It’s not always easy to find the “real” Greece these days, but a stop-off on the island of Syros will prove to you it is still out there. And when it comes to the food on Syros, you’re definitely getting authenticity. From seafood beach bars and cafés to secret garden restaurants and fine dining, the Greek island of Syros serves traditional dishes in interesting surroundings. You can eat like a Greek.
Syros walks a fine line between being popular with visitors and staying under the radar. And it pulls it off perfectly. You can discover the architecture, the history, and the culture as you watch Greece go about its day-to-day life on the island.
Here are six incredible places for authentic food in Syros, Greece.
1. Laoutari Kafreneio
You can’t get more Greek than a traditional taverna, and at Laoutari Kafreneio, you get authentic Greek food with an authentic Greek atmosphere.
The restaurant and bar are housed in an old stone building that hugs a corner away from the coastal road. A lot of locals eat here, and a lot of people come for the very Greek atmosphere, but the food is a solid reason to visit too. Both the décor and the food are rustic, and it all has an old charm to it.
Laoutari Kafreneio’s menu is mostly meze (or appetizers), and it is a great place to come for lunch when it’s quiet and tranquil, but go in the evening and you’ll get more than just great food. This is when you’ll find the place livens up as local musicians arrive for a trad session. They play amongst the tables inside, and if it’s too full with diners, they play outside in the street. It’s not unusual for the evening to end with the diners outside, too, enjoying a drink and dancing.
What To Order At Laoutari Kafreneio
There are some great vegetarian and vegan options on offer here. A lot of people choose the pork and potatoes, and I hear they are great, but my favorite thing on the menu is the very simple hummus and black bread. It’s perfect at lunchtime with a couple of other meze dishes, or in the evening as part of a larger meal. The house white wine is good, perfect to have chilled on a warm Greek day.
2. Maison De Meze
As the name suggests, Maison de Meze serves traditional Greek meze–style meals. This is a tucked-away Greek café that you won’t know is there unless you know it’s there. The locals love it here, as it’s off the beaten track and the food is authentically Greek. In fact, it’s so Greek it’s almost stereotypical. The white-washed walls and blue door look like something from a postcard and, if you were in any doubt, the Greek flags let you know!
Maison de Meze is a café at heart, so the perfect place for breakfast and lunch. You can also buy many of the products that form the dishes. There’s a space inside dedicated to local produce, and it also includes local jewelry.
What To Order At Maison De Meze
The food here tastes homemade, and the staff is very attentive — to the point you almost feel like you’re being cooked for by your own family. The kritamo pita (or pirate pie) is really good, and make sure you try the Prickly Pear Bio Juice. Together, they make a great lunch.
Maison de Meze is one of the more tucked-away tavernas in Syros, and it doesn’t get the passing footfall the restaurants and bars on the coast road do. As such, like many smaller restaurants and bars on the island, it closes for the winter. The café closes from October through to the spring, when the rested staff returns to welcome in the new year.
3. Stin Ithaki Tou Ai
Stin Ithaki Tou Ai has become so popular with the locals that the restaurant owners have started placing a few tables and chairs out on the pedestrian walkway, but it’s still nowhere near enough to accommodate everyone who wants to eat here. Most people who eat here go back again and again.
If you can get a table, you’ll find out why it’s so popular when you dig into traditional Greek comfort food, like fried fish and meatballs. One of the reasons this taverna is so busy is that the prices are very reasonable compared to other Syros restaurants, and you get good portions for the money you spend. And the second reason might be the fact that you get a free dessert with your meal. There aren’t many places on Syros where your dessert is complimentary.
What To Order At Stin Ithaki Tou Ai
If you like fried food, the zucchini flowers stuffed with cheese are deep-fried in a thick batter and taste amazing. The bread is fresh and warm to start your meal or to have on the side, and the deep-fried tortillas are perfect with a Greek dip.
4. De La Gracia
If you’re looking for something more chilled and you want a cocktail with your meal, De La Gracia is a beach bar with an impressive menu. It has a pretty perfect position by the sea, and there’s no better place to eat seafood than by the sea. You can listen to the waves lap the Syros shore while you enjoy lobster spaghetti. It’s a beautiful place to eat when the sun goes down.
The staff here are very accommodating and will do their best to seat you if you don’t have a reservation, but the location and the food mean it does get busy. so it’s better to book a table ahead if you can. In the evening, the bar side of De la Gracia takes over and music plays while visitors enjoy something from the wine list, or a cocktail or two.
What To Order At De La Gracia
This is predominantly a seafood restaurant, and the seafood is amazing, especially the seafood risotto. They serve traditional Greek dishes with a modern twist here, so you can find your favorites, but served with style. The fava beans with octopus are especially good.
The beach in front of the restaurant has some very soft sunbeds lined up, but they fill up fast. Reserve one before you eat in the restaurant, and you can lie in the sun after your meal. If you’re a really good planner, reserve a sunbed at the same time as you reserve your table, and you’ll have the perfect evening.
For a magical touch to your meal, head to the secret garden at Mazi. It’s all a bit Alice in Wonderland here, with the trailing roof foliage bringing the outdoors in and the restaurant tables and chairs taking the inside out. The old stone archways reach high above the diners, and there’s a feeling of old Greece as you sit in this courtyard and enjoy the atmosphere while the food is cooked in the outdoor kitchen.
But it’s a topsy-turvy world in Mazi. Even the menu is down the rabbit hole and you’ll find some… interesting contrasting flavors in the dishes. Give them a try. No matter how they sound, they really do work.
What To Order At Mazi
The shredded grouper is very popular here and deserves its reputation as the must-order item on the menu. The shrimp pasta is also really good. Don’t leave without trying the chocolate pavé for dessert. There’s also a good selection of Greek wines on the menu, and the staff can help you choose which will go best with your meal.
If you’re vegan and worried about how you’ll manage in Syros, Seminario has you covered. Its vegan options are very impressive, and the restaurant has managed to create vegan versions of authentic Greek dishes. It is located on a quiet pedestrian street, and the tables and chairs outside have a lovely flower canopy above them. In the evenings, live music plays, and in the daytime, it’s a relaxing place to take your time over a good meal while the Greek cats wander around the tables.
The portions are generous here, so if you’re hungry when you arrive, you’ll leave satisfied.
What To Order At Seminario
Seminario isn’t just great for vegan food — its entire menu is stuffed with great food. The fish soup is especially good for a starter, but if you are vegan, you’ll be impressed with the stuffed baked eggplant along with the dakos salad with vegan cheese.
- The food is great here, but don’t be surprised if your chosen dish isn’t available late in the season — even as early as September. Be prepared to be flexible with what you order and you’ll have a great meal.
- This restaurant closes for the winter.
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