Boasting affordable cuisine surrounded by ancient history, there is no better place than the capital city of Athens to explore Greece’s exploding street food scene. Whether you’ve got 24 hours, a couple of days, or even a few weeks, the best way to experience Athens is the way of a true Athenian; knowing where to get out-of-this-world souvlaki. But it’s not just about tasty souvlaki! There is so much more that contributes to street food in Athens. To get you started, below are our recommendations on the top street food in Athens and where to find them.
1. Lefteris O Politis (Λευτέρης Ο Πολίτης)
Address: Satovriandou 20, Athina 104 32
Opening hours: 11am – 7pm (Monday to Friday), Saturday closing time is 5:30pm, closed on Sunday
It’s quite simple: when in Greece, you must order souvlaki. As a fast-food favorite, you’ll stumble upon souvlaki shops all over Athens. But Lefteris O Politis takes the cake with their mouthwatering pita wraps. Their souvlaki is traditional, not packed with fries, but filled with the best quality ingredients. Juicy chunks of marinated meat are served straight from the grill and placed in a delectably warm pita bread alongside slices of tomato and onion and some parsley. Finally, the hot paprika powder is sprinkled atop the melt-in-the-mouth concoction adding a delicious lip-tingling kick. Needless to say, this tiny store’s souvlaki is absolutely worth it.
2. H PITTA TOY KARAFLA (Η ΠΙΤΑ ΤΟΥ ΚΑΡΑΦΛΑ)
Address: Filolaou 142, Athina 116 32
Opening hours: 3pm – 12:30 am (Tuesday to Sunday), closed on Monday
At an unassuming yellow street corner in Pagrati, perhaps made more conspicuous by the bright orange sign, you’ll find phenomenal gyros. Gyros are the souvlaki’s counterpart and another classic in street food in Athens. Yet a gyro contains shaved meat cooked on a vertical rotisserie rather than chunks of meat. At Karafla be prepared for a flavour explosion with a well-spiced, fresh filling stuffed in a plush pita. With big portions and friendly service, it is no surprise that this place is a go-to for hungry locals.
3. Pandora (ΠΑΝ:ΔΩΡA) Χειροποίητες παραδοσιακές πίτες
Address: Lempesi 1, Athina 117 42
Opening hours: 8:30am – 8pm (Monday to Saturday), 9am – 5pm on Sunday
Credited for making one of the best spanakopita in all of Athens, do not miss out on this little bakery. Spanakopita is simply a spinach pie with feta cheese. But Pandora defies the simplicity by making homemade Phyllo dough daily to encase their sensational fillings. Their pies are hence flaky and delicious – just how yiayia (grandma) would make it! Merely a 2-minute walk from the Acropolis Museum, Pandora’s spanakopita is a great snack or the perfect start to a morning – a treat for any day!
Address: Pesmazoglou 3, Athina 105 59
Opening hours: 7am – 6pm (Monday to Friday), 8am – 4pm on Saturday, closed on Sunday
Mám is a delightful little spot on Panepistimiou street and is known for its tiropita, Greek cheese pie. The pastry is exquisite, using a recipe that dates back to 1958 when the shop first opened. Crunchy and golden on the outside while buttery and soft on the inside, Mám’s tiropita is a stable favourite for regulars. Don’t sleep on this top breakfast spot in Athens!
5. To Koulouri tou Psyrri (Το Κουλούρι του Ψυρρή)
Address: Γεωργίου Καραϊσκάκη 23, Athina 105 54
Opening hours: 24/7
Start the day or end the night with crunchy koulouri, circular bread slathered in sesame seeds.
Located in the vibrant Psiri area since the 1960s, this shop specialises in fresh crispy koulouri with a range of options to suit any palate. For a more savoury craving, order the koulouri with cheese. If you’re feeling something sweet, try the koulouri with honey. Open around the clock, allow the sweet wafts to lure you in to taste the Greek speciality stemming from the Byzantium period.
6. Loukoumades Ktistakis
Address: Sokratous 59, Athina 104 31
Opening hours: 10am – 6pm (Tuesday to Saturday), closed on Sunday and Monday
Ktistakis is an essential stop when in Athens. Loukoumades or Greek doughnuts are fluffy balls of fried dough drenched in tasty syrup. Ktistakis’s loukoumades use a secret family recipe, entailing a crispy exterior and a soft, unique syrupy interior. They are served hot and sprinkled with sesame seeds and cinnamon to quench any sweet cravings. Yet they are not overly sweet, with a taste that you’ll be thinking about for a long time. The old-fashioned shop is a short walk from Omonia Square and exemplifies an authentic experience of street food in Athens.
7. Bougatsa Bantis
Address: Panagias Faneromenis 33, Thessaloniki 546 32
Opening hours: 6:30am – 3pm (Tuesday to Saturday), Sunday closing time is 1pm, closed on Monday
Along with loukoumades, bougatsa will become your go-to dessert. Like the pies we’ve encountered, bougatsa is made from Phyllo dough. In this case, Phyllo sheets are buttered and then laid over each other with creamy custard in between. In the heart of Athens, Bantis has been pleasing huge crowds with their heavenly classic bougatsa since 1969. Their pastries are consistently piping hot with an unreal cream filling. The taste is divine, and the service is always welcoming.
8. Zizis, Fish in A Cone
Address: Athinaidos 3, Athina 105 63
Opening hours: 1pm – 7:30pm
Although relatively new to Athens’s street food scene, Zizis has quickly become a staple. Fresh and crispy fried fish is served in a cone in the centre of Athens for a quick lunch or a satisfying snack. Fried options are high-quality seafood, including shrimp, squid, fish balls, sardines, and more. It is certainly an unforgettable experience for the seafood enthusiast!
Satisfy your taste buds with the best street food in Athens on one of our Greece tours!