The Eating Guide to Folegandros, Greece

Greece

There’s a new kid on the block in the Cyclades. Folegandros has just over 700 inhabitants, a handful of quaint restaurants, and countless trekking routes that will bring you to some of the most glorious views of the Aegean Sea. The best part? You won’t have to fight for a spot on the beach, or wait for your turn to take a picture. Tourists escape the overcrowded islands of Santorini and Mykonos to this little island for some much-needed peace and tranquility. 

Look forward to: Grilled octopus and fava beans

Rakentia

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Where: Folegandros Kyklades, Chora Folegandros Kyklades
What: Baked eggs
For: Breakfast

The owner of Rakentia is right in proclaiming that everything on its breakfast menu is good. One bite of the café’s baked eggs and you’ll wonder why eggs are never done this way anywhere else. Sandwiches are in the form of Italian-styled panini, stuffed with fresh prosciutto, Greek cheese and rockets. This all day dining bar has an extensive drinks list, paired with a view of Folegandro’s hilly landscapes. What better way to enjoy a cocktail on the island. 

Eva’s Garden

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Where: Near plateia Kontarini, Greece
What: Crayfish orzo
For: Greek fusion cuisine

Chef Eva cooks Greek fusion cuisine in her restaurant, with ingredients picked from her farm in Livadi. Eva’s Garden is a far cry from Folegandro’s typical casual restaurants. The ambience is nothing short of romantic, with bougainvillea-clad walls and its location in a quiet street of Chora. You’ll find orzo, a type of rice-shaped pasta that resembles risotto, to be particularly tasty. Here, the orzo is soaked in crayfish stock and saffron. 

Pounta 

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Where: Pounta, Chora, Folegandros 84011, Greece
What: Fava beans puree and deep fried eggplant
For: Traditional Greek cuisine

A restaurant in a garden – Pounta serves up Mediterranean cuisine flavoured with herbs characteristic to this island. The small signboard is easily missed even if you walk around the main square more than once, but this unassuming restaurant is where traditional Greek cooking reigns the kitchen. Dishes include souroto cheese, fava bean puree, grilled octopus, deep-fried eggplant and freshly squeezed juices. 

Anemomilos Apartments 

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Where: Chora, Folegandros Island Cyclades, Folegandros 840 11, Greece
What: Steamed mussels
For: Views of Folegandro’s cliffs 

While Anemomilos Apartments is known for its astounding views of Folegandro’s rugged cliffs, its restaurant does not disappoint. En route to the hilltop Church of Panagia, the entrance to Anemomilos is a gateway to a small luxurious abode. Take a breather in the alfresco setting of the dining area, while digging into bread paired with olives and pesto, steamed mussels, and pastas. 

Folegandros deserves to be paid a visit – even if you only have a few days. Visit our 72 hour guide to this beautiful island here. 

Kefalonia Travel Tips from Corina Nika, Greek Designer & Islander

Conversations with Locals

Designer Corina Nika is an islander at heart, which comes as no surprise since she has roots in Greece – the country with about 6,000 islands. Her Instagram life is one of chasing azure waters and spending languid days in the endless number of vacation spots on Kefalonia. Corina reveals where to go for shrimps in Sami, her favourite beach in Greece, and why you should never pass up the Ionian islands. 

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Photo: Corina Nika


What do you love about the Greek islands?

Their traditional architecture, unique colours and pure beaches!

What do you feel defines Greek cuisine?

The light, fresh and healthy ingredients. Anything we can pull from local stores or farms.

What are some local dishes you feel travellers can’t leave Kefalonia without trying?

The Kefalonian meat pie for sure! It’s THE traditional dish of the island, so you definitely have to try it before leaving. 

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Photo: Corina Nika


Where are your favourite restaurants or cafés in Kefalonia?

There’s a couple that I can’t live without. One is in Argostoli by the bay named Palia Plaka. You’ll find home cooked comfort food there with traditional Greek dishes. My second favourite is Karavomylos, in Sami, where you should really try their shrimps! 

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Photo: Corina Nika


What would you recommend travellers do to experience Kefalonia as a local?

Hmmm. Perhaps go buy a fish at the bay where the fishermen are with their boats in the mornings and cook it! It’s one of my favourite things I get to do living here. 

