, accompanied by an unforgettable bite in the center of the main fishmongers’ market."

Backstreet Plaka

There are two Plakas. There's the main tourist Plaka with its souvenir shops and so-so restaurants competing for your custom. And then there's the Plaka the locals know, where you'll get a more authentic taste of Athens. Among many other things, this tour takes you to one of the city's best bakeries, to sample some real Greek coffee, to visit a food shop in the 'village' of Anafiotika, see behind-the-scenes at a tradesmen's canteen and finishes at one of the oldest patisseries in the city.

The Movable Sunday Feast

This one lasts 5.5 hours and obviously takes place every Sunday. As they say: "Sunday is traditionally a day of leisure for the average Greek, dedicated to two important aspects of life: food and family. Most Greeks enjoy the largest meal of this day at lunchtime, sharing it with an extended family that usually includes children, cousins, grandparents and aunts and uncles."

The tour starts with a fresh-baked koulouri near the wonderful Sunday morning Monastiraki flea market. Then: "There will be a good Greek coffee and breakfast’s second course: thick strained yogurt with honey and nuts alongside hosaf, a dried fruit and spice compote that’s a specialty of the Pontic Greeks exiled in the 1920’s from Turkey’s Black Sea region."

To prove that this is an authentically Greek experience, it includes two lunch stops! The first offers grilled lamb chops and hand-cut fries in a family-run taverna, followed by a longer visit to another taverna where Greeks head for lunch with their families. Here you can expect Greek comfort food like dolmades and soutzoukakia. 

More Information

Visit the Culinary Backstreets website, and don't forget to check out the section of food stories about Athens.

Where to Stay in Athens

Don't miss this visual tour of Athens with photos by Donna Dailey of Greece Travel Secrets.

Some other Athens pages

  • Thessaloniki: City of Gastronomy

    UNESCO has made Thessaloniki a City of Gastronomy, under its Creative Cities network, the only city in Greece to be acknowledged for its unique food and drink.

  • A Drive around Attica

    This drive around Attica offers visitors high hills, beach resorts, small villages and classical sites like Marathon and the Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion.

  • Santorini Wineries

    Visiting Santorini wineries is a popular activity on this Greek island in the Cyclades, whose volcanic soil provides a distinctive terroir.

  • Athens to Santorini

    There are lots of flights from Athens to Santorini as well as a ferry service from Piraeus, with flights to Santorini leaving from Athens International Airport.

  • Zakynthos Winemaker

    Antonis Maroudas is a Zakynthos winemaker who lives on the 'wine road' and is one of the people who make Zakynthos.

  • Zacharioudakis Winery

    Greece Travel Secrets visits the Zacharioudakis Winery near Ancient Gortina in southern Crete, and does a vineyard tour arranged by our guide from Go Crete.

  • Where to Eat in Athens and Piraeus

    If you're wondering where to eat in Athens and Piraeus we have a few suggestions including some favorites around the Acropolis, Omonia Square, and Syntagma.

  • What Is Metaxa?

    What is Metaxa? Metaxa is an amber Greek spirit combining brandy made by distilling wine, sweet wine from Samos and a secret recipe of Mediterranean botanicals.

  • What Is Greek Raki?

    Raki is an alcoholic drink made with distilled grapes and anise, and popular in Greece and other Mediterranean countries, including Greece’s neighbour Turkey.

  • Touring the Lyrarakis Winery on Crete

    Greece Travel Secrets tours the Lyrarakis Winery on Crete and learns about Crete grape varieties such as plyto, dafni, vidiano, vilana, mandilari and kotsifali.

  • Tipping in Greece

    The Greece Travel Secrets guide to tipping in Greece from two Greece travel experts, including when to tip, what to tip and when not to tip.

  • The Herb Man of Kouses

    Greece Travel Secrets visits the Cretan Botano herbs and spices shop near Matala in southern Crete in search of the herb man of Kouses.

  • The Cretan Diet

    Studies have shown the Cretan Diet as one of the healthiest in the world, involving lots of fresh fruit, vegetables, fresh fish, and moderate amounts of wine.

  • Ten Fun Things to Do in Athens

    Ten Fun Things to Do in Athens include eating in the Central Market, watching the sun set over the Acropolis and seeing one of the world's oldest theatres.

  • Stilianou Winery near Knossos

    The Stilianou Winery near Knossos on Crete uses only Cretan grape varieties, with every bottle numbered, and aims for quality rather than quantity.

  • Marathon

    The ancient site of Marathon and the site of the Battle of Marathon are in Attica and naturally about 26 miles or 42 kilometres from the centre of Athens.

  • Cape Sounion and the East Coast

    The beach resorts of Athens are easily reached from the city and also close are Cape Sounion with the Temple of Poseidon, ancient Marathon and Rafina's port.

  • Piraeus

    Piraeus is the port of Athens from where many ferries to the Greek islands depart, and it also has an Archaeological Museum and the Hellenic Maritime Museum.

  • Pictures of Athens

    Pictures of Athens from the Greece Travel Secrets website

  • National Archaeological Museum

    The National Archaeological Museum is one of the best things to see in Athens, and the best museum in the world for seeing Greece's archaeological treasures.

  • My Athens: a Portrait by Travel Writer Mike Gerrard

    In My Athens on Greece Travel Secrets travel writer Mike Gerrard describes what he loves about Athens including the Acropolis and eating!

  • Museum of Samos Wine

    A visit to the Museum of Samos Wine to learn about the muscat grapes that produce the best dessert wines in the world and also the Greek spirit, Metaxa.

  • Monastiraki Flea Market

    Greece Travel Secrets visits the Monastiraki Flea Market, followed by Sunday lunch at Sigalas on Monastiraki Square

  • Monastiraki and Around

    Around Monastiraki is the flea market, Athens cathedral, Kerameikos Cemetery, the Benaki Museum of Islamic Art and the Psirri and Gazi nightlife districts.

  • Manousakis Wine Tasting

    We visit and tour the Manousakis Winery on Crete with a wine-tasting and a chance to buy their tsikoudia, sea salt, olive oil and other goodies.

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