If there’s one thing you need to do during your time in Kalamata it’s to go on a local food tour!

We find that food is one of the best ways to connect with the local culture – and what better way to do this than on a tour guided by a local?

Since it is the second biggest city in the Peloponnese, Kalamata is home to some incredible food thanks to the local produce that grows in the countryside near the city.

The Kalamata Olive is definitely a part of it but there’s so much to the local cuisine here in Greece (and the Peloponnese in particular).

That’s why we decided to go on a guided food tour in Kalamata! In this post, we’ve shared everything from our experience so you can see what you can look forward to if you decide to go as well!

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Experience a local food tour in Kalamata 

Quick breakdown of the experience:

  • ⏰ Time: 4 hours (sometimes a bit longer)
  • 💸 Cost: €150 per person
  • 🎟️ Book: GetYourGuide or direct
  • ⭐️ Reviews: 5 out of 5

We had the chance to go on a local tour with Mama’s Flavours Kalamata and it was probably one of our favourite experiences during our three weeks in the Peloponnese.

We truly believe that the guide has the biggest influence on any tour you do (like your teachers in school, right?). Maria the local behind Mama’s Flavors is a professional, knowledgeable, and amazing host!

The story behind her company – from how it all started to where it is now – is incredible.

We’ll let her share that with you on the tour but this is hands down one of the best tours you can go on in Kalamata.

We’ve done a few gastronomy tours during our travels and this is one of the best ones we’ve been on!

Starting the day in the central square of Kalamata

From the moment we met Maria we had a feeling the experience was going to be a good one. The way Maria talks about the city, history, and Greek culture is so rich and unique.

From the beginning, you’ll learn about the history of Greece and the Pelopponesus and how it translates to the gastronomy in the region.

You’ll also learn about some hidden gems in Kalamata and maybe find some new local shops to check out during your time in the city!

We always love learning from a local, especially when we’re new to a city and don’t know too much about it. This is exactly what you get on this tour with Maria!

Stopping by the Chophouse

One of the best parts of these kinds of tours is that you get taken to the most local and authentic places. These places you just wouldn’t find on your own as a tourist!

We’re not even sure if this Chophouse (this little shop where you can get slow-roasted pork belly & crackling) was an official part of the tour but Maria saw the owner opening the shop and chatted with him while he cut off a piece of pork belly for us.

It was so good! The coolest part was just the local interaction. You can tell they’re friends and both small business owners who support each other and that’s such a beautiful thing to see.

Even if it wasn’t part of the tour it just made it that much more authentic and it was a really cool quick interaction.

There’s a good chance you’ll walk by the Chophouse on your tour and you’ll be able to taste the delicious pork belly if you want to!

Experiencing how local pastries are made

As we said, you definitely can’t find all the local shops and hidden gems without a guide!

We don’t even know the name of this place because it was just down some small narrow road with no signs or anything.

One minute we were having a conversation with Maria about ancient Greece and the next minute we were inside this sort of bakery/warehouse where 5+ women were laughing and making pastries.

After a few minutes of talking and translating, we learned that these ladies make two very traditional Greek delicacies. The first one is called ‘lalagia’ and the second is ‘diples’.

The next thing we know, we’re hands deep in the dough! It is quite simple but it was actually a bit of a challenge to make them look right.

It’s funny to see how effortless they make it seem while I (Dom) struggled with such a simple maneuver!  

Even though they don’t speak English we got to communicate and laugh with them thanks to Maria! 

An experience like this is why it’s so cool going on a local food tour because there’s no way on earth we would have been able to experience this otherwise.

As we were leaving the ladies gave us some lalagia and diples to take back home.

Visiting a local shop and tasting goodies

Before we did this food tasting tour in Kalamata we’d already had a week exploring the city.

The coworking place (House of Phaos) is actually really close to the shop that we visited on this tour but before the tour, we had never gone inside. 

The store is always busy with people and there are tons of spices and local goods. So it was quite fun to go inside and learn about everything they sell in the shop.

After trying a bunch of different local treats it seems like everything from Greece is some sort of superfood. I guess it makes sense why the Greek Gods looked the way they did. 

I think one thing that really stands out is that most of the products are completely natural, with very few ingredients, and are straight from the source.

If you’ve never tried black Corinthian raisins then you’re in for an absolute treat! They’re local raisins right here from Messenia (an area in the Peloponnese) and they’re so good.

Maria is friends with the owner of the shop as well and has a little tasting area in the corner of the store. So while you’re learning and tasting all these local products there are people shopping next to you.

Trying out a local Greek Coffee 

I think the first week in Greece while exploring Marathopoli we had a Greek coffee every day.

Greek coffee is unfiltered black coffee. It’s good, especially if you want an energy kick, but not surprisingly it is also very strong!

Then one day we were told about fredo americanos and fredo cappuccinos and from then on that was the new drink of choice. 

So coming to this local coffee shop and trying a local Greek coffee was fun because we had them before and knew what to expect – but the experience itself was still very cool since it was a new place for us. 

This coffee shop has been in Kalamata for over 100 years! The owner of the shop was there with his staff and they were more than willing to share information about their history and coffee.

The coffee shop is quite unique because you can walk around and see all the different beans and take in how they smell and look.

After an hour and a bit of walking, and a decent amount of food already, it’s nice to get a coffee to regain some energy!

Greek tasting at a local tavern

The Ypapanti Church in Kalamata

Once the coffee kicks in it’s time to walk around Kalamata a bit where Maria will share more information about the city and the history of Greece. 

