Athens is, yet again, in the throes of epic heat. How to cool down as a heatwave dubbed “Lucifer” sweeps the country? With the city’s best ice cream, of course. These four stores offer the best in Athenian ice cream, from fresh ingredients to innovative flavors. Let these sweet treats air condition your soul.
Mitropoleos 16, Athens; Apostolou Paulou 2, Agia Paraskevi; Likourgou 2, Neo Psychiko
Oft-cited as the best ice cream in Athens, Le Greche offers up to thirty flavors of authentic Italian gelato and a variety of gelato-based sweets (cannoli, anyone?). This establishment makes use of artisanal gelato-making techniques and the finest ingredients from various regions of Greece and Italy. Flavors that will steal your heart include baklava, pistachio, hazelnut, pavlova with chunks of meringue, and chocolate with chunks of Papadopoulou cookies.
Ermou 82, Athens
A mouthwatering cone of gelato, a prime location in the heart of Monastiraki, and a stunning view of the Acropolis? You can check all three at Mattonella (oh, and by the way, that cone is handmade). Their ice cream is made fresh daily with milk cream from cult dairy brand Farma Koukaki. They offer a colorful array of flavors, including a wide range of chocolates and fruit sorbets (and a particularly tasty soy milk gianduja). Patrons also champion their mint and fruit of the forest flavors.
Patision 339, Athens
Established in 1969, this legendary patisserie has captured many generations of Athenian hearts. As if the dreamy retro décor isn’t enough, it’s one of the few places in Athens where you can find a real ice cream soda. But the piece de resistance is their Chicago, a monstrous scoop of chocolate ice cream topped with whipped cream, chocolate syrup, a cookie, and a drizzling of grated almonds. Other highlights of their ice cream repertoire include the rose, tutti-frutti, and apricot jam flavors, and the Pasha (mastic-gum ice cream served atop baklava).
A. Papandreou 44, Halandri
Don’t let this gelaterie’s suburban location fool you—their ice cream won gold at the 2012 European Ice Cream Championship, surpassing even Italian gelato-makers. Solo Gelato concocts twenty-three flavors of 5% fat ice cream alongside gluten- and lactose-free options, and an array of handmade Greek and Italian sweets. If you’re feeling a wee bit special, treat yourself to a scoop of gianduja, dolce latte (caramel and butter), or white chocolate infused with rose. Complete it with an artisanal Italian coffee, and sit down to while the afternoon away—because who needs plans when you have gelato?