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Little Bulgaria in Athens

11 July 2013 / 14:07:16  GRReporter
4252 reads

Simona Peneva

There is an area in the centre of Athens where you feel like you are in a Bulgarian neighbourhood. Groceries, hairdressers’, clubs, cafes and restaurants bring the flavour of Bulgaria. There are at least 10 Bulgarian shops, 4 cafes, 2 restaurants, 2 hairdressers’ and 2 clubs. One of the restaurants which is called "Balkan" is on 13 Akominatou Street. It is one of the most visited establishments during Bulgarian holidays whereas over the weekend, you can enjoy the rhythms of Bulgarian folk music mixed with the voices of hundreds of Bulgarian emigrants. Saturdays and Sundays are the busiest days for the restaurant. All the tables are occupied and the smell of various Bulgarian dishes fills the air.
    Some of the most popular dishes are shopska salad and beans with sausage whereas caramel custard and milk with rice are the most demanded desserts. "Balkan" restaurant can deliver food to your home too. A grocery called "Europe" is located on Victor Hugo Street. It was opened five years ago and offers the customers various Bulgarian goods from pretzel sticks to detergents. The shop is visited not only by Bulgarians, but also by Greeks and people of all nationalities. Yogurt, cheese and beer are the most preferred Bulgarian goods in the summer whereas meat, flat sausages (lukanka), frankfurters and sausages, and beer again, hold the lead in the winter.
    The goods in "Europe" grocery come from Bulgaria and Greece. Pink tomatoes are undoubtedly one of the most desired products that are sold out in less than two or three hours. The shop is full of customers over the weekend too, who often go to it not only to shop but also to chat with their compatriots outside it. Near "Europe", there is a Bulgarian hairdresser’s which is preferred by a lot of women who visit it to take care of their hair but also to talk to each other in their native language, while having their hair set.
    If you cross the street, you can enter "Bulgari live" club and dance with the other people to the sounds of famous Bulgarian folk songs. "Bulgari live" is certainly one of young people’s favourite clubs near Omonia Square. Bulgarian singers like Sofi Marinova, Ustata and Ilian often perform live there as well as in other establishments. The club is most often visited over the weekend again.
    The largest Bulgarian grocery shop "Provik" is located on Tarella Street in the centre of Athens. The two-storey shop offers a wide variety of goods produced in Bulgaria. Several types of cheese, many types of sausages, nuts, sugar and bakery products, different brands of hair dyes and detergents are some of the things you can buy from "Provik". The abundance of goods offered in the shop attracts both Bulgarian and foreign customers.

    Restaurant "Outcasts" whose creatively decorated tables and walls are very impressive is located on Akominatou Street. It has been operating for 7 years already, attracting the customers with delicious Bulgarian dishes. Beans, lentils, kebapcheta (grilled minced meat with spices) and meatballs, pork with cabbage, fried potatoes, omelettes, dishes fried in egg and breadcrumbs and many more are part of the menu offered by "Outcasts". Shopska salad, Snow White salad, cabbage with carrots and grape brandy are preferred by Bulgarians. Around Omonia Square there are a number of Bulgarian establishments like "Barbarians" club, "Non Stop" cafe, "Varna" mini market which preserve the Bulgarian spirit, cuisine and traditions.

Tags: Little BulgariaAthensEurope groceryBulgarian in Greece
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