Snacks, meals and desserts that don’t require deep pockets!
Greece is all about delicious, mouth-watering, quality food.
But even if you don’t have the time to properly lunch in a traditional restaurant, there are plenty of Greek street food options for you. And the best part of it? The cost of them is under 5 euros! Keep reading and you will learn all you need to know to have the best Greek street food without spending a fortune.
Gyros / Souvlaki
Let’s start with the basics! When you think of Greek food, the first thing that comes to mind is souvlaki or gyros. Souvlaki is grilled cubes of pork or chicken on a skewer. Gyros is chopped pork meat grilled vertically in a rotisserie. There are two ways to order this: as a portion, that comes with all the ingredients on a plate individually, or the other most popular option, as a wrapped sandwich. The sandwich consists of the meat of your choice, sliced tomatoes, red onions, the famous tzatziki sauce, and french fries, safely packed in a pita bread.
- What is in a name: depending on where you are in Greece, you might hear different names to describe this popular meal. The souvlaki sandwich might also have some different fillings. For example, in northern Greece, the sandwich consists of meat, french fries, slices of tomato, ketchup and mustard sauce.
There are also differences in the way the sandwich is called, especially between Athens and Thessaloniki. Athenians call the souvlaki ‘Kalamaki’, which means straw in Greek. Also, they do not call it “sandwich” but souvlaki, even if there is no actual souvlaki in it. Are you confused? That’s okay so are Greeks. The souvlaki issue has caused a continuous ‘rivalry’ between the two cities along with other issues. But we will come back to that in another post!
The souvlaki sandwich can be stuffed with other kinds of meat besides souvlaki or gyros. So, you can add a burger, a sausage, or even a steak. The choice is hard, the option is yours!
- Vegan/vegeterial friendly: Yes and no! These are usually establishments that are grilling meat all day everyday so you might not even want to be in or around a place that handles meat. However, especially during the period of Lent when Greeks fast from all animal products you are more likely to find “pita/sandwiches” with veggie burgers. If that sounds like you, they are equally delicious!
- Where to find it: Basically everywhere.
- Average price: 2-4 € / sandwich.
Great Gyros/Souvlaki Streetfood in Thessaloniki
In Thessaloniki, the best place to taste a souvlaki sandwich is “Gyradiko”. They are insanely big and always of great quality. Size is another issue between Athenians and Thessalonians! Guess who usually wins? 😉
more info about Gyradiko
address: 52 Grigoriou Lampraki, Thessaloniki 543 51
opening hours: 11 am – 5 am
tel. number: +302310952266
Derlicatessen is an ideal choice when you are in Thessaloniki, both in terms of quality and options. A local favourite that has been operating for almost 20 years, it is especially good for vegeterians or vegans with offers of mushroom and haloumi cheese souvlaki. These little pockets of goodness are small but mighty! Order two! And grab a friend so you can share some fresh (not frozen) french fries with Greek kefalotiri cheese sprinkled on top!
more info about Derlicatessen
address: 7 I. Kouskoura str, Thessaloniki 546 22
opening hours: 12.00 pm – 4.00 am
tel. number: +302310 226 367
Great Gyros/Souvlaki Streetfood in Athens
more info about Kalamaki Bar
address: 15 Dimitrakopoulou & Drakou str. , Athens 117 42
opening hours: 12.00 am – 2 am
tel. number: +302110171862
Kalamaki Kolonaki, is another excellent establishment in the beautiful upscale neighborhood of Kolonaki that is worth your attention. Apart from the standard meat dishes and salads that are perfectly executed we 100% recommend the quinoa salad with chickpeas, florina peppers (a Greek delicacy) and avocado. A perfect blend of Greek and international flavours!
more info about Kalamaki Kolonaki
address: 32 Ploutarchou str, Athens 106 75
opening hours: 12.00 am – 1.00 am
tel. number: +302107218800
O Thanasis, in Monastiraki is another place I never fail to visit when in Athens. It is so centrally located that you are bound to fall on to it at some point during your walk. There is ample sitting available both inside and outside and while it attracts hundreds of hungry tourists a day, locals also pick it for its quality and warm energy. Τry the “giaortlou kebab” for juicy meat, elegantly flavoured with refreshing yoghurt dip and enough pita breads to soak up the juices.
more info about O Thanasis
address: Mitropoleos 69, Athina 105 55, Greece
opening hours: Sunday – Thusday 9:15 AM – 1:30 AM – Friday & Saturday – 9:15 AM – 2:30 AM
tel. number: +30 21 0324 4705
Loukoumades are the Greek version of donuts. They are small round-shaped fried balls of dough, which are soaked in sweet syrup and topped with honey and walnuts. This is probably the sweetest memory from every Greek childhood. Every Greek grandma has the recipe for the greatest loukoumades you will ever taste.
Different versions: The recipe for the dough is usually the same, but you can alter the toppings. You can choose between white chocolate, milk chocolate, marmalade or ice cream. We suggest you stick with the traditional recipe and go for the honey and walnuts option at least once!
The only alteration you can find is the ‘loukoumas’, which is similar to the classic donut, but round-shaped with a whole in the middle and covered with sugar. Vendors sell it on the beach making the children run when they see the seller.
- Vegetarian-friendly: Totally yes!
- Where to find it: The best place to taste the greatest loukoumades are from the street sellers in county fairs of each region.
- Average price: ~ 3-5 € / the portion of 5-7 loukoumades.
Loukoumades Streetfood in Athens
The most famous and Instagrammable place is LUKUMADES in Aiolou, downtown Athens. The have so many choices to pick from whether you want to go traditional, sweet or savory. Just look at that picture! These adorable little balls are also mostly always vegan and animal-product free unless you want additional ice cream. They are made fresh and need to be consumed on the day!
more info about LUKUMADES
address: 2 Aiolou str, Athens 105 51
opening hours: 8.00 am – 1.00 am
tel. number: 210 321 0880
So many options!
