Agora is a casual grab-and-go extension of Mamakas Taverna run by the same owner, Thanos Tripi, serving ready-made meals, coffee, breakfast, dips and pita. Agora means “market,” and everything here is either made in house or imported from Greece.
Indeed, several Mamakas favourites are available here in a rustic takeout style, including their beloved spanakopita and horiatiki salad made using the same ingredients.
The narrow space has a minimalist and classy yet homey feel, the majority of the space taken up by gleaming cases stocked with heaping platters of Aegean dishes. A kitchen where much is made from scratch can be glimpsed at the back.
For example, in the case, you might find standbys such as briam ($8.50 for a small portion), moussaka ($8.50 for veggie), classic horiatiki ($9.50), green bean salad ($8.50 for a small portion) or caper, feta and dill potato salad ($8 for a small portion).
A homemade Greek parfait layers homemade granola on top of tart Greek yogurt and, on the day of my visit, a choice between a house white peach or punchy grape compote.
The components of the parfait are also available in bulk here, as is the case with several dishes (for example, you could also grab feta, tomatoes, olives and oil for a nice salad here).
Koulouri ($2) are a close relative of simit and bagels, described to me as if a pretzel and a bagel had a baby. It’s a fair description, the koulouri coming in sesame or salt and seed varieties, very dense and chewy but perfect for dipping.
Peirnilli ($10.50) are bread boats stuffed with imported smoked Greek cheese, studded with either potato and caramelized onion or little lamb meatballs.
They’re not as large and buttery as some, but still manage to feel indulgent while being lighter and more toned down.
Baklava-spiced nuts are a find: walnuts and pistachios spiced with sweet baklava spices for a sort of cross between a beer nut and a dessert.
Chicken skewers are grilled in batches in the back, made only with the juiciest dark meat and set off simply by herbs, olive oil and lemon. They smell amazing, and make a great addition to salads.
The grab-and-go fridge at the back is readily stocked with pre-packed olives, pickles, dips and ready-made meals for quick pickup. A ready-made chicken dinner here might come with beans, potatoes and feta. Here you’ll also find packaged pita and imported Greek products.
Coffee is actually Italian from Barocco, but an Americano hits the spot either way.
Trinity Bellwoods Park across the street is really intended to provide seating, and portable breads and dips, olives or paper-wrapped peirnilli or spanakopita make a lovely picnic.