What do you love about the Ionian islands?

For me, the Ionian islands are full of green, which is something the other islands lack. I haven’t visited all to be quite honest though – only Santorini and Zakinthos. But for me, green and blue is what stands most and what makes my heart happy! 

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Photo: Corina Nika


Name your favourite beach in Greece

Pessada! It’s a small little gem. Literally one of the smallest and most secluded beaches I’ve ever visited. The colours of the sea are out of this world and it really feels like a private paradise. 

Where in Greece is your favourite vacation spot?

If I still say Kefalonia, would that be bad? I feel like every day is vacation here. Before moving to the island, it was my favourite place for vacation and still is. I recently visited Santorini as well and it blew my mind away. So for a second option, Santorini is beautiful! 

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Photo: Corina Nika


WHERE TO EAT IN KEFALONIA


Palia Plaka
 
Where: I Metaxa Street, Metelos, Ι. Μεταξά-Μέτελος, Αργοστόλι, Argostoli 281 00, Greece 
For: Traditional Greek food 

Karavomilos Taverna
 
Where: Karavomilos Lake, Karavomylos 28080, Greece 
For: Shrimps

The Eating Guide to Crete, Greece

Greece

Greece’s largest island is a world away from what you would typically picture a Greek island. Crete is big – big enough to have three airports. What Crete lacks in caldera views and whitewashed stone architecture, makes up for in rolling hills of olive groves, rugged mountainous landscapes, and a culture that’s all on its own. Much of the land is used for agriculture, making for impressive landscapes. 

While a gyro is always nearby, you would be missing out as it is the traditional Cretan cuisine that adds to the uniqueness of the island. What makes Cretan cuisine stand out is the use of wholesome, locally grown produce and simple cooking techniques to come up with tasty and flavourful dishes that are often seasonal. There’s a Cretan version of everything from cheeses to honey to salads, and you’ll be hard pressed to find anything similar in other parts of Greece, unless you stumble upon a Cretan restaurant that is. 

Look forward to: Honey with thyme, rusk bread and pork. 

Peskesi

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City: Heraklion
Where: Kidonias 15, Iraklio 712 02, Greece
What: Traditional Cretan food
For: Snails and lamb

When it comes to traditional Cretan food, Peskesi has got it down pat. While a reservation is always recommended for this local favourite, there is always some seating place in every nook and cranny which the waiter will take you to if you turn up without one. The stone clad walls, wooden furniture and bread served in a wicker basket will remind you of a bygone era, and it is the traditions of Cretan cooking that Peskesi wants to bring to the table. Ingredients are taken from their farm in Harasso. In their garden, chemical fertilizers and pesticides are not used, and crops are picked by hand. 

You can’t miss seeing fried snails in a bowl among the tables. The waiter will shake the bowl covered with a lid, to mix thyme sauce with the snails in front of you before placing it on your table. This, being a Cretan specialty, is a must-try. There’s a variety of pork and goat dishes, of which the grilled pork smoked with sage and thyme and goat baked with yogurt are unforgettable dishes. 

Prima Plora 

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City: Rethymno
Where: Akrotiriou 8, Rethymno 741 00, Greece
What: Seafood
For: The best view of the fortezza

Prima Plora is right smack on the beach, with a view of the Rethymno fortezza to boot. While you can’t find this restaurant conveniently in the city centre, its location is what gives it the spectacular ocean view. Sunset views are the best, as you experience the glow of the setting sun while you dine next to sound of ocean waves crashing over rocks. Food served here is cooked with a Greek twist, and be sure to sample the sea bass carpaccio with chilli and lemon. 

Herbs’ Garden

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City: Heraklion
Where: Epimenidou 15, Iraklio, Greece
What: Romantic dinners
For: Views of the Venetian Fortress

This popular restaurant is carefully hidden in Lato Boutique Hotel, a cosy and stylish establishment close to the old port of Heraklion. The receptionist will direct you to take an elevator to the rooftop, where Herbs’ Garden is, with a view overlooking the Venetian Fortress. With only a handful of tables, the restaurant is easily full during high season. Contemporary concoctions rule the table here, but the use of local Cretan ingredients are not forgotten.