The simplest food in terms of ingredients (flour, water, salt) is the result of a complex ritual that requires knowledge, patience, passion and, above all, love. Bread accompanies almost every meal – next to a bowl of steaming soup, buried under eggs, sliced in a fresh salad, the most important part of a delicious sandwich. Nothing compares to the smell or the taste of freshly baked bread. Yet, there are countless decisions to be made and hard work to be done before we can hold a warm loaf in our hands.
There are many notable bakeries in Athens. The following list features six that stand out for their recipes, their technique, the types of bread they offer and their philosophy. Whichever you consider the most notable bakery in the city, one thing is for sure: all these everyday heroes who fill our neighbourhoods with enchanting smells and our homes with mouth-watering flavours deserve our gratitude.
Almost hidden, Betty’s Bakery is located in a small alley in Gazi area. Its large steel doors lend it a factory feel, but inside you’ll find Elizabeth Koulouri ‘s modern workshop. Elizabeth (aka Betty) left a long carrier in communications and decided to pursue a career in bread-making. Actually, she was the first in Athens to produce all types of naturally-leavened, protein-rich, handmade and organic bread. In total, Betty’s Bakery offers eleven different and incredibly delicious bread options, such as the carob and walnut loaf (rich body and rustic flavours) and the wheat loaf with thyme and olive oil (soft texture and sophisticated taste). Made from nuts and superfoods, without any flour, rich in taste, proteins and fibre, Betty’s superbread is well-worth a mention. All of Betty’s delicious breads are made with pure flours that have no additives or preservatives and come from small producers in Greece. Available upon request and in selected stores throughout Athens.
At the same time, Betty’s Bakery actively supports society by offering donations to “Together for Children” (a non-profit/non-governmental Association working in the field of child welfare) and by donating part of the proceeds from the X-mas LOVEbread, which is created at Christmas, to children in need. A special effort is also made to reduce the environmental footprint, as all product deliveries in the centre of Athens are made by bicycle. At the end of 2021, Betty’s Bakery added to its pioneering moves the planting of its own wheat in Evia, so in 2023 it will launch “Betty’s Bread” produced from their own flour. In addition, since the beginning of the year bread- making seminars take place in the workshop once a month (on Saturdays).
10, Kassandras street, Gazi, +30 210 3424832
*Orders by phone or through the website https://www.bettysbakery.gr/
The Black Salami Microbakery
Antonis Kazakos and Bruno Pezzia’s Black Salami Microbakery opened in late 2021, but is the result of a three-year experimentation with different types of flour and bread-making techniques. The aim was to create a dough different from everything we’ve known so far – tasty and digestible, without raising agents, naturally-leavened. Thus, their bread is rich in both texture and flavour. Particular emphasis is placed on the ingredients. The flour (semi-milled, three-grain and rich in vitamins) comes from the Bongiovanni family mill in Turin and is produced from 100% Italian wheat, while the oil is particularly low in acidity and comes from a mountain village in Mani, Greece.
The Black Salami Microbakery offers many and unimaginably delicious kinds of bread and various types of focaccia. Moreover, they make epic sandwiches such as BLT with smoked pancetta from Serres and bacon from Chios island, or mouth-watering pulled pork with slow-cooked pork, gravy, goat cheese and rocket. To sample the masterpieces of Black Salami Microbakery, which from March will also offer breakfast/brunch, get there early because everything sells out quickly.
71, Zoodohou Pigis street, Exarheia
At the end of 2020, Kora Bakery in Kolonaki was added to the map of the most unique and delicious bakeries in Athens. Created by two talented women, Ianthi Michalaki and Maria Alafouzou, it quickly became the talk of the town thanks to its delicious sourdough bread and excellent viennoiseries. Their aim is to produce high-quality goods under appropriate working conditions and with great respect for the environment, leaving a positive social footprint. Always emphasising quality ingredients, Kora’s bread is naturally-leavened and made with a combination of Greek and Italian flours. Thanks to the slow curing process (naturally kneaded and cured for at least 20 hours), the bread retains its nutrients for longer, increases its shelf life (up to 10 days) and becomes tastier and more digestible.
The croissants are made with high quality French butter that gives them a nice texture and unique aroma and the process takes 72 hours. Of the five types of bread available in the shop (classic, rye, wholemeal, oat and focaccia), our personal favourite is the rye bread with a rounded taste, firm crunchy crust and a very special and delicate acidic aftertaste. Make a weekend visit to try the chocolate bread, a classic sourdough bread enriched with dark chocolate, cocoa and honey, perfect for breakfast. It’s also hard to resist the delicate and aromatic morning bun (classic croissant dough with orange zest and cinnamon). Depending on the seasonality and the preferences of the public, Kora often updates its menu, while always keeping the classics. Close to the community, Kora also donates €2 to Doctors of the World for every salted brownie it sells and aims to become, in 2022, a certified carbon neutral business, so as not to harm the environment.
