Where to eat in Skiathos?
Summer is approaching and like every year, many of my clients ask me a crucial question: where to eat well in Skiathos? For my future guests and for all of you who have chosen or perhaps will choose this destination for your summer vacation, here is my subjective answer to this recurring problem.
Our beautiful island is full of taverns and restaurants of all kinds, from worst to best. Your choice will depend on your mood and on your budget…
If you want to eat in a hurry, on the go, and have hungry teens in your party, here are two simple and inexpensive solutions.
1) The traditional “souvlakia,” which are made of “gyros” of pork or chicken meat, marinated and wrapped in a pancake called “pitta”. This meat can be topped with tzatziki, pieces of tomatoes, onions, and even in some cases, French fries (in this case, being a Belgian, frankly, I’m not sure it was their best idea). All souvlakia are not good, some of them are even inedible and to avoid you any bad experiences here are some of my favourite “souvladzidika”. The first one is called “Time out” at the beginning of the Papadiamantis Street, the main street down town, on your right as you face the harbour. The second one, “Alexandros” is closer to our villa at the end of the main road, just before taking the” periphériakos “on your left.
2) The pizzas: there is a very good pizzeria at about 500m from the villa. It is called “Ta boubounakia” and is a bit off the corner of the main road and the road that leads to Platanias Valley. The pizzas, cooked on firewood, are delicious. My favourite is the Greek one (sorry for the Italians) with peppers, tomatoes, olives and, of course, feta cheese. You can order by phone, pick them and eat them on our lovely terrace.
But I imagine you have not come to Greece just for souvlakia and pizzas. Greece, in everyone’s mind, means small square and wobbly tables, covered with a paper tablecloth, where we drink a glass of retsina or ouzo, at sunset, with some “mezedes”, while listening to the lapping of the water and chasing from time to time a cheeky mosquito, right?
Some taverns located in the harbour are obviously tourist traps. No, I won’t give you names. I’ll be positive and tell you about those who really stand out from the crowd. Here are places I prefer.
The first two are close to each other, between the marina and the nightclubs strip.
To Bakaliko: This restaurant deserves a special mention: the food is good, it is open all year and the team is young and very friendly. Greek Mum’s cooking, at the right price, and at the edge of a crystal clear sea. It is called “To bakaliko” which means the grocery store in Greek. This explains the somewhat eclectic and old-fashioned decor, which will certainly surprise you. Pleasant in winter as in summer, the tavern proposes excellent “mezedes”, mainly based on seafood. I recommend beans “Mavromati”, served with anchovies and fragrant dill. A delicious and surprising mix!
One of my favorite dishes: cuttlefish with fresh spinach, onions and fresh tomato sauce: a must!
Their white Taramosalata with hot “pitta bread” toast is delightful: nothing to do with the fluorescent pink agglomerate we are used to… If you prefer meat, grilled lamb chops are worth a visit also.
I traditionally visit Skiathos in May and never fail to have lunch or dinner in this tavern that perfectly reflects a holiday atmosphere in Greece. While northern Europe is still emerging from winter torpor, a generous Greek sun floods the terrace of the Bakaliko and the warm voice of the Greek singer Parios accompanies my first ouzo. A treat!
The other tavern is called “TO AKROGIALI”, which means “The shore”. Their grilled sardines with a Greek salad are certainly worth the try. It is simple but not any less delicious.
The third tavern I recommend is Kabourelias, located in the old port, after Bourtzi. This is a “ouzeri”: you order a small bottle of ouzo or tsipouro, that you will sip with or without ice. For each bottle, you receive a meze: the “midia saganaki”, mussels with tomato sauce and melted feta cheese, the fried “Gavros”, small anchovies you will eat from head to tail, just like French fries, grilled octopus, fried calamari, “kolokithakia tiganita”, fried zucchini accompanied with tsatsiki (the true one, full of garlic, not an ersatz from the supermarket… ), the “melitzano salata” or eggplant caviar, and “tirokafteri”, spicy cheese, accompanied by toasted pitta. The view to the old port and the Bourtzi is beautiful. The place is very quiet as it is located in a part of the port that is closed to cars.
If you want to eat fish, go to the “Amfiliki” restaurant. It is rather expensive (usually fish is very expensive in the islands), but their fresh fish and their pasta with lobster (astakomakaronada) are famous. As this restaurant is located on the top of a hill overlooking the bay of Megali Ammos and the Peninsula of Kalamaki, behind the Skiathos Health Center, the terrace offers panoramic views of the sea. Book a table with a view the day before.
Additionally, a restaurant that I truly love is “Agnadio”. It also offers a beautiful view and is located on the road to the monastery of Evangelistria. It is a family business and the owner is friendly and very caring with his clients who are warmly served in an elegant decor made of neutral colours and thoughtful details. The kitchen comes a little off the beaten tracks and proposes Greek and Italian food. It is also a restaurant where the islanders like to meet, which is a very positive reference.
If you are looking for a different and simpler setting without lessening the quality, I would recommend the Tavern Kanapitsa. It is close to our luxury holiday rental on the peninsula of Kalamaki. At the bus stop Nr. 12, turn right and about 500m from the main road, on the beach of Kanapitsa, you will find the tavern in question. We had a great meal at the water’s edge, in a warm and private atmosphere with a decor made out of wood and stone. As a finishing note I would like to introduce you to my favourite restaurant. Perfect for a romantic evening: discreet jazzy music, exquisitely decorated in shades of olive green, very helpful staff and excellent food. The outstanding view is worth arriving before sunset, yes, even for you who enjoy eating late. I wanted to shine some more light on this place and make you discover their excellent cooking. The tastefulness of Olive Land‘s dishes cannot only be enjoyed on the spot but also delivered to you. Consequently, if it is more to your liking you will be able to enjoy them on our terrace or by the pool.