PRINT PREVIEW
send to printer

Concierge.com

Greece Restaurants

1800
Oia , Santorini
Greece 84702
Tel: 30 22860 71800
www.oia-1800.com

One the poshest (and priciest) restaurants on the island, architect/owner Ioannis Zagelidis's refined renovation of a sea captain's house makes for a grand evening out. 1800 was one of several pioneers of evolved Greek cooking that emerged on Santorini in the 1980s, and the food is still fascinating: roasted fillet of red mullet wrapped in grape leaves and served in a tapenade sauce; white grouper with a celery mousse; baklava with sweet olives and pistachios. There's also a great list of wines.

48
48 Klefton and Armatolon
Ampelokipoi
Athens
Greece
Tel: 30 210 641 1082
www.48therestaurant.com

Cypriot-born chef Christoforos Peskias is equal parts magician and technician. The food at this lounge-y, recently renovated eatery remains solidly Aegean, delicious, and fresh—but there's science behind his creations. Peskias (who trained with Ferran Adriá) grew up hunting hare and making stifado with them; now he carefully stews them under vacuum at exactly 154ºF so as to properly caramelize the onions. The veggies that accompany his popular pork souvlaki are so thinly sliced they could have been cut with a laser. And toppings you can choose on the signature peinirli—like doughy, open-faced calzones—include pancetta, quail eggs, truffles, sweetbreads and sea urchins. The interior is suitably futuristic and monochromatic—it is, after all, part of the Ileana Tounta art gallery. Advance reservations are a good idea.

Closed June through August. Closed Sundays September through May.

Agni Bay Tavernas
Agni Bay , Corfu
Greece

Agni Bay is a secluded cove with nothing but olive groves, a rocky beach—and three of the best restaurants on Corfu: Agni Taverna (30-266-309-1142; open daily 12–4:30 p.m. and 7–11 p.m.; closed Nov–April); Nikolas Taverna (30-266-309-1243; www.agnibay.com; closed Nov–mid-April); and Toula's seafood restaurant 30-266-309-1350; open daily 1–11 p.m.; closed May–Oct. 15 and from 4:30–7 p.m. July–Aug). Each has been operating for decades and is steeped in its own particular kind of history. Agni Taverna, whose signature dish is spaghetti with mussels, shrimp, and calamari, has been run by the same family for more than 100 years. Nikolas Taverna, known for wonderfully fresh salads and homemade Feta cheese, is housed in a building that's belonged to the owners' family for more than a century. And Toula, who serves one of the island's best light, summery desserts—fresh yogurt with lemon zest—is locally famous for her cookbook of traditional Corfiote recipes. For the best selection of dishes at any of these three places, it's best to come early (before 2 for lunch and 9 for dinner).

Hotel Photo
Ambrosia
Oia , Santorini
Greece 84702
Tel: 30 22860 71413
www.ambrosia-nectar.com

The Santorini sunset is best observed from here, at what has long been one of the centers of summertime village life. While the magnificent terrace view is one reason to come, so is the exquisite taste of co-owners Tony Mosiman and Panayiotis Vassilopoulos, who are also responsible for the hotel 1864 The Sea Captain's House and Ambrosia & Nectar (30-22860-71504). So if it's dark or (God forbid) raining, you can take refuge in pretty interiors with antiques, candlelight, and mirrors. The food is excellent contemporary Greek, try the tender beef fillet, fresh truffles, and sweet-pumpkin puree, or the pan-seared duck in red-wine–and–cherry marinade with grilled mango and jasmine rice with walnuts.

Open daily 7 pm to 12 am, April through October.

Argo Fish Taverna
Haraki Beach
Haraki , Rhodes
Greece 85107
Tel: 30 22 4405 1410

A short distance from Lindos, the small fishing village of Haraki is far less crowded with tourists. The pebbly beach isn't ideal for sun worshipping, but the little crescent-shaped bay dotted with bobbing boats is very pretty. The food here is traditional Greek, with tzatziki (a cold dish of fresh cucumbers, yogurt, and dill), taramasalata (a dip made with fish roe, olive oil, lemon juice, and bread crumbs), and excellent fish on the menu. Nibble on an order of fried calamari, or try the baked mussels with tomatoes and feta.

