Where to Eat on Lesvos and Chios
As part of our Green Traveller's Guide to Lesvos & Chios, here's our pick of places to eat.
You'd struggle not to eat well in the Northern Aegean, where the focus is always on fresh, local and seasonal fare. Food is even part of the decor here, find octopus tentacles strung up outside beachside tavernas in Lesvos and fat garlands of tomatoes ripening in the sun on the stone walls of Chiot houses.
Our top tip for filling your belly in style is to settle down in any beachside taverna and ask them to bring you whatever they recommend - your table will groan with bright Greek salads, just-off-the-boat fish and tasty meat dishes, served with glasses of cloudy ouzo or a brain-rattlingly strong coffee. If you can, leave room for filo pastry puddings (try one laced with mastic liquor for a boozy sugar kick) or a simple locally made jams and marmalades with a dollop of Greek yoghurt.
Google map: shows the location and details of all the places to stay, local food and drink, nearby visitor attractions and activities in our Green Traveller's Guide to Lesvos & Chios:
Green = Places to stay Blue = Local food & drink Yellow = Attractions Purple = Activities
Places to eat Lesvos & Chios
A relaxed beachfront sea bar, at Avlaki huge trees hung with clay lanterns throw a cool dappled shade over the tables clustered on the patio. You can look out to sea and at nearby Rabbit Island as you tuck into fresh squid, saganaki (prawns in spicy tomato sauce) and quince jam with Greek yoghurt.
Klimos Coffee Shop
Wander the narrow, wisteria-covered streets of Agiasos and tucked away by the church you'll find an attractive little coffee shop. Here they make cups of java the old-fashioned way - by plunging tiny copper kettles into hot sand. Drink the dark, caffeine-spiked infusion (you can add sugar but you mustn't stir it) outside in the square.
Tsalikis Ice Cream Shop
Cool off after a hot summer's day exploring Petra with a stop at Tsalikis. This old-fashioned icecream parlour offers 44 flavours of homemade icecreams, plus milkshakes and sorbets, or pick, if you can, from their groaning glass counters of brightly decorated puddings and pastries. tsalikis.com.gr
Molyvos is stuffed with appetising-looking places to eat, but down on the harbour is especially lovely of an evening as the sun sets and the fishing boats head out to sea. Mistral is one of the few restaurants on the seafront which is open all year, and their gorgeously fresh, homemade Greek cooking served with lashings of white wine is the perfect way to unwind after a busy day of adventuring. mistral.molivos.net
Belle Ville Taverna
Belle Ville is a light, airy taverna perched right on the beach of Skala of Eressos, with inviting-looking sofas and a range of fresh juices to cool you down on hot days. Just steps from the sea, if you can't resist the temptation of the water head down for a dip and then come back to land to fill up on fresh, modern fare - the menu is international and Moroccan-inspired.
The rather hip Parasol bar is an inviting sight - a warm orange light spills out onto the boardwalk from the paper lanterns strung up everywhere inside this beachside hangout, which feels a touch Greece-meets-Caribbean. Get comfy on one of their cosy sofas and order one of the huge, fruit-laden cocktails. Beware - they're pretty strong.
The Captain's Table
Melinda and Theo run Captain's Table on Molyvos Harbour, with an international flair, and the ever-changing menu could hold anything from Greek Thai fusion to Italian pasta dishes, although Theo recommends trying his wonderful roast lamb with oregano. The charming outdoor terrace is the perfect place to sit and watch the fishermen of Molyvos bringing in their bounty in the day or have a glass of ouzo under the stars by night. lesvosvacations.com/captainstable.htm
An ouzeri is literally an ouzo bar. Sound good so far? Ouzo is the marmite of liquors, but if you can't get enough of the stuff then this place is heaven. The oldest bar in Mytiline is delightfully old fashioned inside, its cosy wooden walls covered in antiques and pictures, and here you'll find 15 kinds of ouzo served up with tasty tapas dishes such as octopus or spicy sausages.
Octapus, on Molyvos harbour, is likely to tick a lot of boxes for fish lovers. Seaside location with gently bobbing fishing boats? Check. Alfresco dining, served by friendly staff? An incredible array for freshly-caught seafood and the catch of the day, beautifully cooked and matched with local wines? Check. Dinner at Octapus is a delight, and if the fruits of the sea don't float your boat there are scrumptious meat dishes and vegetables from the garden to try instead - the mousaka is a must. octapus-restaurant.com
Iliastra Cafe, Chios Town, Greece
Chios Town is all hustle, bustle and mopeds zipping by, but step inside the huge stone walls of Chios Castle, a fortress which once protected the Old Town from invaders, and you'll find a quiet, peaceful square with Iliastra Cafe and Patisserie nestled in one corner. Sit at an outdoor table for an afternoon pitstop of a traditional Greek frappe, or cold coffee, and a homemade sweet treat.
Pyrgos Tavern Avgonima, Chios, Greece
The friendly folk at Pyrgos Tavern, in the central square of Avgonima, do a fine line in classic Greek dishes, which go very well with bottles of very cold Chios Beer (the island is very proud of its microbrewery). Pyrgos is the perfect place to while away lazy summer evenings by candlelight, watching the village's pretty square, quiet by day, come to life by night.
Nostos Tavern, Lagada, Chios, Greece
Turn a switch-back corner on Chios' epic coastal road and suddenly you're winding down through pine trees to lovely Lagada, a fishing village hugging the clear blue waters of the Aegean Sea. The tavernas along the seafront are a riot of blue and white, and Nostos is a great choice - turn up on a summer's afternoon to find it full of happy locals eating a long, lazy lunch of salted sardines and platefuls of greek salad in the cool sea breeze.
Roussiko, Agia Ermioni, Chios, Greece
The owners of Roussiko seriously want you to have a good time. Sit down and you'll barely have a second to peruse the handwritten menus before you're on the receiving end of a flurry of delicious things to eat. As with most Chiot restuarants, it's wisest to ask your waiter to bring you the best dishes: you can always expect bright salads, freshly-caught fish and other treats, but at Roussiko you're also liable to be plied with multiple shots of ouzo. Don't forget the Greek tradition is to say 'Yamas!' and look your host in the eye as you drink.
Anavatos Tavern, Anavatos, Chios, Greece
The only living souls left in the abandoned stone village of Anavatos (besides the many cats) are one elderly lady, an artist and the owner of this tavern, which serves up tasty local fare and proper Greek coffee on a shady terrace at the bottom of the cliffside. After climbing the steep steps up into the abandoned village to explore the lonely, haunting ruins, a glass of local liquor at the tavern is the perfect way to shake off any ghosts.
For ideas of local food and drink, visitor attractions and outdoor activities, see our