Piroshki (aka Pirozhki) are Russian and Ukrainian baked or fried boat-shaped buns with a variety of fillings. Piroshki are a popular street food and comfort food in eastern Europe. There are regional varietes of Piroshki, especially around the Balkans. The Greek variety is influenced by eastern cuisine and piroshki are sold as a type of fast food. The Greek piroshki is usually deep-fried with many different stuffings.
During the 1980s and the 1990s if you have grown in Athens the most famous piroshki was made by Georgiadis Bakery in Varkiza. During summer months after swimming at the popular beaches of Varkiza and Vouliagmeni, it was almost obligatory to come here and buy a few piroshki to please your appetite. Georgiadis used to make only fried piroshki with sausage.
The last two decades due to the migration and settlement of many Eastern Europeans in Athens, the original Russian piroshki have become very popular and many places around the city, most of the them owned by Eastern Europeans, have opened and make this tasty snack.
After a long survey and many bites, we suggest our favourite 8 places around the city for the most delicious piroshki (in no particular order) :
Kanellos (Κανέλλος) : Although the piroshki trend is relatively new, this place has been making perfect piroshki for the last 38 years. Their piroshki are fried and the variety of stuffings is sufficient. The best seller is the piroshki with “kima” (minced beef) but they also have some unique tastes, like piroshki with pepperoni. Come early, because after 14:00 the choices are limited, due to the policy of the place to serve only fresh made piroshki. (Ymittou 136, Pagrati)
Kalinka – Malinka (Καλίνκα – Μαλίνκα) : A small place a few years ago, when a Russian couple opened it, but nowadays a favourite habit of the Athenians. The variety at this place is mind-blowing with other 27 types of piroshki to choose from. The always fresh piroshki are fried or baked and you could find tastes like chicken with mushrooms or minced meat with boiled egg. They also have sweet piroshki with a big variety of stuffings too. Apart from piroshki, they also make tsebourek, a traditional fried Russian pie usually with meat. (Stadiou 27 & Solonos and Mavromichali, Athens)
To Piroskadiko (Το Πιροσκάδικο) : A relatively new place, which has gradually gained its loyal clientele due to its big quality piroshki. Here you could find all the classic tastes of piroshki, like sausage, minced meat, potato, cheese, bacon and more. The piroshki are fried but they are not oily and the quality of the ingredients is very good. (Dimosthenous 244, Kallithea)
Balalaika : This small place, owned by a kind lady, is really a hidden treasure. Fresh fried piroshki stuffed with fresh ingredients in classic and original combinations (our favourite is turkey and philadelphia cheese). They are fried perfectly and they taste like they have been baked. They make also piroshki bites with various stuffings. Apart from piroshki, you could find here tsebourek and traditional Russian “tortellini” (a kind of stuffed pasta). (Eslin 1, Ampelokipoi)
Marousia (Μαρούσια) : This place is not new and has been making tasty Russian piroshki for the citizens of Moschato the last 26 years. Here the piroshki are big and heavily stuffed. One piroshki from Marousia equals a meal. They are a little spicy but extra tasty, like the one with mushrooms and cheese. A second branch has opened in Marousi since 2008 and now their piroshki, with the small babushka on the paper bag, are famous all over town. (Makriyianni 73, Moschato & Vasilissis Sofias 59 – Marousi)
Piroshki on the go : You could only find this place by chance, hidden in the streets of Asyrmatos area in Agios Dimitrios but if you do, it is sure you will be rewarded with some excellent piroshki. They make fried and baked piroshki with a sufficient variety of stuffings. Apart from piroshki you could also taste here various traditional pies, cooked by the always smiling Russian lady at the back, like lodachka, samsa and (our favourite) xachapouri. (Asyrmatou 19, Agios Dimitrios)
Veronica (Βερόνικα) : Another place in Agios Dimitrios (a little older) for very good piroshki. You could taste here very good fried piroshki and also piroshki bites. The choices in stuffings are limited and not very original but all the ingredients have good quality. Some of the fillings are quite spicy (like the ones with potato) but always tasty. (Agiou Dimitriou 21, Agios Dimitrios)
To Efxeinon (Το Εύξεινον) : This place has been serving to the citizens of Piraeus excellent piroshki since 1976. The owners are from Pontos and they use their own family recipe for the dough. Their piroshki are well fried and not oily. They have good variety in tastes and pay much attention to the quality of the products. Their piroshki with pastourma and kasseri cheese, its something you will remember for a long time. (Navarchou Notara 50, Piraeus)
*[Photo at the top is from iStock]