When exploring the different Greek street food choices, you will find some of the most stunning and delicious varieties in the world. And it’s no surprise because, during the course of many thousands of years, Greek cuisine has been infused with the best of different cultures.
So whether you’re looking for Greek snacks or fantastic pastries, you’re in for a real treat!
What Makes Greek Street Food Special And Unique?
Many are unaware that Greek street food and cuisine are heavily influenced by Turkish cuisine. This is because for more than three centuries, until the 19th century, the majority of Greece was a province of the Ottoman Empire.
As a result, many of the most popular Greek dishes, including stuffed grape leaves, tzatziki, and other traditional dishes, originated in Turkey. You can see the empire forms a significant part of Greece’s history.
Aside from the Turkish influence, Greek street food is inspired by many cultures. And in turn, Greek cuisine has also impacted the food scene in many countries.
Let’s dive into the wonderful flavors of Greek street food and snacks with these top 10 choices!
The Most Popular Meat-based Greek Street Food Snacks
Souvlaki (Greek Meat Skewers)
Souvlaki is one of the most delicious Greek street food you can find. It’s made from pork or chicken marinated on wooden skewers, threaded with pork or chicken cubes, and then cooked on a charcoal grill.
After the meat is ready, it’s served on pita bread with chopped onion, diced tomatoes, and drizzled with a thin sauce that’s drizzled with salt and lemon juice. Not only does souvlaki taste amazing, but it’s also one of the most healthy Greek snacks you can indulge in.
According to historical records, Souvlakia originated in Ancient Greece at a time when it was known as ‘Kandaulos’. As a popular street food in Greece, you can find souvlaki throughout the country, in a variety of flavors and styles!
Gyros (Traditional Greek Kebab)
There is another popular type of Greek street food called gyros. It is made of large pieces of meat that are cooked on a pivot stick. It is usually served with tomatoes, onions, and tzatziki (a creamy sauce made with cucumber, yogurt, and garlic).
The kebab meat is cut/shaved, placed on a warm pita, and decorated much like souvlaki. Most gyros meat in Greece is pork or chicken.
It started in Athens but quickly spread to the mainland and the islands. Today, it can be found everywhere in the country as these conveient and delicious Greek snacks on street corners.
The Best Greek Street Food: Pastry Snacks
Loukoumades (Traditional Greek Donuts)
One of the most popular Greek street food options you can find is Loukoumades, which are fried dough balls dipped in honey, sprinkled with cinnamon, and topped with chopped walnuts.
Loukoumades, also known as “Greek donuts”, are truly delicious Greek snacks. They’re delicious and easy to make, and there are plenty of new variations available. If you have a particularly sweet tooth, you can also choose from a variety of sweet toppings, including chocolate spread!
Bougatsa (Greek Phyllo Pie)
If you’re looking for a delicious Greek pie, this is a great option! Bougatsa is made from a sweet pastry called phyllo, which is covered in a layer of minced meat and cheddar or semolina-filled custard. It’s drizzled with sugar icing and cinnamon, and best served hot.
Bougatsa was first invented in Serres, where it was introduced to Greek breakfast cuisine by immigrants from Constantinople. People in Greece used to call it “bougatsa” because it was like a tasty pita wrapped inside a cake.
Throughout the country, you will be able to find this popular street food in Greece. And once you’ve tried it, you won’t be surprised!
Chestnuts are a traditional Greek winter food and a favorite Greek street food. They can be eaten alone or cooked in a variety of ways, such as by roasting, oiling, or baking in the oven. Additionally, they can be served as spoon sweets, incorporated into jams and spreads, or incorporated into sweetbreads.
Traditionally, chestnut season commences in October, when the air is filled with the rich aroma of roasting chestnuts. Some people even just have them as after meal treats, skipping all the other great Greek desserts. So you can see how attractive they can be.
If you’re looking for Greek snacks that are healthy and will last you through a long day of sightseeing in Greece, you won’t want to miss out on the amazing selection of nuts you can find at Greek markets.
