Pagrati or Pangrati (Παγκράτι) is one of the most interesting urban areas of Athens that has always played an important role in the life of the city. It was loved by artists and writers, and was a favourite place of residence for intellectuals. The old inhabitants of Pagrati are still proud to call themselves true Athenians. After a period of decline, for the last ten years the area has revived and become a favourite place to go out and have fun for the younger (and not only) public of the city. Varnavas Square and Proskopon Square are two focal points of the reborn Pagrati, but in every corner of the neighbourhood a new store opens and wants to offer something different. Art galleries, vintage clothing stores, cafes, bars and restaurants, along with old traditional taverns, bakeries and grocery stores (and of course the brand new Goulandris Museum of Contemporary Art) create a unique mix.
In this article we write about our ten favourite places for street food in Pagrati, which could be combined with a perfect stroll around the streets and the shops of this hype and cool urban hub.
Diethnes Classic (Διεθνές Classic) : Founded in the 1970s, this old patisserie is a classic value for people living in Pagrati. In addition to the very good sweets, people come here to try its famous cheese pie (tyropita/τυρόπιτα in Greek) in various versions, either made with puff or shortcrust (kourou) pastry. The cheese filling is balanced in salt and very tasty. They also make many other pies with various fillings, of which we prefer the pie with cheese and turkey ham. (Spyrou Merkouri 76)
Charma (Χάρμα) : This is the perfect choice for many different types of snacks, such us cheese pie, bougatsa, pizza, and only one kind of peinirli, the classic cheese and ham combination. This is not the typical place to buy peinirli but it is one of our favourites. The dough is soft and fluffy, the cheese extra tasty and you could add fresh butter on top. The taste for the last thirty years has been the same and many of our student nights ended up here for a late night dinner with peinirli. (Frinis 18)
Kanellos (Κανέλλος) : Although the piroshki trend is relatively new, this place has been making perfect piroshki for the last 39 years. Their piroshki are fried and the variety of stuffings is sufficient. The best seller is the piroshki with minced beef (kima/κιμά in Greek) but they also have some other unique combinations like piroshki with pepperoni and cheese. 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)
Mimis Neo-Traditional (Μίμης Νέο-Τραντίσιοναλ) : This new place for souvlaki wrapped in pita (tylichto/τυλιχτό in Greek) is relatively new but everyone in Pagrati is talking about it. Two young and successful chefs have opened this place and created a new version of the traditional Greek street food. Everything here is handmade and prepared daily. Pita is created with three different flours, it is thin and almost airy to the touch. They have three basic meat choices every day (for example pork, chicken and beef). The meat is combined with original and unusual ingredients to create unique combinations, such as our favourite with chicken (marinated in sumac), almond sauce, roasted tomatoes, yogurt, boukovo and dill. (Efranoros 10)
Oh_my pinsa! : Pinsa is considered the ancestor of pizza and its origin goes back to Ancient Rome. The shape is rectangular, not round and the dough, although thin, is extremely tasty. The combinations of flavours are imaginative and the quality of ingredients is excellent. The pizzeria is a fresh proposal in the neighbourhood, and the shop itself is bright with a few tables on the sidewalk. Our favourite combination here is prosciutto crudo with arugula and parmesan. If you come once it is certain that you will come again. (Efranoros 21)
The Vegan Vandal : If you like vegan food, this is the place for you. Here the food has a street and comfort direction, and the menu, although small, covers all tastes with savory, sweet and spicy flavours, with references to the traditional Greek cuisine and made with Greek products. Two great choices here are the “Vandal Burger” with a burger made with lentils and nuts, and the “Eggplant Pocket” with eggplant croquettes and Florina pepper sauce. (Amynta 15)
B for Burger : The burger is our favourite street food and in the last months this place, in one of the busiest spots in Pagrati, has become our favourite burger joint in the city. The brioche buns are fluffy and delicious, the juicy burger is made from 100% ground beef and all the ingredients are fresh and of great quality. They also have a burger with pulled pork and two vegan options. Our choice here is the “Kevin Bacon & Cheese: The American” burger with bacon, cheddar, iceberg, handmade pickled cucumber and sauce. (Archimidous 1)
Εlvis (Ο Έλβις) : This place serves one of the best souvlaki – kalamaki in Athens. Excellent pork, chicken or lamb souvlaki (and also kebab and sausage), always freshly grilled and juicy, with the right amount of salt and oregano. It is served with lemon, bread and a small portion of tasty fried potatoes. Very popular among the people who are hanging out at the nearby bars and cafes. (Archimidous 3)
We do not know if you could classify ice cream as a street food, but the conclusion for any great meal is a wonderful dessert and what could be more appropriate than a fresh and delicious scoop of ice cream. The following are two places in Pagrati to try great ice cream.
Maraboo (Μαραμπού) : This place has a passion for fresh artisanal ice cream. They serve a sufficient variety of flavours, use only fresh Greek quality products and as little sugar as possible. At Marabou you can try the unique bitter chocolate sorbet, but our favourite is the salted caramel cream (probably the best we have ever tasted). (Archelaou 17)
Eskimo (Εσκιμώ) : Although this place was recently opened in Pagrati, it has a history that began in 1955 in Kavala and from 1977 in Athens. Here you can try fresh Greek ice cream made with the purest ingredients and 100% Greek fresh milk. Kaimaki with kadaifi, mint with chocolate chips, pavlova, yogurt with forest fruits and gianduja are the most popular flavours, but they are only a small sample of the options you have. (Ymittou 82)
Whether an Athenian or a visitor, discover Pagrati (if you have not already done so) and visit a neighbourhood of Athens that manages to combine the old with the new, the traditional with the alternative and the old Athenian charm with its lively younger audience.
We know that many of you would object to our choices. We would like you to send us your suggestions via our contact form for a future update of the article.