Mezesopoleion: Best lunch I had in Greece
(restaurant name is translated from the Greek sign since I can't enter Greek characters on this site) Tucked back down a quiet street, away from the busy waterfront, this little restaurant probably goes unnoticed by most visitors. But while dining out in the shade on the tiny little patio, of the white stucco building, watching a lazy cat nap on the chair of the next table, I ate the best lunch I had in Greece.
The photo doesn't do it justice, since that was just the appetizer, but all was good. Price was low and service was friendly. Posted menu on the wall was in Greek, but the staff spoke English.
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Food and Dining
Garden Of Taste Taverna, Hydra: Avoid At All Costs
Was "hooked" into the restaurant by mouthy waiter promising "best food on Hydra", my starter arrived 10 minutes before my wife's. Despite questioning this, no apology offered.
"Fish of the Day" was a skinny little thing, mainly bones, not fresh and cost € 20.
This place ought to be avoided at all costs !
I even told them that the food was not up to much, made no difference !
Favorite Dish: NONE !
Sunset: Clifftop romance
The Sunset would be a typical Greek resort restaurant, were it not for its position perched on the cliffs next to Hydra Town. Food is good, but avoid the fish - VERY overpriced. Go for the view, and the next night find a back-street taverna for cheaper wonderful fish.
When we were there, a dolphin and her baby swam past, cutting a pattern in the darkening sea. This was unusual enough for all the waiters to rush to the edge of the terrace to look as well.
Favorite Dish: Wine: Strofilia (white)
Also the tzatziki is good, with lots of dill, but perhaps not enough cucumber.
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
Cristina Manolis Taverna: It's very good, I should know!
There are undoubtedly many very good restaurants on Hydra, they wouldn't survive otherwise. We happened upon this place, purely by chance, whilst looking for a coffee one morning. As is the local custom apparently (my ex-girlfriend was Greek) she just wandered into the kitchen to see what was on offer that night, and decided that was where we were eating. Very good call (she's seldom wrong about these things). I always like to try new places but we ate there every night we were on the island - it was that good.
I know for a fact the fish is fresh because I met the waiter on his way to the harbour one morning. I know the meat dishes are freshly prepared every day, because I've seen them doing it. I also know that the "village" stew was one of the finest Greek dishes I have ever eaten (and I've eaten in a lot of Greek places). Just for an example, my ex had seen a really lovely lookng fish in the display, but wanted it oven-cooked to a particular Greek recipe that wasn't actually on the menu. No problem, it came up quickly and exactly as she wanted it.
Cristinas espouses what for me is the essence of good cuisine anywhere - the best, freshest local ingredients cooked simply and well - there is no substitute.
Service is good and the healthy mix of tourists, expats and locals stands testament to the quality of the place. Given the standard of the food, you won't actually pay an arm and a leg for it either.
Oh, and to wash it all down, the ridiculously cheap local housewine is first class.
What more can I tell you - if you're on Hydra, you must eat her at least once.
The price band I have quoted includes a fair amount of drink as well!
Favorite Dish: The village beef stew (can't remember the proper Greek name for it). I have eaten a lot of Greek (including home-made) food and this was just about as good as it gets.
The ex-Mrs_planxty, however, asked for another mention of the oven baked fish! I did have some of it and it was outstanding.
- Food and Dining
- Beer Tasting
Porto Fino: Porto Fino
Porto Fino is the third café we tried in front of the port, actually it’s the first one you see as you exit the hydrofoil. I guess this is the reason they charge 4 euro for a chocolate or a beer.
The service was bad/rude and definitely they had the most expensive prices in the row of cafes with nothing special to offer.
Café Sinialo: Café Sinialo
Café Sinialo is another café like Gonia that faces the port, I can just copy what the other café offers with only different prices and (a bit slower service)
By the way the nescafe costs here 2.8euro and the chocolate 3 euros We just went there because Gonia café was full but we didn’t really care, we played back gammon anyway :)
Gonia: Gonia cafe/pub
There’s no really big differences between the cafes in front of the port but the service or the prices are some of these small things that turn the balance.
Gonia (means corner in greek) has what a typical greek cafeteria usually has, coffees and drinks but also a good menu for food:
You can order some light food here like salads (6,5-9,5e), pizza (9-11e), spaghetti(6,5-9,5e), talliatelles(9,5e), risotto with mushrooms(8,5e), club sandwich, beef burgers(9,5e), veal steak(12,5e), chicken(9,5e) spoon dessert (4e), waffles, ice creams, or have breakfast (5-10e).
Nescafe costs 3e and cappuccino/chocolate 3.6e.
What we liked was the fact that they have bootled beer(500ml for 3e, cheaper than all the other cafes next to them
Ostria restaurant: tasty food at Ostria
We loved the location of Ostria taverna, a picturesque corner, they have many tables outside, great for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Their menu isn’t really extended but we tasted some good foods here, everything was freshly cooked and the prices were very good like we weren’t in expensive Hydra anymore :)
The service was very friendly but someone may find it weird because of their style (jokes about their foods etc)
We tried keftedakia(meatball) for 4,6euros, they were really good, mavromatika(beans) for 4,6euro they were good too but a bit more oily that I’m used to, the chicken fillet (6,2euro) was good too and we tried a politiki salad (with white-red cabbage, selin, carot, coloured pepeppers & garlic) which they suggested (6.2euros).
It was also nice with good homemade sauce but they also have greek salad(6.2e), green salad(4.7e) and season salad(5.4e).
We washed the food down with beer but you can also try ouzo (3e for a glass or 6.8e for a small bottle) and wine (3,5-6e for half litre or white, rose or red wine)
The bill came up to 30euros
Thanasis: souvlaki at Thanasis
This is a typical place where you can order some souvlaki, the cheap tasty way in Greece to eat something without paying a fortune. You can eat it there (not much space inside but its lovely outdoors at the alley), of course you can take it on the go like most of the greeks.
The Pita Giros(which is what most people know as pita sandwich) costs 2e, the simple kalamaki(small pieces of meat grilled on a skewer) 1,5e and they have some simple salads for 4e
- Budget Travel
Taverna Mavramartis: sunset
Fabulous location on the waterfront about 2kms west of Hydra Town, overlooking a flotilla of little boats, and a perfect location for the sunsets. Another of the quieter spots away from Hydra Town.
Favorite Dish: Usual Greek staples
Taverna Lazarus, Mandrakhi: idyl
Friends own a house in Mandrakhi, so we hung out here a great deal. The place was very welcoming and friendly - usually sat outside in the courtyard/terrace, overlooking the bay. Away from Hydra Town, a quieter option.
Favorite Dish: All the usual Greek staples.
On its great veranda, with a spectacular view of the port of Hydra, you are going to taste trully great dishes of the Greek and the international cuisine. Its salads are famous. You should also try its chocolate sweets.
It is situated at the co-name hotel and serves traditional Greek dishes and enjoyable Mediteranean cuisine. You can also have a light meals by choosing from the great variety of dishes served by its buffet.
The most traditional restaurant by far is Leonidas Taverna in Kala Pigadia. Excellent food and friendly staff. You should better call and make reservation before you come because it is small and popular.
Easier to find is the Sunset Restaurant which sits on the ramparts overlooking the rocks where everyone swims just beyond the harbor. The food is excellent and the view is too. Great place for dinner or lunch and an ouzo and meze while you watch the sunsets that Hydra is famous for. Say hello to George, an old friend and North Carolina resident who cooks and helps run the place during the summer. Lots of fish dishes and great kalamarakia. Try the Garides saganaki which is shrimp cooked with cheese in tomato sauce.