16 Jun2008


The same day that we climbed up the Acropolis, we walked back down into the Plaka district, then decided to make our way to the Athens Central Market on foot. The main market of the city was moved here in the 1870’s, and for the most part, is famous for its meat and seafood offerings. Housed in two rather attractive buildings with high ceilings, the meat and seafood sections stock a very impressive array of ingredients… Dozens of brightly lit stalls lined pedestrian hallways with tourists often gawking at the whole carcasses of young lamb and huge sides of pork which seemed to be the main feature of the market. If you aren’t into wet markets and seeing entire animals without their skins, this place could be a bit stressful for you. Each stall seemed to have chillers in the back and whole sides of hogs, cattle etc. were brought out with meat hooks on suspended runners…


These rather impressively sized chickens (say 2-3 kilos, compared the anemic 1 kilo wonders in most Manila markets) hung at one vendor’s stall… They also had the smaller and paler chickens on display but the lady who was selling them gruffly asked me not to take any photographs…


These skinned rabbits were also on offer and at roughly USD13 for a whole rabbit, I thought that was a great deal!


Next door to the meat building was a really impressive fish section, with display areas filled with ice and host to a beautiful selection of fishes, crustaceans and other dwellers of the seas surrounding Athens as well as imported from abroad. I didn’t get to linger here long enough to take better photos, as The Kid was in open toe sandals and streams of water with scales and other fish debris are the WORST thing to walk around in wearing sandals! She was actually willing to just let me roam some more, but I figured I would be able to return on a different day to see the section again. At a rate, a lot of the fish looked incredibly fresh, and the volume of shoppers here far exceeded those in the meat market. Clearly, the Greeks LOVE their seafood.


I took a photo of this MASSIVE hunk of fish, which I could not identify nor could I read/translate/decipher the sign (it being in Greek and all), so I am posting the photo, hoping that Shalimar or other readers based in Greece might be able to identify it for me. I suspect it is some cod, monkfish or similar white meat fish, not tuna or other darker fleshed varities of fish…


And how can you write about a seafood market in Greece without a snapshot of some octopus? My first impression of the Athens Central Market? Brilliant. I really liked this place, was impressed with the way the stalls were organized, staffed, stocked and displayed. And I liked that this was really a FUNCTIONING market, which was tourist friendly for the most part, but really did the vast majority of its business with locals…



  1. AleXena says:

    Whew MarketMan it was such a busy day for me that it’s only now that I get to leave you a message. I must say the piece about the dog, tortoise and oranges was so cute. I wish oranges would fall of from trees also here in our country.

    I can’t believe the picture above is from a fish!!! It looks like pork to me:) I hope part two will be about the produce section as well as the dry market of Greece. I believe that is were the life of the market begins.

    Jun 16, 2008 | 4:50 pm


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  3. quiapo says:

    Did you have the feeling that the wet market seemed cleaner and more accessible than our markets in the Philippines? Each market has its own atmosphere – but somehow, european markets seem more user friendly than our Manila wet markets. Perhaps it is the lighting that is better, or perhaps I have been away too long and markets are now different at home.

    Jun 16, 2008 | 6:01 pm

  4. erbie says:

    am utterly speechless, both for the pictures and the athens market adventure.i wonder if those hulk chickens are still that tender.kudos on the pictures.they are great..cant wait to see more..

    Jun 16, 2008 | 6:21 pm

  5. connieC says:

    Welcome back MM from your wonderful holiday in Greece and Turkey!
    If I may invite you to stray a bit from dogs and turtles and ornamental oranges and the wet market meats, click on this link below, and for the 7 minute clip I might change your mind on watching the show:
    Make sure you watch it with the kid. She will probably enjoy it too. Again, forgive me for my persistence.

    Jun 16, 2008 | 10:08 pm

  6. danney says:

    Hello Marketman,

    I visited lots of places in Greece like Iraklion, Katakolon, Crete, Patmos, Pireus but my favorite is of course Athens. There is something so exciting about Greece and its culture, people, way of life and more.

    Did you try eating inside the market? They have small restaurants serving local food like pork or lamb dishes? Their varieties of fish and olives are fantastic. I love their breaded whole fried fish and octopus. Their seafood, meat and dried sections are very clean. The high ceiling provide enough air to breath in and out of the wet market.

    I wish we can have clean and properly sanitized wet market in the Philippines too. Our wet market reminded me of Mexico’s wet market. I wish we can implement United States Public Health Inspection (USPH) standard in the Philippines. USPH is very strict when it comes to strict sanitation and public health policy. Someday someday (sigh)

    Jun 16, 2008 | 10:15 pm

  7. openonymous says:

    I hope you tried the Patsa in that market! that is their usual ‘hangover’ food, the Athen’s Market is where you can find these carinderias selling this comfort dish! Did you see the discarded beef bones in the market? Ang sarap mag-bulalo doon!

    Jun 16, 2008 | 11:28 pm

  8. jdawgg says:

    Hello Marketman

    It looks to me like the flea market in P.I. That hunk of fish might me a sturgeon or perhaps a marlin.

    Jun 17, 2008 | 2:05 am

  9. shalimar says:

    galeos… smooth hound shark family
    fried and served with skordalia (puree of stale bread and garlic)

    Now you know why I miss Greece when it comes to food….

    Maybe one more month am back to Athens..

    Jun 17, 2008 | 3:04 am

  10. shalimar says:

    ohh look at the first pic arnakia (lamb) ah the head of those lamb the greeks love them if you were a guest you get to eat the brain ;-)

    Jun 17, 2008 | 3:05 am

  11. shalimar says:

    the sign says:


    galeos the fish
    dopios means local
    chios the island where it came from or where it was caught

    Jun 17, 2008 | 3:06 am

  12. Marketman says:

    THANKS Shalimar! I knew someone would be able to identify it! So it is shark meat? Or related to shark? Interesting…

    Jun 17, 2008 | 9:54 am

  13. GayeN says:

    Hi MM! Ohh! I can’t wait for Part 2!
    Thanks for sharing!

    Jun 17, 2008 | 10:13 am

  14. shalimar says:

    shark family…

    Jun 18, 2008 | 1:10 am

  15. shalimar says:


    fish and sea animals of Crete and Greece

    Jun 18, 2008 | 1:11 am

  16. inked_chef says:

    looks like its a shark

    Jun 18, 2008 | 9:34 am

  17. navyGOLF says:

    How can you eat puree of stale bread and garlic? fried or mashed? I really wonder how it tastes like…

    Jun 19, 2008 | 12:25 am

  18. Framboise says:

    Marketman, may I ask where I can buy some lambloins and foie gras? I have checked Santis. We find it expensive. Is there another place where I can buy them here in Manila? I will be needing it tomorrow.

    Sep 12, 2008 | 2:50 pm

  19. emmy says:

    hello marketman.do you know restaurants in manila serving turtle dishes, as in adobong pagong, etc. ?

    Jul 19, 2009 | 4:21 pm


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