Greece Foodies

Greek Pies: A Delicious Journey into the Heart of Greek Cuisine

A pie can be a breakfast -what a nicer way to kick off the day?-, a quick snack before every meal, lunch and even dinner.  Here is a guide to the must-try flavors to start your gastronomic journey to the greek pies.

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A whole new world: The Greek Pies

Step into the world of Greek cuisine, where the humble pie takes center stage. With their crispy golden crusts and mouthwatering fillings, Greek pies have captured the hearts and palates of food lovers worldwide. They are a delightful culinary creation and a testament to Greece’s rich gastronomic heritage. From traditional family recipes passed down through generations to regional variations that showcase local flavors, Greek pies offer a savory adventure that will tantalize your taste buds.

Greek pies, or “pites” as they are known in Greece, come in various flavors and fillings. Whether you crave the earthy freshness of spinach, the tanginess of feta cheese, or the succulent taste of slow-cooked chicken, there’s a Greek pie to satisfy every craving. These pies have become synonymous with Greek comfort food, evoking memories of family gatherings, joyful celebrations, and cozy evenings spent around the table.

A whole new world, that’s what the Greek pie really is, and that is not an exaggeration. If you have visited Greece, you know that every 200 m. on the streets, there is another bakery or coffee shop that sells pies. Usually, they all have people waiting in lines while the hot pies from the oven sell out directly.

greek pies

What are Greek pies called?

A traditional Greek pie, or pita as it is known in Greek, is distinguished by its unmistakably handcrafted phyllo sheets. Phyllo sheets are not all created in the same way. Depending on the main ingredient, an extra word is added before “pita” to describe the pita.

For example, the most famous Greek pie is called tiropita -> tiri + pita -> cheese pie.

What distinguishes Greek pies?

Greek pies dough making
Photo by Klaus Nielsen

What sets Greek pies apart is the craftsmanship that goes into their creation. Making homemade phyllo dough, thin and delicate, requires skill and patience. Layer upon layer, each brushed with olive oil or butter, creates a symphony of textures culminating in a perfectly crispy and flaky crust.

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The art of layering is another essential aspect of Greek pie-making. Each sheet of phyllo dough is carefully brushed with olive oil or melted butter, creating a thin barrier that separates the layers and adds a delightful crispness. This layering technique allows the flavors of the filling to infuse into the dough while maintaining its structural integrity.

To achieve the perfect balance between a golden, crispy exterior and a moist, flavorful interior, Greek pies are often baked in the oven until they reach a beautiful golden brown color. The baking process allows the fillings to meld together and develop rich flavors while creating a satisfying contrast with the crispy phyllo layers. The filling, generously packed with a medley of ingredients, reveals the heart and soul of Greek flavors.

Are Greek pies famous?

Beyond their gastronomic appeal, Greek pies hold cultural significance. They embody the spirit of hospitality, with families warmly welcoming guests with a slice of pie and a heartfelt “Kali Orexi!” (Bon appétit!). Greek pies are also deeply rooted in Greek traditions and festivities, often appearing during Easter, Christmas, and other special occasions. They unite people, fostering a sense of togetherness and creating lasting memories.

A pie can be a breakfast -an excellent way to kick off the day! A quick snack before every meal, lunch, and even dinner.  Here is a guide to the must-try flavors to start your gastronomic journey to the Greek pies.

Join us on a delectable journey through the world of Greek pies. From classic favorites to regional specialties, we’ll explore the diverse flavors, share traditional recipes, and unveil the secrets behind these beloved culinary treasures. Get ready to experience the irresistible allure of Greek pies and discover why they have become an essential part of Greek cuisine. Get your taste buds ready for an unforgettable adventure into the heart of Greece’s culinary heritage.

