31 August, 2015

What We Ate in Gytheio and Around 4

The final post about the food we ate in Gytheio; click here for the first, the second and the third part.

This is a hotel/cafe/restaurant called La Boheme.

Here and in another cafe in Gytheio, cappuccino freddo was served with whipped cream. You can see it in Athens, too, but it is normally described as "freddo capputticno with whipped cream", and you won't order it unknowingly.

With coffee, we ordered a chocolate souffle. I don't remember how much it cost, but was rather expensive. I felt disappointed when I saw the small size of it, but the taste compensated the quantity.


On our way back to Piraeus, we stopped at Sparti for lunch.

We did not plan it, so I did a quick search with Tripadvisor to find a nearest place with good rating.

That was how we found Tsipouradiko 50.

It is just some streets behind the central square, but I would not find it, if I was not searching for it specifically. It should have a courtyard, but it was closed, because, it was raining (strange for August in Greece). The interior is old taverna/kafenio style but the establishment is relatively new, only 3 or 4 years old.

We ordered some mezedes, that all came in a decent portion.

This is spaghetti cooked with butter, garlic and cheese. The owner told us it was a traditional recipe of Mani. Not only the garlic, but also grated cheese were fried in a pan. Interesting dish.

With 5 dishes we were stuffed and the bill came to very reasonable 25.50 Euro. Recommended.

Tsipouradiko To Peninda - Τσιπουράδικο το '50'
Evangelistrias 50, 23100, Sparti, Lakonia
Ευαγγελιστρίας 50, 231 00, Sparti Lakonías
Tel. 27310 83585

29 August, 2015

What We Ate in Gytheio and Around 3

Here is the part 3 of "What We Ate in Gytheio and Around", following the part 1 and the part 2.

To complete the picture, we could not omit visiting Saga, which is probably the most famous fish restaurant in Gytheio.

The menu is fairly simple. Evidently fish soup is their specialty, but we did not tried it.

To start, we ordered melitzanosalata and tomato & cucmber salad (also known as horiatiki horis feta). The bread came grilled, accompanied by small olives. All fine, but nothing spectacular.

For the main course, we had grilled squid with boiled vegetable as side (12 Euro), and shrimp spaghetti (garidomakaronada, 15 Euro). Both quite tasty, but portion size was small. Spaghetti came freshly boiled (surely al dente) and tomato sauce had a clean taste; I felt as if I were in Italy.

That said, there was really no comparison with the splendid garidomakaronada that I ate at Takis taverna in Limeni near Areopoli 1.5 year ago.

At the end of the meal, our waiter offered either fruits or dessert (semolina halvas). Saga was the only one taverna that offered us free dessert in Gytheio this summer.

We had also half a kilo of white wine and the total cost came to 40 Euro. The most expensive meal of this trip, but I won't complain as the food was satisfactory and the service was impeccable. The professionality of the waiters were exemplar.

I am not sure if I want to go back there, because it is not one of the best seafood restaurants I can think of. However, the kitchen seems to be reliable as well as the service. So if you are looking for a meal that won't disappoint you, I would say this is the place to be.

Tzanni Tzannetaki
Tel. 27330 21358


We tried also 2 places outside Gytheio. One of them was called Kali Kardia, which is situated along the road from Gytheio for Areopoli. It looks like a small roadside taverna, but actually is a "exohiko kentro" (large restaurant that local people uses for special occasions, for example, to hold a marriage party). It is featured in Tripadvisor, so you might be interested to visit.

The menu is mostly meat, grilled as well as stewed.

We started with tyrokafteri (cheese and chili dip) and boiled green.

GH ordered veal in tomato sauce (moshari kokkinisto) served with fried potatoes and I ordered grilled sausages served with fries and mayonnaise. Look at the quantity.

All the dishes were tasty and portion was very generous. At the same time, I have to mention that the quality of the sausage was inferior to the one that we ate at 90 mires in Gytheio; they contained some hard bits and lard. The veal, on the other hand, was quite lean and there was really nothing to be left.

One thing of note is that this place features beers from Greek micro-breweries. We had a bottle of Royal Ionian Pilsner, which was pleasant.

The bill came to reasonable 26 Euro I would not travel to eat here on purpose, but if I am in the area, I would definitely come back.

Kali Kardia - Η Καλή Καρδιά
Hosiario (Gytheio)
Χωσιάριο (Γύθειο)
Tel. 27330 93250

The best restaurant award of this trip goes to En Plo in Kotronas. I did not like particularly the beach of Kotronas, but would go back only to eat at this place.

