To say that Athens offers plentiful choice when it comes to desserts would be an understatement. The Greek capital is full of unique dessert cafés and pâtisseries to satisfy your sweet tooth, whether that be with traditional kataifi or indulgent cheesecake.
Enjoy delicious vegan desserts at Ohh Boy | Courtesy of Ohh Boy
Despite not being exclusively a dessert spot, Scandinavian-style bistro Ohh Boy more than deserves a mention. The reason? Their sumptuous vegan desserts that will make you re-think whatever presumptions you might have. Furthermore, the spot has become a hotspot for remote working. “I love that it’s pet-friendly, and you can see people come to buy coffee with their dogs,” says James, an Australian living in Athens. “I also recommend it for working since it has power outlets at every table, so it’s easy to plug in your laptop and work from there.”
Ta Serbetia Stou Psyrri is known for its signature dondurma ice cream | Courtesy of Ta Serbetia Stou Psyrri
An Athenian classic, beloved among locals and visitors alike, Ta Serbetia Stou Psyrri will transport you back to the ‘60s with its unique design. In this retro shop, you’ll find traditional Greek and Turkish sweets, as well as their signature dondurma ice cream – Turkish ice cream with a near-chewy consistency, made with mastic, a plant resin. Just don’t forget to wash it down with a hot cup of Turkish coffee for the full experience!
A relatively new entry onto the Athenian dessert scene, Sorolop is a bakery and dessert shop on the edge of the Exarchia neighbourhood. Some of their specialities include homemade ice cream, traditional brioche-esque tsoureki with chocolate, and irresistible choux à la crème with hot cocoa. Perfect for a short break after you’re done touring edgy Exarchia – famed for counterculture and street art.
I Stani has been a key player on the Athens dessert scene since the 1930s | Courtesy of I Stani
Literally translated as ‘the sheep pen’, this traditional milk bar has been a central Athens institution since the 1930s. As you might have guessed, milk-based desserts are their absolute speciality. Their original recipes contain beneficial bacteria that make their products suitable even for those with a lactose intolerance. Try their trademark rizogalo (rice with cream and cinnamon) or yoghurt with Greek honey.
“It’s an adorable, tiny dessert shop in the centre of Kolonaki, with incredible homemade treats. Cheesecake is their home speciality. If you are in the area and you only get one shot at trying their recipes, go for the Oreo cheesecake. Everyone loves it, and you’ll definitely come back for more next time you’re in Athens,” says Efi, a local food blogger, of pâtisserie Kybélē. A sweet treat from here is the perfect reward after climbing nearby Lycabettus Hill or strolling through the National Garden.
Choureal opened in Athens in 2019, after success in Thessaloniki | Courtesy of Choureal
After opening in Greece’s second city, Thessaloniki, several years prior, in 2019 Choureal burst onto the Athens dessert scene with its unparalleled passion for profiterole-making. As the name suggests, choux pastry is the order of the day here, and the tantalising smell of freshly baked choux is the first thing you’ll notice when you arrive. You can choose from a wide selection of toppings, creams and fillings to create your dream dessert.
Set on a corner at the western end of Ermou Street, Full Spoon has made a name for itself by focussing on their homemade classics: profiteroles, sweet bread (tsoureki), strawberry trifle and ice cream. “If you are an indecisive person, this isn’t the place for you. There are so many things to choose from, and all of them are fresh and tasty,” says Chris, a local shop owner. “I’ve been there many times, and I’ve yet to try everything. However, my recommendation is the tsoureki with ice cream. Thank me later!”
With a number of locations across the city, Zucccherino has been an Athens dessert staple for more than 30 years, and is particularly famous for its positively epic ice creams. “For me, ice cream is the whole world. I honestly believe that it is the best dessert one can eat: it’s tastier and healthier than other sweets,” says Elissavet, co-owner of Zuccherino. If you’re passing by Monastiraki (or any of Zuccherino’s other locations), stop by for a scoop of pistachio ice cream made with nuts from the island of Aegina, or decadent pavlova ice cream with pieces of meringue.
Located a little further out of the centre, Chara (meaning ‘happiness’ in Greek) has been a legendary dessert spot since the ’70s and ’80s. But you don’t need us to tell you: everything from the sepia walls, the old-fashioned logo and their vintage menu will make you feel like you’ve been transported back in time. Chara remains an all-time classic and is famed for its house specialties: ‘Chicago’ ice-cream, decadent chocolate ice cream with whipped cream, chocolate syrup and almonds; and ekmek kataifi, a syrupy shredded phyllo base layered with custard and topped with cream and nuts.