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My top five places to eat in Greece
Having travelled around Greece earlier this year, I thought I’d share my top places to grab a bite. The list is far from extensive, but I can assure you, the quality is there.
Read more: The top five, must-see Greek Islands
Pita Bar – Athens
We arrived in Athens exhausted, hot and ravenous, so the first thing we did after dumping our stuff in the hotel room was search for the best food we could find.
As you’d expect, Pita Bar serves pita bread all kinds of ways. We wanted our first meal in Greece to be as authentic and flavoursome as we could find, so of course, we couldn’t go past the gyros.
Soft pita bread wrapped around juicy chicken pieces with fresh tomato and red onion, and the most delicious, spicy, creamy sauce I’ve ever tasted, I was so unbelievably satisfied with my first Greek meal.
Boy, did it set the bar high. I had gyros several times during my stay in Greece and I must say, nothing came close to topping this beauty.
If you don’t swing by Pita Bar, there’s little else to say except that you’re missing out, big time.
George and Irene Hotel - Ios
A mishap with Tripadvisor led us to this tucked away little gem completely by accident.
George and Irene’s is a family-run B&B perched up a very steep hill, boasting phenomenal front-row views of the town centre, and home to the magic that is Irene’s cooking. This was, by far, the best hospitality we received on our entire European holiday.
Each day they would cook us breakfast, lunch and dinner, stuffing us with so much food we had to roll ourselves out.
The standout dish was Irene’s moussaka, which I would describe as the Mediterranean lasagne, made with layers of potato, eggplant, minced meat and creamy white sauce. This was one of the culinary highlights of my life. Laden with spices and cheese, this would be my death row meal.
Do yourself a favour and book your accommodation here, or at least pop in for a life-changing home-cooked meal. You won’t be disappointed.
Nutelleria - Ios
Exactly as the name suggests, this café serves an array of crepes and waffles using that globally favoured spread, Nutella.
Let’s be honest, there was no way I was walking past this place without indulging in a ‘little’ sweet treat. I ordered the Mille Feuille crepe and my partner had the Snickers.
We watched a man skilfully make our crepes with his artistic flair, the aroma of the cooking batter paralysing us and losing control of our salivary glands.
My crepe was filled with a thick, vanilla custard cream, flaky pieces of pastry, chopped, fresh strawberries and was dusted with icing sugar. Lashings of toffee caramel, granulated peanuts, chunks of white and milk chocolate and a swirl of chocolate sauce went into the Snickers crepe.
Each weighing at least half a kilo, we could feel ourselves becoming diabetic just looking at them. I don’t need to explain how they tasted, I think you know.
Go here. That’s all.
Maria’s Traditional Restaurant – Mykonos
We spent the morning wandering through Mykonos Town when we happened upon this beachside beauty by chance.
It was quite early for lunch, so we were the only customers, but as the clock ticked on it was clear that Maria’s had quite a name for itself.
The menu was exclusively authentic Greek food, which is exactly what we were after, and I can tell you, it was a long time going back and forth between menu items before we finally settled.
I ordered stuffed capsicums filled with minced meat, rice, spices and tomatoes, accompanied with creamy sliced potatoes and all drizzled with olive oil.
My partner had a plate of crispy fried meatballs, which had the most delicious, spiced flavour, and came with a side of beautifully fragrant rice.
Because we wanted as much food as we could stuff in our gobs, we also ordered a side of herb-and-olive oil bread. Thick pieces of fresh, toasted bread were topped with a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkled with dried herbs. It was quite possibly nicer than garlic bread.
If that doesn’t sell you, I don’t know what will.
Cina Manto café-restaurant
This beautiful outdoor restaurant with a giant movie screen for night time was nestled in the heart of Mykonos Town.
We came here for lunch, so we didn’t get the movie, but the vibe was every bit as lovely. Leafy trees provided a shaded canopy, under which stood white-painted chairs and tables adorned with one sand-filled glass bottle containing delicate, purple flowers.
We ordered a potato salad that was loaded with red onion, lemon and fresh parsley, and a plate of homemade tzatziki. Thick, rich, creamy and generously drizzled with olive oil, this dip was the perfect accompaniment to the complementary basket of fresh, crusty bread we received.
As an avid lover of dips, I was probably more excited about this tzatziki than most of the other meals on our trip, and it did not let me down. Some of the freshest flavours I’ve ever tasted came from this lunch. I can still smell and taste it as if I were there now.
This quaint garden café is an absolute must if you find yourself in Mykonos.
So, there are my favourite places to eat in Greece. Of course, I haven’t been to anywhere near all of them, but somehow, I think they would make my list regardless.
Bon appétit, fellow travellers!