Exploring the sites and museums of the capital city of Greece is great, but Athens’ heart beats where people come together to talk, laugh, and enjoy good food. So, where you really want to be in order to understand the local way of living is a patisserie. Patisseries are an indispensable part of everyday life in Greece, and indulging in a housemade dessert is a favorite pastime among Athenians of all ages.

If you always have room for dessert, read on for the best dessert places in Athens. Note that most of the places listed below stay open until late. Some are even open past midnight, also serving cocktails and savory dishes.

1. Chocolatata

Photo: Chocolatata/Facebook

When a long-established pastry chef and mother, and her entrepreneur son, decided to create something sweet, Chocolatata was born. They use only the finest raw materials in their classic recipes. The result is chocolate just as lovely as the traditional Belgian variety. Athenians swarm to Chocolatata in the university neighborhood of Zografou for the red velvet and carrot cakes, the lemon pie, and the beloved English banoffee pie. The truth is that you too will be instantly hooked.

Where: Papadiamantopoulou 138, Zografou

2. Ohh Boy

Photo: Ohh Boy/Facebook

The description of Ohh Boy says it all: “Bistro. Coffee, treats, and small eats. Pet and human-friendly. For people with an open mind and a big smile.” Alluring, isn’t it? Wait until you pass through the door of the minimal, chalk-white restaurant with its romantic outdoor seating area on the pavement and the sunlit bar overlooking the busy street. Ohh Boy has nothing to hide and is proud of its open kitchen, which satisfies customers’ curiosity. Apart from the all-time classic desserts such as mille-feuille, tiramisu, and chocolate mousse, Ohh Boy specializes in vegan desserts. Try the strawberry chocolate cheesecake and the cashew lemon pie, and you won’t be able to put your fork down.

Where: Archelaou 32, Pagrati

3. Little KooK

Photo: Little KooΚ/Facebook

Little KooK is a themed café for anyone who believes in fairytales. Both the exterior and interior of the two-story mansion are overloaded with ornaments and vintage items, and the high ceiling rooms are dedicated to fantasy characters such as Cinderella and Alice in Wonderland. The central theme of Little KooK changes regularly depending on the season, and the staff’s attire matches accordingly. Mary Poppins provided the most recent theme. Even if you are skeptical about the power of magic, you will surrender to Little KooK’s supercalifragilisticexpialidocious desserts.

Where: Karaiskaki 17, Psyri

4. Yiasemi

On the steps of the scenic Mnisikleous street in the island-like neighborhood of Plaka, Yiasemi (meaning jasmine) has brought new life to Greek café-restaurants. Accompany the traditional Greek coffee served in a mini cup with any of the handmade pies: lemon, orange, apple, or milk. You can also opt for Greece’s most popular baklava dessert served with mastiha ice cream — a dessert made from the resin of a tree grown on the island of Chios that tastes like anise, pine, and vanilla. You can only find mastiha ice cream in Greece. On some weekends, Yiasemi hosts live music events, which often carry on until the early hours.

Where: Mnisikleous 23, Plaka

5. Zuccherino

Since 1988, Zuccherino has been the one-stop for Athenians and visitors with an incurable sweet tooth, offering its customers high-quality desserts and first-class service. The first generation of this family-run patisserie invested in timeless dessert recipes such as profiterole and walnut pie. Today, the pastry chef and gelato master, who is also the son of the founder, steers towards a free-spirited and distinctive creative flair. The chocolate soup served with a spoon in a bowl, ruby choco bomb, and pistachio cake are popular choices. If you are only going for one scoop of gelato, let it be the signature “death by chocolate.”

Where: Μitropoleos 80, Monastiraki

6. LUKUΜADES

Photo: Lukumades/Facebook

Loukoumades are deep-fried, bite-sized dough balls made with flour, dry yeast, water, and starch. They are deeply rooted in Greek history. The first record of this pastry dates back to ancient Greece. Even Aristotle wrote about these sweets. Traditionally, loukoumades are served hot, smothered in honey and drizzled with cinnamon.

However, LUKUΜADES introduces a novel way of presenting this classic dessert. Now, you can order loukoumades injected with chocolate or savory loukoumades covered with cheese. And, if you’re wondering whether or not they are suitable for vegans, the answer is absolutely, as long as you can resist the artisan gelato and creamy toppings.

Where: Eolou 21 & Agias Irinis, Athens

7. Choureal

Choureal is for the chocoholic dessert lovers. Specializing in profiteroles, the Greek-English owner Miles-Anastasios wanted to create a space that offers a multi-sensory experience. Hence, the production room — where a fresh batch of choux pastry emerges every hour — is an open space, revealing the choux-making process. Choureal offers a tailor-made service, so first you select the filling of your choux (Madagascar vanilla cream or handmade ice cream). Then, you pick one of the Valrhona premium chocolates (bitter, white, praline, or caramel) to cover your choux, and lastly you select any of the homemade dressings, such as raspberry marmalade and cookies.

Where: Ermou 18 & Diomeias 2, Athens

8. Nancy’s Sweet Home

Among Athenians, Nancy’s Sweet Home is known as a serbetospito, from the Arab word şerbet, meaning “sweet,” and the Greek spiti, meaning “home.” On the central piazza of Psyri, Nancy’s Sweet Home is an excellent place to boost your energy after hours of sightseeing, as well as to indulge in people-watching. The menu has over 50 desserts; many of these, such as the kunefe and tamam chocolate, have Middle Eastern influences. Ask to top your dessert of choice with the traditional sticky kaimaki ice cream, made with the Chios tree mastiha resin and a flour made from orchid tubers. If you are on a romantic outing, share Nancy’s signature “love dessert” for two.

Where: Iroon Square 1 & Karaiskaki, Psyri

9. Cake

Photo: CAKE Kolonaki/Facebook

If all you can think of is cake, then look no further than Cake in central Athens’ most affluent neighborhood, Kolonaki. American-style cakes, cheesecakes, and cupcakes have been putting on a great show over the past 15 years in this friendly café. Cake is also very popular among freelancers and digital nomads who are looking for a sweet corner to unleash their creativity.

Where: Irodotou 15, Kolonaki

10. Chatzis

Photo: Chatzis/George Menzelos/Facebook

Chatzis has nurtured over four generations with its syrupy desserts, such as baklava, kataifi, revani, galaktompoureko, and saragli. In 1908, Chatzis established itself as a coffee and pastry meeting spot in Greece’s second-largest city, Thessaloniki. It took many years and hard work for historic Chatzis to bring its elaborate recipes to Athens. Athenians and tourists alike have embraced Chatzis for its organic, unprocessed materials — such as buffalo milk and butter from Chatzis’ own farms.

Where: Mitropoleos 5, Syntagma