Ice cream is a quintessential dessert to be enjoyed on a hot summer day walking around Athens. This ultimate comfort food both makes us happy and helps us to cool down in the heat. Why should you miss out on that? The good news is Greek ice cream parlours have long recognized that vegan food is not just a brisk passing trend. Hence, they are coming up with more and more options for vegans and lactose intolerant people. Gone are the days when you had to settle for a boring vanilla or a dull chocolate scoop.
Prepare your taste buds for new exciting flavours as we set on a journey to try to the best vegan ice creams in the Greek capital!
Cats & Monsters — It is safe to say that you’ve just arrived to Ice Cream Heaven once you step in Cats & Monsters
If opening an entirely vegan ice cream parlour was not genius enough, the bold enticing flavours will truly blow your mind! Carrot cake, caramelized cappuccino, watermelon with feta, mille-feuille, hazelnut rum – an endless list of delicious frosty adventurous! You can also find some traditional Greek flavours like mastiha rose or halva chocolate. There are always some seasonal surprises around the corner such as the spiced pumpkin with caramelized pumpkin seeds. So keep an eye on their ever-changing selection in order not to miss the new arrivals!
Patousa 4, Exarchia 106 77
La Greche — This cute little gelato store at Syntagma will lure you in straight away with its mouth-watering selection of heavenly delights
Part of what makes them unique is that they use the finest ingredients imported from Italy. They offer sorbet flavors in all colors of the rainbow. Strawberry, lemon mint, chocolate, lemon-orange-grapefruit, pineapple or forest fruits? Take as many scoops as your vegan cone can handle! The store is also well-known for other – non-vegan – confections, including typical Italian desserts such as the Sicilian cannoli, the coffee-based affogato, and the festive panettone. Definitely not recommended for people on a diet, the temptation is real!
Mitropoleos 16, Syntagma 105 63
Buffalo Gelato — A popular ice cream parlour franchise that operates in several different locations in Athens
Regardless of which part of the city you are visiting, you may just bump into one of their stores. Their amazing vegan flavours include pistachio, mango, nocciola, mocha and coconut. Despite the challenging times that all businesses have been facing lately, this place never compromises with the taste nor with the quality. Bufala Gelato also has extra-long opening hours (in regular times with no Covid measures they close at 2AM) therefore you can treat yourself to a delicious creamy scoop even during your night walk along the sea.
Maiou 22, Nea Smirni 171 21
Ifikratous 1, Chalandri 152 32
Artemidos 1, Glifada 166 74
Leof. Vasileos Pavlou 80, Voula 166 73
Orfeos 2, Vouliagmeni 166 71
Kassaveti 13, Athina 145 62
Da Vinci — Either when you stroll around the historical neighbourhood of Plaka or when you have a shopping spree in Ermou street, popping by Da Vinci is always a good idea!
Even though they don’t offer a wide vegan selection, their central locations make them popular spots among the locals. Their fresh sorbet flavours will leave a sweet yet light taste on your palate. The texture also receives an A-plus! Why not to go a little crazy and take an extra-large portion of all the four flavours? Passion fruit, strawberry, lemon, and chocolate – one scoop just ain’t enough!
Adrianou 50, Monastiraki 105 55
Ermou 58-60, Monastiraki 105 63
Kassaveti 19, Kifisia 145 62
Slim Bites — Wandering around Kolonaki you will easily spot the dessert shop with its fairy tale décor
The confectionery offers healthy ice cream which is sweetened with stevia. Most of their vegan selection consists of sorbet; however, you can find chocolate and pistachio flavours as well. Even fitness freaks can allow themselves a refreshing scoop or two as the shop labels the calorific value of each product. Hence, there is need to worry about your next beach day. You can enjoy a tasty bowl of guilt-free delights while relaxing on their terrace. If you happen to be in the most popular seaside suburb, in Glyfada, you can also find a Slim Bites shop there.
Patriarchou Ioakim 37, Kolonaki 106 75
Artemidos 8, Glyfada 166 74
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Full Spoon — This warm and cosy ice cream parlour is a must-visit attraction while walking along the city centre
It is situated near the Monastiraki Flea Market. Due to its location, Full Spoon is hard to miss and even harder to resist once you take a glance at those creamy mountains of ice cream. The staff is super friendly and will help you with any question you may have. Expect strong, intense flavours such as ginger, chocolate, forest fruits, and fig; all made from coconut milk. There are a good number of sorbet ice cream as well, like melon, lime, or limoncello. Toppings are mostly vegan too!
Ermou 123, Monastiraki 105 55
Karavan — This Mediterranean sweet shop has a whopping number or ten different vegan flavours!
The family-owned café always changes up its selection based on the season. For this reason, you can be sure that they use the freshest and ripest fruits to create their magnificent frozen delights. All ingredients are organic; there is absolutely no comparison with the store-bought ice cream! The owners are also advocates of sustainability and believe in a cruelty-free kitchen. Their traditional Greek kaimaki flavour is a must!
Geor. Kondili 13, Glyfada 166 75
Arte Italiana — Italians are famous for their gelato, and Arte Italiana lives up to its name
This popular franchise is owned by an Italian manufacturer who always selects top quality ingredients to produce the most amazing taste and texture. There is a mind-blowing variety of twelve different vegan flavours which include: walnut, watermelon, cinnamon, chocolate-orange, bitter chocolate-sour cherry, hazelnut – just to name a few.
You can either opt for a fresh sorbet or some sugar-free creamy scoops. But why not to add some extra pleasure to your day and take a vegan waffle as well?
2as Maiou 24, Nea Smyrni 171 21
Ice Queen Gelato — An ideal spot around the Acropolis if you want to cool down on a boiling afternoon
Portions are generous and each flavour strongly comes through. Nutella lovers get ready for a surprise! You can enjoy a delicious waffle and ice cream combo drizzled generously with rich hazelnut-choco spread. Take your pick: a creamy dark chocolate that melts in your mouth or something more exciting such as grape, pineapple, or espresso?
Makrigianni 9, Acropolis 117 42
Caravel — Relax and enjoy the colourful life of Monastiraki area while indulging in a refreshing frozen delight!
Do you fancy something new that you hardly find in a regular ice cream shop? How do choco-orange-cinnamon and sesame bar flavours sound to you? Snickers and Ferrero Rocher fans are also in for a treat! Now you can try your favourite chocolate desserts in ice cream version! Another great news: vegan options are labelled low-calorie as well. For the classic experience, ask for the vegan cone! The portion sizes are big enough to satisfy even the sweetest tooth.
Ermou 78 and Athinas 2, Monastiraki 105 51
Written by our guest writer and content editor