The tavernas in Lesvos provide traditional Greek dishes and seafood. They also serve tsipouro and raki, a strong spirit made from distilled grapes. They also offer mastic liqueur from the island of Chios.
Samis in the upper Eressos village is a great place to eat at. The food is authentic and the place has a family atmosphere.
1. Kavalouros Restaurant in Skala Eressos
The restaurants in Skala Eressos are the town’s biggest draw and for a small village it has a fantastic selection. From fresh fish to whole lamb grilled on a spit and everything in between, the choice is endless. Most of the traditional Greek restaurants also serve local red and white table wine at a good price.
There are a number of great restaurants in Skala Eressos but my favorite is Kavalouros, which is hidden away behind the other restaurants in the main square and tends to get overlooked by many people. The food is superb – their briam, bouragia, sardines and papoutsakia are among the best I’ve ever had. It’s also a very cosy and friendly restaurant. They also do a really nice brunch when the northerly winds are blowing.
2. Samis Restaurant in Eressos
As is typical of many small Greek islands Lesvos has a number of tavernas serving fresh seafood. They are usually located right on the beach or in the port promenades of seaside villages like Plomari, Molyvos, Skala Eressos and others. Cuisine in Lesvos typically includes dishes made to go with ouzo, the traditional drink of the island. They also include grilled octopus, salted mackerel, fried vegetable and tomato dishes, sardeles pastes, lakerda (tuna), and stuffed or grilled zucchini flowers.
Most restaurants are family owned and operated and some have been in business for decades. They serve traditional Greek food that is often based on simple ingredients and recipes. They are not upscale restaurants but offer a great variety of food and drinks at very reasonable prices. The menus of many of these tavernas are written in English which makes it easy for non-Greek speaking visitors to order what they want to eat.
One of the most unique places to eat on Lesvos is the Samis Restaurant in the upper village of Eressos (not Skala). It serves the same types of food as other fish tavernas in Lesvos but its the only one that has a talking parrot. The owner is a great guy and the restaurant has become very popular with families.
The upper part of the village has some of the best houses on the island and is a nice place to walk. There are a few good shops selling pottery and other souvenirs and several small taverns where you can have lunch or dinner. Some of them are open only for lunch and others close at 5:00PM.
In addition to the tavernas in the village there are a couple of other restaurants on the beach. The Soulatso is a great example of a typical Lesvos fish taverna. Its a bit farther down the beach and it serves chicken, a few different grilled meat dishes and lots of fish. It also has great apetizers such as courgette balls, fava and grilled vegetables. Its a very laid back place to eat and has old rembetika music playing. Its a nice alternative to the loud noise of some of the other fish tavernas on the beaches in Skala Eressos.
3. Lignaria Paradise in Eftalou
Located in the center of the village just a few meters from the sea this restaurant is one of the most popular places for locals to eat. They serve traditional Greek food and seafood of all kinds. They also offer a wide range of salads and appetizers and sauces rich in the flavors of wild herbs. The staff are very friendly and attentive. This is a good place to sit back and relax while enjoying your meal.
The menu is quite extensive and has lots of vegetarian options as well as fish and meat dishes. The portions are very generous and you will leave full and satisfied. You can also get a good amount of wine and beer here. They have a great outdoor terrace where you can enjoy the view of the sea.
This is a newer restaurant in the village of Skala Eressos and it seems to be a pretty popular choice for people staying in the area. They have a nice patio with tables and chairs and they are very close to the beach. They have a few interesting dishes on their menu including the famous sardeles paste which is salted and sun-dried sardines that are then grilled. They also have some other grilled fish dishes and other skewers. The service was very good and the prices are reasonable.
If you want to try something different and go to a restaurant that has a different atmosphere from the usual greek tavernas then this is a good option. They have a very large menu and while they still serve some of the traditional Lesvos food like koukia and stuffed zucchini flowers they have also incorporated dishes that you would expect to find in a fancy Italian restaurant or New York City. They have a nice wine list and you can sit outside and enjoy the beautiful view of the long beach and port of Gavatha.
This is the only restaurant in the village of Nafsika that has a view of the sea and it is located near the beach. They serve both seafood and a few traditional Greek dishes as well as wine and beer. Their grilled chicken is very tasty and the octopus here is excellent. The service is quick and the restaurant is very clean.
4. Vafios Restaurant in Molyvos
A taverna in the most touristic village of Lesvos, Molyvos. Located on the hill with stupendous views of the sea and the village it offers high quality food and a unique atmosphere. It is a favorite spot of locals, tourists and those that return often. You can sit outside under the old olive tree and enjoy a mix of traditional local dishes and also pastas, meat and seafood. Try as many things as you can to get a good sense of the traditional island cuisine.
The food is mainly Mediterranean with a number of excellent fish dishes and the traditional village style cooking. The sardelle pastes, the koukia, the stuffed zucchini flowers and of course the freshly caught fish are all great. This is a taverna that you should not miss and it is worth the taxi ride from anywhere in the island.
This is a family owned and operated restaurant in the plaia of Antissa. It is a little out of the way but it is worth a trip. The menu is large with a lot of grilled meat, fresh fish, oven cooked dishes and mezedes. The service is excellent and they are very friendly. They also serve a number of wines and some beers.
You can dine at this restaurant for lunch and dinner. The restaurant is small and has only a few tables. It is a nice place to stop for lunch or coffee. It is a small family owned taverna and serves typical Greek cuisine. The prices are very reasonable and the service is excellent.
It is a family run and owned taverna and they specialize in grilled meat and fresh fish. The service is excellent and they have a number of Greek wines on the list. They also serve a number of beers and some soft drinks. It is a nice place to stop if you are in the area of Skala Polichnitou.
The owner Kamal is a native of Lesvos and has a vast knowledge of the Greek wine industry. He travels extensively to the islands and mainland to visit wineries and meet with winemakers to keep his finger on the pulse of Greek viticulture. In addition to his own wines he also represents boutique and specialty labels from around the country.