Planning a trip to Greece? Thinking about all the delicacies? Well, we are here to help! When it comes to Greek street food, here’s everything you need to know!
Greece offers an admirable variety of delicious street food that will keep you coming back for more.
Do not be under the impression that you might run out of options anytime soon. Get ready to eat — even beyond capacity — if you are to experience it all!
Read on as we tell you about the top 30 Greek street foods that you must try.
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Where to Stay in Greece
We are still working on guides to where to stay in many Greek cities. We currently have guides to:
- Where to Stay in Athens
- The Best Athens Hotels with Acropolis Views
- Where to Stay in Rethymnon, Crete
- Where to Stay in Lindos, Rhodes
If you’re looking for where to stay in a city we haven’t covered yet, we like to use Booking.com. Make sure to book as early as possible. Greece is a popular beach destination, so rooms can sell out earlier than expected.
The Best Greek Street Foods You Must Try!
In no particular order, check out these mouthwatering Greek street foods you should definitely try when visiting Greece.
Easily the most popular Greek street food, Gyros consists of grilled meat loaded onto oiled pita bread, along with salad and tzatziki sauce. The bread is usually rolled up, and the gyros are served with fries.
Although its origin can be traced back to the Turkish doner kebab, instead of beef or lamb, the Greeks use either chicken or pork.
The vendors slowly grill the meat on a vertical spit and shear it to add to the gyros. The salad consists of the essentials, namely tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, and lettuce leaves.
Despite being available in almost all parts of the world now, the gyros in Greece are distinguishable by their originality and taste.
Often confused with gyros by first-timers, Souvlaki consists of marinated chicken or pork cubes roasted over charcoal on a wooden skewer and wrapped in pita bread with salad, tzatziki sauce, and a dash of lemon zest. The salad mainly contains tomatoes and onions. Known as Kandaulos in Ancient Greece, it also used to contain cheese and fresh dill.
Souvlaki shops are sprinkled in almost every town and island in Greece. Looking for an economical, fulfilling meal as you go exploring around the city? Souvlaki is the answer.
Sprinkled with sesame seeds, this Greek bagel is one of the simplest, yummiest, and most economical Greek street foods. Available in various shapes and sizes and with a variety of dips and fillings, Koulouri has become extremely diversified. However, the natives originally eat it plain.
Although its origin can be traced to Constantinople (now Istanbul) and Thessaloniki, as the name suggests, it is now available at almost every street corner and bakery shop in Greece.
Also believed to have originated from Thessaloniki, Bougatsa is a popular Northern Greek street food. Consisting of super flaky pastry, it is served warm and is usually eaten for breakfast.
The filling can either be sweet or savory, consisting of custard or a meat and cheese combo, respectively. When served sweet, coffee is a must alongside.
Another of the multiple Greek street foods made with flaky pastry, Spanakopita, is also closely related to the Turkish Borek. Filled with spinach, feta cheese, and multiple herbs, Spanakopita is nothing but refreshing for your taste buds. The phyllo pastry requires exceptional skill to get it right, and home bakers seem to have created somewhat of a monopoly in this regard.
But still, you will find Spanakopita at almost every side-street coffee shop and bakery all over Greece.
Although originating from the Ancient Greek placenta cake, Tiropita is a pie quite similar to Spanakopita.
The Greeks make Tiropita with their characteristic phyllo pastry that is pulled and layered repeatedly to give it its distinctive flaky texture. However, instead of filling it with spinach and various herbs, as in spanakopita, they fill it with a variety of cheeses. Feta, ricotta, cream cheese, and parmesan are often used, giving the pie a rich, salty flavor.
Unlike Spanakopita and Tiropita, Tiropsomo consists of bread instead of phyllo pastry. An interesting point to note is that, although they make it from flour and milk, the bakers do not knead the bread. A generous filling of feta cheese makes Triposomo a delight to eat.
Although herbs are not added to the filling per se, the pie is topped off with them. You can also request olives to be added. Talk about a nice side to have with bean soup! But, it also makes for great street food on its own.
