To many, Greece is an earthly heaven. With amazing crystal blue waters, plenty of warm sun lifting spirits and showering your days with light, impressive mountains, and, of course, home to some of the finest ingredients the world over, while lapped by the gorgeous Mediterranean Sea, it is impossible to think otherwise…
From the many tourist destinations, where you can find traditional authentic Greek food, our Greek Food lovers at Pappas Grill have selected 5 taverns and restaurants, from the most unspoiled to the more sophisticated, found in a banquet of colours, smells, and divine tastes, and wrapped up in welcoming environments.
Without further ado, we present you the 5 best places to have delicious Greek food all over Greece.
1. SPIROS KARIDIS FISH TAVERN (BOUKARI, CORFU)
If you have been to Corfu or are planning to spend a few days on the island of the Phaeacians, don’t forget to pay tribute to Spiros Karidis tavern. It is the epitome of traditional authentic Greek fish tavern. Run by lovely Mr. Spiros and sons, the tavern is located in the southern part of Corfu, under majestic trees, with an addictive seafront terrace and a magnificent view over the sea and the East coast of the Island. In fact, the tavern is so close to the sea, that you could easily go swimming with your family there (waters are shallow and crystal clear) and then walk a few meters to taste Greek-island standard fresh fish cuisine.
The service is excellent and fast, people are friendly and always willing to help you choose the fish of your likes from their drawers filled with ice and different kinds of fish, from cod and squid to prawns and lobster and everything in between. You also get to choose the way you want your fish to be cooked, and they always weigh the fish you have selected to give you prices, so you know how much you are expected to pay for your food! Such a relaxed way to make a menu selection in one of the quietest, most tranquil and unspoiled parts of Corfu!
It is not a tavern very well-known to tourists, but you will see lots of friends and families from all over the island park their boats there and eat there while looking at the sea for hours non-end! Try the “bourdeto” or stuffed squid. They are by far their best specialty, according to the overwhelming majority of locals, and expect carafes of white wine, ouzo, or retsina coming your way as a welcome drink!
A real hidden gem of culinary delight!
2. KOUKOUMAVLOS (FIRA, GREECE)
A gastronomic paradise indeed! Santorini is home to many undiscovered restaurants that offer visitors a respite from the hectic pace (and the heat) of the island’s main areas. Distinguished by its epic sunsets, narrow crossing walking paths, and iconic whitewashed buildings with sapphire domes, it is full of local delicacies if you know where to look for them!
With a breath-taking view of the island, Koukoumavlos ticks all the boxes. Everything here is next to perfection, the ambiance, the view, the service, the dishes…you name it. The food is presented in an extremely artistic manner, showing the chef’s mass talent and great passion for what he does. You are seated in kings’ tables with candlelight, and don’t be surprised if your romantic side takes over you completely there!
Koukoumavlos features traditional Greek dishes with a creative, contemporary twist, making the restaurant perfect for those in search of a more foodie place to dine. Some of the specialties that are a must-taste include the fish and cauliflower soufflé, the steak with cranberry sauce, the pappardelle with scampi and prawns, the meat kebabs and lamb, and beef carpaccio with tomato balls soufflé. In addition, the collection of local wines will not disappoint you either. Needless to say, each dish is prepared with local products!
3. MELINA CAFE RESTAURANT (RETHYMNON, CRETE)
Rethymnon is not only the centre of the ancient Minoan civilization, which is perceived to be the earliest recorded civilization in the entire Europe, but also one of the most representative (and well-preserved) Venetian old towns on Crete. With its superb 16th-century historic buildings, magnificent waterfalls, magical rock formations, and the astonishing Fortezza, Crete is definitely an ideal place to be while on holidays.
The Melina Café Restaurant offers an idyllic dining establishment, offering Cretan meze, such as fresh feta cheese drizzled with local extra virgin olive oil, in a relaxing environment, situated just below the enchanting fort and a breath away the Archaeological Museum. The panoramic views of the surrounding hills and the old town will carry you away, and the sincere and warm welcome is genuine and typical of the Cretan hospitality. The service is professional and always friendly and attentive. As for the food,…it is simply delicious and reasonably priced. Some of the best dishes to try are the Barley Rusks with Capers & Olives, Grilled halloumi, Mushroom Risotto, Seafood Salad (assorted shrimp & lettuce, avocado, squid & sauce of lemon and olive oil), and Spaghetti with shrimps and prawns (al dente, in tomato sauce with Cretan extra virgin oil, tarragon, and onion, and finished with ouzo)!
With a large variety of Mediterranean and Cretan food in abundance and generous portions, it is the perfect establishment for family gatherings, as well as for business.
At Melina Café Restaurant, nothing is too much, from the welcome drink (glass of water with a sliced strawberry) to the bottles of wine you get as a gift from the owner when you leave! Definitely a place worth visiting!
4. TAVERNA OUZERI HELLENIKON (PARGA, GREECE)
Parga, on the northwest mainland of Greece, s beloved for its golden sand, sapphire sea, orange and olive trees, and overall laid-back atmosphere. Get lost in the ancient fortress ruins and the hilltop castle of Ali Pasha, and chat up with friendly locals at Parga’s most cozy tavern, the Taverna Ouzeri Hellenikon!
It is not one of the restaurants that you will find easy or that will be packed with tourists, but it is much appreciated by locals for its superb local-Greek delicacies and delicious traditional cuisine. Walk through the quaint, cobblestoned winding alleys of Parga and they will take you to the main street and a few steps from the Ouzeri.
Offering an extensive variety of mezes and main dishes in a very welcoming establishment, you will get to choose from lots of chicken and meat dishes or vegetarian specialties, accompanied by big fresh salads with local ingredients and extra virgin olive oil. As for the wine list, it features numerous excellent Greek products.
The owner will do his best to make you feel comfortable and welcomed. A lovely, cozy, small, laid-back tavern that offers an ideal getaway from the fast-paced lives we all live.
With a glass of fine Greek wine or Ouzo and a dish full of delicious traditional foods, time feels to have stopped here, making life seem even more pleasing!
5. KASTRO OIA RESTAURANT (OIA, GREECE)
Carved out of the cliffs, Oia, in the South Aegean, in the Cyclades, Greece, is the representative of typical Greek architecture, with legendary white quaint buildings and sea-blue rooftops (with the distinguishing cave-like form). Enjoy strolling around the picturesque town and make sure you stay for the spellbinding sunset!
The Kastro Oia Restaurant offers a majestic view overlooking the endless blue of the Aegean Sea. It is THE best place to be, when you are tired of the jammed packed streets of Oia and want a breath of fresh air, in the midst of the tourist season. Located at the end of the town, close to a steep, donkey train leading to the port, Kastro Oia Restaurant serves traditional Greek dishes with fresh local ingredients.
Catch the breeze, avoid the crowds, get out of the sun, or just have a drink (or a delicious Kir Royal cocktail!), while allowing your palate to taste superb appetizers (see olive oils stuffed with cheese!) and ridiculous dishes, such as well-cooked lamb chops, pasta with shrimps, and meatballs, served with traditional Greek salad with tomatoes, cucumber, onions, olives, oregano, extra virgin olive oil and either lemon or vinegar, or the famous tzatziki salad (yoghurt, cucumber, extra virgin olive oil and garlic). The wine list is also impressive and full of Chardonnay, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon wines from vineyards of Northern Greece, among others.