• Where to

Olympos Bakery, a landmark in Lowell's Acre neighborhood, owned by Alethia Papanastassiou.

Papanastassiou grew up playing "Monkey in the Middle" while her parents ran the shop, opened by her great-grandfather in 1915.

"Makes me feel good knowing this is something my great-grandfather opened and I'm keeping it going."

  • What for

Traditional Greek and Italian pastries. Looking for something a little more savory? Olympos also serves oversized salads, sandwiches (try the Italian, made with genoa salami, cooked salami, mortadella and cheese), calzones and beach-style pizzas. And don't forget about the bakery's famous Grilled Ham and Cheese, a menu mainstay since the early 1900s, still made on an old-fashioned Greek panini press.


  • The scene

Seven seats line the bakery's counter and face out the window to Broadway Street. The shop offers counter service only and local delivery for orders $15 or more. Menus line the wall behind the register but it's hard to get your eyes to focus on anything but the pastry-filled bakery cases and shelves of large, crusty bread loaves.

  • What you're eating

The real question is, what aren't you eating? The traditional Greek Baklava at Olympos is still made with the syrup recipe passed down by Papanastassiou's great-grandmother. And if Greek fare is your thing, you're also ordering Kourambiethes (Greek cookies covered in powdered sugar) and Spinach Pie. Italian sweets include Lobster Tails (overflowing with homemade whipped cream and ricotta) and Cannolis filled to order. Don't let the jar of empty cannoli shells fool you; they can pretty much be filled with anything you want.

  • Who you'll see

Olympos is busiest from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., but sees a wide variety of clientele throughout the day. It wouldn't be unusual to catch a group of City Hall employees or emergency responders waiting for Baklava next to members of the Acre's Greek community.

Olympos Bakery, 214 Broadway St., Lowell, 978-452-3366, olymposbakery.com. Open Mon.-Fri., 8 a.m.-7 p.m., Saturday, 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Closed Sunday.