Pantopoleio grocery shop2

 

October was a really exciting month.  We came to Athens during the second fortnight as we were leaving for Cyprus on the 23rd to attend a family wedding.   A couple of days later we found out about an event organized by Atenistas, on October 20, which was called Open Walk.  This event was about walking in the city centre and discoverying gastronomic delights.

 

Open Walk Map2

There was no way I would miss such an event.  The weather was splendid and on Sunday morning we set off to discover some known and other unknown shops, spots and flavours of Athens.

Open walker badge

We were given a map showing the route and a badge and started out tour. However, we made a  wrong decision and instead of going by bus we drove in our car and couldn’t find any parking place near the starting point so we finally parked somewhere near shop Number 14 and missed a few spots at the beginning and end of the route.

The weather was wonderful on that Sunday morning and lots of people participated, going up and down holding the maps in their hands.

Pantopoleio grocery shop

 

We started our tour by visiting a Grocery promoting the Mediterranean Diet.   Needless to say that I spent about an hour in there, as this was a foodie paradise in the centre of Athens.  One of the biggest traditional grocery shops (180 sq. metres) with over 2000 selected, gourmet products, most of them organic produced by 225 Greek agricultural co-ops, women associations or family businesses, you cannot find in any other Greek supermarket.

 

Marianna Komitopoulou Pantopoleio Mediterranean Diet

I introduced myself to Mrs. Marianna Komitopoulou, the Marketing Manager, who was courteous enough to show me around and explained everyting I needed to know about their products.  She explained to me that the products are made with traditional family recipes, using the most pure ingredients, whose products are organic and without any preservatives.

Whether you are Greek or a tourist, I strongly recommend this wonderful shop, where you can find EVERYTHINHG a foodie dreams of, either to take as a gift to friends or to cook with as you will not find these products in any other Greek supermarket chain, except maybe just a few products.

I bought some products for my personal use, as you probably know by now that I am preparing my second cookbook, which is relevant to the Mediterranean Diet, but also many traditional sweets such as Yianniotikos baklavas (from Ioannina who are renowned for their baklavas) and amygdalota (citrus marzipan cookies) which I took as gifts to Cyprus.

Collage Mediterranean Diet products given

When leaving, Mrs. Komitopoulou offered me a bagful of wonderful products to try and which you will soon be seeing in my recipes.

 

Striftaria with Spiroulina

I have already cooked a pasta dish using Striftaria (similar to casarecce) made with spirulina and sea fennel, which will be my next blog post.

Collage pasta etc

I found all kinds of amazing Greek products, which didn’t even know of their existence.  I managed to capture with my lens only a few products as the shop was packed with people and it was quite difficult as they kept popping infront of my camera.

Olive oil

Endless brands of prime quality extra virgin olive oil, from all over Greece, which is surely the best in the whole world as well as prime quality vinegars, pasta with many types of flour and flavours, canned products from Satorini, such as their famous tomatoes, capers, legumes etc, dried figs and other products made with figs, halvas, pastelli (sesame-honey candy), carob products, grape molasses, blossom water etc.

Collage cheeses charcuterie

All kinds of selected Greek cheeses and gourmet charcuterie, such as buffalo kavourmas, beef pastrami, sausages, salami etc.

Collage fish

Fish products, like smoked trout,  marinated anchovies or mackerel, trout and other selected fish products such as «avgotaracho» which is mullet bottarga.

wines and liqueurs

A selection of Greek alcoholic drinks such as wines, ouzo, tsipouro, brandy, various liqueurs such as tentura, made with cinnamon, masticha, made with mastic resin, rakomelo, an aperitif, which is made either with raki or tsipouro and honey, combined with spices and herbs.

Collage other delicacies

Jarred grape leaves, a selection of all types of olives, best quality of sea salt (roughly one third of the world’s salt supply comes from the sea salt produced in Greece and France), jams, fruit preserves, mastiha products, almond cookies, all Greek spices, such as Krokos Kozanis (Greek saffron), nuts and what can I say about Greek honey, which is the best in the whole world.

I will definitely be visiting this shop again whenever coming back to Athens, to buy and try new products.  I am really glad I visited this shop first and spent most of my time there because the staff were really professional, ready to answer all your questions, with excellent service and politeness.

The grocery shop is situated at the corner of 1 Sophocleous Street and Aristidou Street No. 11.  Telephone: +30 210 3234612 and e-mail:  info@atenco.gr.  Their website www.atenco.gr is now being upgraded and will be operating in a few days.

Krinos loukoumades

Next stop was  at 87 Aeolou Street.  There was a huge queue at Krinos (Nr. 13) who served loukoumades (deep fried yeasted dough served with honey).

Loukoumades

 

It was worth waiting as their loukoumades were delicious.  They served them with top quality honey on top.

Zapholias cheese

The next stop was at Zafolias Cheese at Sophocleous Street. Nr. 7.  Here you will find a variety of Greek traditional cheeses.

Metsovone and ladotyri

 

Next stop at Nr. 16.  A shoping selling honey.  I must confess that the owner was a little bit stingy and cranky.  He offered us a pinch of honey on a toothpick and when I asked a question he answered in a rather irritated manner that he had already answered the question.

honey

 

Next stop at Nr. 17 at a small grocery shop with products from the island of Limnos.

Limnos

Mocca, coffee shop at 44 Athinas street was too crowded so I just manged to take two shots and left.

Mocca coffee shop

Another interesting shop was Nr. 9 selling all kinds of olives and pickled vegetables.  The shop is called «Ariana» and you will find it at 3 Theatrou Street.

Olives

Further down the road you will find a taverna called «Klimataria» (which means bower because of the vines twined together).

Klimataria

Next stop (Nr. 10), was at Theatrou square Nr. 2.  A very old taverna which outside doesn’t look very appealing but once you enter inside you will find a lovely garden shaded by bowers and decorated with wine barrels.

Klimataria2

The food smelled fantastic and we were offered a «mezedaki», an appetizer with bread, tzatziki and sausage, which was delicious.

Sausage

Nr. 8 at Socratous Street Nr. 3 was totally inhospitable.  A table outside had two empty plates and inside there was no one to greet us. We took a picture of this beautiful vintage cashier register and left.

Vintage Cashier Register

What a beautiful sight was the next shop called Miran, selling charcuterie at 41 Evripidou Street.

pastourmas

Apart from all kinds of charcuterie, this shop specializes in «pastourmas» (basturma).  Although I love the sight of all these goodies, I must say that I tried «pastourmas» which is too piquant and spicy for my taste.

pastourmas Miran

Another favourite shop I visit whenever I am in Athens and I visit the centre,  is Elixirion (elixir), who sell all kinds of herbs and spices.   You can find this shop at 41 Evripidou Street.

Spices

This was also very crowded but I patiently waited in the queue. I bought some spices and herbs I needed and got to taste «threpsini» for the first time. Although I knew about this grape cream, I had never eaten it before and it was really delicious.

Although, there were many more places to visit, the remaining family were waiting back home for lunch.  Hopefully, next year we will be able to visit it again.

Athens tour

Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,

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Χωρίς σχόλια on Open Walk: Discovering a Foodie Paradise in the Centre of Athens

  1. Ο/Η Rosa λέει:

    Wonderful food and places! Thanks for the virtual visit.

    cheers,

    Rosa

  2. Ο/Η Anna from stuffedveggies λέει:

    Wow – what wonderful fun! I do wish I could have gone with you! Thanks for sharing all these delights with us : )
    Anna recently posted..Vegan JambalayaMy Profile

  3. Ο/Η PG λέει:

    Oh, what a delight! Lovely pictures! And what lovely shops!

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