First of all, congratulations on your website. I
don't think I have ever come across such a complete guide to Greece
(or any other country, for that matter) on the internet.
Furthermore, as a greek living abroad, it's nice to be reminded of
all the good (and bad) things back
home. I'm very impressed by the time and effort you have put on this
Just one comment about the all-important subject of
souvlaki. I only had a quick scan through the website, so I'm not
sure if you mention this anywhere else,
but there is a huge divide between the south and the north of Greece on the matter.
'Souvlaki' in the south can mean either gyros-pita
or the skewered meat (kalamaki) or kalamaki-pita (or anything
wrapped in pita). But:in the north of Greece (which means anywhere to the
north of Larissa, or even Lamia), 'souvlaki' means only the skewered
meat. If you want the gyros-pita thing, you must order a 'sandwitch'. I
have heard stories of Athenians ordering 'souvlaki me kalamaki' in
Thessaloniki and receiving a kalamaki (i.e. souvlaki) and a straw
(kalamaki, same word). Actually, to order exactly what you want to
eat in the north, the best bet is to just list all the ingredients
('pita, gyros, etc'). But the word for the whole pita wrap is
[And by the way,
northern souvlaki is far superior than southern - not only larger and not as greasy, but you can also
choose between a variety of meats (or even fried calamari, during
lent) and salads.] A similar misunderstanding between south and north
exists with the cheese. All yellow cheese in the north is
called 'kasseri' and the word 'tyri' is only used for feta
I'm beginning to get hungry, so I'll finish the
I am doing a souvlaki research for years!:)
The best souvlaki or kebab souvlaki that I ever had is there
at Psaron & Kritis Str. at Agios Pavlos Square and the place
is called "Gefstiki Gonia" meaning "Tasty Corner".
(Agios Pavlos square is a couple blocks off Theodorou Diligiani
Street by the Larissa train station. )
During the 2004 Olympics I was a Vip driver with clients, the
co-founders of ROOTS (official outfiter for British, Canadian and
US teams) and their families. With them was Trudeau's Son, Justin!
After asking me for a real nice souvlaki place, nothing fancy,
just a plain good souvlaki, without a second thought I took them
Imagine, since then, I was going there for the rest of them twice,
three time a day or two!
They were not the only ones though!
Now Iam going to print this out and ask the guys there for a
PS:"The worst souvlaki in my life was from a place called
Miami Subs in Florida!!! My God!!! Catastrophe!!!!"
I would like to share a piece of information with you on souvlaki.
Originally souvlaki was called only the straw with the skewered meat. It comes
from the greek word "souvla" which means skewer. The one that you have described
was called just pita (pie). In combination with the stuffing it was called
either "pita-gyros", "pita-souvlaki" (if the stuffing was composed by skewed
pork meat), pita-biffteki and so on. I am telling you this because it still
applies it nothern Greece [there is also some short of a dispute between the
Nothens and the Southerns on this matter, among other things (Olympiakos vs
PAOK, Akropolis-White Tower, General Grant-Lee...I was carried away...sorry)].
In nothern Greece people do not prefer to add tsatziki in their pita. They
choose insted mustard,yogurt or other components.
And an other thing.Please don't advise yor readers to order something else
when cheated. They should get up and leave instead. This should be happening
until those %^$#@^%$#@@^%$
wise up. They all know what souvlaki means. Thank God there are a lot of
souvlaki-places .There can be no tolerrence for those who embarrass us .
Pardon my bad English.
I am just sitting here lost in nostalgia for Greece and longing to return
(which I will in May!!) and I came across your souvlakia page. I just had the
urge to tell you about a place called Paliakis in Pangrati. They have some of
the best gyros I've ever come across at a small family run place at Plateia
Varnava. Next time you're in town check them out.
Excellent website, keep up the good work. It makes for interesting
reading, even for native Athenians who live in Athens, such as myself.
The souvlaki subject is very touchy for us Greeks. In keeping with your
site's spirit of giving "inside" info to foreign visitors, I would
thoroughly recommend that you delete all mention to Mpairaktaris, and
all other dreadful tourist garbage on Mitropoleos and Plaka!
As a seasoned souvlaki veteran, I've had my share of the good, the bad
and the downright awful. Mpairaktaris is probably one of the worst.
In case you didn't know, the "celebrity photo" concept has its purpose:
to keep you distracted from the terrible food. One other torrid place,
Jimmy's Souvlaki in Mykonos, also has celebrity photos, but the patrons
there are usually too drunk to notice the photos, the souvlaki or the
For any of your website visitors staying in the north of Athens, there
3 excellent souvlaki places, located within a few meters from each
other in Nea Erythrea, just off Kifisias Avenue. (the so called magic
triangle) These three spots are not only the undisputed best in the
northern suburbs, but could well be in the Top 10 of the whole Athens
STELIOS, on Plastira Street (turn left on Plastira going north on
Kifisias (Eleftheriou Venizelou), its on your left, 10 meters). Stelios
is a kotopoulo (chicken) souvlaki specialist. The kotopoulo-pita is
huge, the ingredients are fresh and the home-made sauce cannot be
described with words. 10/10.
PANERYTHRAIKOS is about 50 meters from Stelios (turn left on Plastira).
You cant miss it, because its always packed. P's menu only has one
thing: souvlaki-kalamaki. I've seen people queue from over half an hour
to get theirs. I dont know where he gets the meat from, or what the
secret cooking technique is, but this soulaki-kalamaki (with pita or
without - absolutely no sauce or tzatziki, just tomato and onion) has
to be tasted to be believed (10/10)
DOKOS is on Plastira Square (again, about 50m from Stelios, but on the
right). The key ingredient here is curry. Yes, Dokos must be the only
souvlaki place in Greece that makes curry-gyros-pita. It's heavy, and
worth its weight in gold. Dokos does everything curry, from kalamaki to
gyros to french fries. He recently added a heavier kalamaki-souvlaki
called The Heiropoiito (hand-made) which is served plain, with curry,
or in a gigantic pita with optional condiments. A must try (
Note: All three places are run-down, shabby, uninviting, BUT very
cheap. Where souvlaki is concerned, foreign visitors should always look
for very greek-looking, undecorated, dark and uncomfortable souvlaki
spots. Oh, and a general restaurant tip: Stay away from places that
have pictures of the menu on the outside, and where waiters wear dark
trousers and white short-sleeved shirts.
The best souvlaki after thanasis is “Posto” in
maroussi near the train station. Delicious!!!
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