Just a couple of hours from Athens lies the stunning aristocratic island of Hydra. The car-free destination is known for its beautiful old town, tranquil beaches and delicious food.
Find out the Best Places to eat in Hydra and enjoy the best Greek and Mediterranean cuisine. From traditional taverns to the top fine-dining restaurants in Hydra.
1. Xeri Elia Douskos
The best places to eat in Hydra are a mix of family-run tavernas and gourmet eateries. Most offer a choice of meat, fish or vegetarian dishes made with fresh ingredients and served with a range of wines from local vineyards.
Xeri Elia Douskos Restaurant (Dried Olive Tavern) is one of Hydra’s oldest and most popular, serving up cooked traditional Greek food from its backstreet location. A popular spot for families, it’s a busy, bustling place where tables spill out of every available space, tended by Hydra’s hardest-working waiters.
A trip to Hydra isn’t complete without sampling some of the island’s famous grilled meat dishes. Try a plate of kleftiko or pork souvlaki alongside a salad and a basket of fries. The kleftiko is especially tender, with the meat marinated in wine, oregano and lemon juice, then grilled. You can also enjoy a grilled chicken breast with potatoes and zucchini, or a plate of spaghetti with seafood.
The food here is fresh and simple, but the atmosphere is warm and inviting. The restaurant is a great place to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the main street, with a lovely patio overlooking a quiet alley.
Il Casta is another upscale dining option on Hydra. This Italian-owned restaurant is set down an alleyway inland from the port and has a quiet, secluded courtyard for guests. Authentic Neapolitan dishes are on the menu, including pillowy stuffed ravioli and scrumptious spaghetti with clams. The pastas here are homemade, and you can pair your meal with a glass of wine from the island’s vineyards.
Hydra isn’t a party island, but there are still plenty of spots to go out for drinks and a dance. Many hotels offer their own bars and terraces, or you can head to the Hydronetta beach bar for a relaxed evening spent alternating between a drink and a swim. You can also find a few lively bars on the main streets, particularly in the summer months when DJs spin music and people flock to the waterfront.
Just two hours from Athens by ferry, the aristocratic island of Hydra is a dreamy place to relax. Its car-free streets, pretty old town and bohemian heritage make it a popular day trip and weekend getaway but the small island is also home to some wonderful restaurants. You’ll find both traditional Greek taverns and elegant Mediterranean restaurants in Hydra.
Some of the best places to eat in Hydra are hidden away in the backstreets. For example, the taverna Lulus (which is pronounced “Loos”) serves classic Greek dishes, including oily okra and beans, briam, eggplant imam and more. It’s also known for its grilled lamb and its fresh seafood dishes. It’s also one of the few tavernas where you can still hear local men singing and playing the bouzouki, which is a traditional form of Greek folk music.
The Hydra restaurant Techne (meaning “technology”) is a bit more modern but it’s still in an historic building that was once a ship factory. It serves carefully crafted contemporary Greek cuisine with Mediterranean influences and serves it all paired with unique wines.
It’s located a short walk or water taxi ride from Hydra’s port and has a beautiful outdoor terrace overlooking the sea. It’s an excellent choice for a romantic dinner.
Another great option is Xeri Elia Douskos, where you can eat traditional Greek food and listen to local men sing and play the bouzouki. It’s a little tricky to find but it’s worth the effort. The taverna Gitoniko — which Hydriots call Manolis and Christina for their warm hospitality and delicious food — is a Hydra institution. You climb up a staircase to a vine-covered rooftop garden above the town to dine at this cozy and delightful taverna. My Greek-island M.O. works perfectly here: Order several different starters to share.
The taverna Kodylenia is a lovely waterside spot overlooking Kamini harbour, a 15-minute walk or quick water taxi ride from Hydra’s port. It’s a great place for a relaxing meal of fresh fish and seafood, especially its excellent fried calamari. You can also order pasta, salads and other light dishes. The restaurant is decorated with old tools and equipment used by sponge divers and is a nice spot for a casual meal.
3. Four Seasons
Picture this: You’re sitting in a restaurant with white linen, eating fresh grilled fish caught that night by Hydra fishermen, sipping a glass of local wine and listening to the waves crash on Plakes beach. That’s the experience you get at Four Seasons, a small luxury hotel that feels like an intimate taverna. It’s reachable only by water taxi from the main port town, and its proximity to the sea gives you the perfect view for a sunset to remember.
Located within walking distance of Komiseos Theotokou Monastery Church, this 4-star hotel in Hydra offers baggage storage and a lobby area to help make your stay more comfortable. It also provides a concierge, dry cleaning and laundry services. The comfortable rooms at this luxury Hydra Island property are equipped with a flat-screen TV, air conditioning and a refrigerator.
The hotel’s private beach is a great place to relax and unwind, as it is equipped with lounge chairs, sun beds and umbrellas. It also provides free WiFi in public areas, a library and an express check-in and check-out feature. It is also available to arrange tours and excursions for guests with ease.
There are many dining options at this luxury hotel, and some of them include the Tassia’s Tavern, serving a variety of cuisines. The restaurant is not only open to the hotel’s guests but to all visitors as well, and it offers excellent service. The atmosphere is perfect for relaxing and enjoying the magnificent Saronic Gulf views.
Techne is located in a former boat factory near the shore, just above Avlaki beach and a 10-minute walk from the town’s harbour. The restaurant’s Greek and Mediterranean menu mixes modern and classic dishes. Chef and co-owner Yannis Michalopoulos worked in top-flight London restaurants before opening this venue, and his skills are evident in dishes such as lamb saddle with smoked feta croquette.
Ty Bar, the taverna’s cocktail bar, serves a range of drinks, including a boozy twist on afternoon tea for two with Louis Roederer Brut Champagne and caviar. Whether you want to relax or dance the night away, it is easy to do in this vibrant bar.
4. Xeri Elia Douskos Restaurant
The car-free island of Hydra is a popular day trip and weekend getaway from Athens. Its pretty old town, bohemian heritage and crystal clear waters make it a fascinating destination to explore. But what makes the place really come to life is its unique cuisine – a mix of classic Greek dishes and seafood, plus some more innovative creations. The best places to eat in Hydra range from traditional taverns to high-end restaurants.
Whether you’re dining al fresco in the tangled alleyways of Hydra’s town, in the courtyard of a boutique hotel such as Orloff Boutique or Cotommatae 1810 or on the terrace of your holiday home tucked up high on the mountainside (search for Airbnb villas with spectacular views over the harbour), the food on offer is excellent and varied. It’s easy to find grilled octopus and marinated anchovies as well as fresh fish and seafood from the sea, but if you’re in search of something a bit more inventive you should head for Xeri Elia Douskos Restaurant.
This taverna was once the haunt of Leonard Cohen and his muse Marianne Ihlen who lived here in the 1960s as part of a bohemian expat community that left behind a creative legacy that is still celebrated today. It’s one of the busiest spots on the island and the tables that scatter its atmospheric courtyard are tended to by surely the hardest-working waiters in Greece. The menu is rooted in tradition, but the seafood and vegetarian dishes are given an imaginative twist and the wine list showcases top-quality local vintages.
A little farther from the centre of town you’ll find Techne Restaurant which offers more sophisticated choices from Greece and the Mediterranean. Its outdoor dining area provides unparalleled views over the Aegean and the menu is full of modern versions of classic dishes from both regions. It’s a great option for couples, but also family groups and larger groups.