Seasonal hours vary. Call ahead.

Avli Fusion Enoteca
22 Xanthoudidou Street
Rethymnon , Crete
Greece 74100
Tel: 30 28310 58250
www.avli.gr

This restaurant in the courtyard garden of a restored Venetian mansion, now a hotel, has a 500-year-old wine cellar housing 460 labels, and is a must-dine experience for the ambience alone. The food is worthy of the setting, with authentic Cretan dishes prepared with local ingredients. The mountain goat with thyme and honey, for instance, is a popular variation on a dish owner Katerina Xekalou's mother used to make. Authentic Cretan does not necessarily come cheap, though, so be prepared to spend your euros as if they were some lesser currency, such as dollars.

Open daily 1 pm to 12:30 am.

Belvedere Restaurant
Belvedere Hotel
School of Fine Arts District
Mykonos Town , Mykonos
Greece 84600
Tel: 30 22890 25122
www.belvederehotel.com/main.htm

You know a hotel takes its food seriously when both of its restaurants feature celebrity chefs, as they do at Mykonos's most fashionable roost, the Belvedere. A few summers ago, Nobu Matsuhisa's eponymous eatery, Matsuhisa Mykonos, which many consider to be the island's top restaurant, was joined by the revamped Belvedere Restaurant; it is under the creative direction of George Calombaris, a Greek-Australian culinary star whose Melbourne restaurant, the Press Club, is among the most lauded in a city with one of the largest Greek populations outside of Greece. In a lantern-lit, poolside setting, Calombaris takes traditional Greek cuisine and makes it seem like something new—which means you'd better enjoy eating your vegetables, because local produce (tomatoes, caper leaves, lentils) is at the heart of all he does. That and pairing everything with the right Greek wine and ouzo.

Brillant Restaurant
Lato Boutique Hotel
15 Epimenidou Street
Iraklio , Crete
Greece 71202
Tel: 30 2810 334 959
www.brillantrestaurant.gr

The decor of this Iraklio restaurant is as bold as the recent renovation of the hotel that houses it, the urban-boutique–style Lato. The restaurant's modernistic design, dominated by black and silver geometric shapes, is carried right through to the place settings and reflects much of the look throughout the hotel. The effect can be a little unsettling, as if you were having an in-flight meal on Spaceship Crete. But the food, from red pepper soup to popcorn goat-cheese truffles, is creative enough to overcome that—and help justify the astronomical prices.

Calypso
Elounda Peninsula All-Suite Hotel
Elounda , Crete
Greece 72053
Tel: 30 28410 68250
www.eloundapeninsula.com/dining.htm

Unless your heart goes pop for fried calamari, it's surprisingly hard to find a good seafood restaurant in Greece. The Calypso, at the Elounda Peninsula All-Suite Hotel, is an exception, however. It is overseen by Michelin two-star chef Jacques Le Divellec, one of the contemporary masters at finessing a fish, and run by executive chef Jean-Charles Métayer, one of the rising stars of that art. Try the marinated crawfish, perhaps, or the mullet stewed with rosemary, both stylish presentations that reflect the chefs' French training.

Open daily 8:30 to 10:30 pm.

Daphne's
4 Lysikratos Street
Plaka
Athens
Greece 10558
Tel: 30 210 322 7971
www.daphnesrestaurant.gr

If you are a famous foreigner, or like to imagine that people think you are, this is one of the places you'll eat in Athens. The setting, in a restored neoclassical villa, including an interior garden, in the otherwise gastronomically challenged Plaka area, is attractive, and the food, a mix of traditional and nouvelle Greek, is excellent. (To get off to a happy start, try meatballs in ouzo-laced tomato sauce.) Many of Daphne's diners are so eager to see and be seen down in the garden area that the few tables out front, which are considered to be the least socially desirable, have some of the best views of the Parthenon in Athens. So luckily you'll be seated here if you show up on a weekend without a reservation.

Open daily 7:30 pm to 1 am.

