and there are plenty of amazing places to sample them,
along with a glass of ouzo or retsina.
Here’s an overview of Greek specialties, as well as a selection of our favourite bars and restaurants that will make your stay in Skiathos even more palatable.
Classic dips and spreads
Tzatziki is a deliciously refreshing mix of yoghurt, cucumber and garlic. Traditionally, tzatziki is made with Greek yoghurt, which is different from your usual yogurts because it’s strained to remove the whey. The process makes it ticker and creamier than regular yoghurt.
You can order tzatziki from pretty much any menu, but if you’re visiting the town of Skiathos, you won’t regret ordering yours from Basilikos Restaurant. It’s open every day from 18:00 to 00:30 and offers hearty portions of food made from high-quality products. Taverna Ligaries (next to our OHLIVE Beach Villa)'s tzatziki is also highly recommended.
You might also want to dip your taste buds into the taramasalata, a creamy blend of (pink or white) fish roe, olive oil, lemon juice, grated onions and bread and the melitzanosalata, a traditional Greek eggplant dip.
Olives and olive oil
Greece is the number one producer of edible olives and has been for ages – some even say that Athena offered an olive tree to the city of Athens, thus winning its favour. Olives are an essential part of the Greek cuisine and economy, and olive oil is more popular in Greece than in any other country in the world. It is used liberally in salads, and drizzled over most dips and dishes. Many tavernas produce their own extra virgin olive oil.
Bourtzi, named after an isolated maritime fort, is a great place to have breakfast or brunch, or coffee or cocktails, as you enjoy the view from the terrace. Whether you choose to do so seated at a table full of meze is entirely up to you.
Moussaka is without any doubt one of Greece’s most popular dishes. You’ll be hard pressed to find a taverna that doesn’t serve this traditional Greek eggplant casserole based on layers of sautéed eggplants (aubergines) and potatoes, minced beef or lamb, fried puréed tomato, onion, garlic and spices like cinnamon and allspice (pimenta) and a bit of potato (unless it’s the cheap version, in which case you’ll get more potato than meat). The whole thing is then topped with a creamy béchamel sauce and cheese.
We warmly recommend everything on Marmita’s menu, as fresh, local ingredients are used to make all the traditional recipes.
Greeks are experts of charcoal-grilled and spit-roasted meats. Souvlaki is one of Greece’s favourite street food dishes: marinated pork grilled on a skewer, served on chopped tomatoes and onions in pitta bread with lashings of tzatziki. Gyros is served in a similar way. It’s made with thinly-sliced, seasoned lamb, beef or chicken, that is then wrapped in a pitta.
Exantas in Megali Ammos serves its own delicious interpretation of Gyros served on flatbread with a fresh yoghurt sauce. The restaurant, that is also a bar, overlooks Megali Ammos beach, so aside from the fantastic food, you’ll get to take in the breath-taking view as you feast on a mouth-watering array of snacks, dishes and wines.
Settle down at a seaside taverna and pretend you’re a local. Fish and calamari fresh from the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas are incredibly tasty and cooked with minimum fuss – grilled whole and drizzled with a lemon and oil dressing. Tasty smaller fish such as red mullet and whitebait are ideal lightly fried.
Tarsanas in Kechria is a beach-bar restaurant you can easily fall in love with - and we’re not just referring to its excellent selection of fresh fish and lobster spaghetti. The owner, Argiris, is the most amazing chef who knows exactly how to cook fish to perfection. You’ll also get to choose which fish you’d like him to prepare for you from his fridge, so it really doesn’t get any better than this. About 30 minutes away from the city of Skiathos, to the North-West of the island (area of our villas), you’ll find this hidden gem in a part of Skiathos that is defined by grace, melancholy and beauty. You’ll also enjoy getting there, as the tall pine trees, olive groves, oaks and spruce will make the trip all the more enjoyable.
Traditional Greek salad
A traditional Greek salad consists of juicy tomatoes, cucumbers, green bell peppers, onions, creamy feta cheese (made from sheep’s milk) and olives. The dressing is simple: a splash of virgin olive oil and a little vinegar or lemon juice.
Baracoa Beach Restaurant offers a great selection of tasty salads, sandwiches and pastas. Aside from a cosy atmosphere and a great location, you’ll also be treated to a friendly ambiance.
Grilled or marinated, octopus make a fine meze (appetizer), or main course stewed in wine.
Try the fresh fish and seafood in Bakaliko, one the most famous restaurant in Skiathos, where they also offer an endless stream of ouzo appetizers.
Or book yourself a table at Fish Tavern Akrogiali and try the delicious sun-dried octopus, sea urchins and crabs delivered daily by local fishermen.
Honey & baklava
Whether you’re into them or not, Greek restaurateurs will offer you a tray of sweets as they hand you the bill. So they’re hard to avoid – and equally hard not to enjoy. Most desserts, ranging from a ‘classic’ baklava to galaktoboureko, a rich custard-filled pastry, are often based on olive oil and honey combinations encased in flaky pastry. Local thyme honey drizzled over fresh, thick Greek yoghurt also qualifies as a perfectly legit way to end a meal.
The spirits of Greece
The Greeks love their drinks as much as they love their food. If you’ve never heard of ouzo, raki, tsipouro and retsina, or Mastika it’s time to brush up on your knowledge of the true spirit of Greece.
Ouzo is considered the national drink. Ideally, it is served chilled, with or without ice. Many add water to it, which releases the essential oils from the aniseed, turning the drink cloudy and heightening the aromas.
Often confused with one another, both raki and tsipouro are usually homemade from grapes. The main difference between them is the degree of alcoholic content and the addition of aniseed, which is added to tsipouro but never to raki.
Retsina is a wine made from resin from pine trees. It’s usually the cheapest wine available in Greece, but it appears to be undergoing a comeback.
Mastika or mastiha is a liqueur seasoned with mastic, a resin with a slightly pine or cedar-like flavor gathered from the mastic tree, a small evergreen tree native to the Mediterranean region.
Check out The Borzoi for a unique blend of gastronomy and premium mixology. Situated near an old olive press in the centre of town, the venue was turned into a sophisticated hub for aficionados of music, fine cuisine, rejuvenating spirits and art by its new owners in 2015.
Our favourite winery is run by Giannis Parissis, once a sailor, and his wife Maria Koutseri. They offer more than 100 different wines, all premium quality, made from estate grown grapes harvested manually. Parissis Winery’s baseline is ‘Wine is Life’ – and you’ll find the spirit of such profound wisdom very hard to argue with when visiting the privately owned vineyard.