To Vagoni Tis Geysis (means the taste wagon) seems like one of the numerous places in every greek city where you can eat souvlaki or take away, usually the quality in Greece is much better than any similar place you may have seen in central Europe because in Greece there’s a lot of competition between them so to keep their customers. One evening that fog had covered the city we were passing by and noticed that they serve zygouri (it’s meat from young lamb, usually more expensive and that’s why harder to find).
As a place for souvlaki there’s not much space inside but there are a few tables where you can enjoy your food and although it lucks of atmosphere we liked the friendly staff.
We took 2 portions of kebap zigouri (8,5euro each) which was well done and served with lots of fries(real ones, not plastic :) ). We had a long talk about zigouri and meats with the roaster, he seemed to enjoy the chat about meats, he told us that he puts some zygouri every morning on the grill and leave it there slowly for some hours to get the best taste from it.
We took some extra fries (2,5e), a coke (1,20e) and red wine (a small glass of red wine costs the amazing price of 50cents!)
This is by far the best restaurant we visited during our stay in Ioannina.
Walking in we had a very warm welcome by Olga, the owner. The restaurant is very nice and cosy and also consists of a glass domed garden area which retractes in the summer. We visited the restaurant at about 21:00 and sat in the garden area so it was nice and cool. They had a good menu (vegetarian dishes also) which was reasonably priced. The service was great, the pizza was great and so was the pasta! Every dish was made with the freshest ingredients. Following the meal when we asked for the bill, we were given panacotta which was prepared by the chefs.
We loved this place and highly recommend it!
Favorite Dish: We ordered the Greek Pizza ( 8 euros) and Margherita Pizza (6.20 euros)
Ceasar Salad (8.5 euros) which was the best Ceasar Salad we had ever eaten! The dressing is a homemade recipe by the hostess and the croutons are also made by the chefs. I can eat that all day! We also ordered the Greek Salad and Rocket Salad which were also very good.
The rigattoni Alla Nona was to die for and so was the Pork Napoleon!
We tried so many dishes and were happy with all of them.
Italian at its best! Il forno ia always are first choice when in giannena. Brick oven Pizza, Pasta, amazing salads its the perfect place for a quick lunch or sumptious dinner in the garden atrium. Our hosts Gus and Olga are always smiling and ready to suggest the best dish of the day! Love it!
Very tasteful dishes and very kind persons! But the most important if the view that is MAGNIFICENT! You see the city and the lake and it is marvelous, expecially during the night!
Favorite Dish: "Kempap Politiko" is my favourite. the well known "kempap", best quality, with frech fries and a yummy yummy small piece of some kind of bread.
The place was vibrant with youth. The students seemed to be regular visitors, but not the only ones. It was full to the last place. Everything I spotted on the plates around looked delicious and although Paprika was full with students, it wasn't much of a fast food. We tried several local dishes, all of them really yummy.
Favorite Dish: The salad in a cheese-tasting thin dough bowl
Bougiourdi - feta in the ceramic pot with tomato, herbs
Tigania - pork from a pan with a touch of wine and thyme
One of the typical foods in Ioannina is mpugatsa, a pie filled with cream or cheese. Its origin is from Turkey (it’s also called bogatsa) and like so many other foods it came after the exchange of populations in 1922. It’s very popular fast food in North Greece and usually is covered with sugar and cinnamon. For many years I was confused why they call the cheese pie “mpougatsa with cheese” but one local lady explained me that is a different recipe.
You can find mpugatsa in many places but SELECT is my favorite. They don’t sell anything else, just two kinds of mpugatsa. You can choose between mpugatsa with cream and mpugatsa with cheese. I like them both! :) They are served with a small bread and water. Many people take them home (you can ordered it without bread also).
Last time (2011) we ate some there we payed 3,2e (served with bread) while take away costs 2,5 euro.
We visited the Nisi* of Ioannina on a Sunday. The Nisi was very busy but this cafe was very peaceful and had a nice scenery. Based on its decoration it seems to be a new business. We really enjoyed our frappe break here. Except the music which unfortunately wasn't Greek.
* Greek word for "island"
Favorite Dish: We only had a frappe.
The restaurant is on the lake shore. You get there by driving down to the kastro, turning left in front of the boat station, and then just going straight on, keeping by the shore, for three or four hundred yards. The Ithaki is the second or third last restaurant on the right before the road runs out. No problem parking. You can sit outside next to the water of lake (as I did, to watch Ali Pasha's mosque catching the rays of the dying sun on the opposite shore), or under the awning (if the sun's very hot at midday), or inside across the road (for the winter, I suppose).