Revithokeftedes (Greek Falafel / Deep-Fried Chickpea Balls)
The Greek version of falafel, known as Revithokeftedes, is a deep-fried ball made from chickpea batter that is popular in the Arab world. However, it is also a popular Greek street food and is believed to have been introduced to Greece by the Arabs during the Ottoman period.
It is said that the modern version of Greek falafel originates from Sifnos, a small Greek island. Generally, meat was scarce on the impoverished islands of Sifnos, so substitutes such as Revithokeftedes were introduced to fill the void.
These are made from chickpeas and potatoes, as well as herbs such as marjoram and mint. They are widely consumed on the island and throughout the country as delicious Greek snacks. You will also commonly find them in restaurants as appetizers in Greece.
The Most Popular Greek Street Food: Bread And Pies
Tiropita (Greek Mini Cheese Pies)
Tiropita, also known as cheese pie, or pita, is one of the most popular Greek street food. It can be traced back to either the Turkic nomadic tribes or the placenta cake of ancient Greece.
The traditional recipe for Tiropita includes feta, eggs, cheese, homemade phyllo, and other ingredients. Most Tiropitas are made for single servings and come in different shapes. You can also serve it with seasonal salad or as a side dish.
Tiropita is very similar to its more well-known Greek cuisine companion, spanakopita. Both are savory cheese-filled pies that are wrapped in a filo pastry shell. However, unlike the Spanakopita, which is more like a spinach pie, the Tiropita is full of eggs and a variety of cheeses in greece.
Spanakopita (Traditional Spinach Pies)
Spanakopita is a type of pastry made from flaky dough and filled with spinach, feta cheese, and other ingredients. It is one of the local favorites when it comes to street food in Greece, as you will find it stuffed full with a variety of fillings.
It is believed that these Greek snacks originated in Persia and were brought overland to Turkey by the Turks, who then exported them to Austria in the seventeenth century.
This delicious cake is made with several layers of Phyllo pastry. The challenge with phyllo pastry is that it has to be very thin. Bakers have to pull and stretch until the pastry is just right.
Phyllo pastry takes years to learn how to make, and thus, amateurs find it easier to buy frozen Phyllo pastry at the shops. Let’s just say there is a good reason why this pie is famous in Greece.
Peynirli (Open-Faced Greek Pie)
Peynirli may seem simple, but they are one of the best examples of Greek street food. The name “peynirli” is derived from the Turkish word “peyroli”, which directly means “with cheese.” The name is derived from the shape of the food, which is a boat-shaped dish that is filled with different cheeses and sometimes meat and vegetables.
Peynirli came to be a part of Greece after the population exchange with Turkey in the 1920s. When Pontic Greek refugees landed outside Athens on the Black Sea coast, they brought their local culture and customs with them. Since then, it has remained a popular variety of Greek snacks – and one you simply must try!
Koulouri (Traditional Greek Baked Bread)
Koulouri, also known as Greek bagel, is a traditional Greek street food. It dates back to the time of the Byzantine Empire when Koulouri was known as the bread of the empire.
Koulouri bread is commonly dotted with sesame seeds. It is characterized by its fluffy texture and crispy crust and is typically made from a yeast-ripe batter that is rolled into log-like shapes and then twisted into circles.
Koulouri bread can be enjoyed alone or in combination with other fillings. Street food in Greece is often like a gourmet experience, so you’re bound to find a variety of options!
Greek Street Food: A Reason To Visit This Land Of Historic Glory!
Other than stunning vistas and historic sites that amaze visitors and locals alike, the exploration of Greek street food makes for one of the best local experiences.
Finding edible treasures along the roads from food stalls to vendors is all a part of the extraordinary phenomenon of visiting the country.
And luckily, you can also bring these lovely Greek snacks into the comfort of your home! Whether you’d like to try sweet or savory, street food in Greece will give you a taste of everything.