Ariston: a snack food tradition in the center of Athens

Walk around Athens for even a few minutes and you are bound to come across a bunch of snack-food places selling tyropitas, a local favorite of a quick grab, often used by Greeks as a breakfast alternative or as something to eat on the go, when rushing from one appointment to the other. Tyropita stands for "cheese pie" but the combinations these 2 little words entail are practically endless. The cheese may be -and usually is- feta, but quite often it is also kasseri (in which case it may be referred to as kasseropita), or anthotyro or some combinations of these or various other cheeses. The surrounding pocket may consist of layers of phyllo dough or "regular" dough and can range from being very oily to dry, with or without sesame on top, and in various degrees of thickness. The majority of these snack places are unfortunately just selling points for food stuff produced in local workshops, that procure to many clients and don't really have a major interest in producing something memorable. Truth be told however, many foreign visitors are thrilled with whatever they can find, since the novelty of the taste and the lack of experience in their taste buds makes up for any shortcomings in craftsmanship.

The long introduction is to let you know that Ariston, at 10 Voulis Street, right next to central Syntagma Square is not one these places. Having being around for more than a century, as their entrance sign proudly proclaims, they rightly are one of Athenians' favorite snack food places. Come here on any week day morning / early afternoon and you're bound to find a number of locals grabbing their favorite pie on the way to some place else. Their dough is a really tasty, non-oily type, that can accommodate a large variety of combinations for fillings. 

A constantly refilled shop window at Ariston, 10 Voulis St., Athens.

Pans of pies behind a shop window at Ariston, 10 Voulist St., Athens

During times of religious fasting, their offerings include delicious pies with shrimps or vegetables, which are permitted or tolerated by the Greek Orthodox fasting tradition. You may also find pies you won't get to see anywhere else in Athens, such as ones with burgers, sausages, bacon, chicken, sweet red peppers etc, all of them produced on site and not in some anonymous workshop miles away.

The very simple, practically non-existent, decoration of the place should not deter you from entering the premises.

Ariston also offers various local pastries that you might want to experiment with if you have a craving for something sweet.

A smile goes a long way!

Why don't you follow me on twitter?


Walking along Agias Irinis St., in Athens city center

Following the previous post on Perikleous / Karagiorgi Servias St., here are some more pics from the same street as it changes name, first to "Athinaidos" and then to "Agias Irinis" (don't ask me why...).

This must have been an architectural eye candy, before turning into an eye-shore

Curtains and linens, at Athinaidos St.

Looking back at Athinaidos, at the corner with Kalamiotou St., Athens, Greece

8 Athinaidos St. - Kids formal wear, tagging and graffiti ("S**t to Fascists!" reads the slogan), in a surreal ensemble!

The Church of Agia Irini, the first Athens Cathedral two centuries ago, at Agias Irinis Sq.

Agia Irini, Athens, Greece

Pigeons at the awning of derelict shop - Athinaidos St., across Agias Irinis Sq., Athens

Graffiti front with a block of flats in the background; view from Agias Irinis St., Athens

Fabric rolls outside a shop; Agias Irinis St., Athens, Greece

Gavriilidis Editions, housed here, have come up with an interesting and rather ironic response to the surrounding plague of tagging.

Corner of Agias Irinis St. (ending here) and the main, noisy, and full of smells, Athinas St., Athens, Greece


 Why don't you follow me on twitter?