A new wave of sweet shops is spreading throughout the capital. Fresh and innovative ideas have been combined with quality, in-season ingredients over a traditional base.
In Love Again, in the city
In Love Again, launched early September, is the new sweet-shop venture of popular Athens bar Baba Au Rum. The new sweet shop could well be described as a concept store serving quality coffee and sweets inspired by popular cocktails. Its Mai Tai tart is made with vanilla biscuit, lime cream, bitter almond meringue and bergamot aromas; the Zombie profiterole includes fluffy choux pieces filled with aged-rum flavoured cream, white chocolate, pomegranate icing, grapefruit marmalade and pineapple; and the Piña Colada cheesecake includes coconut cream, a crunchy biscuit base and pineapple pieces for decoration.
Also among the selections, the rum baba, cake saturated in liquor syrup, comes in two versions, either with vanilla or caramel and syrup made with passion fruit, orange and peaches. Also try the vegan bougatsa, pastry filled with cinnamon cream that is made with oat milk and Ios island honey. The confectionary shop’s menu is curated by chef Mihalis Nournoglou.
3 Kleitiou, Athens
Souit, in Paleo Faliro
Babis Zidilis spent years making enticing sweets at well-known restaurants in the city. Last year, he decided to open up his own boutique sweet shop in seaside Paleo Faliro, southern Athens. The irresistible aromas from inside the workshop float out to the shop’s tastefully designed space, with benches, bamboo-built display cabinets and multi-coloured wall painting. Selecting sweets here is made difficult by the impressive range. The dark chocolate mousse with butter caramel is highly enjoyable, the apple pie with butter caramel and almond cream is one of my favourites, while the crème brulée with passion fruit is delicious, not to mention the karydopita (walnut cake) and baklava. These are just some of the sweets that may be enjoyed at the shop or as takeaway. Zidilis constantly works on new recipes based on in-season fruit.
47 Terpsitheas, Paleo Faliro, tel. +30 2109886192
Ourse in Ano Glyfada
This place began spreading its tantalising aromas around the Ano Glyfada district in southern Athens early last winter. The stylish shop of simple design, whose display cabinets are always filled with many choices, makes sweets based on French principles, in other words, it uses plenty of butter, fusing this approach with Greek character as virtually all ingredients used are supplied domestically by small-scale producers. Two self-declared dessert aficionados, confectioner Vicky Dalagianni and chef Stefanos Tsoukalas, are behind the venture. They have been joined by pastry chef Spyros Pediaditakis, best-known for his work at the Michelin-starred Spondi restaurant in Athens. Options here include Flan Parisién, one of the most renowned Parisian sweets, made with thick cream flavoured with the sweet aroma of real Madagascar vanilla; Paris-Brest, choux puff pastry filled with pistachio praline cream, pistachio flavoured ganache, and pistachio crumble; as well as Aegina pistachio flavoured tart, prepared in four different versions. Other choices include macarons in many flavours, irresistible candy chocolate, homemade ice cream as well as apple pie, which you should definitely try, if you find.
39 Mystra, Ano Glyfada, tel. +30 2121067019
Kokakias, in Kolonaki
This small cult-status shop makes renowned chocolate cream puffs (kok), made with syrupy spongecake, soft cream and chocolate icing, hence its business name. This classic Greek sweet is made the classic way, as described, as well as in a variety of tweaked versions, curated by Manolis Stithos, pastry chef at Funky Gourmet. They include the Red velvet kok with Madagascar vanilla flavoured whipped cream and red fruit; as well as the Ferrero kok with Ferrero chocolate. The spot also makes other interesting creations such as profiteroles, which, instead of choux, are made with a kok base, hazelnut praline and dark chocolate cream.
48-50 Patriarhou Ioakeim, tel. +30 2107243000