Loukoumades Streetfood in Thessaloniki
If you are in Thessaloniki, then you need to try Loukoumades tis Loxandras. This spot goes a long way back, having been established in 1988. Watch them fry the dough balls infront of your eyes and pick sweet or savoury depending on how you feel on the day. The loukoumades with cherry tomatoes and feta are as Greek as it gets and make an excellent appetizer with a nice cold beer.
more info about Loukoumades tis Loksandras
address: 4 Gimnasiarchou Stefanou str, Thessaloniki 542 50
opening hours: 5.30 am – 10.30 pm, Monday closed
tel. number: +302310323140
Fish in a cone
As a tribute to the Greek worship of the sea and its produce, you can enjoy a cone of crispy fried fish instead of your usual souvlaki. You can fill your cone with a great variety of fish and seafood like sardines, calamari, shrimp, whitebait and sand smelt.
- Vegetarian-Friendly: Yes, ideal for pescetarians.
- Average price: 3,90 € / cone
- Where to find it: Athens and Crete locations for now
Fish in a Cone – Greek Street food in Athens
When you think of fish in a cone, there is only one place that comes to mind, Zisis – Fish in a cone. The owner, Zisis Papazisis, provides Athenians with healthy and nutritious food, at a low price but high quality. The concept store is located in the heart of the city center on Athinaidos 3 street. It is not only in Athens though, you can enjoy your fish cone in Chania, Crete also! Fish in a cone is located on Tsouderon 95 street in the city of Chania and waits for you to visit!
more info about Zisis - Fish in a cone
address: 3 Athinaidos str Athens 105 63
openning hours: 12.00 pm – 12.00 am
tel. number: +3021o3211152
Greek Bakery Pies
A traditional Greek breakfast includes at least a piece of a pie. Every morning the bakeries in Greece are full of people who grab their favorite kind of pie and head to work. The secret ingredient of the great flavor comes from the phyllo, which is prepared with fresh products and pure love!
Different versions: There are many options when it comes to the filling of your pita.
If you are a fan of savoury flavours:
- you can choose the traditional tyropita, which is a feta cheese pie
- Spanakopita, which is spinach pie
- Pita stuffed with yellow cheese and bacon
- Bougatsa with feta, or spinach, or mince.
On the other hand, if you love sugar and sweet flavors, you should go for:
- the one and only Bougatsa filled with custard semolina cream and topped with sugar powder and cinnamon
- Vegetarian-Friendly: Most of the pitas contain dairy products, but you can find vegetarian pitas during the fasting period before Easter and Christmas.
- Average price: 1-2 € / piece of the pie.
- Where to find it: Bakeries in Greece might be even more popular than gyros stores. So, you can find a bakery everywhere. The secret is one: the smaller and more traditional the bakery is, the better! Choose one of them and you will get a taste of the original traditional recipes.
Popular Bakeries in Thessaloniki for Pies
In Thessaloniki, one of the most popular bakeries is “Koukos”. Since 1955, it offers great pies to Thessalonians with high quality. The first store was opened in the eastern suburbs of the city, in Peraia village and still exists. Nowadays, the second store is available in the city center and specifically at 10 Vogatsikou street.
more info about Koukos
address: 10 Vogatsikou str, Thessaloniki 546 22
Openning hours: 8.00 am – 9.00 am
tel. number: 2310 242403
Koulouri or Sesame Bagel
This is the most popular snack in Greece. It is a round-shaped bagel, covered in sesame and coming from the Byzantine times. Although it is placed in the Greek street food list, it is highly nutritious and full of protein and fibers. It is the perfect Greek snack and beloved my Greeks and international visitors alike.
Different versions: The main recipe consists of white flour, sesame seeds, salt, water and baker’s yeast. Nowadays there are many different versions of the koulouri that you can choose from.
- Flour: you can choose between whole wheat flour, cornmeal, and almond flour.
- Seeds: instead of sesame seeds, sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds
- Fillings: there are plenty of filling options besides the traditional plain recipe. You can find koulouri stuffed with cream cheese, deli meat, or chicken. If you are in the mood for a sweet flavour, you can choose koulouri stuffed with praline or marmalade.
- Vegetarian-Friendly: The traditional recipe is vegetarian and vegan-friendly. The stuffed ones depend on the filling.
- Average price: 1- 1,5 €
- Where to find it: In every bakery around the corner. Many street vendors sell the freshly-baked koulouri daily.
Grilled chestnuts, corn and Salepi
During the winter season, a great snack idea during an afternoon stroll or walk is roasted chestnuts and a cup of salepi brew. Salepi is a hot and flavour full drink, made from a powder that comes from the pink orchid plant and is the ideal beverage for a cold winter day. The name is Arabic and has probably remained after the long occupation under the Ottoman Empire. If you are lucky to still find a vendor that makes this original recipe you are in for a treat. The warming beverage sprinkled with cinnamon and ginger is an excellent warm up drink for a cold winter’s night.
You will find chestnut vendors all around the watefront during the winter. In the summer, they are replaced by grilled corn with a light sprinkle of salt.
- Vegetarian/ Vegan Friendly: All these snacks are totally vegan friendly!
- Average price: 1 – 2 €
- Where to find it: All of them are sold by street vendors around the main streets of the cities. Follow the lovely smell of the brew and the charcoal aroma of the grilled corn and chestnuts.
- Greek Street food is a guilty pleasure of young and old. They are not only great tasting options, but money-saving as well. We hope that we have provided you with all the necessary ingredients for your next Greek food tour. Have you already tried any of them? Let us know in the comments below!