It is true that Greece is not a kosher paradise: its population of 5,000 Jews, does not represent a strong enough market incentive for food companies to invest in kosher accreditation. Νevertheless, a new kosher restaurant is now open at Psyri, quite close to the Museum.
Furthermore, there are also a few more options available to the hungry Jewish traveller.
The Greek cuisine, being typically Mediterranean, offers a wide variety of vegetable-only dishes, so it is possible to avoid meat or dairy altogether. In fact, there is a vegetarian restaurant very close to the Museum.
It is also possible to have a kosher meal at the Cultural Centre of the Jewish Community of Athens, form mid-October until mid-June. After prior arrangement with the Chabad of Athens, one may also enjoy a home-cooked meal at Rabbi Hendel’s.
The visitor will find a wide variety of kosher products in most supermarkets, but should check the labels for the international symbols, K, ΟΚ, ΟU, KF, or KLBD. Bread in Greece is usually pure wheat flour and may therefore kosher. There are butcheries that sell kosher meat, but not exclusively – therefore check for the Magen David stamp. Keep in mind that the meat is neither soaked nor salted.
Kosher wine, imported from Israel, is available at the Jewish Community’s offices. There is one kosher catering service, which offers Greek and international menus, under the strict supervision of Rabbi Mendel Hendel (more information from the Chabad of Athens).
- Athens: Melidoni 8, Thission, across the street from the synagogue.
- Thessalonica: Vas. Irakleiou 26
Cultural Centre of the Jewish Community of Athens
Vissarionos 9, Athens, tel. (+30) 210 3637092, tel. & fax: (+30) 210 3608896
The Chabad of Athens
Tel. (+30) 210 5202880, fax: (+30) 210 5202881
- Athens: 64 Ioulianou St., (+30) 210 8824678
- Thessalonica: “Hamburgia” , 71-81 New Market (Modiano Market), (+30) 2310 222171
For more information about kosher products in Greece check the full list at the site of the Chabad of Athens: www.chabad.gr, which also contains lots of other useful information.