Dimitri's
Amoudi Bay
Oia , Santorini
Greece 84702
Tel: 30 22860 82210

In the tiny port of Amoudi, below Oia, where waves slap against the fishing boats, don't be tempted to stop at any of the fish tavernas until you get to Captain Dimitri's, at the far end of the seawall. Not only does Dimitri's have a better sunset view than the others, and less foot traffic passing by, but the captain's Canadian wife, Joy, can serve up the local news along with octopus right off the outdoor grill. Linger over an ouzo and you'll discover that what makes Dimitri's such a good place for news gathering are the many locals in the know (hoteliers, restaurant owners, shopkeepers) who hang out here.—Bob Payne

Open March through October.

Dimitri's Taverna
Main Road
Kalami , Corfu
Greece 49083
Tel: 30 266 309 1172
www.dimitriscorfu.gr/restaurant.htm

This charming spot above the village of Kalami in northeastern Corfu has the views you'd expect of a restaurant perched on the edge of a mountain—call to reserve a balcony table to ensure you take advantage of it. Dishes are none too adventurous and more Euro than Greek (there's a good steak), and while prices are a little higher than the norm, the cooking is reliable.

Dinner only; weekends only from November through May.

Ferryman
Elounda , Crete
Greece
Tel: 30 28410 41230

Except for its name, which comes from the 1977 BBC television series, Who Pays the Ferryman?, in which it played a role, Ferryman is what most visitors imagine a Greek taverna to be. Perhaps the best of a string of similar open-air restaurants along the Elounda waterfront, it offers up the expected dishes—tzatziki, Greek salad, calamari, grilled lamb—with the expected animated solicitude of your waiter, who'll top off your glass with the house white and lie about the excellent pronunciation of your Greek.

Open daily noon to 4 pm and 6:30 to 11 pm.

Gefsis Me Onomasia Proelefsis
317 Kifisias
Kifissia
Athens
Greece
Tel: 30 210 800 1402

That mouthful means "flavors of designated origin" (like D.O.C. on an Italian wine label), and it translates into mouthfuls of divinely fresh, beyond-authentic food from chef Jim Pissias. Every item arrives on the menu direct from its (named) source, and arrives on your plate intact, rather than mushed into overcooked stews. Dishes include fresh-grilled sardine fillets served with baked tomatoes and a caper-parsley sauce; fava beans from Santorini served with carmelized spring onions, olives, and mint-lime sauce. The restaurant occupies a gracious, antique-bedecked 19th-century Kifissia villa.

Open Monday through Saturday 8 pm to 11:30 pm.

Hytra
7 Navarhou Apostoli
Psyrri
Athens
Greece
Tel: 30 210 331 6767

This trendy place in Psyrri has remained steadily popular. Chef Yiannis Baxevanis is doing great things with horta (Cretan wild greens), regional cheeses, and—unfortunately, but in this case forgivably—foams. This is probably the only place in the capital you'll get to eat spiny chicory, or see calamari, spinach, beets, and berries on the same plate—and enjoy eating it. The scarlet-and-yellow space with pictures of pots on the walls (a hytra is a traditional stew vessel) is comfy despite its modern spin.

Closed June through September.

Hotel Photo
Kiki's
Agios Sostis Beach
Mykonos , Cyclades
84600

If this place sounds familiar, it's because you've read about it in a travel magazine, heard a honeymooning couple raving about it at your hotel, or maybe seen it in your Greek island dreams. Kiki's is the embodiment of laid-back Mykonos: no phone or sign, a limited menu, and only one meal (lunch) served daily. To find it, follow the road to Panormos Bay, then keep heading north to Agios Sostis beach; you'll see cars parked on the shoulder and a trail of smoke rising from a white cube house shrouded by the gnarled branches of an ancient tree. Order a glass of chilled Greek rosé, sit on the shaded terrace overlooking a textbook white-sand beach, and help yourself to a choice of salads—perhaps artichokes with lemon, beets in yogurt sauce, or white beans with parsley and olive oil. Entrées come from the grill; the marinated pork chop, chicken thighs, and supremely tender octopus are our favorites. Kiki's is a good choice for a windy day, since the cove (and the perfectly blue water, of course) it sits above are more protected than the southern beaches. But regardless, everyone on the island makes it to Kiki's once during their stay—or ought to.

Closed mid-October to mid-April.