Also known as Koukouvagia, Dakos is similar to Italian bruschetta, which is one of the few food similarities between Italy and Greece. It is a traditional Cretan dish. Vendors top off dried bread or rusk with mizithra, tomatoes, spices, some herbs, and olive oil.
Mizithra is a special type of cheese originating from Crete. Soft, creamy, and salty, it is the perfect combination to go with crispy bread and ripened tomatoes. In case you find yourself in Crete, it would be a disservice to your trip to leave without trying this particular Greek street food out.
Koupes is also known as Kibbe or Kubbat in other countries. Although traditionally made with hands, part of the method of making Koupes has now become mechanized too.
Koupes consists of a covering made from a special dough containing bulgar wheat and flour and a filling of onions, tomatoes, and peppers. You can season with a variety of available spices. Koupes owe their diversity to the fact that fillings are malleable depending on the available vegetables, herbs, and spices of any particular region.
Although mostly served in restaurants, they are occasionally available as street food too. If you ever come across a Koupes stall, remember that it is always a good time for a snack.
Loukoumades are essentially Greek doughnuts. Traditionally, the vendors deep-fry the dough, coat the round doughnuts with honey and top them off with walnuts. Nowadays, you can also get a topping of nuts, sugar, cinnamon, Nutella, or a variety of syrups.
Loukoumades are the go-to dessert after a nice meal and are available in almost every town. You can enjoy these with a scoop of ice cream around town with your friends or partner.
Although of debatable origins, Dolmades today are considered one of the essentials of Greek street food. Made with boiled vine leaves stuffed with sauteed onions, rice, salt, mint, pine nuts, and parsley, Dolmades are either served cold or at room temperature. They can be topped with either lemon juice or yogurt and can be eaten at any time of the day.
Moreover, Dolmades are a healthy, nutrient-rich, and vegetarian option when it comes to Greek street food. However, it is something one should try at least once when in Greece.
Although not much different from regular American burgers, Biftekia is the Greek’s herb-infused take on burgers.
This Greek burger consists of a minced meat and breadcrumb patty and is seasoned generously with oregano, parsley, and mint.
It is easily available to eat as a fulfilling snack, especially when you are in a rush.
Usually served with fried vegetables and tzatziki sauce, you can enjoy it best with a sideline of fries!
Fish in a Cone
This is a recent, albeit increasingly popular, addition to Greek street food. Introduced by Zisis in Athens, fish-in-a-cone has become a go-to for most Greeks and tourists looking for a quick seafood fix. It also gives access to seafood easier in these trying economic times.
Zisis serves the fish in a paper cone and tops it off with lemon, salt, or some other sauce of your choice. Although quite simple, it is simply delightful to be able to grab seafood on your way on a busy day.
Although of ambiguous origins, Kreatopita has come to be known as a Greek meat pie. In certain regions, families make it most commonly on the Greek New Year and even in Christmas. But not to worry, you can also get it at any time of the year.
Due to its diversified origins, the recipe changes with the region. However, Kreatopita essentially consists of minced beef, onions, and feta cheese stuffed in the characteristic phyllo pastry.
Greeks and seafood share a close relationship since ancient times, owing to both geography and accessibility. Octopus, or Xtapodi, is a delicacy that features in the Greek street food scene at many fish taverns.
After marinating and grilling it over charcoal, these small shops serve it with fried vegetables, Latholemono sauce, and bread.
Kokoretsi is not street food for everyone. Not only does it fail to follow multiple safety regulations, but it is also not fitting to the taste of the general population.
It consists of a skewer of seasoned offal, around which the vendors wrap lamb or goat intestines. They season with multiple spices, such as oregano, and serve it with flatbread.
Also known as Greek falafels or chickpea fritters, Revithokeftedes is thought to have originated from the island of Sifnos. However, some say that it is equally likely that Arabs brought this street food to Greece during the Ottoman Era.
Vendors make these falafels from a batter of chickpeas, potatoes, and a variety of herbs. They then deep-fry this batter. Although originally consumed as a cheaper substitute for meat, this is now a widely available street food.
Quite similar to Revithokeftedes, Kolokithokeftedes originate from Crete. Vendors make it from fried zucchini. They mix chopped zucchini with feta cheese and many herbs and then fry until crispy brown.
