Where to Find the Most Traditional Pies in Athens and the City’s Best Bakeries
Greek food is definitely one of the tastiest in the world. Who doesn't like the fresh vegetables, the extra virgin olive oil, souvlaki or pastitsio? But have you ever tried a Greek phyllo pie or, as we call it in Greek, pita?
What many of Greece’s visitors may not know about the country is its huge pie culture. We all grew up with our granny’s pies, filled with cheese, chicken, mushroom, onion or zucchini and basically anything that can be used as a filling! We love pies and we eat them any time during the day, as breakfast, lunch, dinner or simply as a snack.
What is special about the Greek pies is their phyllo, a very thin unleavened dough. Phyllo-based pastries are made by layering many sheets of phyllo brushed with oil or butter. After that, the pastry is put in the oven and baked. The phyllo is the most popular pastry in the Greek pies but there are pies with a less flaky dough, too.
Most of the pies are savory, filled with spinach, chicken, meat, feta or every kind of Greek traditional cheese, onions and lots of seasonal ingredients, but there are also sweet flavored pies, usually filled with cream or milk.
Here I will give you some recommendations about where to get the best pies in the center of Athens and at the same which are the best bakeries of the city!
1. Pie Works
This is a rather new place, opened in 2014 by two childhood friends Niki and Elpida. Those two girls loved baking and especially experimenting with traditional pies. So, they decided to open their own pie place and make their dream come true. This is not a bakery, as it specializes on pies and it offers some soups, too. If you are lucky, you can even get to watch them on action while they make their pies, since they have an open kitchen. Don’t miss the chance to try a pie -or two! - from there. Keep in mind that the place is closed on Sundays and that there is the option for delivery at your place, as well!
Location: Amerikis 16, Athens 106 71
2. The Pie Shop Athens
“Bake the world a better place” is this little shop’s slogan. Words cannot describe this so innovative place! You definitely need to check it out since it offers not only Greek traditional pies, but pies from all over the world, like Jamaica, Australia, New Zealand, Russia and France. Here you will find a big variety of savory and sweet pies and tarts. Its cozy and welcoming atmosphere will make you feel like home. Closed on Sundays.
Location: Voulis 16, Athens 105 63
This place is very special. And that is because it offers a variety of traditional Greek pies from different places of Greece. The pies are not actually made there. They are made by different local cooperatives of Greek women and they are bought and sold at this bakery/cafe. So, you will find pies by the cooperatives of Crete, Thessaloniki, Trikala, Kastoria, Larisa, Lesvos etc. This place is a must when in Athens.
Basically, this means that you will get to try different recipes or versions of a pie, for example spinach pie from Kastoria and from Crete. You will get to try a huge variety of pies, like zucchini pies, onion pies and my favorite one, the potato pie.
Location: Karagiorgi Servias 12-14, Athens 105 62
Learn how to make a Greek phyllo-based pie!
4. Takis Bakery
A local neighborhood bakery in the area of Koukaki, near Acropolis metro station, offering around 30 different kinds of bread. This place offers one of the tastiest pies I have ever tried.
A visit there is definitely worth of your time because here you will feel the warm atmosphere of a family-run business. Takis moved from Thessaloniki to Athens in 1961 and opened his own bakery because he wanted to sell the real koulouri as they make it in his city, the original one, which is crunchy and harder than the Athenian one. Come and try some of the best bread in the city and don't forget to try its pies. Keep in mind that on Sundays the bakery is closed.
Location: Misaraliotou 14, Athens 117 42
5. Mama Psomi
Another favorite local bakery with amazing bread. Here you will find “real” bread that can last for days. Their “kouru” cheese pie is the best I have ever tried.
The breads’ basic ingredients, like the flour, feta cheese and olive oil come from Epidavros, the owner’s hometown.
Location: Zacharitsa 42, Koukaki, Athens 11741
This place opened recently in the busy street of Ermou and it was exactly what we needed when we go shopping around the area. Even though it’s new and very affordable, it manages to provide very qualitative pastry. Some of the best pies with homemade phyllo are found here. Its chicken with caramelized onions pie is just the stairway to heaven!
There is a second floor with a lot of space, if you want to sit down and take a break from the city’s concrete jungle.
Location: Ermou 65, Athens 105 63
Taste the best street food of the city!
Opened in 1981, Pnyka offers a great variety of different kinds of bread, but also really good spinach pie and generally excellent homemade pies. The founder, Dimitris Kotsaris, gave a talk at Harvard University about the health benefits of good bread. He has also traveled around the world to research the best grain varieties of flour.
Location: Pratinou 13, Athens 11634
Just like its name declares (“ariston” means excellent in ancient Greek), this place is one of the best for “kourou” pies in Athens. It is really old; opened in 1910 by Lobotesis family. The difference between phyllo and kourou pastry is that the second usually contains yogurt or milk and butter. It is generally a lighter kind of dough, better for those with a sensitive stomach.
My favorite? The pie with sweet peppers from the area of Florina in Northern Greece, and the “farmer’s pie”, which is filled with a variety of fresh vegetables.
Location: Voulis 10, Athens 105 62
This old family business is 50 years old! It sells the best cheese pie (“tiropita”), which literally melts in your mouth! Another great option is the bougatsa, a locals’ favorite traditional Greek pie with semolina custard filling between layers of phyllo. This pastry is often served with powdered sugar and cinnamon.
The owner of the place came from Istanbul to open the place in the past, so you will notice some eastern inspirations. Everything is baked and sold at the same day and the ingredients are really fresh.
Location: Pesmazoglou 3, Athens 105 59
10. Betty’s Bakery
For the bread addicts, I will add this bakery as an extra, which only sells bread and no pies. It is worth to be mentioned, since it sells some of the best bread in the city. Some years ago, a girl quit her job in the middle of the economic crisis for her dream; to open her own bakery, which now has become a real success story. This bakery is currently selling its bread to different shops around Athens, such as at Ellinika Kaloudia, 4 Seasons Bio-Organic Food Market, Mirabilis, Ohh Boy the market, Nora’s Deli, To Paradosiakon and many others in downtown Athens.
Ellinika Kaloudia: Chatzichristou 8, Athens 117 42 on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
Nora’s Deli: P. Anagnostopoulou 11, Kolonaki 10673 on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
4 Seasons Bio-Organic Food Market: Nikis 30, Athens 105 60 on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
To Paradosiakon: Mark. Mousourou 24, Athens 116 36 on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
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So, which is your own favorite traditional Greek pie? Let us know with a comment below!
Text: Christina Stathopoulou