The crispy doughnuts of the historic pastry shop of “Krinos” with the hole in the middle have been making Aiolou tick for a hundred years.
Connected to our childhood memories, when every walk to the center was necessarily accompanied by a stop in its vintage hall, “Krinos” is a trademark of Athens.
In the wonderful two-story neoclassical building of Aiolou, in 1923 the confectioner Minas Kasimatis, coming to Greece for a new life, decided to set up his business, teaching the Athenians about political sweets. In this building, since 1855, there was the pharmacy of Stamatis Krinos, the first in the capital, hence Kasimatis gave the name this name to his shop,
Thus, on March 20, 1924, the official opening took place with “all the finest Athenian, Political and Oriental Confectionery items”, as the newspapers of the time wrote.
Smyrna’s royal pies, aromatic buns, pretzels, the famous katemria, syrupy pan sweets and of course the loukoumades drove the Athenians crazy, who queued up to try the previously unknown delicacies of Kasimati. Together with the Asia Minors, who used to gather in “Lily” to remember the flavors of their place, but also to exchange their news.
The magnificent building of Aiolos has not changed, it has simply been restored, maintaining its stately aura. The shop’s mascot, the confectioner, who welcomes customers at the entrance with a plate of delicious donuts. Entering the main hall, time seems to have stopped: the marble tables with the Viennese chairs and the perfectly preserved mosaic stand there like a movie set.
Kasimatis was a man of giving. Every day he distributed donuts to institutions and nursing homes and while he avoided giving money to organizations, he always asked about their needs, making sure to supply them with clothes, furniture, food and whatever else they asked for. This philanthropic activity is continued by the current owners of the business, in addition to the delicious tradition.
The sweet delights of “Krinos”, the historic pastry shop in Aeolos
Times have changed and “Lily” has often found itself facing difficulties – even competitors have used its name – but what always remains constant is that they still insist on the old recipes and the good raw materials, which are now steadily supplied by small producers , mainly from Thebes and Elassona.
At the top of the preferences of the sworn patrons are clearly the traditional loukumades, with their golden color, abundant syrup and walnuts. The secret of their success is based on the handmade dough, which is cut by hand to get the characteristic hole in the middle, but also on the fact that 50% of the syrup consists of genuine thyme honey. The perfect ring shape is not a simple task, it takes hard work and persistent effort to learn, but the people of “Lily” have mastered the technique and always achieve it. But now they also make some more modern versions, such as, say, donuts with cocoa cream and hazelnut, or with ice cream.
But apart from the loukumades, you can also try the famous bougatse with puff pastry. There is a classic with pure butter and another with a mixture of butter and margarine, which is lighter. In the summer, however, the delicious machine ice cream is also wasted: light and soft, it is rightly considered one of the best in the city.
The sweet sins of “Krinos” are so famous, that in the summer they are still called from all the hotels in the center to ask if they will remain open, because tourists are desperate to try its delicacies. That’s why every time we pass through Aiolou, the stop at number 87 is almost mandatory.
Aiolou 87, Omonia, 210-32.16.852.
Hours: Monday, Wednesday, Saturday 07.00-17.00, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 07.00-20.30