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Where to eat in the Greek Islands - a food and dining guide

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In the way of local produce, the islands provide an ample choice of seafood caught right on their shores - fresh catches can even be seen hanging in the harbors - and with their numerous olive groves you can always find ripe olives spiced in the traditional flavors of  Greece. As for variety, restaurants range from gourmet French and Italian to the traditional rustic dishes of Greece.

Thimios Moutselos

My Destination local expert on

Greek Islands

Similar to the Italian lasagna but with a completely unique flavor, moussaka is a Greek classic. A creamy blend of béchamel sauce mixed with deliciously spiced minced lamb, an aubergine base and topped with smooth parmesan cheese.

 

Crete

 

Crete has figured prominently in the revival of Greek cuisine, drawing on local ingredients such as fresh and cured meats, wild edible weeds and of course the famous locally distilled spirits made from October grape pressings. Ifigeneia, on the outskirts of Angouselianá village, specializes in rustic Cretan country dishes such as garlic-pickled wild hyacinth bulbs, spiny chicory and boiled goat with sticky rice. For more adventurous dishes, Alekos serves heaped portions of exotic recipes including garlic-and-rosemary sautéed snails and wood-oven baked meats - pre-ordering is necessary for some dishes. Just west of Saktoúria, the beach taverna of Violakis 1967 serves fresh Mediterranean and Greek dishes and is favored by many locals.

 

Ifigeneia, outskirts of Angouselianá village. Tel: +30 28320 51362• Alekos, Behind Agia Pelagia church, Vori. Tel: +30 28920 91094• Taverna Violakis 1967, D. Foinikas, Damnoni. Tel: +30 28320 31685

 

Mykonos

 

Dining in and around Hóra, the islands main town, can be overpriced but is surprisingly sophisticated, offering everything from sushi and Italian to freshly tweaked Greek cuisine. Beautifully located on a white sand beach and surrounded by a colorful flower garden, Catari Plage offers a welcoming mix between traditional Italian dishes and Mediterranean seafood. For those lusting after traditional Greek food, the beach taverna of Tasos mixes generous portions of fresh seafood and high quality wines with a side plate of sunset views. Joanna’s Nikos serves ever-classic Greek dishes such as Moussaka, meatballs and cheese croquettes from the beach side in an old-fashioned and affordable taverna.

 

Catari Plage, Kalo Livadi Beach. Tel: +30 22890 78315• Tasos, Paránga Beach. Tel: +30 22890 23002 • Joanna’s Nikos, Megali Ammos Beach. Tel: +30 22890 24251

 

Rhodes

 

You’ll find a great variety of restaurants in Rhodes from Chinese and French to the traditional cuisine of the island. Locals tend to dine in newer districts south of the city center, but there are also some mouthwatering restaurants inside the city walls. The courtyard restaurant, Marco Polo Café, located in the center of Old Town, has a frequently changing menu that always provides unique dishes - although they favor seafood and delicate pastry deserts. In the village of Monolithos, behind a modern church, is The Old Monolithos with affordable fresh seafood and classic Greek meat and vegetarian dishes served by friendly and welcoming staff. Alternatively, to the south, there’s the modern Lime Grill with its zesty Greek burgers and vibrant decor.

 

Marco Polo Cafe, Agíou Fanouríou 42, Old Town. Tel: +30 22410 25562• The Old Monolithos, Village Square, Monolithos. Tel: +30 22460 61276• Lime Grill, Gennadi. Tel: +30 22440 43113

 

Corfu

 

You can expect to find unique English, French and Greek cuisine with a twist here, thanks to the island’s rich history. The perfectly staffed and beautifully built Archontiko provides fresh and simple dishes using traditional ingredients such as artichoke, aubergine, seafood and a spread of meats. If you’re looking for an authentic Greek taverna, look no further than Bikolis, serving traditional Greek cuisine like tzatziki, tweaked English staples like chicken in a basket and delicious French desserts. For a true Greek experience, Bakalogatos uses only locally sourced produce including purely Greek wine and beer - plus their menu leans away from seafood with many vegetarian and pork recipes to choose from.

 

Archontiko, Chlomotiana. Tel: +30 26610 75851 • Bakalogatos, Prossalendou. Tel: +30 26613 01721• Bikolis Taverna, Peroulades. Tel: +30 26630 95291

 

Santorini

 

The thick volcanic soil of Santorini provides the island with unique ingredients such as fáva – a sweet yellow split pea; domatíni – flavorful cherry tomatoes; and white eggplant – creamier and less bitter than its purple counterpart. Sample such distinct tastes at restaurants like the quaint Cave of Nikolas, which provides traditional Santorini cuisine including island dishes like the eggplant dip and fried tomato balls. Overlooking the town of Caldera, SKIZA café delivers healthy yet hearty pastas and fresh pizzas along with gourmet coffees. Right next to the beach, Pergola provides fresh locally caught seafood; the barbeque seafood platter and island octopus are among their most popular dishes.

 

Cave of Nikolas, Akrotiri. Tel: +30 22860 85234• SKIZA Café, Oia. Tel: +30 22860 71569• Pergola, Megalohori; Tel: +30 22860 81797