The trend for garishly colored ice cream in super-sized display tubs is fading fast. In Athens today, there are an increasing number of newly opened parlors offering handmade ice cream created using only fresh ingredients, without powdered additives or ready-made mixes.
Kokkion (2 Protogenous) in Monastiraki belongs to a highly trained pastry maker, who studied at Paris’ famous Cordon Bleu and at the Espaisucre School in Barcelona, before completing his professional training at Michelin three-star restaurants. Whether you get a cone or a cup, both the tangerine sorbet with ginger and the mascarpone gelato (made with a recipe using molasses and bergamot orange) are great choices.
Across from Monastiraki Square, IceRoll (2 Athinas) is where you want to be if you like some showmanship with your dessert. Choose from a long list of ingredients – including different fruits, biscuits, crushed pralines or even donuts – and then stand back and watch the gelatiere pour the milk, together with your chosen ingredients, over an instant-freeze cold slab to create a custom-made ice cream as you wait. The portions are very generous, enough for two people.
Near Syntagma Square, look for Choureal (2 Diomeias), which isn’t an ice cream parlor, but a proper pastry shop with outstanding profiteroles, prepared fresh with each order. France has mastered the art of pastry making, so do as the French do and ask for your freshly baked choux buns to be filled with delicious handmade vanilla ice cream. Top them off with chocolate sauce, which sets hard as it freezes over the ice cream.
Squeeze inside the tiny Le Greche (16 Mitropoleos) nearby for traditional Italian gelato. When it arrived on the scene a few years ago, this place wowed Athenians with fruity sorbets, real pistachio ice cream and exceptional cheese and fig ice cream.
This text was first published as part of “Beat the Heat”, an article published in Greece Is Athens, Summer 2019 Edition.