Mornings In: Greece

What's a typical Greek breakfast and beauty routine? Is there any truth to the saying that the traditional Greek breakfast is a frappe and a cigarette? //
: Danai Christopoulou
Hometown: Athens, Greece
Age: 31
Occupation: Part-time baker. Full-time Editorial Director at Savoteur. Full-time cat lady.
My alarm is set for 9:00 am. And then 9:15 am. And then 9:30 am. The morning struggle is real.

My Greek breakfast

I’ll just go out and say it, I don’t really do breakfast. (Unless it’s the weekend and there’s booze involved.) If left to my own devices I’ll just sip on a ridiculously long cold brew coffee all morning and it won’t be until 2 pm that I’ll start craving some solid food.

But recently I downloaded this fitness app called Lifesum which has been really eye-opening and I’ve been making a conscious effort to eat more frequently, so I’ll opt for a cheese pie (on good days, I may have baked it myself) or a koulouri, a kind of thin and crispy bagel that has a whole in it and you can find it at various street-food carts all around the city and in most bakeries. Or I’ll do a plain yogurt. (By the way, I recently tasted “Greek yogurt” in the US … yeah, no, that’s not what our yogurt tastes like.)

It may be a cultural thing too: I saw a GIF once that claimed  “traditional Greek breakfast consists of a Frappe coffee and a cigarette.” I don’t think that’s very far from the truth. Although we do have our share of fitness-crazed hipsters who will get up at 6 am to make spinach smoothies, and we also have a tradition in making amazing jams (which most people will have on non-toasted bread, with butter, usually in the weekend), Greeks are not that big on breakfast.

We do love our pies though, cheese and spinach phyllo pies mostly: You will see many people munching on them on their way to work or at their office. And we love Merenda, the Greek version of Nutella (but thicker and more chocolatey), which we will have on toast — some of us even after we’ve stopped being 8-year olds.

Around Greek Easter, we are big on tsoureki, which is kind of like a fluffy babka. Add some Merenda on it and you have the definition of happiness (although my fitness app may disagree).


What's a typical Greek breakfast and beauty routine? Is there any truth to the saying that the traditional Greek breakfast is a frappe and a cigarette? //

My Greek beauty routine:

I always take long showers in the morning and then shampoo and condition my hair with Argan oil. I have very thin, straight hair so I usually never blow-dry (to prevent heat damage) and bless our warm climate for letting my hair dry naturally without me getting pneumonia. Most Greek women though will blow-dry and straighten their hair daily.

As for makeup, there are two ways I can go about it: either not-at-all, or all-out. I can get away with either: My company has an outpost in NY and one in Athens, and in the Athens one, it’s just four guys and me and I sincerely believe I could do a clown makeup and they still wouldn’t notice.

On the “I can’t be bothered” days, I’ll just apply a primer under my eyes (instead of a concealer) and opt for a bold red, orange or fuchsia lipstick that I hope draws the attention away from my un-madeup face.

On the days that I’m feeling it, though, I’ll go all in. I’ve recently converted to contouring and highlighting and sing the praises of my Beauty Blender. I’ll do a base, which I will mix with some of my face hydrating cream for better absorption. Then, I’ll use my concealer and Beauty Blender sponge to highlight the areas under my eyes, between my brows, my chin, and the lower part of my cheeks.

Most Greek women love blush and bronzers, but then again most of them have slightly darker skin than me so terracotta tones actually look great and healthy on them. I tried it once. People were concerned that someone punched me in the face. Finally, I’ll apply the lipstick on my lips.

I use Korres products, an awesome Greek brand that’s actually available abroad and cannot recommend it enough. They have the best concealer on the market and some great lipstick shades. I also love Benefit cosmetics for base, primer, setting powder, eyebrow shadowsand colored eyeliners. My mascaras are usually Maybelline.

My Greek commute:

This awesome Greek app called Taxibeat – it’s like Uber, but way better as it lets you actually choose a driver based on their ratings (and you can see if they have wifi on board, if they accept pets and if they speak any languages apart from Greek). Taxis aren’t really that expensive in Greece so Taxibeat is always my go-to choice. That being said, we do have an awesome Metro (new and clean) that most people use

Thanks so much for sharing, Danai! Greek readers – do you agree? What does your breakfast and beauty routine look like?

P.S. Breakfast + beauty routines in Pakistan, Estonia, and The Philippines!

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1 Comment

  1. Sharon

    Four months after my trip to Greece and I’m still dreaming about the yoghurt! Danai is right – it’s nothing like the ‘greek style yoghurt’ in my local supermarket, it’s heaven.

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