Greek Language Blog

Souvlaki time: place your order! Posted by on May 31, 2017 in Culture, Vocabulary


Souvlaki (σουβλάκι) is a generic name for the most famous Greek street food. It could be pieces of pork or chicken cooked on sticks (καλαμάκι χοιρινό, καλαμάκι κοτόπουλο)  or on vertical spits (γύρος) and eaten with grilled bread or wrapped in a flat bread called pita (πίτα).

By paPisc under a CC license on Flickr


Traditionally, a pita can be filled with pork, tzatziki, potatoes, tomatoes and onions. The other option is chicken, tomatoes, lettuce, onions, potatoes and mayonnaise and yoghurt sauce. If you don’t like any of these ingredients you can say «χωρίς …» (without) . E.g.: Μία πίτα γύρο χοιρινό χωρίς ντομάτα: you will get a pita bread that contains no tomato. If you want to order the standard pita, you have to say «απ’ όλα» (with everything).E.g.: Μία πίτα καλαμάκι κοτόπουλο απ’ όλα. You will have a pita bread with kalamaki chicken, lettuce, onions, potatoes and sauce. However, there are many options available, such as burger (μπιφτέκι), sausage (λουκάνικο), veggie burger (μπιφτέκι λαχανικών), yogurt (γιούρτι), μουστάρδα (mustard) and many more ingredients. One gyro pita costs around 2 to 2.30 euros and one kalamaki 1.50-1.80 euros.

In this post, there is vocabulary related to souvlaki and a dialogue.

καλαμάκι κοτόπουλο (το): pieces of chicken grilled on a wood stick

καλαμάκι χοιρινό (το): pieces of pork grilled on a wood stick

γύρος χοιρινό (o): pork meat roasted a vertical spit

γύρος κοτόπουλο (o): chicken meat roasted on a vertical spit

κεμπάμπ (το): kebab

ντομάτα (η): tomato

κρεμμύδι (το): onion

πατάτες (τηγανιτές) (οι): fried potatoes

τζατζίκι (το): sauce made of yogurt, cucumber and garlic

μαρούλι (το): lettuce

σως (η): sauce

πίτα (η): pita bread

κυπριακή πίτα (η): Cypriot pita

πίτα ολικής άλεσης (η): whole-wheat pita



Πελάτης 1:  Γεια σας. Θα ήθελα μία πίτα γύρο απ’όλα. Hello I would like a standard pita gyro.

Σουβλατζής:  Γύρο χοιρινό ή κοτόπουλο; Pork or chicken gyro?

Πελάτης 1:  Χοιρινό. Pork.

Πελάτης 2:  Εγώ θα ήθελα δύο καλαμάκια χοιρινά. I would like two kalamaki pork.

Πελάτης 3:  Μία πίτα καλαμάκι χοιρινό χωρίς πατάτες. One pita with kalamaki pork without potatoes.

Πελάτης 4:  Και για μένα μία πίτα καλαμάκι κοτόπουλο χωρίς σως. And for me one pita with chicken pork without sauce.

Σουβλατζής:  Ωραία. Είναι δέκα ευρώ όλα μαζί. Good. It’s 10 euros all together.

If you need more information, feel free to leave a comment!

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About the Author: Ourania

Ourania lives in Athens. She holds a degree in French Literature and a Master’s degree in Special Education for Children. Since 2008, she has been teaching Greek to foreigners.