Ortsag: More than just Athenian street food


They say difficult names can create success because they are hard to forget.

Perhaps this is what Alexandros Tsiotinis had in mind when he decided with his two partners and chefs, Christos Rigas and Costas Baroutis, to open a street food shop diagonally across from the CTC restaurant in Kerameikos.

That's why they gave it the name Ortsag, which is basically the word gastro written backwards.


This new project of the three chefs focuses on burgers but also on the reduction of food waste from the CTC kitchen.

Ortsag, therefore, has two menus: one is fixed and contains five choices of burgers and the second - which changes periodically - is based on the creative exploitation of leftovers from the kitchen of the neighbouring Michelin-starred restaurant.

So, leftover corns not used for CTC's fantastic velouté are grilled here - after marinating in bergamot oil - and served with a lobster shell mayonnaise.

Other examples are the risotto, which becomes arancini, or miniature beef souvlakia with tartar sauce. In the latter, instead of a pita, they use the burger bread, but they have patted it and grilled it on the coals.

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Let's go to the burgers now and the main menu. First, let us tell you that the bread they use is a pain au lait (pan o le = bread made with milk), which is prepared by a neighbouring bakery.

Although it looks bulky, it's fluffy, with a light buttery aroma and a neutral taste that doesn't steal the show.

The cauliflower burger (yes cauliflower!) is grilled, has a curry mayonnaise that gives it all the flavour intensity, along with the cucumber kimchi (looks like a pickle) and hazelnuts that bind this seemingly difficult combination.

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The next burger we tried was the one with the perfectly breaded chicken in cornflakes. It is slightly spicy from the mix of spices they use and also from the spicy mayonnaise it has at its base. The arugula mayonnaise gives it colour and a cool touch that makes it more enjoyable.

Finally, the double smashed, which is also popular – and not without reason – in addition to the burger made from Black Angus ground beef, contains a dizzyingly delicious fried egg mayonnaise that will bewitch you with its taste—a reason to come back again.

We definitely did because we left things pending to try next time.

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This new street food project has taste, interest and a different philosophy. Elements that, together with its unusual name, make it stand out.

As for its prices, we will tell you that it is reasonable.

To all this, add its relaxed atmosphere, the ice cream with bacon syrup and caramelised popcorn, or the deconstructed galaktebouriko with lemongrass.



Kerameikos 93 – 95, Kerameikos, Athens tel. 210 3412 658
Prices: 10 – 15 euros

Vasilis Dimaras is a columnist for Olive Magazine.


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