This is what you get to see in abundance, and only this, when you enter the central market hall (Dimotiki Agora) on Athina street in downtown Athens.
This rectangular central market hall is organized in a sort of layers. On the outside of the building there are many small shops of all kinds. Coming inside you will see only butchers when walking one round in the building. Then heading towards the heart of the building there is only fish vendors. This offering only focused on meat (beef, chicken, sheep, rabbit etc.) and fish is rather unique and reminds more of a wholesale market.
The meat alley has one butcher next to the other with stands all looking alike. Each stand has a glass structure which is cooling room and show room alike. And there is only meat cuts, no sausages or further processed meat besides minced meat. And it is possible to buy all parts of the animals, including feet, heads, intestines, rumina etc. Many of the butchers (male only) have a big wooden bloc in front where they cut the meat in front of the buyer. All the friendly vendors are dressed in a white apron. And when there are no customers around they chat and laugh with each other, giving a sense of community.
In the centre of the market hall are the fish mongers. In contrast to the butchers they do not all wear white clothes. The fish variety is large but not overwhelming , some seafood is available as well. coming from a country further up north, it is always impressive to see squid and octopus as well. This section was quite louder than the meat alley, is fish more inspiring?
On the outside of the building there is a collection of smaller shops with a large variety of offerings: bakery, coffee roasters, dried fruit & nuts, cheese (feta), household tools etc. There it is easier as a tourist to find something to bring home.
All in all: a market hall which caters for daily needs not for tourists. A feast for meat and fish lovers, definitely worth seeing
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