Boubouki – Amazing Homemade Greek Pastries at Essex Street Market

Essex Street Market is one of my favorite places in the Lower Eastside.  It’s a closed air market with all sorts of mom and pop vendors.  This is something that you do not really find in Manhattan, it’s very unique and reminds me of something you might find in Asia or Europe.

There are several vendors here such as Shopsin’s (restaurant), Roni Sue’s (chocolate shop) and Saxeby Cheesemongers (cheese shop) that serve great product and I plan on writing about all of them over time.  However, my first post is going to be on Boubouki, which is probably my favorite vendor in Essex Street Market.

Boubouki is a tiny stall that is basically just a kitchen that is probably 10×10 at biggest.  The owner is the only employee and she specializes in various Greek pastries.  She is very nice and you can tell how much care is put into all of her wares and everything is baked fresh daily.

Here’s what I’ve tried:


This was a savory pastry made of phyllo dough filled with chopped spinach and feta cheese.  The phyllo dough was nicely crispy and the filling was great, the combo of spinach and feta went really well together.  I got it reasonably fresh and I’d imagine this would be really amazing straight out of the over.  Overall, while this was a simple pastry it was really good. 8.5/10

Pear Cake:

I really like pear desserts, so this was something I knew I was going to like.  It’s a simple cake with pears baked into the bottom of it and powdered sugar on top.  I thought the cake would be dense, but instead had a wonderful spongy consistency that was very moist and slightly crispy on the outside.  It was sweet, but not overly sweet and the pear and powdered sugar paired perfectly.  This was one of the better pastries I’ve had in a long time.  8.75/10


While I like baklava, it often ends up being a very sweet, sticky and heavy mess (maybe I just don’t know where to buy it).  However, the version here is different.  While it is sweet from the honey, it’s not too sweet and the honey is nicely liquid-y and not a sticky mess.  The phyllo dough was so good; it was light, flaky and delicious and the ground nut mixture was delicious as well.  This was probably the best baklava I’ve ever tried.  8.75/10

Almond Cookie:

The cookie was nicely crunchy, the chopped almonds complemented it well and the powdered sugar was the perfect complement to the cookie.  While it was very simple, it was quite good. 8/10

Carrot Cake:

This was not your normal American carrot cake.  It was more like banana bread except with carrots.  It had a spiced flavor similar to normal carrot cake, but it was lighter and not as dense.  I thought this was excellent. 8.5/10

Overall, I really like this place and I’m looking forward to trying more of her pastries.


120 Essex Street (between Delancey and Rivington)

New York, NY 10002

Souvlaki GR – Delicious Greek Food in the Lower Eastside

Souvlaki GR was originally a popular food truck that is still in operation.  However, they recently opened up a sit down restaurant in the Lower Eastside close to where I live.  I saw the truck parked on Stanton Street a little over a month ago and decided to grab some food from it, but it was closed.  However, I noticed the restaurant and decided this could be a great addition to the neighborhood, so we checked it out the other weekend.

The restaurant is a long thin restaurant that is painted all in white and blue and decorated to look like Greece.  I’ve never been to Greece, but the décor looks like something you see in one of those pictures in a travel magazine.  I really liked the décor; it doesn’t feel like the Lower Eastside at all and just feels very relaxing.

The service was a little disjointed as I think they were still trying to figure out all the logistics, but everyone was really nice and very apologetic when they realized we hadn’t been served.  It was a big deal and I thought the service was fine overall.

On to the food:


This was a platter consisting of warm pita bread with tzatziki taramousalata (caviar puree), hummus (mashed chickpea spread), melitanosalata (eggplant spread), tzatziki (yogurt sauce), kalamata olives and fries with oregano, salt and pepper.  The tzatziki taramousalata was caviar that is pureed with tzatziki (yogurt sauce), so it’s got a creamy flavor that is combined with a salty flavor from the caviar. The hummus was a good version; it was delicious, smooth and flavorful. Melitanosalata was mashed eggplant that was a bit sour almost like a relish; it was a refreshing change from the rest of the platter.  Tzatziki is delicious and the version here was a nice version.  Overall, I like these types of platters and everything tasted fresh and good.  7.75/10

Greek Fries:

This was French fries sprinkled with feta, oregano, salt and pepper.  I have no idea whether these are an American invention or something that is really eaten in Greece, but I really liked these as I love fries.  The fries were freshly fried and the combo of the feta, oregano, salt and pepper went really well together. It’s little hard to eat because the feta doesn’t stick that well to the fries, but overall I thought these were delicious.  8.25/10

Box of Stix:

This was a combo of grilled chicken and pork skewers with pita and tzatziki.  The skewers are the literally the same kind you get on any corner from street vendors in Manhattan, but they were much better quality.  The meat was tender and juicy and they were seasoned simply with oregano and salt.  Because of the simplicity of the seasoning you could really taste the chicken and pork flavors, which I liked.  They actually tasted similar to Japanese yakitori.  Overall, I liked these quite a bit. 8/10

Overall, it was a cool little place and I liked the food especially the fries.  It’s the type of place I could go fairly regularly for a casual lunch on the weekends.  I’d recommend trying it out.

116 Stanton St (between Ludlow St & Essex St)
Manhattan, NY 10002
(212) 777-0116