With a location now in Royal Oak, the sugary tendrils of the Teftsis clan extend into the suburbs, but a trip to Greektown to sample the baklava, custard rolls and choureki (sweet egg bread) is a required introduction to the sweet confections of Astoria Pastry Ship.  This is where the story began, back in 1971, when George Teftsis, a Greektown barber, bought the bakery next to his shop where is wife worked and has spend the last thirty-eight years as the central location for European pastry in the famed ethnic neighborhood.

Son Tasso, now at the helm of the operation, remembers the years of hard work to shore up Astoria’s peerless reputation, but also admits that the sixteen hour days were responsible for all of his life’s high points:  “I met my wife here,” he recalls fondly, “and all my close friends.  Sometimes we stand outside and look at the place, just considering how important a key to our lives it has become.”

Astoria is known far beyond the confines of Detroit, as pictures on the wall indicate.  Tasso recalls his encounter with Food Network legend Emeril Legasse.  “He kidded me about my name,” Tasso laughs.  “I had no idea that tasso is also a kind of cajun ham.” 

The quality of the fare is a major part of Astoria’s reputation, but there’s an x-factor as well, one that Tasso claims is inherent in the Greek personality.  A native of Thessalonniki who came to the United States at the age of six, Tasso sums up the Greek character in a single word:  Hospitality.  “You won’t walk into a Greek household without being treated like a member of the family; a plate of pastry and a cup of coffee will appear, almost magically, the moment you sit down.  I think that’s one of the reasons that Greeks have been so successful in the restaurant business—people just naturally feel comfortable in an environment run by Greeks.”

Astoria Pastry Shop
541 Monroe St
Detroit, MI 48226-2932
Phone: (313) 963-9603


Bill Damas
Nick & Dean Becharas
Tom Giftos
Leo Stassinopoulos
John Hantz
Dr. Dimitri Pallas
Tasso Teftsis
Chris Chelios
Chuck Carson