Chill Out: This is the Best Ice Cream in Athens

by Katherine Poseidon

Summer in Athens can be intense, with endless sunny days and lots of tourist traffic. If you’re out sightseeing or just strolling through the city centre, a refreshing ice cream break is of the best things to do in Athens in the summer. After all, ice cream is on its way to clinching a place in the Greek food hall of fame!

Searching for the best ice cream in Athens will leave you spoiled for choice (and very full, if you want to sample everything on offer) so we have done the ‘difficult’ work for you and compiled a list of our favourites around the centre of Athens and a few beyond. 

(P.S. If you’re struck by indecision, don't forget to ask to sample a few flavours!)

#1 Konstantinidis - Classic Asia-Minor Inspired Tastes

Ice Cream display at a Konstantinidis store in Athens (Picture by theTravelPorter)

This Athenian tradition has become a chain of stores supplying Asia Minor-inspired sweet treats, but their ice cream does not disappoint either. You can get a scoop to go, or they can offer you an insulated tub so you can stock up on your favourite flavours. My recommendations are pistachio and pomegranate yoghurt. 

#2 Cremino - Creative, Small-Batch Flavours

Cremino is tucked away in a tiny but charming corner of Nikis Street in central Athens, where they dish out gelato-style flavours (the chocolate was especially creamy) as well as granita-type scoops. Because the shop is so little, the ice cream is made in small batches and so it’s super fresh, plus they are often experimenting with new and interesting flavours. The last time I passed by they had turmeric as the flavour of the day! 

#3 Mattonnella – Delicious Ice Cream in Monastiraki

One of the many chocolate varieties at Mattonella (Picture by Katherine Poseidon)

The convenient and central location has not comprised quality at Mattonnella – if you’re looking for a quick break near Monastiraki, 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 with your ice cream in hand, you can relax inside the shop and watch the traffic of Monastiraki, the bustling heart of Athens, go by outside the window.

Need a coffee break? Relax and refuel in one of downtown Athens' museums.

#4 Yogolicious – Build Your Own Frozen Greek Yoghurt

Yogolicious in the heart of Athens' historic centre (Picture via Foursquare by Timos T.)

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 Street is also hard to beat - take your yoghurt to go and stroll along the busy street. Taking in the people-watching is one of the cool things to do on a summer night in the city.

#5 Meliartos – A Sweet Stop in the Heart of Monastiraki

Meliartos, this central spot on 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. 

Here are some fun things to do around Monastiraki, besides the Acropolis!

#6 Lukumades- Way More Than Ice Cream!

Lukumades store, off Agias irinis square  - downtown Athens (Picture via Foursquare by Nhat Quang T.)

For those less easily satisfied with traditional ice cream offerings, there is the old favourite, Lukumades, which has their own ice cream flavours (kaimaki, kazan dipi, karidopita, kaimaki) that you can enjoy on their own or on top of loukoumades (aka traditional greek doughnuts) if you’re feeling extra indulgent, in a creative spin on the Greek classic. The loukoumades, kazan dipi ice cream, honey, almonds and cinnamon combination is almost too good to be true. Almost. 

#7 Le Greche – Real Gelato in the City

Gelato doesn't get much better than this (Picture by Katherine Poseidon) 

For the most authentic gelato in Athens, Le Greche is only in its second year but offers hand-made Italian-style gelato with local Greek ingredients and flavour inspirations. Its unassuming location on busy Mitropoleos Street makes it even more of a delicious oasis, with more than twenty flavours available everyday. The shop is open till late, so it offers a delicious and refreshing alternative for late night snacking.

  • Where: 16A Mitropoleos, Syntagma 
  • Closest Metro Station: Syntagma
  • Other Information:

Here are some fun things to do and see in Athens pre or post- ice cream happy hour! 

#8 Toula  - A Local Classic

Toula pastry shop has been around for a long long time... (Picture via Facebook)

For a tasty option a little outside the city centre, Toula in Pangrati is a family tradition with a loyal following. Their ‘claim to fame’ is mustard flavour ice cream (yes, you read that correctly, and no I have never tried it), but the rest of their flavours are both normal and delicious – especially the chocolate and kaimaki flavour. 

#9 Karaköy Güllüoglu - Kaimaki Flavour Ice Cream Direct from Istanbul

This store specialises in ‘Asia Minor’ style cuisine, catering to the tastes of the Greek population with origins in what is now Turkey. Rumour has it that their sweets are flown in daily from the eponymous shop in Istanbul, and it doesn’t get any more authentic. For real kaimaki dondurma, Turkish-style ice cream with the distinctive mastic flavour (you have to try it!), this is the number one spot. 

Save room and calories for that ice-cream with our complete healthy-eating guide to Athens!

#10 Hara - Old Athens' Flavours

Hara is located on Patission Street, one of the major streets of central Athens, and has been around since 1969. The kaimaki flavoured ice cream, served on an ekmek base and topped with sour cherries, are enough to drag you all the way up the avenue...

  • Where: 339 Patision, Ano Patisia 
  • Closest Metro Station: Ano Patisia 
  • Other Information

Need to chill outside Athens' city centre? 

#11 Waffle House - Ice Cream by the Sea! 

This is what 'tsoureki' ice cream looks like - wait till you taste it! (Picture via Facebook)

Waffle House is an establishment in the area of Vouliagmeni (with a recent addition in Athens' northern suburbs). As the name implies, they are the masters of waffles. The ice cream choices are mind-blowing and range from creative sorbets to delicious Greek-inspired flavours such as 'tsoureki' (which is a brioche-like sweet bread usually eaten around Easter). 

#12 Ninnolo - Gelato Heaven in Kifissia

A gelato heaven in the heart of Kifissia (Picture courtesy of Ninnolo)

Ninnolo is located in Athens' northern suburb of Kifissia and is an ideal pit-stop for coffee, brunch and -of course- ice cream! The place serves authentic gelato and although it was hard to pick our favourite, I think we will go with nocciola with chestnuts from Piemonte, Italy.  

#13 Mucca - 'Sinful' Ice Cream in Northern Athens

Mucca is located further up north, in Erythraia and its ice cream is basically addictive! A great choice if you are wine-ing and dine-ing in this part of Athens and you can't hold back from giving in to your sweet tooth! 

#14 Bakogiannis - A Traditional Greek 'Milk Shop' 

Last but not least, Bakogiannis is located in the southeastern part of Athens called Ilioupoli. This is a traditional 'milk-shop' preparing hand made yoghurt, puddings and ice cream! This ice cream will not win for variety but it is definitely top quality, made from fresh sheep milk. Ice-cream is sold to-go, in big batches (too bad!) and the ice-cream production follows the sheep' milk production cycle which slows down in the hot summer months; so if you are addicted to this delicacy you need to stock up by July! Hurry up!

  • Where: 15 Chrysostomou Smyrmis - Kanaria Square, Ilioupoli 
  • Closest Metro Station: Agios Dimitrios 
  • Other Information

If (though it’s hard to imagine!) none of these quite hit the spot, you’re not out of luck yet. There is always the ever-dependable periptero with a freezer box of ready-made choices! I recommend the Magic (usually around a euro). 

Whatever you choose, chilling out with an ice cream is one of the best things to do in the summer in Athens!

Did you end up eating too much ice-cream? Follow our runners' guide to Athens and burn those extra cals! 

Find the best ice cream near you with our map of Athens

Did we forget something? We can't wait to hear your suggestions (and most of all to try them!)

Ps: As always, the opinions expressed here are purely, solely & utterly our own!

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