Hotel Photo
Koukoumavlos
Fira
Santorini
Greece 84700
Tel: 30 22860 23807
www.koukoumavlos.eu

Koukoumavlos, an award-winning restaurant housed in an elegant 18th-century captain's house, is where chef Nikos Pouliasis combines unexpected flavors to create dishes that range from imaginative to…weird. Eggplant tiramisu? Grilled beef with Parmesan ice cream? Fried cheese with cucumber jelly? But even diners who decide the adventure goes too far can console themselves with a caldera view that's as fine as any on the island.—Bob Payne

Open daily 7:30 pm to midnight.

Mavrikos
Main Square
Lindos , Rhodes
Greece 85107
Tel: 30 22 4403 1232

Smart locals and summer residents head for this elegant restaurant—and its shaded terrace—in the main plateia (town square). You might have to put up with whining scooters and maneuvering tour buses, but the reward is the best food in town, including delicious grilled octopus and smoky manouri cheese with pine nuts and basil. Mavrikos is a favorite with visiting bigwigs, including David Gilmour of Pink Floyd, Barbra Streisand, and King Abdullah of Jordan. Afterward, stop by Mavrikos's very popular ice-cream parlor, Geloblu (in the Old Town near the church).

Nicolas Tavern
Fiskardo , Cephalonia
Greece 28084
Tel: 30 267 404 1307
www.greekhotel.com/ionian/kefaloni/fiskardo/nicolas/home.htm

Up high on a bluff overlooking Fiskardo's port, Nicolas Taverna boasts a gorgeous view of the sheltered harbor. It's also got a bon vivant owner, Nicolas—who, along with his sons, leads guests in Greek dancing when the mood strikes him. It may be his outsize personality that has attracted celebrities such as John Hurt to the restaurant; the overall vibe is casual and laid-back, and the food, though reliably good, isn't particularly inventive. Apart from the salads and calamari dishes, a good choice is the Hunter's Chicken, smothered in onions and sautéed in wine.

Closed from mid-October through April.

Nireas
22 Sofokleous
Rhodes Town , Rhodes
Greece 85100
Tel: 30 22 4102 1703

Owner Theodoros Tsikkis hails from the tiny island of Symi, as do his specialty dishes, such as mussels saganaki (with feta, red peppers, tomatoes, and onions) and a Greek salad with pine nuts and capers. Symi has recently experienced a culinary renaissance due to an influx of tourists, with chefs applying French and Italian techniques to traditional Greek food. As a result, Tsikkis's cooking is a cut above the fare at the usual taverna; be sure to ask what he recommends.

Nykterida
Korakies
Chania , Crete
Greece
Tel: 30 28210 64215
www.nykterida.gr

Talk about having a history! This venerable eatery, in the same family since 1922, is where Anthony Quinn learned the sirtaki, the dance that produced one of the most memorable scenes in the 1964 film Zorba the Greek. And the food, said to be good in Quinn's day, remains so. Chef George Leontaras's menu selections range across the Mediterranean and beyond, but most interesting are the traditional Cretan dishes, such as snails in tomato sauce, or phyllo pockets stuffed with fennel and wild greens. Nykterida is in Korakies, a few miles outside of Chania, but nobody seems to mind the drive, especially because the view from the dining room, overlooking Souda Bay, is so romantic at night that you just want to get up and dance…the sirtaki.

Opens Mondays through Saturdays at 6 pm.

Pagopoieion
Agios Titos Square
Iraklio , Crete
Greece
Tel: 30 2810 346 028

Breakfast place in the morning and jazz club late at night, with lunch and dinner served in between, this former ice factory is one of the hippest gathering places in town, and one of the most oddly decorated. For one thing, there's graffiti on the wall that was written by Nazis when they occupied Iraklio during World War II. It reads, "God save us from storm and wind and slow workmates." For another thing, the bathroom, which has a fountain in the middle of it, looks like the work of ceramic artists gone wild. None of this is surprising, considering that the owner is an artist herself. If you are just here to nibble, as many are, try the galatopita, or milk pie.

Open daily 9 am to 1 pm.

Paleo Archontiko
Siokou St. (at Ipsilantou)
Nafplio
Greece
Tel: 27520 22449

This small taverna dishes up traditional Greek fare—and, in the evening, music. It's a favorite with locals, who come for the atmosphere as much as the food. In summer, the tables spill out onto the sidewalk. The reasonably priced menu has several vegetarian options. Credit cards are not accepted. Make a reservation on weekends or in the summer.

