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Where to Eat the Best Tiny Snacks (Tapas) in Athens Ouzeri Karayiannis, Varvakios Central Market, Athens

Look, this is a historical place. It’s a buffet that Harbiyiyorum proudly discovered on a day when he traveled around Athens with his instinct to eat well. We are delighted when we find such gems. Ouzeri Karayiannis is an authentic snack bar in Varvakios, just outside the butchers’ market, at the transition from the butchers’ market to the fishermen’s section.

It’s such an old-school buffet that Athenians who used to go there with their fathers when they were little now take their children there. The same goes for the staff at Ouzeri Karayiannis. The parents who used to run this place have now handed it over to their children. We are talking about a place in Athens with a symbolic value for food and drink. It’s a precious gem, a flavor point that hasn’t been covered before. A triumph! (There is also an artisan restaurant here that serves tripe soup, and if you are interested, we invite you to our article “Where to Have the Best Tripe Soup in Athens?”)

And what they make are tiny snacks… And this business was set up primarily to serve the people who work in the bazaar. It’s a small restaurant that was opened so that people can have a quick bite to eat between selling meat and fish.

There are fried meatballs, boiled prawns, anchovies in sauce, or pickled mussels… If you want meatballs and sausages, you can have a beer; if you want seafood, you can have ouzo or tsipouro.

People and those who work in the market (Varvakios) eat here. Athens eats here somehow. You can sit on chairs facing outside or inside… You can also stand if you want. It depends on the situation and your preference. Wherever you sit, you will be one with the bazaar’s bustle, noise, and flow. And this is incredibly enjoyable.

There is a cold showcase on the facade facing the road, and with the help of a toothpick, all the flavors are quickly put on a plate in front of your eyes. You can eat whatever you want. You can ask for four meatballs, a mix, or anchovies with sauce. It’s all possible. It’s even fun to watch it being prepared.

Let’s talk about how we can name this kind of meal and what category we can put it in. Because Ouzeri Karayiannis is an exemplary place in the world, let alone in Athens.

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This type of on-the-go food has been developed and embraced in Spain the most. The Spaniards call these snacks and canapés “tapas,” if you go to San Sebastian, these snacks are called “pintxos.” In Italy, similar interpretations emerge during operative hours. In the contemporary world, it is called “bar food” or “finger food.” In Athens, such dishes are called appetizers or snacks.

We have visited many restaurants and bars worldwide, but Ouzeri Karayiannis in Athens is a very original place.

It’s folk, down-to-earth, and affordable for a quick bite. But for those with an open heart, this place is more than just an eating and drinking experience.

If you’re looking to truly embrace the essence of Athens, to understand its rich food and drink culture in a single, delectable plate, then Ouzeri Karayiannis is a must-visit. It’s a humble place that holds the key to a deeper appreciation of this vibrant city.

Then go.


Ouzeri Karayiannis
Athinas 42, Athina 999-20, Yunanistan

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