A look at some of my favourite places to eat in Skopelos
by Martin Beckett
Skopelos is rich in eating establishments purveying the classic dishes of local cooking,but even in a simple but delicious cuisine such as Greek there is an enormous variance in style, quality and flavours to be had. Although it’s quite difficult to get a bad meal on the island I have some places I tend to go, usually for the food but also because of the location or maybe the people, so this is just my personal list of tried and tested places.
Most places do fish depending on availability except for the grill and souvlaki specialists.
With a stroke of good fortune two of my favourite establishments on the paralia, or waterfront, are placed next to each other at the far end, below the old town and the Kastro. Both of them with a great view across the harbour towards the port area so you can watch the coming and goings of various ships, boats, catamarans, hydrofoils, row boats and fishing kaiquies as you eat.
A long term favourite, Molos has been around for many years with an excellent standard of cooking. They create lots of oven baked dishes and their dolmadakia (stuffed vine leaves) are great in the spring and early summer when the leaves are young and tender, and so are the stuffed cabbage leaves in egg and lemon sauce. Louloudakia, which is stuffed courgette flowers, is also a speciality of theirs but they also do non stuffed items, grills and fried food on request! Not a huge place so time your meal to get a table. Most tourists seem to want to eat at 8.00pm and Greeks at 9.00-10.30pm.
Is the closest to the town centre and is quite similar to Molos creating the same mix of oven baked foods, vegetable dishes, meats, fish and grills. They make the best taramasalata on the island according to locals. Dimitri the owner is also open out of season so its local clientele can usually be seen mixing with the tourists in the summer.
(The Mermaid) Just up the alley from the sea-front (take the street next to Armoloi pottery and craft shop) is this small and traditonal ouzeri. An ouzeri is where you can drink little bottles of ouzo (or tchipouro which is the local variant) and they give you little plates of food. Main meals are their main trade however and they specialise in small dishes for mezedes and grills. The food is homemade, good and very reasonable. There are tables outside on the steep alleyway and a garden inside which is covered in the winter. This style of establishment, the ouzeria(tchipouria) for which Volos is famous, has become rare in recent years in tourist areas, although most tavenas will do it, so it’s great to see one.
Ροδι is the sign to look for which is Greek for pomegranate. Keep going straight up past Gorgonas for about 200 metres and you will find this gem tucked away, but worth the walk. Levtheris has brought his mother from Thessaloniki to cook and she is one of the best cooks on the island. Great quality cooking and a nice setting. The jugged red wine is excellent too. Courtyard garden nicely done in stone with, of course, pomegranate trees. No view but a nice change from the sea front.
Also hidden away in the town is Anna’s which is a local institution. It has a nice terrace and a barn like interior for cooler weather. The food is more european in style but using greek standards and giving them a western edge. A good wine list which is replaced often so they can be short of stock on some things and the service is friendly. They have live Greek music in the high season.
A more sophisticated place, without views, but sometimes it’s nice to be away from the bustle of the paralia and have a bit of peace and quiet. Kolikithakia keftedes (courgette fritters with tzadziki) are great if available and salads have more of a western touch.
In the town just up from Platanos Sq, this is reknown for its lovely setting in a perivoli (orchard). It’s very popular with western tourists and serves classic dishes with a slightly western touch. Grilled lamb with oregano is usually good. Also difficult to get a table in the high season.
On the main road out of town this great little place suffers for its location in the midst of rent a car heaven, it doesn’t have the wow factor of facing the sea but it creates its own little haven which is only spoiled by the hormonally charged lads occasionally screaming by on their mopeds. The food is really good, straight forward Greek fare, perfectly cooked and makes up for the lack of gently bobbing fishing boats in front of your table. The usual dishes and mixtures of food, their grilled meats and fish are really good and probably the best prices to be had in town. Very nice family own and run the place and it is much used by the ex pat community. If they have fish soup on try it, it’s excellent.
Along the seafront to the right or SW of the main paralia is this upmarket restaurant in Skopelos Village Hotel. It’s quite posh but not in a stiff way, they are relaxed and friendly and have a different take on traditional dishes with great flavours. Their fava for instance is pureed with sorrel to give a lovely lemony tang. A high standard of cooking, slightly more pricey but worth it. Try the horta keftedes – wild greens and herbs cooked as a patty or grandmothers meatballs!
On the hillside is no more !Lambros the chef/patron has moved into town taking over the old telephone company building he has opened a lovely meze place in a very traditional style.To find it just walk straight up the hill from Amaloi pottery on the seafrontand its right in front of you.
On the Stafylos Rd about 2 kilometres outside town, this is one of the oldest tavernas on the island starting in the 1960’s. Its speciality is stuffed chicken. The food can be quite heavy but a nice setting, one to try if you are in search of something a little different.
sunset From Pavlos tavena in Agnondas
Beautiful little harbour with 3 tavernas, all are now serving next to the water itself.. The setting is great and food goes between good and very good, all worth a try. Obviously seafood is the speciality here and there are tanks of live lobsters etc. Fish is sold by weight so ask to see them then get them to weigh what you want so you know the price, it saves a nasty shock as some fish can be quite pricey. Try the barbounia (red mullet) if you are feeling flush, (koutsoumoura look and-taste almost identical but are cheaper) or just have the wonderful gavros (whitebait) which are cheap and delicious.
There are also seasonal tavernas at Limnonari, Milia, Glyfoneri and Stafylos beaches.
A wide, long beach,very popular for families and a number of tavernas on the beach. Amazingly beautiful bay and the view across to Skiathos at sunset is so stunning that the food is secondary. Nicos taverna is in the centre of the village and is at the centre of a run of similar establishments .Also at the north end of the beach is Linaraki a small taverna which has a great position with good traditional food. Bring sunglasses.
Not as pretty as Glossa or Skopleos Town but it is a “real” place and the new marina has brought life to this village and there are good tavernas. 5 Platanos (Captain Spiros)is an excellent seafood place and Captain Manolis is worth a visit. Vangellis taverna, which is next door, is always reliable. In prime position is the taverna O’Tassos which is excelent too.You may get lost here but not for long.
Must be a contender for best on the island. Its position is amazing with spectacular views from its lofty perch in Glossa town and the food is great, another take on the Greek standards but lovely tastes and flavours. The place is also stylish in a modern rustic way and although prices are high for Skopelos, it’s well worth it. Try the pork with plums and the aubergine rolled around soft cheese. www.agnanti-rest.gr
To Stekki tou Masteras
Is no more! Georgos the chef/owner has moved about 50 meters down the road and has opened a butchers shop instead! However a new owner is about to open and as soon as the new name is revealed i will include it here..
Up the path into Glossa just before you get to Agnanti is Louki, a souvlaki cafe. Excellent quality food at very reasonable prices, gyros, grills and salads run by a very nice young couple Illias and Iota. Known as Frank’s because of Illias’s uncanny likeness to the footballer Frank Lampard! Great place to see village life pass by. They also do takeaway and delivery!
Also in Glossa there is Paradosakia Gonia (above the electrical shop just as the village starts) and up in the main square is Plateia which has a cafe a taverna and a bar!
Around the corner is Monogramma Monogramma which is a bar/cafe and does light food.
This is the port for Glossa and the north of the island and is a sleepy kind of place which wakes up when a boat lands. There are 2 tavernas (and 3 cafes)and a grill taverna). Flisvos is around the corner to the north of the village and has a great position almost in the sea .Owner Yannis usually has a net full of mussles in the sea attached to a rope! Aramis cafe has a Taverna now too and just up the hill is Klimataria a year round grill taverna -a good standard of traditional food.