203 - The Sweet Greek at Athens Pastries
By Mary Luz Mejia
If you’re planning on enjoying and then walking off a generous dinner along the Danforth, do yourself a favour and save some room for a sweet confection at Athens Pastries. This family-owned and operated venture has been doing what they do best for almost three decades now, focusing their business on making a handful of items deliciously well. This has earned Athens a loyal following, with even out-of-town folks calling in orders to take back to points both near and far.
Take the bougatsa, for example, satisfyingly sweet custard is sandwiched between flaky phyllo pastry, creating the perfect Greek mille feuille of sorts. If you want to take it to the next level, and the sweet tooth in you just might, you can opt for the galaktoboureko. As one of Greece’s most popular desserts, this decadent slice is much like the bougatsa, only it gets a final lemon syrup drizzle after it’s been baked to golden perfection.
While I really enjoy either creation with a good cup of Greek coffee (just don’t drink to the last drop or you’ll get a mouth full of fine grounds!), it’s usually the loukoumades I crave. Perfectly puffed orbs of shallow fried dough get drenched in a honey-based syrup and dusted with cinnamon; they literally explode on the tongue with every bite. I might add that while they are sweet, this isn’t a cloying dessert. In fact, the tempting puffs are downright addictive, much to my chagrin (this is why you walk the strip while popping the loukoumades simultaneously!).
If you’re the kind of soul who is a die-hard savoury fan, then Athens has some of the best spanakopita in town. Non-greasy, flaky and full of spinach and cheese, the gals behind the counter will even heat it up for you if you ask. The tyropitakia or cheese pie is another savoury hit, and the perfect lunch time snack. Either way, you’ll likely want to work your way through Athens Pastries lip-smacking offerings, just don’t forget to wear your walking shoes. Your waistline will thank you for it!
509 Danforth Avenue