44, Panagiotou Anagnostopoulou street, Athens, +30 210 3627855
Bakery – Lycabettus
Overflowing with tempting smells and delicious pastries, Lycabettus bakery has been the jewel of Kolonaki area. At a time when we knew very little about European-style bread, Stavros Iskidakis travelled, learned alongside great masters and opened his own bakery in Kolonaki, offering high-quality products. The flour comes from selected producers in Greece, Germany and Austria. Everything is created in the shop without the addition of preservatives. The sourdough breads are made with raisin extract and rye flour as well as with the addition of wheat flour and corn flour, depending on the type of bread. Here, you’ll find more than 35 types of bread, including wholewheat sourdough, low glycemic index multigrain and dinkel, with more available on Fridays and Saturdays.
Our favourites include the Heavy German Bread – slightly acidic, aromatic, with a perfect amount of seeds inside – and the yeast bread – full-bodied, very balanced in flavour. Try also their delicious mini cheese pies and spinach pies made with crispy filo pastry, fluffy piroshki, as well as delicious cookies. Various delicacies from around the world, such as Panettone (offered all year long), stollen and strudel that come out at Christmas, but also products that rotate throughout the year, such as scones and cookies, complete this flavourful journey. During Christmas, try their unique melomakarona – small, bite-sized, but great in flavours, properly honeyed and aromatic.
59, Deinokratous street, Athens, +30 210 7211348
Takis bakery is situated in the shadow of the Acropolis, in the charming Koukaki neighbourhood. The grandfather and father (Mr Takis) of the current owners came from Thessaloniki to Athens in 1960 and opened their first shop, where they sold only koulouria Thessalonikis (Greek sesame bread rings). Ten years later, they moved to the shop’s current location and transformed the shop into a bakery. The third generation, Artemis and Thodoris, adhere to the principles and rely on the traditional recipes on which the business was built. The foundation of their philosophy is respect for the baker’s work and for the community. So, apart from bread, here you may also find excellent cakes, pastries, buns, brioches and puff pastries, as well as soft drinks. They make various types of bread and the flour comes from various producers both from Greece and abroad – such as France, Italy, Austria, Switzerland and Germany – depending on the needs and always with quality in mind.
Every bread has its own character. Among our favourites is the classic yeast bread, baked to perfection with rich flavour. Also worth trying is their light in texture German bread, as well as their delicate in taste airy ciabatta. Here you may also try amazing dough-based products and desserts that impress with their exquisite aromas and airy texture. For Artemis and Thodoris, the bakery has a great social responsibility and is a meeting point for the whole neighbourhood, while their goal is to offer healthy and delicious products. Something they achieve with absolute mastery.
14, Marasliotou street, Koukaki, +30 210 9230052
Opposite the church of Agia Thekla in Markopoulo, Daremas Bakery is a family business that has been operating for 130 years. In 1948 it was converted from a grocery store to a bakery by the parents of the current owner, Kostas Daremas. Strictly following the principles on which the company was founded, Kostas Daremas emphasizes high quality, continues to exclude the use of artificial substances in his products and remains a loyal supporter of his community, offering exceptional products based on traditional recipes, made with pure ingredients sourced mainly from the surrounding area and, in many cases, from his own crops – such as pure virgin olive oil. A typical example is the internationally renowned grape must cookies – unbeatable and unique in taste, listed in the Michelin Guide. It’s worth mentioning and clearly worth trying their other types of cookies (vanilla, milk butter, orange).
All fresh, crispy, delicious and highly aromatic, they are hand-made. Only quality flours are used for the bread, with no added preservatives. In order to achieve the highest quality of the final product, bread is given the necessary time to ferment, rest and bake properly. Both delicious and healthy, the low glycemic index multigrain, rich in flavour, aromatic and full-bodied, is well-worth a try, as well as the rich in fibre wholemeal yeast bread. Seasonal products also have their place on the menu. They make, among other things, excellent melomakarona, kourabiedes (traditional Greek Christmas sweets) and grape must pudding. Believing in the need for constant support and communication with the community, on Clean Monday they treat their customers and passers-by to Lenten dishes they make themselves (octopus, dolmades, taramosalata, pickles and more) and wine from their vineyards.
2, Sounio Avenue, Markopoulo, +30 22990 25744
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