Platanos Taverna
4 Diogenous Street
Plaka
Athens
Greece 10556
Tel: 30 210 322 0666

One of Plaka's oldest tavernas, serving since 1932, Platanos is just what you want when you set out to eat unpretentious, grilled, and unreconstructed Greek dishes (try the lamb with artichoke, and the eggplant salad). It has a bougainvillea-covered terrace, slightly surly waiters, bargain prices, and house-made retsina (along with even stronger stuff).

Psaraki
Vlychada
Santorini
Greece 84700
Tel: 30 22869 82783

Before or after spending time on the beaches on the south side of Santorini, a must-stop for lunch is Psaraki, a fish taverna overlooking the boat harbor at Vlychada. Its ordinary look, at least in a country of white cubes trimmed in blue, will have you wondering why seemingly half the people on the island have pointed you toward it. But a taste of its red snapper, perhaps, or its sea bass, selected by you after a wander through the kitchen, will provide the answer. Psaraki is about simple, traditional Greek dishes done extremely well—and washed down with wine from the assyrtiko grape, given its distinctive taste by Santorini's rich volcanic soil.—Bob Payne

Open daily noon to 11 pm, March through October.

Saltsa
Fira
Imerovigli , Santorini
Greece 84700
Tel: 30 22860 28018
www.saltsa.gr

It has no view, so this deceptively traditional-looking eatery (where every chair seems to be mismatched) is not as crowded as the restaurants along the caldera. But the food, beginning with homemade olive-, caper-, and tomato-flavored breads, is exceptional (pan-fried cod in a corn-flour crust, caramelized beets, and garlic fava beans; grilled grouper in red-onion and fish fumet). The chef, Dimitris Lazarou, is a growing talent who studied under his uncle Lefteris Lazarou, the owner and chef at Varoulko in Athens, one of only three restaurants in Greece ever to receive a Michelin star.

Open daily 7 pm to 12:30 am, March through October. Closed Mondays in October.

Savouras
79 Bouboulinas
Nafplio
Greece
Tel: 27520 27704

Don't be put off by the drab decor inside this nautically themed restaurant. It beats the neighboring mediocre tourist eateries hands down. Spanking-fresh seafood draws knowledgeable locals—if you can't decide what to order, ask if you can have what they'rehaving. Or try the specialty, midia saganaki, succulent mussels in tomato sauce, topped with cheese. Wash it all down with a carafe of the local wine; work it off with a stroll along the seafront promenade afterwards. Expect crowds on weekends.

Hotel Photo
Selene
Pyrgos
Santorini
Greece 84700
Tel: 30 22860 22249
www.selene.gr

After 25 years at the edge of the caldera in Santorini, Selene, one of the island's premier restaurants, has moved to the traditional village of Pyrgos. Owner Yiorgos Hatziyannakis says the move has brought him closer to the farms and vineyards whose produce he has long championed and made a focal point of Selene's award-winning menus. The new location, in a 19th-century mansion, is shared with a folk museum illustrating how that produce—cherry tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, fava beans, grapes—traditionally was grown and prepared. Dinners, perhaps sea bass with fava risotto or piglet with orange comfit and apple purée, are served on the mansion's terrace or beneath the vaulted ceiling of the dining room. If that seems overly formal, the wine bar and café downstairs serves—along with salads, sandwiches, and a selection of Cycladic cheeses—some of the island's best burgers and fries.—Bob Payne

Open daily 7 to 11:30 pm, April through October.

Selitsa
Kalamata
Greece
Tel: 27210 41331

About two miles northeast of Kalamata center (follow Navarinou towards Verga, then the signs for Selitsa village)

While you browse the menu, nibble on paximadia, whole-wheat bread slices that are baked until they become hard rusks. (Traditionally served at a meal after a funeral, paximadia are also eaten year-round under happier circumstances, sometimes in a sweet version.) Selitsa's are scented with oregano and olive oil. Youvetsi, a baked pasta, meat, and tomato dish, is delicious, as is the spetsofai sausage and pepper casserole. A stream runs by the restaurant, and there's also a small castle next door, which is a bar in summer. The restaurant commands a gorgeous view of Kalamata and the Gulf of Messinia.

