When visiting a Greek bakery, you may find yourself torn between choosing spanakopita or tiropita. However, when it comes to satisfying your sweet tooth, “Bougatsa” simplifies the decision-making process. It’s no wonder this traditional Greek pie has earned the 4th place spot on Taste Atlas’s “Top 100 Best Breakfasts in the World.

Indeed, it’s rare to find someone who doesn’t enjoy Bougatsa, a pastry whose name originates from the Byzantine Greek word “πογάτσα” (pogátsa), derived from the ancient Roman phrase “pānis focācius,” meaning “hearth bread,” which ultimately led to the contemporary Italian focaccia.

Brought by Greek refugees fleeing Constantinople in the early 1920s, Bougatsa found its original homes in the regions of Northern Greece and Central Macedonia, with Thessaloniki and Serres being its primary locations. Today, this delicious custard pie can be found throughout Greece, prepared in various ways. Options can vary between “bougatsa cream,” “bougatsa cheese,” and others.

Bougatsa cream, as selected by Taste Atlas, consists primarily of two main ingredients: phyllo (thin dough) and semolina custard, topped with sugar and cinnamon.

In the Taste Atlas ranking, the top three breakfast selections include Roti canai, a traditional pan-fried flatbread from Malaysia, taking first place, followed by the Serbian komplet lepinja, a flatbread cut in half, layered with thick cream (kajmak), and topped with an egg. Finally Brazilian pão de queijo (cheese bread) claimed the third spot, just ahead of Bougatsa.”