Do you remember the two things that made summer when you were a kid? The beach and ice cream! So, what else could possibly come to mind when talking about the Greek summer? And as we’re just a little bit gourmet, don’t think we’re going to talk about just any old ice cream. Nope, we’re here to tell you about the most original gelatos and ice creams of Athens.
(Mitropoleos 16, Syntagma)
Let’s start right in the heart of the city, at Le Greche, one of the classic ice cream stops in Athens. The pistachio ice cream is exceptional but this isn’t the only flavour we can recommend. Cioccolato Prugne Rum is an amazing combo you won’t forget in a hurry.
(Voulis 17, Syntagma)
Just next door is Oggi, where you’ll find the classic Italian recipe combining egg yolk, lemon and wine, Cream All’Uovo. It’s not just the quality of the raw materials and the respect they are given during the production process, but the genius (it is, right!?) combination of ingredients. It more than lives up to its reputation!
(Voulis 23, Syntagma)
Between these two, you’ll find Dickie Dee and its ever-popular tsoureki (sweat bread) ice cream (you couldn’t get a more ‘comfort food’ ice cream in Athens if you tried), which goes perfectly with toppings of Nutella and crushed pistachio. But don’t leave without considering the cinnamon with raisins and Cretan raki ice cream – balanced and super special at the same time.
Βon Βon Fait Maison
(Petraki 30, Monastiraki)
Where to begin at Bon Bon, on the pavement of Petraki St in Monastiraki? The quality of the ice cream-making process is evident in all the flavours, but a particularly successful combination is tahini with honey, which is a little like pasteli (a sesame seed and honey bar). Its adaptation in an ice cream is highly addictive – and of course totally refreshing!
(Sellei 4, Plaka)
A classic Athens ice cream spot (along with the mandatory ice cream photo walking in the narrow streets of Plaka), with authentic Italian ice creams using only fresh and pure ingredients that are 100% Greek. Choose your cone: simple or coated with chocolate, nuts or sprinkles. And then decide which flavour (or rather, flavours) you want … all the Greek classics such as Yogurt and honey or fruit, Kataifi and mastiha along with international twists such as Italian cream or Argentinian caramel. Perfect for strolling around Plaka and Anafiotika.
(Protogenous 2, Psyrri)
If you’re in Psyrri (the neighbourhood just below Monastiraki) and you get an ice cream urge, head to Kokkion. Highly recommended are mascarpone, Bergamot and Petimezi (grape must) flavours. How much do you want to bet you’ll be enjoying your first lick before stepping onto the street?
(Dorileou 2, Mavili Square)
Epic by name, epic by nature. The flavours of Greece that will be amongst your most cherished memories when you return home all come together at Epik Gelato. Whatever ice creams they produce are made from milk from a monastery in Corinth. For a taste of what to expect, some of the ice creams you’ll enjoy as you’re transported around Greece are Kaimaki from goat’s milk, salep from Epirus and mastic from Chios, Triantafilo with rose water, rose ‘spoon sweet’ preserve and loukoumi – similar to Turkish delight - from Syros and fig ice cream (made with Katiki Domokou (a kind of cottage cheese) and ‘spoon sweet’ preserve from Ikaria.
(Veikou 15, Koukaki)
Focusing on the best possible ingredients, Django specialises in delicious single-flavour ice creams in one of Athens’ most popular downtown neighbourhoods, Koukaki (near the Acropolis). The ice creams are made right in front of your eyes, but that won’t impress you as much as the flavour. Amongst the few combination flavours is chocolate sorbet with Chili – a no-brainer when you think about it, especially if you like spicy food and even if you’re not much of a chocolate ice cream fan. You’ll also find a Django on Syros.
(Archelaou 17, Pangrati)
In Pangrati, you’ll find Maraboo, which (amongst other flavours) serves an excellent cherry ice cream. All of the goodness of fresh cherries is captured in the essence Greek summer. But we can’t not mention the combination of anthotyro (a mild, soft cheese), wine and raisins, a rare and inventive ice cream. It’s reason enough to discover Pangrati, one of the up-and-coming neighbourhoods of Athens.
(Eftichidou 41, Pangrati)
Probably the oldest and most traditional of all the Athens ice cream spots highlighted here, with a real feeling of a neighbourhood confectionery store (ice creams are just one of the sweets on sale). Toula is also in Pangrati and is famous for its mustard ice cream – although the mustard relates to the colour, not the taste. But if you’re thinking that it’s the name that’s behind the reputation, you’re mistaken! It’s a particularly memorable combination of ingredients (rose water, caramel and vanilla) that has seen Toula’s Mustard ice cream appear in the New York Times, long before ice cream was cool in Athens!
Cats & Monsters
(Patousa 4, Exarhia)
Lastly, a choice for vegans (and anyone who fancies tasting something different and super creative). At Cats & Monsters, in the cool neighbourhood of Exarhia in downtown Athens, they make their ice creams from soya milk, oat milk, rice milk and almond milk. The flavours change according to the seasonality of the ingredients. So imagine trying ice creams such as pear and feta, lemon cheesecake and yogurt with honey (made without a trace of yogurt)? It’s a must for all vegans visiting Athens.
The coolest ice cream spots in Athens
So there you have it – 11 awesome ice cream spots in Athens for an unmissable taste of summer. They might not be what draws you to Athens in the first place, but they might just be the reason you want to return!
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