Sinantisi
Town square Mavrovouni (about one mile south of Gythio)
Mavrovouni
Greece
Tel: 27330 22256

This pleasant little grill serves traditional Greek food using local produce: artichokes in spring, eggplant and tomatoes in summer. At any time of year, ask to visit the kitchen so the chef can show you what's good: He may gesture toward a pile of wild greens, or show you a refrigerator drawer filled with glistening fresh octopus (nearby Gythio, with its surrounding gulf, is the octopus capital of Greece). The offerings include several savory baked dishes, usually in a clay pot. You'll also find garlicky tzatziki and luscious, creamy taramasalata, the dip made with pink fish roe. Dinner only.

Hotel Photo
Spondi
5 Pyronos Street
Varnava Square
Athens
Greece 11638
Tel: 30 210 756 4021
www.spondi.gr/

The setting alone would make this upmarket restaurant a pleasant place to dine, especially in the courtyard on summer evenings. Away from the rush of central Athens, Spondi is in a quiet residential neighborhood, a few steps from the Marble Stadium, where the first modern Olympics were held. But for $200 or so a person, you want more than atmosphere. You want Arnaud Bignon, who trained under some of France's top chefs, to impress you with his take on international fusion, a take that has earned Spondi two Michelin stars and a long-running reputation as arguably the best restaurant in Greece. Go for the tasting menu; let Bignon bring on the foie gras, the scallops, the cod, and the duck; and decide for yourself.—Bob Payne

Open daily 8 to 11:45 pm.

Tamam
49 Zambeliou
Chania , Crete
Greece 73132
Tel: 30 28210 96080

Plenty of restaurants in Chania will take you to the cleaners, but in only one, Tamam, can you eat, quite reasonably, in what was once a Turkish bathhouse. The menu is eclectic Mediterranean, but a favorite dish is the Meat Pie Tamam, a mix of chopped lamb, cheese, and spices, cinnamon and spearmint notable among them, baked in a thin crust of the handmade phyllo dough for which Crete is known. Perhaps reminiscent of its origins, Tamam's interior can get steamy on the hottest of summer days, so on those occasions opt for one of the few outside tables, against the stone wall bordering Zambeliou, a narrow, busy alleyway where you must be prepared to protect your wine bottle from the extended elbows of pedestrians.

Open daily noon to midnight, January through November.

Taverna Arekia
92 Kryonerjioy Street
Zakynthos Town , Zakynthos
Greece 29100
Tel: 30 269 502 6346

One of Zakynthos's unique local customs is its musical tradition of cantades—(serenades)—and arekia (folk songs sung in four parts). These are the soundtrack to any dining experience at Arekia, an old-school taverna where patrons (some of them in their 90s) sit on rug-covered picnic benches to wildly applaud enthusiastic local singers. The food here is almost secondary to the music, but the simple dishes—veal sofrito, fried zucchini balls—are welcome, especially once you've worked up an appetite singing (and drowned your inhibitions in the freely flowing homemade wine).

Closed November through March.

Taverna Praxitelous
7 Spiliopoulou (near police station)
Olympia
Greece
Tel: 26240 23570

The restaurant of the Hotel Praxitelous is renowned for its mezedes, or appetizers, many of which will delight vegetarians: try the zucchini fritters, the stuffed tomatoes, or the eggplant dip. The cooling tzatziki (a sauce made with creamy Greek yogurt along with cucumbers, dill, and garlic) is delicious. Order a pikilia (assortment), and in summer, eat it at one of the tables on the pedestrian-only street outside. In winter, sit indoors beside the fireplace.

To Dimarchio
Town Hall Square
71 Gilford Street
Corfu Town , Corfu
Greece 49100
Tel: 30 266 103 9031

The Corfu crowds may all head to nearby Rex for upscale traditional food—but that's because most of them don't know about this place. To Dimarchio (which means "Town Hall") has outdoor tables surrounded with bougainvillea and jacaranda, and views of Corfu's actual Town Hall—a Venetian mansion with carvings of angels floating on the walls. The food here is traditional and satisfying—try one of the homemade pasta dishes with fresh shellfish, or the delicate vegetable napoleon pastries. Just be sure you know what you're in for when you order the sliced lobster tail salad served on a bed of greens; it's delicious, but it sure ain't cheap.

