The number of tourists Greece receives each year exceeds its native population. The country’s capital, Athens, booms with historical landmarks and monuments. However, if you are looking for a getaway to fulfill your sweet tooth cravings, Athens has a lot to offer in that department as well. Whether you are getting over a break up, recovering from personal injuries, grieving over a loss, or looking for happiness, you know that desserts help!
Book your tickets and pack your bags, because Athens’ confectionaries will blow your mind. Visit these places and forget about all your sorrows:
1. Da Vinci Gelato
This place makes the best artisan gelato in the world. I could eat here all day and every day, but never get bored because they have an abundance of flavors and each of them tastes divine. It is nothing like any other frozen dessert you’ve eaten before, because it tastes a hundred times better than your average ice cream. The intense favors, soft texture, and fresh ingredients will leave you refreshed, and you won’t resist coming back for seconds.
Da Vinci serves desserts based on traditional Mediterranean recipes, with fresh and organic ingredients every day. Their exclusive gelato is completely free of artificial flavoring and preservatives, which makes it heavenly. My favorites are the classic milk chocolate, cheesecake forest fruits, white brownie, and Kaimaki. You must also try their ‘funky milkshakes’ because they look amazing and taste out of this world.
2. Nancy’s Pastry Shop
This confectionary located near the Monastiraki Square in Athens is a paradise for chocoholics. They also serve an excellent array of coffee and the extensive range of desserts is overwhelming. The place itself gives off a very vintage vibe and its sophistication is fitting for every occasion. Most of the sweet dishes have a unique background story, and so does the owner of this establishment.
Nancy is a self-taught cook who studied Italian literature and art history. She learned the art of sweets from her grandmother and later it became her passion. The shop’s most famous desert is called “Sweet of Love,” which is basically a chocolate pie with hot chocolate and praline. I am personally a fan of their ‘white chocolate nest’ and ‘Raspberry cake’.
‘Lokma’ are an ancient pastry of Greek origin, and are often referred to as ‘Greek Donuts’. They are bite sized dough balls, traditionally made from flour, dry yeast, water, and starch. Once fried and fluffy, they are drizzled with cinnamon and Greek honey. Lukumades in Athens is a modern bistro that serves the traditional pastry with a cup of coffee or tea.
The people at Lukumades have maintained the original recipe, but added their signature twists to enhance customer experience. The pastry is available with a variety of injected fillings and toppings. You can also order the lokma with scoops of your favorite gelato/ice cream. It is a delightful form of dessert and people from every age group love it.
Cake is a small bakery situated at the heart of Athens and is popular for its American style desserts. Their generous collection of cakes and cupcakes are simply mouthwatering; also, they have a couple of extraordinary recipes that are limited to the holiday season. It’s a genuinely cozy place and you will dig it if ‘cake’ is life to you (and that’s the way it should be).
Their Red velvet cake is delightful and the Salted Caramel cake is to die for; both are among the best layered cakes you shall ever come across in a lifetime. Pumpkin pie is their specialty, which is available from Thanksgiving to New Year. If you are a kid at heart, you will particularly adore the assortment of cupcakes. They also have a few savory options to pair with; a different soup is served each day.
This exquisite pastry shop downtown will welcome you with picture perfect brioche, profiteroles, and ice cream. It is a small business with limited options on the menu, though each and every thing is a must-have. Every food item is a beautiful combination of traditional recipes and modern day elements. You can taste the quality and authenticity in every bite, which is all that matters at the end of the day.
Choureal is a patisserie that has its roots in France. They represent the traditional ‘choux’ dough, which gave rise to the much-loved profiteroles. The chefs in here have mastered the art of profiteroles and prepare them live for the customer; the aroma of freshly baked choux is astounding. It is indeed a one-of-a-kind experience; the fresh and personalized pastry is highly satisfying. You can also select a creamy filling of your choice or go for handmade ice cream.
The people at Choureal sure know their chocolate, which nicely compliments the choux pastry; add their Madagascar vanilla cream to the mix to twofold the delight. Their handmade ice-cream is rich, velvety, and full of flavor; I highly recommend their éclair and paris-brest as well.
Zuccherino has been in the dessert business for a long time and has several shops across Athens. They showcase the widest range of hand crafted chocolate, cakes, tarts, ice cream, pastries, and other traditional sweets. The business also provides catering services to cover large events like weddings and birthday parties. Their menu enlists several awesome savory options too.
Every item on the menu overflows with creativity and innovation, thanks to the veteran chefs. Old recipes are reinvented into epic concoctions, using a modern touch to enchant our taste buds. The presentation of every confection is magnificent and the high quality of ingredients shows. Zuccherino features a number of gluten free and sugar free desserts, which are equally scrumptious; try the tiramisu and chocolate mousse. Although everything created by these people is otherworldly, I would like to mention their ‘Vaflaki Mosaic’ and ‘Ruby Ice Bomb’.
8. Le Greche
Le Greche is another great place for ice cream that spoils you with the extraordinary variety of flavors. Many call it the top spot for original gelato, and their portions are quite generous compared to others. Their cakes, pastries, and ice cream sandwiches are just as good; also, they brew excellent espresso. This is the place to be to when you’re longing for something sweet after lunch or dinner. Their pistachio flavored gelato and sorbets are exquisite.
9. Ohh Boy
Ohh boy is a cheerful place to stop by with your pet. This retro style café serves a handful of tasty snacks and desserts. It is an ideal place to sit down and work with a cup of coffee and carrot cake; they have excellent Wi-Fi and multiple power outlets for the customers, which makes it all the more convenient.
The place is celebrated for its outstanding vegan desserts, banoffee, and tantalizing smoothies. They play good music and the staff is super friendly as well. Do not refrain from trying out their burgers, sandwiches, or apple pie either.
10. Kokkini Svoura
This is a funky cafe-bar that is great for visiting with friends on a weekend. The place is not particularly known for its sweets, but I would say it is underrated. The contemporary atmosphere and décor is charming, and there are three separate menus for ‘day’, ‘brunch’, and ‘evening’. There are some marvelous dessert options on the day and brunch menus.
The place is largely popular among millennials for featuring live bands, standups, art exhibitions, and similar events. Their homemade cookies, granola yogurt, and giant muffin must be on your to-do list.