Archive: Delectable Greece
When you take your tongue out sightseeing in Greece, what are its favorite taste treats?
The island of Paros is one of the gems of the Aegean. When it comes to food
you are spoilt for choice. If you're on a tight budget there are plenty
of places at the lower end of the price spectum that will be only too happy
to provide you with good local food and drink without breaking the bank.
For those with a little more money to spend you will be spoilt for choice.
I love this island dearly and will keep going back to it as long as the
health and finances hold out. I can count the bad meals I have had on the
fingers of one hand. I have lost count of the totally fantastic meals I
have eaten on Paros. It would be utterly unfair to recomend one restaurant
over another as they are all so good. I will just say that in Parikia the
'Hibiscus' is the oldest restaurant and everything is cooked in a huge wood
fired oven. It's not plush but it is authentic and the staff are as friendly
as any anywhere ( I think they get bribe money from 'Weight Watchers' ).
If you ever get the chance treat yourself to their Kleftiko, your mouth
will love you forever.
Nottingham, UK 06/01/01
At the Lotza Restaurant in Oia on Santorini, the food was very delicious
but the surly waitress brought us two additional things we didn't order
(Greek salad and an onion pie) and then charged us for them. We mistakenly
assumed they went with the meal (so always be sure to ask)! Our lunch
ended up being quite expensive (like $35).
Seattle, WA USA 05/03/01
If you're willing to wait to eat, you'll get the best food you can in Athens after 9 p.m. Greeks don't eat dinner until then at least.
Psiri, a previously ugly district, is now hopping with chi chi places
to eat, some with music. Again, they don't open until 9, so you'll have
to hold out with gyros and tatziki until then.
Toronto, ON CA 04/19/01
TAVERNA SIGALIS, Athens: After a very tiring excursion on the Athens
bus system and a visit to the Archeological Museum we happened by this
taverna with its outside tables squeezed in between a steel construction
wall and its usual indoor venue. We were starved, which helps to explain
the delights from the menu which we enjoyed: fried eggplant with sadziki
(sahd-zee-key: yogurt, cucumber, garlic, and salt), souvlaki gyros and
liters of white retsina. All for $13! We staggered back to our nearby
hotel for a well-deserved nap before dinner.
Truckee, CA USA 03/07/01
the "toast club" in santorini has great pizza, too...for when you're "gyro-ed
Fira, Santorini, Greece 02/22/01
You must eat Greece's famous yogurt with honey and nuts, but you haven't
experienced Greece until you have eaten the fruit, or fruit juices for
that matter. Ask for carpuzi...it will be the best watermelon you ever
santa barbara , ca USA 01/21/01
In Athens, the Plaka has lots of sidewalk cafes that have the gyros special,
which is an open face gyros with lots of meat and veggies, a big Greek
salad and a glass of beer for about $6...and you will be full. The dogs
that roam around the tables won't take anything, they are already so full.
Bobby Olen Grace
Belmont , Ca USA 10/19/00
In Greece many delicious specialties are not on the menu - because the
Greeks know them anyway and order them. But how will foreigners find out
about them? Best is always to ask the waiter for his recommendations.
(Plenty of ideas of what to eat, etc. can be found on this website: www.paros-online.com.)
Paros, Greece 09/01/00
We spent a week on Paros in September 1999. On the main drag in Parikia, the Blue Bay Cafe had nice big, cheap breakfasts that kept us going until suppertime: yummy yogurt with honey, bread and jam, fresh, pulpy, cold orange juice.
Also, we had an excellent (though pricey) evening meal at Parostia Garden
in the old section of Parikia. Can't tell you how to find it in the maze
- just wander around until you run into it. They have a very nice enclosed
garden courtyard with a huge palm tree in the middle. Great atmosphere.
The eggplant appetizer (can't remember what it's called) was delicious,
as were the dolmathes. One of us had lamb with garlic and cheese and the
other had a sort of beef stew with potatoes and cheese in a thick broth.
It was a really special night.
Calgary, Alberta Canada 08/21/00
We didn't get to Greece, but we had Macedonian figs in Italy. Even if
you don't eat figs, eat these. You can't get them in US. This will be
your only chance.
