The Street Food Of Athens

  • by XpatAthens
  • Friday, 20 February 2015
The Street Food Of Athens

I adore street food. Simply love it….. and in Athens, some of the best street food is available during the fall and winter months. Just steps away from the ancient agora and under the looming gaze of the Parthenon, lies the Monastiraki section of the city.

Take a stroll through this bustling neighborhood where vendors sell fish, meat and vegetables alongside more touristy fare of T-shirts, worry beads and replicas of ancient vases, and you’ll come across one of my all-time favorite treats : roast chestnuts. You have to work a little at peeling back the crispy outer layer, but it’s worth it! Chestnut vendors sell roast corn as well — tastes great with a sprinkle of Greek sea salt on top.

If you get thirsty from the chestnuts and corn, just a few steps away is the Salep vendor. What is Salep, you might ask? I passed by this  huge bronze urn for four days before I got up the nerve to try, and found out……. it’s orchid tea!

The vendor handed over a tiny cup with a foamy finish, a dash of cinnamon and the most exotic fragrance…….I took a taste and it had the strangest mix of sweet, citrus and nuttiness.

Apparently there’s enough demand for orchid tea in Athens to support more than one vendor. In the middle of Ermou, a busy downtown shopping street, this man has also set up shop. And instead of one gleaming bronze dispenser on his mobile cart……

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By Amanda Summer