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10 Voulis Street, Syntagma Square (closed Sunday)

ariston_pita_party.JPGariston_pita_party.JPG From Syntagma Square, face McDonald’s and walk one block down Ermou, Ermou is the center street just to the left of McDonald’s. At the first street, which is Voulis, turn right. Go 1.5 blocks down and you’ll find the bakery on your left hand side, just after one of Athens’ many lingerie shops … Of course, gorging on pitas doesn’t usually leave one feeling like they’d like to don a sexy nightgown, so I am often amused at the site of the Athenians window shopping there while they munch on these delectable treats! One of Carole’s top picks for the best tiropita (cheese pie) in Athens. (If you are staying in Pagrati there is this little place on the corner…. But that’s another story …) We used to say, when in Greece, one can never eat too many “pitas”  but Ariston definately wins hands down for offering the opportunity to actually to!  It seems they have almost every type of pita ever made, including the old standards, whatever happens to be fresh this season will somehow find its way into an Ariston pita. In addition to feta cheese and spinach, you will probably find leek and cheese, zucchini and cheese, eggplant and zucchini, sausage and peppers, kasseri cheese pie and even a version of Cephalonian meat pie, which includes some pasta or rice for a heartier pita. ariston_pita_party2wb.JPGAriston is a great place to visit with a group of people, grab a sampling of their various offerings, and head out to Syntagma Square to share your feast with a cup of coffee at one of the cafes. (You may get a funny look from the server, but so what? Leave them a nice tip and I am sure they won’t mind – just make sure you go to a café, and not a restaurant, to have your pita tasting party! In addition to the filo based pitas in the long cases on the left, Ariston also makes a wonderful traditional “korou” cheese pie, with homemade dough that is crispy on the outside and melt in your mouth soft on the inside. Have the traditional tiropita and you will never eat a pita made with commercial filo again! To order this, tell the cashier “tyropita” and they will know. Since they don’t have tables, you will want to get your pies “packeto” which means to go, unless you are only having one, in which case you can get it “sto heri” (in your hand).