Straight from the oven – 8 places for Peinirli in Athens

Peinirli or penirli (πεϊνιρλί ή πενιρλί) is a type of long narrow open pie, containing basically cheese, to which various fillings could be added. Its origin is from Turkey, where it is known as “pide”. The word “peinirli” etymologically comes from the Turkish word “peynirli” which means “with cheese”. It is also known as the “pie of the Black Sea” and is a very popular delicacy of Georgian cuisine, in which it is known as “khachapuri”. In Greece, peinirli came along with the intense refugee flows of the 20th century. Its characteristic is its buttery dough (while fresh butter is usually added on top). Although it is one of the most popular street foods in Greece, there are only a few places in Athens where you will taste it in its original form. Our top 8 choices for peinirli in Athens are :


Stamatis (Σταμάτης) : At the center of Athens, if you want to taste freshly baked peinirli, your first choice should be this small workshop on Acadimias Street. The peinirlis are prepared and baked in front of your eyes. The dough is a little bit crispy and extra tasty, while the variety of fillings is quite sufficient. The ham and cheese is a classic choice but also the peinirli with spinach, fresh mushrooms and feta would offer you a more gourmet alternative. They also serve three sweet versions of peinirli which are unique and original. (Akadimias 77, Athens)

Smak : This place is one of these pleasant surprises you could find in downtown Athens. The place is the result of the effort and the will of four friends to make good pizza and peinirli. The difference here is in the dough, which is prepared and seasoned for six days. The peinilri is always baked the moment you order it and there are many tasty combinations to choose from. They also serve excellent pizza. (Romvis 21, Athens)


Charma (Χάρμα) : This is not the typical place to buy peinirli but it is one of our favourites, because it is combined with many happy memories from our student years. The place serves many different types of snacks, like cheese pies, bougatsas, pizzas and many more, and only one kind of peinirli, the classic cheese and ham combination. 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, Pagrati & 3 more places around town)

Peinirli Ionias (Πεϊνιρλί Ιωνίας) : For almost twenty years this place serves to the Athenians excellent authentic peinilri from Asia Minor. The shop is dominated by the always burning big wood-fired oven which bakes daily the fourteen different types of peinirli. The dough is not very soft but it is crispy and with a very distinct buttery taste. The quality of the ingredients is always very good and most of the combinations are very tasty. Our favourite here is peinirli with kaseri cheese from Trikala. They also make excellent sandwiches with bread made with the same dough they use for peinirli. (Panormou 3, Ampelokipoi)

Fournaki Ionias

Peinirli Frournaki Ionias (Πεϊνιρλί Φουρνάκι Ιωνίας) : Another delicious peinilri, which also originates from Asia Minor, could be found in this traditional workshop in Iraklio, which opened in 1950. The quality of the fresh-baked peinirlis is always high. Here is one of the few places where you could choose your combination, which is baked the moment you order it. Generally, the variety is big and you would have a hard time choosing. However, the peinirli with Armenian soutzouk and cheese is a must. (Plapouta 86, Iraklio)

G. Eleftheriadis (Γ. Ελευθεριάδης) : For many years G. Eleftheriadis has been synonymous with peinirli for the inhabitants of the Northern Athenian suburbs. With a history that goes back many decades and a catalogue with twenty one different types of peinirli, this place will never let you down if you want to eat a tasty big peinirli. Nowadays the place is a complete restaurant with many dishes apart from peinirli, but most of the people come here only for the classic peinirli. (Kolokotroni 18, Chalandri)

Peinirli (Nea Ionia)

Peinirli (Πεϊνιρλί) : This unpretentious place, which is actually a dough workshop hidden in the streets of Nea Ionia, is considered by many to make the best peinirli in Athens. Once a common secret among the inhabitants of the nearby areas, it is now a destination for food lovers across town. A sign outside with the word “Peinirli”, a huge oven, a few tables where they prepare the peinirlis and a small showcase with the baked ones make up the whole place. The variety of tastes is limited but every combination is perfect. The dough is soft and tasty until the last bite. You could also buy frozen dough to make your peinirlis and pizzas at home. Our favourite here is peinirli with cheese and minced meat. One peinirli here will never be enough. (Ramnountos 86, Nea Ionia)

Barba Stavros

Barba Stavros (Μπάρμπα Σταύρος) : This place with a sixty-year history is beloved by the inhabitants of Piraeus. The fluffy dough is made with the secret recipe of Savvoulidis family and it is what makes this peinirli unique. Nowadays the grandsons of the first owner continue the tradition and keep taste and quality always the same. The peinirlis are huge and overfilled with fresh ingredients. The combinations are many, but you can also order a peinirli with fillings of your choice. They also serve very good pizza with the same dough. (Eleftheriou Venizelou 72, Drapetsona)

We are sure there are still many places and workshops around the city which make very good peinirli. Also, we have not forgotten traditional peinirli restaurants, like Eleftheriadis (Ελευθεριάδης) and Techlikidis – Pefkakia (Τεχλικίδης – Πευκάκια), both in Drosia, but these two places are known almost to every Athenian and we chose to give you some alternative suggestions on where to eat very good peinirli.

We are always waiting for your suggestions in the comments area, because the quest for the best never stops…

*[Photo at the top is from iStock]

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