29 Jul2008

Elixir, Athens

by Marketman


On Evripidou Street there is a gorgeous little gem of a shop called Elixir. Written up in several of the guidebooks to Athens, this dark shop is filled with herbs, spices, snacks and tea. It appears to have been there for a very long time, and the glass front wooden cabinets that stretch from floor to ceiling are jam packed with lots of dried herbs and spices. The dark shop yields discovery after discovery, and as we browsed and picked up several items we marveled at how much of a relic the shop seemed to be, yet it did a brisk business for locals and tourists alike.


It’s the kind of shop I would love to be the proprietor of, but for the most part, it wouldn’t turn a profit in Manila… Streetside there were dozens of bags of loofahs and dried oranges, and you might pass its nondescript entrance if you weren’t sure of its address…


A table just inside the front door has wonderful native delicacies, bunches of lavender, olive wood mortars and pestles, and other interesting items.


Old wooden cabinets with glass fronts show off a stunning volume of dried herbs, including huge bunches of oregano, etc.


Literally hanging from the rafters are dried peppers and eggplant slices.


On the counter were a couple of bottles with incredibly plum vanilla beans on offer at fairly steep prices…


And our purchases included dried lavender and rosebuds, and several packages of pasteli…


…a wonderful snack made with sesame seeds and terrific greek honey.


And possibly the most interesting find of all in a spice shop… a canister of lime bergamot massage oil, a present from Mrs. MM and The Kid. :)

41 Evripidou Street
Athens, Greece



  1. Swimgreen says:

    Stunning. Heaven. You cannot beat ancient cities and their spices aka gold.

    Jul 29, 2008 | 7:12 am


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  3. Angela says:

    This looks like my kind of shop! :)

    Jul 29, 2008 | 7:42 am

  4. AleXena says:

    Market Man you never failed to brighthen a rainy day like this for me.=) Seeing the spice shop in your previous post and the dried lavender in this one made me imagine how the place would smell.=)

    Thanks Market Man!=D

    Jul 29, 2008 | 8:24 am

  5. Mila says:

    An herbal apothecary! I love those large see-through cabinets. And the ropes of dried chillis remind me of that tv movie based on the book Mistress of Spices. My nose practically tingles just imagining the smell of the store.

    Jul 29, 2008 | 8:38 am

  6. lyna says:

    Wow, thanks for the information!!

    Jul 29, 2008 | 8:50 am

  7. Cumin says:

    I’d be overheated in a shop like this. Kaloka.

    Will you emerge from the massage smelling like Earl Grey Tea, I wonder?

    Jul 29, 2008 | 9:25 am

  8. Maricel says:

    The cabinets reminds me of an old time bakery in our town that sold the most fantastic crusty, not sweet pan de sal and loads of heirloom cookies and bread. Sad to say it is gone now.

    Jul 29, 2008 | 10:30 am

  9. Swimgreen says:

    Speaking of movies, check out Touch of Spice.

    Jul 29, 2008 | 1:17 pm

  10. Katrina says:

    I can just imagine wandering up and down the aisles of that store. Reminds me of a Chinese apothecary, albeit without the scary-looking dried animals. ;-)

    The pasteli looks like the sesame candy/sesame brittle sold in several provinces here. How similar or different is it?

    Jul 29, 2008 | 3:23 pm

  11. Cecile J says:

    Hmmm, interesting! What do they use dried eggplant slices for? Cooking or decor?

    Jul 29, 2008 | 3:27 pm

  12. Shalum says:

    That Pasteli looks like that Baguio sweet. Looks yummy :)

    Jul 30, 2008 | 10:41 pm

  13. Fran Magbual says:

    What an awesome shop. That might be worth the trip in itself!

    Jul 31, 2008 | 8:35 am

  14. zena says:

    This shop is a foodie haven. But like Cecile J, I too wonder what the dried eggplant slices are for…

    Jul 31, 2008 | 10:27 am

  15. Michael says:

    I can only imagine that the eggplant (aubergine) is re-hydrated and used to make Moussaka.

    Dec 16, 2008 | 6:35 pm


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