Sweet alchemy by Stelios Parliaros
The art of fine pâtisserie was introduced in Greece by Stelios Parliaros. As he states himself : '' The art pastry is my art and my art is my way to communicate with people'' .
I could eat his pastries literally every morning, noon and night and I could drive to the other end of town to taste his desserts.
He also gives seminars in his shop’s specially designed premises, and believe me once you follow them you will become a great beginner pastry chef yourself.
Many of the pastries are visually out of this world, especially during the Xmas period. Even though many of the pieces are French classics, at least half the case takes adventurous Greek/Turkish -inspired spins. In Sweet Alchemy, you can also buy great confectionery material very difficult to find elsewhere in the city.
Top Pick His “serano” chocolate cake is pretty much guarantee for a lifetime indelible pastry memory.
Sweet Alchemy 24 Irodotou str, Kolonaki tel.210-7240205 & Sweet Alchemy 9, Kolokotroni str. Kifisia tel 210-6464864
The Bitsaktsi family, owners of Melissa come from Istanbul - a city with long tradition in confectionery- and opened this divine pastry shop in 1925. I once tried a “galaktoboureko “ made by his mom and I do not think I have ever eaten any similar in my life . Her son has taken the shop a giant step ahead and has absolutely mastered the French patisserie. According to my humble opinion, Melissa is the best pastry shop in Athens and even though it is located quite far from the center and actually you will have to cross the Kifisos river to get there, I believe strongly that the taste of these little masterpieces of desserts will make your trip worthwhile.
Top Pick All his choux pastries are the perfect combination of chewy still crunchy pâte and soothing cream that melts in your mouth.
45, Makariou str, Peristeri, tel 210 5711055.
The Organic Patisserie " Fisis " is the first organic pastry shop to open in Athens. I was introduced to Fisis by chef Michael Nourloglou whose opinion I trust blindly since for years he learned the craft next to Parisian acclaimed Patissier Pierre Hermé. The hard working owners Daliani brothers, are also infamous importers of organic products in Greece, so of course they pick “la creme de la crème” for their own store. Sourcing their ingredients locally when available allows them to get the freshest produce consequently making the taste of all seasonal flavors for the pastries simply exquisite.
Top pick the Greek siroped orange cake “Portokalopita” , made with local organic Fleur d’oranger from oranges especially grown for the shop.
450, Mesogeion ave, Agia Paraskevi tel 210 6090740
Pastry chef Dionisis Alertas was the maker for the incredible desserts at Spondi - the only Athenian two Michelin star restaurant. As it was rather impossible for us chocoholics to visit the restaurant just for a good dessert, we were excited with the news of his prospective shop. It is only natural that IVOIRE was the talk of the town even before its opening and the expectations were set high. And believe me, this pastry boutique did not let us not even once yet. Dionisi every day in his back creative workshop makes whatever he is in the mood for, so you can not find exactly the same desserts every day - something that gives the air of a home made feeling to IVOIRE. All his éclairs are filled with the famous namelaka cream - the name is a japanese term for "creamy texture"- a great technique he learned in the Valrhona school. His pastries’ aesthetics range from the simple to the architecturally sublime giant strawberry macaron-like cake.
Top pick His almond dacquoise with mousseline cream with caramelized milk and almonds
56-58, Papanikoli st, Halandri tel 210 6748447
For many years I used to live in the coastal southern suburbia of Athens where there was not even one place to eat a proper dessert to pleasure my taste buds. When Ziapas opened up in 2008, all my sweet dreams become real. Not only had I found a place that mastered the difficult french pâtisserie but crossed a memory "taste bridge" with the name day cake my mother used to make for me for me when I was young, the delicious Saint-Honoré! You can easily carry home chocolate or caramel éclair, lemon, raspberry or chocolate tart.
Top pick His spring/ summer ice cream made with fresh violets.
176, Gounari str. Glifada tel 210 9609480
Some years later also in Glifada , another fine pastry shop, L'Atelier, opened up that is always sure to delight me. It all started from a small shop hidden somewhere near the beach of Varkiza and especially after hot days when people had gone swimming , there was quite a line to wait before you got served. After their big success, a new larger store was quite expected.
Napoléon with velvety smooth vanilla cream, crème brûlée and a great chocolate fudge cake are the true highlights here.
Top Pick Their Four kinds of chocolate Square Cake which is the epitomy of medicine for any chocoholic's Bday!
L'atelier de patisserie
7, Vasileos Georgiou II, Glyfada tel 210 8983766
Aristotle Panagiotaros studied to become a chocolate pastry chef in central Europe and then returned to Greece and opened a small shop in Kolonaki that only makes chocolate treats. His shop, the Dark Side Of Chocolate is a chocolate lover’s fantasy. Not only are there lots of truffles and bars, but many of the pastries are chocolate-based and profoundly chocolate-centric.
You can also sit at the three tables available and have a cup of hot chocolate, for sure the best in town, made with Valrhona's best cocoa and secret ingredients infused according to what the chef thinks of you on first appearance.
Top pick - A box of chocolates made with Greek herbs to take as a gift to friends .
The Dark Side Of Chocolate,
49, Solonos str, Kolonaki tel 2103392348
Pavlova is the new shop of Effie Yalousi, the woman who practically almost introduced this famous dessert to Athenians. A legend in the making, her choice of flavors is fantastic, but her true genius lies in a near-peerless texture of the meringue. There is a great selection of seasonal flavors which are matched with hand made sirops, local fruits and caramelized nuts. You can get single ones or a large pavlova if you have a party to throw.
56, Skoufa str. Kolonaki tel 210 3388827
Pastry chef of Le Votre Piree, Stefanos Diamantopoulos creates cakes that are more ornate than anything you’ve likely seen in Greece. The flavors, too, are a wildly unique fusion of French and Greek sensibilities. Of course the real highlights of his shop are no other than his highly inventive and insanely delicious chocolates made with the fine liquid aroma of Greek sweet wines, such as Samos Nectar, Santorini Vinsanto, Patras Mavrodaphne and unique Metaxa.
Top pick All children's birthday cakes that are made to please even the most difficult toddler
Le Votre Piree
166, Kountouriotou str. Peiraias tel 210 4122577