5+1 Most Famous Types of greek pie

The simplicity and rustic charm typify food in Greece. Pies are a popular food item, and several different types are popular in Greece. The most common type of pie is the spinach pie, which is made with spinach, feta cheese, and eggs. Other famous pies include the apple pie, made with apples, raisins, cinnamon, and sugar, and the cherry pie, made with cherries, sugar, and flour. Pies are often served as a main course or a dessert and can be either savory or sweet. Regardless of their type, pies are a delicious way to enjoy the food of Greece. Here’s a list of the top 3 Greek pies:

Read more: Don’t miss out on these flavors of Greece




1. “Tiropita” (Cheese pie)

greek cheese pie
Photo by Dana Tentis

Indulge in the cheesy goodness of tiropita, a heavenly Greek pie that showcases the richness of Greek cheeses. Traditionally made with feta and ricotta cheese, tiropita offers a creamy and tangy filling wrapped in layers of crispy phyllo dough. The simplicity of the ingredients allows the flavors to shine, making it a crowd-pleasing choice for any occasion.

Feta Cheese and the traditional Greek “phyllo” (greek pie sheet). Do you need to know more? This is an experience of a lifetime that will absolutely create a lifetime of a habit. Tiropita is a sacred tradition in Greece, from the ones you never break.

2. “Spanakopita” (Spinach pie)

spanakopita | Greecefoodies

A beloved classic, spanakopita is a mouthwatering combination of tender spinach, flavorful feta cheese, onions, herbs, and spices, all encased in layers of delicate phyllo dough. This vegetarian delight is a staple in Greek cuisine, known for its vibrant green filling and irresistible aroma. Spanakopita can be enjoyed as a main course or a delightful appetizer.

This pie contains spinach, in Greek ‘spanaki’; if you are a fan of gastronomy twists, you can add some feta cheese. Spanakopita is a Greek cuisine filo pastry filled with spinach, different kinds of herbs and feta cheese, onions, and olive oil.  Try to find a small local place in Athens or any other Greek city and emerge into the taste that will immediately become the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Greek gastronomy.


>> Check out this Greek pies cooking class in Lefkada


3. “Bougatsa” (Sweet or Savory Custard Pie)

greek pies bougatsa crete | GreeceFoodies

Indulge your sweet tooth or savor a savory delight with Bougatsa, a versatile Greek pie that can be enjoyed in sweet and savory variations. The classic version features a creamy semolina custard filling flavored with vanilla and encased in layers of buttery phyllo dough. Alternatively, savory Bougatsa offers a delightful combination of cheese and sometimes meat, creating a satisfying and flavorsome pie.

Bougatsa is a sweet pleasure. This pie comes from Northern Greece and specifically from Serres. It contains sweet semolina cream. Make sure to sprinkle it with cinnamon and powdered sugar. In Thessaloniki, bougatsa is one of the most famous dishes, and you can find bougatsa also filled with cheese, spinach, or even meat. 

4. Galatopita (Milk Pie)

Galatopita Greek milk pie

Another delightful addition to the world of Greek pies is galatopita, a creamy and comforting dessert. Galatopita is made with a rich custard filling with semolina, milk, sugar, and aromatic hints of vanilla and cinnamon. The custard is baked to perfection, resulting in a golden-brown crust that encases the luscious and velvety interior. This traditional dessert is often topped with powdered sugar and can be enjoyed warm or chilled. Galatopita is a delightful treat that brings together the sweetness of milk and the warmth of spices for a truly indulgent experience.

Galatopita is a popular dessert across Greece, and each region may have its own variations or unique twists on the recipe. Some versions may include additional ingredients such as lemon zest, orange blossom water, or a liqueur for added flavor complexity. Whether enjoyed as a sweet ending to a meal or savored with a cup of Greek coffee in the afternoon, galatopita is sure to satisfy any sweet tooth and leave a lasting impression.

5. Sfakiani Pita (Sfakia Pie)

One of the unique and delicious Greek pies you must try is Sfakiani Pita, also known as Sfakia Pie. Hailing from the region of Sfakia in Crete, this traditional pie has gained popularity for its distinctive texture and flavors. Sfakiani Pita is a sweet and savory pie made with a yeasted dough that is flattened and cooked on a hot griddle or pan until golden and slightly crispy.

