Pastistakia, pampiloni, soumada, pastelaries, amygdalota, nougatines, pastelia, and kaltsounia: familiar and unfamiliar words, yet brimming with sweetness, tradition, and passion. These terms represent the sweet side of Andros‘ cuisine, holding a special place in its culinary tapestry. Traditional sweets and treats – primarily almond-based or made from the island’s fertile land’s bounty – become the delightful notes of an trip to this unique Cycladic island and a stroll through its noble main town, Chora.


Andros’ confectionery has centuries-old history, with roots stretching back to the Venetian era. Like the island itself, it marries the islander charm with the cosmopolitan edge, local authenticity with the sophistication brought by sailors, merchants, and shipowners returning to the island. This explains why the pioneering confectioners of Andros, often learning their craft beyond Greek borders, didn’t just bring traditional sweets to the island, but also innovative ideas to cater to the refined palate of the urban class. Thankfully for us, their art remains alive, as does the Andriots’ love for exquisite sweets.

Try these in the island’s historic patisseries, where recipes are passed down from generation to generation. Indulge in them in cafes, alongside locals and visitors alike, and of course, stock up for your return to the city and until your next trip to the stately Andros. There’s no sugarcoating it – these sweets are worth every calorie!

Laskaris Patisserie

If, during your leisurely stroll through Chora, your senses are suddenly hijacked by the irresistible aroma of fresh butter and some heavenly concoction that seems to be fresh from the oven, you’re most likely skirting the historic Laskaris Patisserie. Perhaps they are just pulling a batch of kourabiedes from the oven. Yes, kourabiedes all year round, and with a taste so divine, you won’t care a jot that it’s not their ‘season’. Crafted with the freshest of ingredients and local Andros almonds, they become an irresistible temptation even in the height of summer. They are prepared, like all their sweets, in the workshop beneath their splendid shop, adorned with elegant wooden decor. Operating since 1906, the store is now steered by the family’s fourth generation.

Here, you’ll find the freshest pastitsakia—fluffy round almond sweets with meringue, ground almonds, and bitter almonds that leave an exquisite aromatic aftertaste. You’ll also find classic almond sweets, sprinkled with orange blossom water and wrapped in a sweet cloud of icing sugar, and kaltsoúnia rich in local walnuts and honey. The ‘pampilóni’—those large Andros citrus fruits that bear an uncanny resemblance to quinces—are sourced from local producers to craft a spoon-sweet treat that’s so fragrant, you’ll find it hard to get enough. Load up your supplies in handy metal tins, wrapped in charmingly old-fashioned papers, but before you depart, cast your eyes to the modestly displayed frame above the display cases. It features the gold award that Laskaris Sweet Shop won at the 1935 Thessaloniki International Fair for their exceptional sweets.

Lygizos Patisserie

An establishment synonymous with the sweet history of the island, Lygizos Patisserie is an eye-catcher. Its marble mosaic exterior proudly proclaims “Athenaikon” – a nod, no doubt, to the sophistication of the Greek capital. The owner and pastry chef, Mr. Lygizos, is a man with many tales to tell. Among them is the story of how the shop, in its day, was so avant-garde that it echoed the chic allure of Athenian establishments – hence the mosaic, which has been lovingly preserved.

Another captivating tale we were regaled with here is essentially the genesis of the island’s patisserie tradition. We learnt about Dimitris Galanos, who having mastered the art of pastry making at the “Athenaios” patisserie in Alexandria, Egypt, subsequently set up his own patisserie workshop on the island, introducing novel sweet delights that left the islanders craving for more.

Lygizos Patisserie pays homage to these authentic recipes, where each pastry vies with the next for taste supremacy. These are not your run-of-the-mill pastries; they’re unique, light, with almonds as a perennial guest star. The now classic island treat, Nougatina, is feather-light and scrumptious, featuring almond meringues with a superb patisserie cream nestled between, all adorned with a rosette of whipped cream and a cherry on top. The Almondou is an airy pyramid bursting with flavor, while the Glaso is essentially the traditional Andriotic wedding cake, with a light cream and a coating of white icing. Try them all, and then swing by again for the refreshing almond ice cream, only available in the summer months, and made from fresh, local milk.