She loves questions so feel free to ask her about Greek history, gastronomy, or anything else that comes to mind. Maria is so passionate about her business and country so it’s really cool to learn from her. 

After a bit of walking, you’ll make your way to one of the many local taverns in Kalamata. This was our first time seeing this specific tavern.

Here you’ll have the chance to try a bunch of typical Messinian appetizers. It’s all local food and typical appetizers you’ll find in these types of taverns.

A quick heads up! You will be drinking some wine and alcohol (if you want to, of course) a little later so make sure to fill your belly here! = )

Taste some of the best olive oil in the world

Let’s be honest! A food tour around Kalamata wouldn’t be complete without trying olives or olive oil.

We’re in the city named after the Kalamata Olive, after allm and almost every tree you see outside of the city is an olive tree. 

The olive oil tasting takes place inside a little family-owned business where they sell a bunch of different products such as olive oil, honey, and dried figs! You can buy some stuff if you want after the experience.

One of the owners is actually a professional olive oil taster and he goes from farm to farm to test out the quality of the oil.

In the 30-40 minutes you will learn so much about the olive oil industry here in Greece and Messenia in particular.

You’ll also get a chance to try a variety of different olive oils and it’s mind-blowing tasting the difference between different types and grades.

Even for us who didn’t know much about olive oil, and had pretty much zero palette for it, it was crazy tasting the difference.

Before you leave you’ll also get a chance to taste different types of honey. Based on where the bees pollinate the honey can have a lavender, pine, or even vanilla twist to it!

We found the vanilla honey to be so good that we bought one for a friend we were visiting after the trip! 

Try out some local wines and spirits

Jo and Maria enjoying a glass of wine

This is where things get fun! The whole trip was fantastic but we were not expecting to get a little tipsy during the food tour of Kalamata – yet, here we found ourselves saying Yamas more than once!

Only a few doors down from the olive shop is a wine shop where the friendliest old man runs this little place.

It’s always filled with locals coming in and out purchasing wine and spirits. There were quite a few local people chatting up the owner while we were inside. It was quite the experience!

He would always come to cheer us and say something to Maria in Greek before she would translate to us and we’d all have a good laugh.

It’s the little things like this that make this food tour in Kalamata unique. We truly only have good things to say about it since we had such a good time!

Finish off with a yummy Messinia lunch

After maybe…getting a little tipsy (we said maybe) from local Greek, wine it was time to finish off the food tour at another local restaurant in Kalamata.

If you didn’t get a chance to try the local roasted pork belly in the morning you’ll get a chance at this restaurant since it’s one of the many places the shop owner delivers to.

That’s the beauty of all these small local businesses – they all work together and that’s one thing we love about Kalamata.

Of course, a lot of places have that but Kalamata feels so authentic even though it’s a small city of almost 75.000 people. It’s still a lot of family and small-run businesses that work together. 

As you enjoy the yummy traditional Greek lunch you can talk about the highlights of the tour and just hang out and talk with Maria.

She’ll give you plenty of other ideas of things to do in the area including the Polylimnio Waterfalls, hiking the Old Navarino Fortress, and even some of the other tours that Mama’s Flavors operates.

Enjoy the last stop on the tour before saying goodbye to Maria!

Other related questions about food tours in Kalamata

What is the price of the traditional food tour in Kalamata?

The starting price for the tour is €150 per person. There is a possibility of discounts if you’re a bigger group.

Everything is included in the price of the tour: From all the food, drinks, tastings & samplings at all the places you visit.

The only extra costs are if you want to purchase some local goodies or gifts from the vendors you visit.

Of course, a tip is also always appreciated at the end of the tour if you enjoy the experience. 

How far in advance do I need to book the tour?

Since it is a small locally owned business it totally depends on how busy Maria is. Sometimes you can get lucky and be able to book the tour the day before, other times it’s fully booked for weeks.

To make sure you can get on a tour (especially if you’re going during peak season), it’s better to book further in advance.

The only days that Maria doesn’t run her tours are on Sundays and public holidays.

Other than that, Maria is always available for tours. Some of her other tours are out of the city and in collaboration with other companies, farms, and local vendors.

You can check out the availability for this food tour and book your experience below. Alternatively, you can email her on Mama’s Flavors website and find a day that works.

Can the food tour work around dietary restrictions?

Absolutely. If you let Maria know beforehand then she will make sure to accommodate your needs and ensure that there’s food you can eat on the food tour. 

It’s a combination of local experiences, small businesses, and food so depending on what sort of restriction you have, you may have to skip out on trying certain things – but at the restaurants and tavern, Maria will make sure there’s local food you can try.

Maria is a very open-minded person and easy to talk to so she won’t have any problems working around dietary restrictions.

If you are vegan, this might be a bit more challenging, but you can try contacting Maria and see if she can accommodate this.

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Summary of Mama’s Flavors food tour in Kalamata

The streets of Kalamata

This is just one of many Mama’s Flavors tours but this gastronomy tour sprinkled with Greek history takes place right in the city and we thought it was an amazing introduction to the local culture.

It’s an authentic experience where you really get to know Kalamata through the eyes of a local. 

The tour itself is packed with some of the coolest spots in the city and offers a great variety of things to see, people to meet, and food to try.

It’s easy to get sucked into all the touristy things when you travel to a city – and those can be fun sometimes – but we really like seeing a more authentic side of a city and the places we travel to as well.

This tour offers exactly that and that’s why we loved it. We’ll definitely be going on another experience with Maria in the future!

Enjoy Kalamata, this local experience, and the amazing food you’ll find in this beautiful country!

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