It is often the go-to sack to eat with a drink on a nice Friday night out.
Enjoyed as both an appetizer and a snack, Loukanika mainly refers to a lamb or pork sausage made the Greek way.
The natives smoke and season the sausage with the herbs of the region, for example, coriander.
However, orange zest and fennel are the essentials of this street food.
The Pontic Greek refugees from the Black Sea coast brought Peynirli to Greece. Peynirli made its way to Athens and is today available as common Greek street food.
Peynirli is a Turkish word that means “containing cheese” and consists of a boat-shaped pie filled with a variety of cheese in the middle. It can also be topped with chopped meat or vegetables.
Galatopita is a light, creamy Greek custard made from semolina. One of the many go-to desserts after a nice meal, Galatopita is served chilled and offers a not-too-heavy alternative to most desserts.
In some regions, people also wrap this custard in a pastry and bake it until golden brown. They then sprinkle it with sugar and cinnamon. The addition of citrus zest lends a sharp, enjoyable kick to the recipe.
Essentially a walnut cake made Greek-style, Karydopita is widely available around Christmas.
Its distinguishing ingredients are the walnuts themselves and citrus zest. The baker coats it in sugar syrup with lemon undertones and tops it off with walnuts.
So in case you happen to be in Greece around Christmas time, make sure to treat yourself to some Karydopita from your nearest small bakeshop.
Fanouropita is a spicy Greek cake that natives bake in remembrance of Saint Phanourios, who finds people’s lost things after honest supplication.
This cake contains citrus undertones and a general spicy flavor due to the multiple spices involved in its preparation.
You can sprinkle it with powdered sugar and eat it either warm or chilled.
Yiaourti me meli
Flavored with traditional thyme honey, this Greek yogurt is an easy-to-make and easier-to-find snack that you can devour on your way. Vendors top it off with roasted walnuts, making it highly nutritious as well as tasty.
You’ll love its vanilla flavor! Plus, you can also pick and choose your favorite nuts to top it off.
Also known as Skalotsounia, Kalitsounia originates from Crete. It is essentially stuffed pastry. The stuffing consists of mizithra; fresh cheese obtained from cow’s milk.
It can be sweet and savory, with cinnamon used for the former and spinach for the latter.
In case you find yourself in Greece in October, you’ll be sure to find vendors selling chestnuts almost everywhere. The vendors grill these chestnuts in the stalls and hand them out in small serving sizes.
In the cold winter months, some freshly grilled or roasted nuts help to refuel you and keep you warm. If you’re visiting Athens in winter, a street food tour like this one will certainly include roasted nuts for you to try!
In the summer, the same vendors replace the chestnuts with grilled corn.
Salepi is an Arabic word, and many natives trace the origins of this drink all the way back to the Ottoman Era.
It is a warm drink to keep you warm on the coldest of days. It is made from the powder of a pink orchid plant and is sprinkled with cinnamon and ginger.
If you are in Greece in the Winter, it is a drink you must try! Also, if you happen to come across a vendor who is a fan of original, traditional recipes, that’s a bonus for sure!
Horiatiki means “villager” or “farmer” in Greek, and its origins are just as humble as its meaning. Simply known as Greek salad, it was originally the farmers’ lunch after the toil of the morning. It consists of Greek feta, cucumbers, onions, tomatoes, and olives.
Nowadays, vegetarians and people trying to cut back on calories consider it as a healthy option. Moreover, depending on the area you are in, you can eat a diversified variety of this salad, made with the exotic herbs and spices of that particular region.
Served with crispy bread or rusk, Tonosalata is essentially Greek-style tuna salad. With chunks of tuna and a seasoning of vegetables and herbs from the region, it is a delight for your taste buds.
Available with creamy dressing and simple lemon zest topping, it is a healthy choice if you are looking for a light and refreshing snack.
Exclusive to Chios, Mastelo is a specific type of salty cheese. People usually make it at home or on small farms, using goat or cow milk.
Due to its high melting point, vendors can easily grill it as a snack. Moreover, some restaurants serve it alongside Saganaki as an appetizer.