To Steno
29 Anaryiron
Rhodes Town , Rhodes
Greece 85100
Tel: 30 22 4103 5914

In the heart of the Old Town, this fine local ouzeria offers an extensive list of the anise-infused Greek brandy. Order a small bottle of chilled ouzo, and remember that the key to drinking it successfully is to top off your glass with water and to line your stomach with the snacks known as mezedes. To Steno serves a fine selection of nibbles, including tzatziki, zucchini fritters, and chickpea patties.

Tripa
Kinopiastes
Kinopiastes , Corfu
Greece 49084
Tel: 30 266 105 6333
www.tripas.gr

Since 1947, locals have been patronizing this taverna in the picturesque village of Kinopiastes, about a 15-minute drive from Corfu Town. The restaurant has also hosted some pretty notable visitors through the years—such as Jimmy Carter and JFK. The lure? Family-style servings of delicious, traditional dishes, such as spiced homemade sausages and pastitsada (pasta in a spicy tomato sauce with either beef or veal ragù). The prix-fixe option includes a folk dance performance in summers; guests are asked to join in, and dancing on tables is heartily encouraged.

Dinner only. Closed mid-January through mid-February.

Uno con Carne
Panachra
Mykonos Town , Mykonos
Greece 84600
Tel: 30 22890 24020
www.unoconcarne.gr

The success of this Argentine steak house may be a sign of the increasingly international scope of Mykonos gastronomy. Or it may just be that the draw is the really big bar. Half the space here, in what was once an open-air movie theater, is dedicated to the lounge, where a reliably lively crowd has discovered something rare in Mykonos—nearly enough tables for all. The menu is straight from the Pampas, so if a juicy, giant T-bone isn't to your taste, try another specialty of that grassy region: ostrich.

Vanilia
Firostefani , Santorini
Greece 84700
Tel: 30 22860 25631
www.vanilia.gr

This 19th-century windmill has a terrace of fairy lights, pale-yellow wooden chairs, bountiful bougainvillea, and heart-stopping vistas over the Aegean. It looks like the essence of taverna—and so it is. The food, though, is a step up, with dishes such as green long peppers fried with mizithra cheese; flowerpot chicken with smoked local tomatoes and balsamic-onion relish; and madi, a veal ravioli in yogurt-garlic sauce.

Open daily 7 pm to 12:30 am.

Varoulko
80 Piraeus Street
Hotel Eradanus
Gazi
Athens
Greece 10435
Tel: 30 210 522 8400
www.varoulko.gr/uk/varoulko.html

Seafood legend Lefteris Lazarou won the Michelin race, gaining the country's first star for Greek food—and rightly so, say the hordes clamoring for tables at this wood-floored, white-walled dining room (belonging to Hotel Eridanus) or a prized one on the terrace overlooking the Acropolis. Lazarou rises before dawn to source his psari (baked seafood dishes) and treats them in ways that veer into classical French territory without ever leaving Greece. Typical are cuttlefish risotto with caramelized garlic and bay leaf, and grouper with wild greens braised in egg-lemon sauce. Meat dishes are fewer, but just as amazing, such as his take on patsa, the workingman's tripe soup, served in a martini glass.

Opens Mondays through Saturdays at 8:30 pm.

Venetian Well
Kremasti Square
Corfu Town
Corfu , Ionian Islands
79100
Tel: 30 266 104 4761
www.venetianwell.gr

You practically need a guide dog to find it, hidden among the backstreets of Corfu Town, but after some 30 years this innovative eatery remains a place to discover dishes that go beyond the standard Greek fare. When have you last tried, for instance, drunken mussels with ouzo or red snapper with watermelon? (Not recommended, however, until they get a proofreader for their menu, is the "roasted lamp.") Not recommended, either, is going for lunch. The food is just as good, but the square where it sits is a rather unprepossessing place in sunlight, and there is some risk of a soccer ball belonging to one of the neighborhood kids ending up in your cheese pie. Better to wait until the evening, when candlelight turns all to romance.

Lunch and dinner daily; dinner only in August.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.