by Katherine Poseidon
Summer is already here in Athens, and for city dwellers there is one sure way to beat the heat that doesn’t involve going to the beach: ice cream. Searching for the best ice cream in Athens will leave you spoiled for choice, and very full if you want to sample everything, Here is a selection of some of the best ice cream offerings around the center. (And if you’re struck by indecision, make sure you ask to sample a few flavours!)
Frank Ze Paul, Patriarchou Ioakeim 15
This new addition to Kolonaki brings not only new pastry and sweet choices but also handmade and high quality ice cream to the scene. The ice cream is made fresh in the bakery’s warehouse in Drosia and then brought, with lots of other goodies, to various locations in Athens. Their most popular flavour is cheesecake (for good reason) but the limoncello and mille feuille flavours are also worth a try.
1.30 for one scoop in a cup
Konstantinidis, Stadiou 3
This Athenian tradition is now a Greek chain of Asia Minor-inspired sweet treats, but their ice cream does not disappoint either. Plus, they can offer you an insulated tub so you can stock up on your favourite flavours. My recommendations are pistachio and pomegranate yoghurt.
4.60 for two (big!) scoops to take away
Cremino, Nikis 50 & Kydathinaion
Cremino is tucked away in a tiny but charming corner of Nikis Street, where they dish out gelato-style flavours (the chocolate was especially creamy) as well as granita-type choices (I tried peach). Because the shop is so little, the ice cream is made in small batches and is thus very fresh – and it tastes like it too!
1.80 for two scoops in a cup
Magic Pleasure Store, Kolokotroni 3-5
This newcomer to the ice cream scene offers customisable ‘xylaki’ ice cream: vanilla ice cream coated with chocolate, on a stick. You choose the chocolate and a variety of toppings, including goji berries and hibiscus petals, which they spoon into the chocolate while it’s still warm. Super indulgent and a little over the top, they are incredibly delicious.
5 euros fixed price for one
Mattonnella, Ermou 82
A convenient and central location has not been an excuse for Mattonnella to sell average ice cream. This stuff is good. They have a selection of flavours, but an especially wide variety of chocolate – my favourite was Tartufo, like Ferrero Rocher but with rum. Hard to go wrong with choices like that, as well as Cassata, Amarena and a variety of fruity sorbets too. Plus once you have your ice cream in hand you can stand inside and watch the traffic of Monastiraki or head into the square yourself!
1.90 for one scoop in a cup
Yogolicious, 48 Adrianou
One of many FroYo places to pop up in Athens over the last couple of years, Yogolicious is my personal favourite. For the indecisive, like me, the self-serve system lets you pile on as many goodies as you’d like and then you pay by weight. With six flavours of yoghurt that rotate and tons of toppings (like dragon fruit, papaya, mango, chocolate covered almonds, marshmallow hearts) the combinations are endless. Plus, its location on Adrianou is also hard to beat.
Price by weight
Meliartos, Ermou 65 and Aiolou
This relatively recent addition to Ermou street offers a huge variety of sweet and savoury, traditional and innovative, but they know what they’re doing when it comes to ice cream. The pistachio flavour is perfect, and the Ferrero Rocher isn’t bad either. Plus they will let you try as many flavours as you’d like, and the location on Ermou offers a refreshing break from shopping, touring, or strolling.
1.50 for one scoop in a cup
Lukumades, Aiolou 21 & Agias Eirinis
For those less easily satisfied with traditional ice cream offerings, there is the old favourite, Lukumades, which has their own ice cream flavours (kazan dipi, karidopita, & kaimaki) that you can enjoy on their own or on top of loukoumades if you’re feeling extra indulgent. The loukoumades, kazan dipi ice cream, honey, almonds, and cinnamon combination is almost too good to be true. Almost.
4.50 for loukoumades with ice cream, honey, cinnamon, and almonds
Though it’s hard to imagine, if none of these quite hit the spot, you’re not out of luck yet. There is always the ever-dependable periptero with a box of ready-made choices! I recommend the Magic Bar (usually around 80 cents).