Chora Cafés: Savor Your Sweet with a Refreshing Soumada

On the marble-paved Kairi Square in front of the coveted Archaeological Museum, Dimitris Galanos had opened his patisserie, where today stands Ermis café-patisserie. Locals and tourists alike enjoy their coffee and sweets on colorful cushions, under the cool shade of mulberry trees. Grab a spot, people-watch, cool down with a homemade sour cherry drink or a soumada – a local drink of almond pulp and sugar diluted with water, traditionally offered at weddings and baptisms – and pair it with a variety of tasty kaltsounia, almond sweets, and pastitsakia to sample all the traditional flavors at once.

A little further up, on the main pedestrian street of Chora, the Galanos Patisserie owner takes rightful pride in the soumada he prepares in his workshop. Those in the know place their orders in good time, but never miss a stop for a chat and a fresh, traditional pastry. You will sit among them, either indoors, admiring the old photographs on the walls of Mr. Galanos’ grandfather in his workshop, or outside at the corner tables, savouring the aromatic soumada of course with pastitsakia for a more intense almond aftertaste.

Three stores on the central promenade offer a myriad of local delicacies, from cheese and capers to honey and herbs, and of course, a vast assortment of handmade sweets. At Rodozahari, a name that harks back to the island’s almond sweets, the lady with the gigantic pampilonia in the large black-and-white photograph is none other than the owner’s grandmother, who crafts the spoon sweets and jams you’ll find here. Produced in small batches, as the fruits are sourced from family-owned estates, they are the epitome of homemade sweets. Their pastelia, packaged in little jars, purely made with honey and walnuts, are an incredible healthful snack for all hours.

The ‘Paradosiako’ food store brims with a cornucopia of both sweet and savoury delights, all expertly crafted in the humble workshop at the back of this deceptively diminutive establishment. Handmade pasta, dehydrated on-site, sits cheek by jowl with tangy chutneys and tomato sauces, spoon sweets and their jam counterparts, handmade nut butters, lemon-flavoured Turkish delights, and in-house liqueurs flaunting rose, mastic, banana and lemon flavours. The store’s own honey, from their bees in Vóri and Batsí, and irresistibly delicious cinnamon, bergamot or orange cookies – so tantalisingly fragrant you’ll be led by your nose into the shop if you happen to pass by during baking hour – are just a taste of what’s on offer. Let’s not forget their celebrated pastelaries: dried figs stuffed with walnuts, cinnamon, and sesame inside and out, all wrapped in bay leaves for that extra aromatic kick.

And do make a point to stop by the chic Andros Amorgion, the Andriot branch of the Amorgian chain, a veritable showcase of Cycladic products. The store is practically halved by an impressive array of multiple award-winning drinks from Amorgos, certain to surprise you with their variety and originality. Tsikoudia with saffron, prickly pear tequila, tsipouro, acclaimed ouzo, sundried organic wine, and the new sweet drink “Endless Blue” with raki, herbs grown by the sea, and a striking natural blue colour derived from blue algae. The delectable offerings from Andros include exceptional honeys – thyme, heather, alder – and beeswax, handmade pure spoon sweets and jams from the Batsi Women’s Cooperative, concentrated lemonades with or without sugar from the region’s exceptionally aromatic lemons, Androps tsipouro or ouzo, and organic wines from the island’s two wineries. Among the Cycladic and native varieties, it’s well worth trying the red Mavrotragano and white Potamisi from Kourtesis Winery, and the dry rosé Koumari from the Mastori family.

Whichever of the above flavours you decide to sample, paired with the rich gastronomy of Andros, you’re assured a gourmet experience par excellence and will have found an extra reason to return to this beautiful Cycladic island. No pressure, though. Just food for thought.

Read also:

Andros: Accommodation on this Unique Cycladic Island

The Beaches of Andros’ Enchanting Cycladic Coastline

Coffee and Drinks on the Cycladic Island of Andros