On Saturday, July 19, I had the pleasure of being a part of My Athens and Condé Nast Traveler Magazines’ instameet titled “Experience Athens”. In honor of Athens being featured in Condé Nast’s July issue, the Athens Instagram community gathered at different locations in the Classic City to celebrate the places and culture that make Athens special.
We were all greeted early Saturday morning with a downpour at the Athens Farmers Market. However, the market was bustling with customers and vendors. The talented Jason Zygmont of Five and Ten began the day with an impressive cooking demonstration under a tent in the pouring rain. He grilled squash and carefully arraigned pickled blueberries, homemade ricotta, sunflower seeds and candied flowers to create a delectable masterpiece. Not only was it gorgeous, but also it tasted positively delicious.
For lunch, we gathered at White Tiger Gourmet for an appetizing meal. The interior of this classic eatery aligns perfectly with the quirky culture of Athens, so I felt that it was especially appropriate that this was our second stop. Although the restaurant’s incredible pimento cheese dishes tempted me, I decided to go with My Athens special for obvious reasons. Many members of the My Athens crew enjoyed the chicken and slaw taco with warm mac and cheese on the side. The special also came with a pour of Creature Comforts beer, which I had never tried. I am not the biggest fan of beer, but I thoroughly enjoyed the smooth Athena brew and highly recommend it.
After lunch, we made our way to Treehouse Kid and Craft to enjoy a plethora of amazing crafts, toys and art. Inside of the colorful shop, many kids and adults enjoyed browsing creative merchandise and playing with a few toys. A group of visitors gathered outside, despite the humid, overcast weather. Some of the local kids had set up an art show and sale, and attendees admired the art and even made a few purchases.
By the store entrance, Hip Pops set up a cart full of colorful popsicles. Although my favorite pop name was Grape Drank, I had to go with an eM&eM chocolate pop because I saw a five year old eating one and she was making it look too fantastic to pass up. I would venture to say that we both made a pretty good choice. By this point, the My Athens team and I began to think that this event should have been called an “instaeat,” which would have been completely appropriate since Athens has such a fantastic and growing food culture. Luckily for us, there was even more food to come.
The instameet’s last stop was Seabear Oyster Bar, which is a brand new establishment in Athens. To celebrate the end of the event, guests were able to don stylish combs and boutonnières made of succulent plants as they enjoyed fresh oysters and cocktails.
The locations that we visited during the instameet were just a few of the special locations and businesses in Athens. Take a tip from Condé Nast Traveler and enjoy the many local spots that make Athens such a unique community.
Written by Katie King.
Photos by Hannah Pap Rocki.