What to Bring with You for a Greece Trip
We have several Greece packing lists to help you decide what to bring with you to Greece, Rhodes, and Crete (with more on the way)! But here are five things you want to bring with you to any Greek beach vacation!
A Guidebook – While travel blogs are great, we also definitely see the benefit of having a good paper guidebook in hand to refer to in your on-the-ground travel. We own and recommend the Lonely Planet Greece for a great guidebook on the ground.
Sunscreen: Yes, you will want sunscreen in Greece, no matter the time of year. While you can buy it here, I suggest you buy the good stuff from recognizable brands or better yet, buy it online in advance. I love this solid Neutrogena sunscreen. Who doesn’t love a good solid for liquid swap? Great to keep in your bag without worrying about sunscreen explosions.
Motion sickness pills: Great for ferry rides and bus rides especially on winding roads – I buy these non-drowsy ones. You can also try these natural motion sickness bands which use acupressure to reduce nausea – they actually work pretty well.
Hiking boots or sneakers with good grip: If you’re looking for waterfalls in Greece, you may have to do some hiking to get to them! Be sure to wear some well broken-in hiking boots or at the very least, some grippy sneakers.
A water bottle with a filter. While often, the tap water in Greece is drinkable, there are places where it isn’t. Always ask before drinking the water.
We generally recommend using a water bottle with a purifying filter to reduce your plastic consumption and ensure you won’t drink any bad water that could make your trip unpleasant! We recommend the GRAYL water bottle – it filters water perfectly (literally – 99.999% free of viruses, bacteria, etc.) in an instant so that you can even drink from lakes, bad taps, etc. – basically everything but the sea itself.
Travel safety items. We think Greece is very safe to travel to, but at the same time, it never hurts to be prepared! Some people like to carry money belts, but neither Stephanie nor I use these.
Instead, we both carry the same PacSafe anti-theft backpack. It has locking zippers, slash-proof construction with metal mesh hidden in the fabric, and tons of other smart security features — all while being cute and stylish enough to be our everyday bag. We recommend it highly for both male and female travelers, as it’s neutral enough to be unisex. We also recommend travel insurance! Our recommendation is at the bottom of the post.
More Greece Travel Resources
Headed to Greece? We have some great travel resources to help you with your trip.
First read our guide to planning a trip to Greece, which covers visas, budgets, vaccines, and much more.
Next, you’ll want to read our all-season Greece packing list.
If you are still trying to figure out your Greece itinerary, check out our guides on where to go in Greece, the best places for island hopping in Greece, and when is the best time to visit.
If you’ll be spending time in Athens, check out our Athens Instagram guide, the best Athens day trips, and our complete Athens hotel guide. We also have Athens safety tips so your trip can be hassle-free. We are currently working on our mega-post of things to do in Athens as well as our itineraries, so stay tuned!
We publish new content about the Balkans almost every day! For more information about traveling to Greece and the Balkans, bookmark our Greece and Balkan travel pages so you can find out what’s new before your trip.
Finally, Make Sure You Come to Greece with Travel Insurance
I’m sure you’re aware that it’s a good idea to have travel insurance for traveling in Greece or anywhere in the world! This is especially true on a waterfall chasing and hiking trip, where you’ll be outdoors and in nature more than back home.
Stephanie and I have both been paying customers of World Nomads for the last three years. We love the peace of mind it gives us in case of emergencies, accidents, illnesses, theft, or trip cancellation or disruption.
While Greece is very safe, there’s always a risk inherent in everyday travel like theft or injury, so it’s better to play it safe.
Pin This Unique Guide to the Best Street Food in Greece for Your Travels!
Kyle Kroeger is a travel blogger for his site ViaTravelers.com. Via travelers is a modern travel blog providing the best tips, hacks, and itineraries to ensure you have an amazing adventure. Follow us on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and YouTube to get our latest travel updates in real-time.
Stephanie has been living in and traveling around the Balkans for the past three years. She’s written for National Geographic Online, appeared on CNN Arabic and in the New York Times, and ridden more Balkan buses than is good for a person.