Among the most delicious Greek sweet treats you cannot miss the famous loukoumades, that is small fried pastry balls (or small doughnuts) served hot and covered in honey syrup and cinnamon. They are very popular among both locals and tourists and they can be found in several different versions: topped with chopped nuts or almonds, sesame seeds, flavoured syrups or even chocolate sauce. You might even find some savoury versions too!
Their origin is to be found in ancient times and they were also popular during the Byzantine and the Ottoman eras. The name of this popular dessert is similar to the Turkish “lokoum”, that is typical sweet snacks flavored with rose syrup and served with coffee. The Greek loukoumades were traditionally prepared on the occasion of marriages or religious celebrations but they are now very common in everyday life.
Even if the recipe is really basic (water, milk, flour and sugar), locals are still fond of them and you cannot miss a tasting during your stay in Athens! Try the loukoumades in different versions and draw up your personal ranking!
Where to find the best Loukoumades in Athens
These are the best places for a sweet break in Athens:
It is considered one of the best pastry shops in Athens and it’s famous for its traditional loukoumades baked according to the authentic recipe including honey and cinnamon. This old-style bakery opened in 1923 and it’s a real local institution where you can breathe history as soon as you enter its neoclassical building in the city center.
Address: 87, Aiolou St.
Opening hours: 8.30 a.m. – 5 p.m. from on Mon, Wed and Fri. 8.30 a.m. – 9 p.m. on Tue, Thurs and Sat. Closed on Sunday.
Another historical bakery with a vintage atmosphere. It is the only dairy bar left in Athens. In the past, dairy bars were quite common and they were essentially bars/shops where you could buy and taste some local milk and yoghurt other than products made with these two ingredients. Today, Stani is the only one you can visit and it’s famous both for its loukoumades and for its Greek yoghurt topped with honey and walnuts.
Address:10, Marikas Kotopouli St.
Opening hours: 7.30 a.m. – 9.30 p.m.
In a neighbourhood often neglected by tourists, you can find a bakery located a short walk from Omonia Square. It’s worth a detour to taste some unconventional deep-fried loukoumades: their main feature is the syrup inside!
Address: 59, Sokratous St.
Opening hours: 9 a.m. – 8.30 p.m. Mon-Fr. 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. on Sat. 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. on Sun.
A modern bakery offering an innovative version of the traditional loukoumades: you can choose your topping among a wide selection of sauces, ingredients and even ice cream! Try some atypical flavours like pistachio or lemon and enjoy a coffee break like a local right in the city centre!
Address: 21, Eolou St.
Opening hours: 8 a.m. – midnight.