One fantastic way to get to the heart of Greek culture is to eat it! The culinary history of Greece is ever present in Athens, with delicious street food, a heritage of gourmet and fine dining, and a wine tradition that's punchy and unapologetic. Taking a food tour in Athens is not just about tasting, but getting a flavour of the city's soul! I've picked out the 5 best Athens Food Tours generally available, including helpful links. This post has me licking my lips!
What to Expect on an Athens Food Tour
Taking a food tour in Athens will mean at least 3 hours of your day and will involve a significant amount of walking. Expect to meet somewhere central (usually around Syntagma Square), and take in busy streets and off-beat outlets. The better tours give you an idea of Greek culinary history as well as more modern flavours so you get a sense of the journey of Athenian cuisine.
The Criteria for my Top 5 Selection
My curated list is based on the following factors:
- The “authenticity” of the Athenian food offered.
- Engaging and well-informed guides.
- A diverse sampling of food and drinks.
- Outstanding traveler reviews.
Top 5 Food Tours in Athens: A Deep Dive
1. Athens: Street Food Tasting Tour
Overview: Small group tour, with around 12 participants (excellent for solo travellers). Stops off at multiple points to taste Athenian street food. Heavier on food choices than local drinks. You can also choose this option as a private tour. Great way to get to know the city.
Key Dishes and Drinks: Expect cheese filo pastries, pistachio doughnuts, gyros, traditional breads.
Duration: Roughly 3 hours.
2. Athens Food Market Visit and Cooking Class with Wine
Overview: With expert guidance from the cook, learn about the flavours of Greece at a cooking class that starts with a visit to Athens Central Market. You get to enjoy the food you learn how to prepare, served with wine or soft drinks.
Key Dishes and Drinks: Market-fresh vegetables and meat/fish. Expect to be offered Greek wines, or soft drinks/water according to taste.
Duration: 4 hours
3. Athens Evening Food Tour
Overview: Central Athens transforms in the early evening and starts to sparkle! This tour takes you around the city centre and promises to explore authentic food joints and lesser-known options where locals hang out. It's best to be hungry as you'll have snacks, souvlaki AND dinner in a taverna.
Key Dishes and Drinks: Traditional foods including street food snacks, souvlaki served Athens-style, plus a taverna meal served with Greek wine.
Duration: 3.5 hours
4. Athens Gourmet Food Tour
Overview: This tour will explore Athen's food markets to taste the best and freshest of Greek ingredients. Along with tastings of famous Greek ingredients, you'll kick off with koulóuria (sesame bread rings), taste loukoumades (Greek donuts) and custard-filled filo squares. The trip is 4 hours (so bring hunger and sensible shoes) and you'll walk through the meat and fish markets.
Key Dishes and Drinks: Expect to taste olive oil, honey, Greek wine, herbs, yoghurt, mushrooms, pasta and cold meats.
Duration: 4 hours
5. Athens Dinner in the Sky Experience
Overview: This experience is becoming something of an institution in Athens! You'll eat a spectacular 5 course meal, while suspended 50 metres off the ground with fabulous views across Athens.
Key Dishes and Drinks: 5 chef-prepared courses plus wine pairings.
Duration: 90 minutes
Tips for Making the Most of Your Athens Food Tour
- Dietary Concerns: Always communicate any allergies or dietary restrictions. I did this at the booking stage and the guide didn't know about it, but we adapted some options to ensure I could taste most things.
- Seasonal Specialties: Ask your guide about seasonal dishes; Athens has several unique seasonal options that are worth seeking out.
- Dress Comfortably: Given the walking involved, comfortable shoes and attire are essential. Don't forget to carry a bottle of water, especially during the warmer months and you will need suncream.
Conclusion: Athens – A Culinary Odyssey
Who can resist a joke about Ovid in the conclusion? Well, the food tours of Athens truly are a culinary odyssey. This city is best known for its street food, busy streets and international vibe and all of that is present in the best food tours in Athens. This is a way of being immersed in the city – in fact, on the street food tour that I did, we went through a part of town that my hotel receptionist told me to avoid. I'm glad I got to see that area, in a safe and guided way, and check out the food that local people eat there. And I'm still dreaming of well-made souvlaki with tzatziki!
Frequently Asked Questions about Food Tours in Athens
- Best time of year for a food tour? While there's tours all-year round, the summer is when most tourists pack the streets, so the tour companies put on lots of extra staff. This is when I went, I had a great experience and I heard only good things from other travellers. Check out the speciality foods around Easter and Orthodox Christmas if you're in the city.
- How large are tour groups? Typically, food tour groups in Athens range from 8-12. You can book most of the tours mentioned here as a private group or even for a smaller private group. Click through to the booking site and send an enquiry.
- Are children allowed on tours? Many of the tours welcome children, but you should check beforehand. You should note that some of these tours include a lot of walking, which may become too much for younger kids.