Food and drink
“Tasting one of the sweets is like tasting history,” according to Varsos’ own website. For once, the product lives up to the hype. From the chewy-airy meringues to the classy prune and pecan pie, everything is top-notch. Their homemade yoghurt drenched in honey and walnuts is the quintessential Greek breakfast. They also do good omelettes and flaky feta pies for brunch. All the sweets and dairy products are also available to take away. My mum used to come here to buy fresh milk and cream in the days before supermarkets hit Athens.
Where do I start? I can’t live without the dense croissants stuffed with allspice and walnuts. The chocolate éclairs are divine and the galaktoboureko (creamy custard in syrup-soaked filo pastry) is the best ever. Homemade ice-cream sundaes will take you back to your childhood. (Be warned: the industrial strength coffee is terrible, so stick to Greek coffee).
Genteel time warp. The smell of freshly baked tsoureki (Greece’s mastic-flavoured version of brioche) lures you in and row upon row of sticky cakes lull you into submission. But beware of the alarming toilets, which haven’t been renovated for decades.
Most of the curmudgeonly waiters seem to have been around since the place opened in 1892. Slow, gruff service is part of the charm. Relax and soak up the scene.
Smack in the centre of Kifissia’s shiny boutiques and fast food joints. It’s a local landmark for everyone from school kids bunking off class (yes, I was one of them) to bouffant-haired ladies taking a break from a shopping spree.
Reasonable prices considering the prime location in the heart of chi-chi Kifissia.
Tables to book
For people-watching, stick to the pavement tables up front. For privacy, head to the back garden – perfect for reading the papers in peace. Try to bag the table by the fireplace in winter.
- Backpackers / Students
- Families with teenagers
- Families with younger children
- Mature travellers