Flower Mound, TX USA 03/11/00
Aghios Gordios on Corfu Island has a taverna called the Romantic Palace
which is literally on the beach. You walk in and Michael the chef/owner
takes you on a guided tour of what is on the menu that evening; there
is nothing written down for you to see, only what is cooked for you to
look at. Superb. Have stuffed squid as a starter, it's making my mouth
water typing this now. It is a whole squid stuffed with bacon, three different
cheeses and probably three cloves of garlic, washed down with the house
red watching the sun go down from the top deck of the taverna, it makes
you think you've died and gone to heaven...bliss.
Leighton Buzzard, Beds. U.K. 03/04/00
My 13-year old son and I spent 2 weeks in Greece last spring. For the
week or so that we were in Athens, we loved the gyros sold at the little
street stands in the Plaka. About $1.50 for lunch and they sprinkle paprika
on the meat. The french fries were the best we've ever had — fried in olive
oil and seasoned with fresh oregano — delicious! There was also a little
shop in the Plaka that sold wonderful homemade ice cream.
Ashburn, VA USA 02/20/00
My husband and I spent a month-long wedding holiday sailing the Cyclades
islands in Greece. By far, our favorite taverna was Nicola's right off
of the main square in Fira on the island of Santorini. This restaurant
has been owned by two Greek brothers for well over 25 years now. It is
very small and not well marked; you will miss it if you are not careful.
This inside has only about 12 tables. The daily menu is posted on a chalkboard
(and written in Greek only) on the back wall near the kitchen. When they
run out of a certain dish...they erase it from the board. We always let
the owners recommend our meal, and were never disappointed. In fact, I
think they put some extra effort into making our meal really wonderful
since they made the recommendations. I would suggest ordering a portion
of one specialty at a time...share it around the table and then order
another when you are ready. This taverna has very limited hours — from
about 11am-3pm...and then from 6pm - 10pm. A line forms quickly, so show
up early! The pastitsio at Nicola's is the best I have ever had. Their
house wine is also an excellent choice.
Atlanta, GA USA 02/06/00
On the islands you cannot find better seafood. At Nicholas' on Mykonos
the octopus & squid were divine. Of course, being in Mykonos, it cost
a small fortune...but you only live once, right? In Athens (Argiroupolis)
the best food is without a doubt my husband's Aunt Crissoula's cooking.
Chicago , IL USA 12/08/99
Yes, I loved the delicious traditional Greek food, the tzatziki, moussaka,
pastitsio, spinach pies, gyros, and eggplant salad. I even got a cookbook
so I could reproduce the same food here at home. But my favorite was the
ice cream! I ate one every day. The flavor was incredible, it was soft
and creamy, a perfect specimen! I know I can get ice cream anywhere in
the world, but if I had to choose the best, it would be from Greece!
Austin, TX USA 11/04/99
I have been living in Athens for a year and a half now (I teach at the American School here) and we have spent a good deal of time searching for the perfect Gyro. So far we have found two!
Downtown: Savvas is at the end of Mitropoleos Street (between Plaka and Monisteraki). There is outdoor seating, but for the budget lunch do the takeout: 300dx per Gyro and 100dx for a bottle of water. Where else can you get a delicious lunch for $1.50?
In the town of Agias Paraskevis, just up Agias Iguanu from the Platea,
(near the American School and next to the movie theater) is Jimmy's. Worth
the A5 bus trip from downtown just for a greasy handshake from Jimmy himself.
Great food, fun atmosphere and a few Americans (they all work with me!)
Athens, Greece, GR 10/25/99
To add to Athena's comments (below), she is right! The flock of geese
were definitely quite aggressive. However, equal credit should be given
to Tarzan, the innkeeper's dog. While you are swimming in the crystal
blue water, this small dog will grab your sandals, book, whatever and
run down the beach with them. Very cute.
Calgary, AB Canada 08/13/99
The Anaploos restaurant, just off the Venetian harbor of Hania, Crete had the best meals we've had anywhere! We ended up there three nights for grilled chicken with lemon or grilled pork cubes with tomatoes and thyme...all in a beatiful starlit surrounding. I still think about the wonderful food all over Greece and especially Crete.
