Nowadays, panacotta and chocolate soufflé are more common than still water in restaurants, but if there’s a wider choice of deserts, go for the ones with the long names. Galaktompoureko is a delicious type of cream pie with syrup, which is best served warm. Rizogalo is a rice pudding with cinnamon sprinkled on top and ipovrihio is a spoonful of the white soft mastiha dipped in cold water, a typical summer favourite. If you’re into fruits and really sweet deserts then don’t miss the traditional spoon-sweets (gliko tou koutaliou). Mount Pelio in central Greece is the main origin of these but each area of the country has its own favourite. Try rose (triantafyllo), grapes (stafyli), fig (siko), cherry (kerasi) or quince (kidoni). Some restaurants put spoon-sweets over yoghurt or ice cream – yum.
Greek brands can be found outside kiosks (Delta, Evga) and in many cafés, but family-business Kayak is by far the best. They’ve excelled in originality with flavours such as mojito, mango with ginger and jasmine and lemongrass.
- 10 Kassaveti & Kiriazi, 210 8014329 / Train: Kifisia
The only Kayak store is in the northern Kifisia suburb, but you can also find it in Filion café (34 Skoufa, Kolonaki), Degustation deli (5 Koumbari, Kolonaki, 210 3627744), as well as in selected delis (Vasilopoulos, see delis) and restaurants.
Stelios Parliaros – Sweet Alchemy
- 24 Irodotou street, Kolonaki, 210 7240205 / Metro: Evangelismos
Famous and beloved patissier Stelios Parliaros has worked his magic again in this store where one can find his trademark chocolate in all its forms (white, milk, black, rounded, plaques), but also jams, biscuits, ginger sticks covered in raw sugar and other yummy delicacies.
- 12 Kriezotou, Kolonaki, 210 3625003 / Metro: Syntagma
Ice cream and other amazing sweets can be found in this small store where deserts fly off the shelves. The honey and champagne cream gateaux is just amazing.
- 9 Karagiorgi Servias, Syntagma, 210 3220546 / Metro: Syntagma
For traditional chocolate lovers, head towards where you’ll have to make difficult decisions such as choosing between screw-shaped dark chocolates and plums dipped in cocoa.
- 11 Levidou street, Kifisia, 210 / ISAP train: Kifisia
It is worth coming all the way to Kifisia just to try the original American cupcakes in mouth-watering flavours at a beautiful, serene café. Ingredients are imported from the United States to ensure the authenticity of the flavour!
Known since 1922 as the market for “Anatolian” products, atmospheric Evripidou Street, behind Omonia square, remains today the spice shop district. Here you can find any herb under the Greek sun, like oregano, basil and mountain tea at bargain prices. The scarcity of water during the summer means the odour or Greek herbs is distinctly intense and spice up any ingredient you throw it in the casserole.
- 31-33, Evripidou, 210 3217225, Metro: Omonia
It has native and Asian herbs, such as thyme, marjoram, cloves, cinnamon, fennel, curry and many tea varieties, while next door is the place to find cured beef and ham, as well as honey and vinegar. Join the curious passers by and take the time to stop and ask information on your favourite spices, open boxes and discover the ones you like best. Apart from the spice shops, the large concentration of immigrants in the area gives you a glimpse of the big demographic change of the inner city during the past decade. The area around has become the commercial centre of the Chinese, Indian and Pakistani communities.