The filling of Sfakiani Pita typically consists of a rich combination of local cheeses, such as mizithra or graviera, which lend a creamy and slightly salty taste. The pie is often drizzled with honey and a generous amount of sesame seeds, adding a touch of sweetness and crunchiness to complement the savory cheese filling. The contrast of flavors and textures makes Sfakiani Pita a delightful treat for any time of the day.

6. Kotopita (Chicken Pie)

For those seeking a savory and hearty option, kotopita is the perfect choice. This Greek pie features tender chicken, cooked perfectly with aromatic herbs and spices, nestled within a flaky phyllo crust. Each bite unveils a medley of flavors as the chicken absorbs the essence of the seasonings. With regional variations incorporating additional ingredients like mushrooms or vegetables, kotopita offers a delightful twist on traditional Greek pies.

Flavors Across the Land: Exploring Regional Delights of Greek Pies

Greek pies exhibit a remarkable diversity of regional variations, each offering a unique twist on the traditional pie concept. Local ingredients and distinct cooking techniques contribute to the regional flavors and textures that make these pies so special. Here are a few notable regional variations of Greek pies:




  1. Cyclades: In the Cyclades islands, particularly on the island of Tinos, you’ll find the famous Tinos Artichoke Pie. This savory pie showcases the abundance of artichokes grown on the island, combined with onions, herbs, and local cheeses. The result is a flavorful, aromatic pie highlighting the region’s culinary heritage.
  2. Ionian Islands: The Ionian Islands, including Corfu and Kefalonia, boast their own unique pies. For example, the Bourdeto Pie from Corfu features fish, typically scorpionfish or cod, cooked in a spicy tomato sauce and encased in a flaky pastry crust. On Kefalonia, you’ll find Kreatopita, a hearty meat pie filled with ground meat, rice, and spices.
  3. Northern Greece: In the northern regions of Greece, particularly in Macedonia and Thrace, you’ll encounter distinctive pies, such as the famous Bougatsa. Bougatsa is a sweet pie made with layers of filo pastry filled with semolina custard, cheese, or minced meat. It is often dusted with powdered sugar and cinnamon for an irresistible treat.
  4. Peloponnese: The Peloponnese region is known for its delectable Pitarakia, small hand-held pies filled with various ingredients. The fillings can range from spinach and feta cheese to minced meat or a combination of vegetables. Pitarakia is perfect for on-the-go snacking or as an appetizer during social gatherings.
  5. Crete: As mentioned earlier, Crete has many Cretan products, including the unique pie called Sfakiani Pita. This delicious pie hails from the Sfakia region and features a yeasted dough filled with a combination of local cheeses. Sfakiani Pita is a delightful representation of Cretan flavors and is enjoyed throughout the island.

These are just a few examples of the regional variations you can explore regarding Greek pies. Each region has its own specialties and local ingredients that infuse the pies with distinct flavors and culinary traditions. Trying these regional variations allows you to embark on a gastronomic journey through Greece, discovering the diverse and delicious world of Greek pies.

Read more: A local’s insight to Greek tavernas

A Delicious Conclusion: Embrace the Irresistible World of Greek Pies

greek phyllo making
Photo by Leandros Papakarmezis

Oh, yes!  Greeks love all kinds of pies. And trust us; you will love them too! Don’t waste time and get to know the whole new world of the Greek pie!

With their tantalizing fillings, flaky phyllo dough, and rich culinary heritage, Greek pies embody Greek cuisine. Whether you savor the savory goodness of spanakopita, indulge in the cheesy delights of tiropita, or experience the unique flavors of galatopita or sfakiani pita, each bite is a journey into the heart of Greek culture.

From the humble village kitchens to the bustling tavernas in Athens, Greek pies have woven their way into Greek gastronomy. The traditional methods passed down through generations bring a sense of craftsmanship and artistry to every pie, making each one a work of culinary excellence.

So why not embark on your own Greek pie adventure? Explore the flavors, make homemade phyllo dough, and delight in the aroma that fills your kitchen. Whether you’re a seasoned food lover or a curious culinary enthusiast, Greek pies offer a delightful experience that will satisfy you.

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