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Sliced cheese-filled bougatsa served on a plate
Type Pastry
Place of origin Greece
Region or state Serres
Main ingredients Phyllo; filling of semolina custard, cheese or minced meat
Cookbook: Bougatsa  Media: Bougatsa

Bougatsa (Greek μπουγάτσα [buˈɣatsa]) is a Greek breakfast pastry consisting of either semolina custard, cheese, or minced meat filling between layers of phyllo.


Bougatsa is said to originate in Serres, in the Central Macedonia region of Northern Greece and is most popular in the northern Greek port city city of Thessaloniki. Bougatsa is also popular in Veria and Halkidiki (also in northern Greece) and Chania and Iraklion in the island of Crete. In Chania, it is called "bougatsa Chanion" and is made by special pastry shops usually open from early morning until noon. The most common filling is a sweet semolina custard. Common savory fillings include mizithra cheese or minced meat. In Iraklion, the most famous is made by shops on Morosini Square, by the descendants of Armenian refugees from Asia Minor.

The taste of bougatsa varies between regions of Greece. For example, bougatsa in Veria is very sweet and full of cream, while in Thessaloniki it is crunchy and not that sweet.

The name comes from the Byzantine Greek πογάτσα, from the ancient Roman panis focacius; c.f. Italian focaccia, Turkish poğaça, etc.



Greek bougatsa is prepared from phyllo dough wrapped around a filling. After it is baked, it is cut into serving pieces and served hot. If the filling is semolina custard, then the pastry may be lightly dusted with powdered sugar and/or cinnamon.

Most modern bougatsa is made with machine-made phyllo, but some cafes and bakeries selling hand-made bougatsa still exist, especially in smaller towns and villages of Greece.


The town of Serres achieved the record for the largest bougatsa on 1 June 2008. It weighed 250 kilos, was 20 metres long, 60 centimetres thick and was made by more than 40 bakers.[1]

The process of making bougatsa by hand was featured on an episode of Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations filmed in Greece.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Guinness World Records