Sharon & Trey
Mechanicsburgh, PA USA 08/02/99
To add to Chris Moser's story of the beach on Lipsi: when we were there
in Sept. '98, there was a large flock of man-eating ducks that stood guard
over the beach and the taverna. Our intense desire for a cold beer and
tzatziki was tempered by the need to run the gauntlet to get into the
taverna. When at last we could wait no longer, we held our packs as shields
against the aggressive beasts that made such a racket that all conversation
in the taverna came to a halt. Wide grins from other patrons greeted us
as we stumbled into the dining area, flush from battle. With each passing
round of beers, we became less and less inclined to leave, as departure
meant certain death-by-pecking. Quite a clever taverna proprietor, wouldn't
NH USA 07/28/99
Beachside tavernas, oh yes! The perfect snack with a cold Mythos beer
is their cold octopus which has been cooked with red wine. It's sliced
into bitesize pieces . . . and the gelatinous juice gets sopped up with
fresh bread. Take me back to Psili Ammos . . .
CA USA 06/08/99
When it comes to culinary experiences in Greece, I think back to being
on the island of Lipsi, which is highly recommended by Rick. It's a beautiful
little island, and when you are there, you really do feel 'away from it
all'. The main beach is at Platys Gialos, a very pretty 45-minute walk
from town. The best thing about the beach is that there is a small patio
taverna immediately behind it! So, throughout the day, I would trek up
to buy ice-cold bottles of retsina or beer, and then lay on the beautiful
white sand, catch some rays, and read. For lunch or a snack, we would
just walk up to the taverna. We had grilled butterflied chicken (delicious!)
and souvlaki. Cheap, and probably among the best travel meals I have had.
Calgary, AB CAN 04/20/99
When my husband and I were on our honeymoon we had the best gyros at the
Toast Club in Thira on Santorini. We would pick some up on the way to
the beach, hop on the moped and go. Really inexpensive too!
Gemma Velasquez and Murray Cruickshank
San Francisco, CA USA 03/01/99
Gyros, vegetarian or otherwise, with tsatziki. Even in Athens you can
get them from cheap shops open to the street. Gyros and beer are about
$2.00. Great breakfast.
CA USA 01/31/99
The absolute best place for dinner in Crete is the Sunset Restaurant.
It is located in the town of Chorafakia on the Akrotiri. You can enjoy
your meal, watch the sunset, and your children can play outside with visiting
children from around the world. You have to try the mushroom pie and the
crepes. My wife and I are Americans living in Crete with our two children
and during the summer we eat there at least twice a week.
Stavros, Crete, Greece, USA 11/29/98
For some great local Greek seafood, visit:
Taverna Byzantino Vizantino
18 Kidathineon Street
Plaka - Athens, Greece
This is located in the Plaka area. Don't be fooled by the men trying to wave you in off the footpath - they get a commission! McDonald's also serves up a great Greek salad - much Feta cheese!
Sunnyvale, CA USA 11/05/98
My husband and I just returned from a wonderful trip to Greece and we
loved one of the simplest plates, Tzatziki (yogurt, cucumbers, varying
amounts of garlic, and a couple other ingredients). You spread it on bread
and it is delicious. Sometimes we would make a quick lunch out of it.
Grand Rapids, MI USA 11/04/98
Love Greek food in the US, but the three unanticipated taste treats
I found in Greece a year ago were: yiaort me meli (yogurt with honey),
bougatsa (handheld custard pastry) and the oranges in Sparta — easily peeled,
almost bloodred pulp, and sweet as tangerines. Kali orexi, folx, &
Baltimore, MD USA 10/23/98
Greeks grill anything well, but the best is chicken. You can buy great rotisseried whole birds for your picnic, but if you manage to find a restaurant that butterflies the chicken and grills it pressed over an olivewood fire, EAT THERE!
Also, when being served a grilled meat it will come with lemon or lime
wedges. Yes, you drizzle it on your meat and I think you will really enjoy
the perk it gives. Don't go looking for a steak in Greece. Beef is not
used much (they have little room for cattle grazing) and what they import
is cut differently than we are used to and is usually tough. Stay with
the very excellent lamb, pork, and above mentioned yardbird. For dessert
I must concur with Rick's goat yogurt with honey — which is even better
if they throw on some walnuts.
Union, WA USA 10/23/98