Apart from the view, etc, it produced one of the best meals I've had anywhere in Greece. The cook apparently has connections in Constantinople (I didn't quite understand what), and this is reflected very much in the menu. You can get Bouyourdi of Smyrna, for example (saganaki with peppers and tomatoes), or Lamb Gioulbasi (baked in paper), or Politiki Chicken (chicken as they make it in the Polis, the City, Constantinople), or Chicken shish kebab as they make shish kebab in Turkey (i.e. the proper way), and Ekmak Kataifi (a sort of cake, with "angel's hair"). They also do Greek food. Dakos (Cretan barley salad), for example, Vasili Chicken (I had that - it's chicken baked in an earthenware pot, with cream and cheese and potatoes), that unbelievably delicious Greek Walnut Cake, Revani (I had both - I saw on the menu that I could have had ice cream with them, too) and Galaktoboureko (presumably a sort of milk pie, but I bet it has spices in it, probably cinnamon). All home made, the menu says, and going by what I had I can believe it. The wine list looked pretty good, but by the time I got round to studying it I'd already ordered a beer, I'm afraid.
I thought the prices were very reasonable. As I remember, the saganaki cost about 3 Euros, and the Vasiliki Chicken about 7.
Favorite Dish: The walnut cake - AMAZING.
This is my favorite restaurant in Ioannina. It’s slightly more expensive than average but affordable and it deserves every little euro! The beautiful restaurant it has a lot of tables bu it is usually packed because of the great plates so it’s better to make a reservation first to be sure. They have a great variety of dishes, most of them based on meat but also nice international touches, great salads etc
Flogeres with cheese 3.8e, valsamiki salad 6,5e, stuffed beef (7.2e), kolokithakia (3e), vakalaos skordalia (6.8e), beer 2.8-3,5e, coke cola(1.9e), steak (6e), kontosuvli (6,5e)
Favorite Dish: the stuffed beef is great! great! great! :)
Inside the castle you will find this old looking café that is opened during the day and serve coffees and other beverages. I like to stop here for a while when I stroll around the ruins and the museums of this part of the castle. I don’t have any info about the building but it looks like it comes from the Byzantine period. :)
Ok, this is my favorite café in town! The place is amazing, an old house, nicely decorated and the music is always good, jazz, ethnic etc
If you wanna taste the real turkish coffee this is your place. For only 2,5e (double 3e) they serve it to you on the right way, and a small lokum always there by the cup (oh yes!). Of course you can have other famous coffees, teas etc but the turkish coffee is amazing here if you are familiar with its taste of course. You can find a nice cappuccino elsewhere (and probably better than here)
Beyond that you can have a huge variety of salepi, milk with honey, hot soumada with cinnamon, various chocolates (simple, some really heavy, aromatic, with coffee), sour cherry juice (great, with real sour cherry at the bottom of the glass!), orange juice (4e)
What’s more some nice sweets (4-5e, usually you will find the one that the mother of the owner has made that day!), breakfast with fresh bread, juice, coffee, cheese, hamon, marlalade etc (7-8e), From drinks you can have a local red wine (5e), beer (3,5e) etc
Are you a vegan? Then stop reading this tip! :) This place sells portions of meat and some salads only. Kontosuvli is very famous in Epirus and it’s usually made of lamb but the most tasty is from sheep. Here, you can order kontosouvli from pork or chicken also. The meat is in small pieces (up to 30 grams each) without any bones and its baked on fire with oregano, onions, salt and pepper. The place is not fancy at all, the people just come to eat the kontosouvli and go! :)
The funny thing is that they served it in a “traditional way” on a paper and not on plate! Lol Each portion of kontosuvli with potatoes costs 5,5 euros, the greek salad 4,5 euro, other salads 2,5-3,5 euros, galotyri (yiammmmm) 2,5 euro, french fries 1,5 euro, coke cola 2 euro, water 0,5 euro
My last travel to Ioanina was not recent enough to give addresses of restaurants. However, all restaurants on Nisaki Kyra Frosyni serve excellent food from the lake and as far as I know, that has not changed.
Favorite Dish: Eel grilled in the oven (kheli sto kharti) is delicious.
Freshly smoked mullet eggs give the best tarama I ever tasted.
I was tempted by fried frog legs (bathrakos) but was a bit deceived because the paste crust was too thick. I tried it only once, may be another time, it will be thiner.
Cray fish (karabides) was excellent.
We washed our meal with sparkling Zitsa wine.
Though I am not a sweet tooth, I must mention the local sweets : halvas, of course, bougatsa, a cake made with cheese and trigono, added with honey.
I took a walk around the main square of Ioannina and I got very hungry. My brother suggested to go for souvlaki at the blinds!!
What’s the connection between souvlaki and blind people?
Well, this restaurant is located next to the building of the union of blind people in Ioannina.
Favorite Dish: Souvlaki, french fries and galotyri (a mixture of yogurt and cheese).
By the lake the tavernas have an excellent meat menu. But, if you don't like meat you can find excellent local pies with vegetables, or cheese in Zagori villages 30-40 km away from Ioannina town.
Two persons will really get stuffed with 5000-7000 drachmas (about 15-20 US$). I feel free to enjoy localsyroup candies and drink a cup of nice coffee by the Lake Cafes
Favorite Dish: Ireaaly enjoy the fried trout and the Zagori local pies with Zitsa wine.