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The History of Sweet Stuff in Sifnos

As you travel around Sifnos, you'll notice a lot of bakeries (a bakery is called a furno in Greece) and sweet shops. According to local lore, long ago a baker named Benios (pronounced Ve-ni-os) had 13 children (a baker's dozen) -- and almost all the children and their children's children and successive generations of the Venios family became bakers. That's why many bakeries in Sifnos to this day are owned by one or another member of the Venios family. Many families and some restaurants send their revithia (chickpeas) in a Sifnian clay pot to a Venios bakery to be slow-cooked overnight for the traditional Sunday dinner.

Apollonia

If you want a sweet, head for the wonderful Gerontopoulos Pastry Shop (tel. 22840/32-220) in the Hotel Anthousa. I can vouch for their cookies, cakes, ice creams, and preserved fruits. Oh, yes, and the chocolate pudding is divine. For a snack, try Veranda or Sifnos Café-Restaurant. Both serve breakfasts and sweets all day -- and, along with many other places, have the island specialty of revithia (chickpeas) most Sundays. My Sifnian friends told me that Okyalos (tel. 22840/32-650), on Apollonia's main drag, succeeds in its aim of serving "Mediterranean gourmet cuisine." When I ate there in 2011, I agreed: the food was beautifully displayed on the plate and very tasty, with lots of local touches (local cheese on the salad, fresh herbs galore). Dinner for two runs from 40 €. If you eat at the seriously upmarket Elia & Kappari (Olive and Kaper; tel. 22840/31-791; www.elia-kappari.gr), let us know what you thought. This restaurant in an old olive press, with a wide veranda with an even wider view, seems to be one of those places people either love or hate, and it had not opened for the season when I visited Sifnos recently.

Artemonas & Environs

There are a number of sweet shops and cafes in Artemonas. On the main plateia, Margarita's (Margarita Chrysou's Snack Bar, tel. 22840-32-058) is open virtually all day and has snacks, salads, and light meals. And, the Hotel Artemon's restaurant Lambessis (tel. 22830/31-303), just outside Artenonas on the road to Apollonia, gets high praise from both locals and visitors.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.