Koulouri Thessalonikis, the Greek bagel that “moves” the Athenians

This delicious, fragrant and crisp bagel called Koulouri, is one of the favourite daily snacks of the Athenians for more than a hundred years. It was introduced under the name “Koulouri Thessalonikis” because it was originally made in Thessaloniki by Greek refugee bakers.

It’s story starts from Byzantium, the word Koulouri comes from the Byzantine kollikion and was popular mainly in Istanbul and Thessaloniki. The bagels were sold in the streets, in the squares, at ports and stations, outside churches and in other urban locations mainly by children, elder and handicaps. It has always been the popular out and about snack.

The street vendors, used to operate 4 exits during the day by reloading the trays with fresh bagels from the baker. The first exit was at 5:00 am, the second at noon, the third at around 8:00 in the evening and the last about midnight, targeting the night owl clientele who were the most enthusiasts of the snack.

Some logistics of that time:The bakers were selling 100 bagels for 3.30 drachmas* (0.01 euro) from which the vendor making profit of 1.70 drachmas (0,005 euro). Even the youngest koulouras** could sell 200 to 300 bagels after the 4 daily exits.

On average in Athens early 1900s were circulating about a hundred wandering vendors besides those who had their own “post” in central locations of Athens.

The recipe:Made from wheat flour, yeast, water, salt and sugar. But the very secret of the bagel flavor, (besides baking and pastry) is the high quality of sesame .The paste is spread into small sticks, which were then placed in hot water for about 20 minutes. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and baked in the oven .

The genuine bagel,”said Elsa Koukoumeria” is thin, round, well-made, crispy and soft the inside. It contains only 85 calories and zero fat, so it is highly recommended by dieticians and nutritionists.

Nowadays, we recommend you try a koulouri that’s easy to find when strolling in Athens center. For only 0.5 euro you’ll enjoy a delicious, still healthy and nutritious  snack. Meet the koulouras spots at Monastiraki, Thission, Plaka, Ermou street, Syntagma square, National Garden and many more central locations of Athens.

*drachma: the national Greek currency before euro, 1 euro equals to 340,75 drachmas**koulouras: the street vendor sells the bagels on either a big basket, tray or in a trolley.

#athens #travel_blog

Related Articles

Food Scene in Athens

It goes without any that the local food gives you the best insight into a place. No matter how cosmopolitan a city may be, with the

Athenian Riviera

Are you in the mood to hit the beaches or to explore historic sights of great significance? Do you relish a nice walk by the

Athens History

Athens, historic city and capital of Greece, is the place where most classical intellectual and artistic ideas originated. The early history of the city is interwoven

Spead the #news

Don't Miss our Unique eBike Tours


Enthousiast Stuff

It makes a whole big difference when you love what you do


Flexible Cancellation

No worries!! 24hour free cancelation policy.


Suitable For Large Groups or Private Tours

Solo or with company? You are all wellcome!


Audio System

All guests are provided with our exclusive earbud audio system and don't miss any storytelling

You are one shift away from extraordinary tours

Our #original Tours

  • Athens Classic eBike Tour
  • Athens Sights and Food eBike Tour
  • Athens Riviera with lunch by the sea
  • Athens Culinary and Wine Tastings