From outside, it looks like a humble beach bar/taverna. It also offers sun beds and parasols at the beach. The menu includes club sandwiches and frappe. There is no element that makes you suspect this is a gourmet restaurant.

The first to come were bread, olive oil and small olives. You see that the napkin of under the bread is cloth, instead of paper?

This is salad with Graviera from Crete and Sigrino from Mani. Incredible flavor. The quality of sigrino was top notch. The price tag of 8.50 Euro was justified.

We got also "Orphaned" Moussaka (right below in the photo). Our waiter explained to us it was moussaka without meat and white sauce. We did not understand what it could be, but then it turned out to be more or less solid Briam. And fried potatoes. Again the flavor was very strong. I think it was down to the quality of the ingredients.

I did not like the beach of Kotronas so much, but I would travel there only to eat at this restaurant. Maybe I'd just stay at Kotronas to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner here.

Gefsis En Plo - ΓΕΥΣΕΙΣ ΕΝ ΠΛΩ
Kotronas Beach, 230 62 Kotronas
Κότρωνας 23062, ΛΑΚΩΝΙΑΣ
Tel. 27330 22900

The same owner has a hotel called Kotronas Bay, which is, however, not exactly at the same place.


And two additional photos.

Gytheio has a healthy amount of tourism, but not so much that every cafeteria offers breakfast combinations. We stayed at a hotel called "Pantheon" paying 49 Euro per night for a twin bedroom (the price was fine, as it was very close to the highest peek season). It had B&B option, but we did not take it. One morning we went out for breakfast. GH was not in a mood to walk around to search, so we ended up in an ouzeri/kafenio. They had tyropite (cheese pie) for breakfast.

One evening we went to a village called Petrona, about 10 KM from Gytheio, as it was holding a festival. Visitors could buy souvlakia, salad, cheese and fried bread. We gave up to buy fried bread (Maniot specialty) because of loooong queue, but got souvlakia. In taste wise, there is nothing noteworthy, but I was impressed how quickly and faultlessly the local boys serving the ordered items to the visitors.

24 August, 2015

What We Ate in Gytheio and Around 2

Here is the 2nd part of "What we ate in Gytheio and Around", continuing from the part 1.

GH generally does not like to eat in the same place repeatedly. Just for this reason, we visited also 90 Moires (read "Eneninda mires", meaning 90 degrees, as the restaurant is positioned at a corner). It is a fairly large place by Gytheio's standard.

We had once ate here 1.5 years ago and I knew what to expect (GH did not really remember).

Here are tzatziki and tomato-cucumber salad to start.

The restaurant has both meat, fish and cooked vegetable (ladera) dishes. We got grilled sausage and briam.

I found both very tasty, but the portion was small and over-priced. The bill came to 29 Euro, without eating much and without free dessert (which I remember to have had when we visited here in the winter).

Good food, but too expensive. I am not sure I would like to try it again.

90 Moires - 90 Μοίρες
Tzanni Tzanetaki Street
Tel. 27330 25425


As the restaurants in Gytheio do not offer free dessert (at least during the summer), we stopped buy Italian gelato at a place called Vitorino. The ice creams were pretty good and 1.60 Euro a scoop. They have never given us receipt, though.


As we get tired eating at Greek taverna lunch end dinner, sometimes we at alternative places. Gytheio is not a town with disco and clubs, but there are nice cafes and bars along the seaside.

One of these places was Lybe-Lybe, which offers Italian style food as well as drinks.

This is a salad with rocket and mozzarella wrapped in prosciutto with balsamic vinegar.

Pizza came a bit burnt, but did not taste bad as much as it looked in the photo. It was also huge and was enough to feed us 2 (although you have to know that I cannot eat pizza so much especially for dinner, as I cannot digest).

The dough was a bit too tough and was difficult to bite.

The price I think was around 25 Euro including a bottle of beer. The wifi worked perfectly. As I said, it is a nice place for non-Greek meal.

Lybe Lybe
Tzanni Tzannetaki, Gytheio
Tel. 27330 75404


We ate also crepes sometimes at Touristiko Periptero.

Touristiko Periptero -  Τουριστικό Περίπτερο
Eleftherolakonon, Gytheio
Ελευθερολακώνων, Γύθειο
Tel. 2733022282

23 August, 2015

What We Ate in Gytheio and Around 1

GH and I went to Gytheio in Lakonia, South Peloponnese for summer vacation.

Earlier in the year we were planning to travel to Crete and spend a week. But, then, Syriza triggered the capital control and it seemed too risky to buy ferry tickets and prepay hotels.

So we booked a cozy room in front of beach in a village near Monemvasia, thinking it would be nice to explore the area we have never spent much time.

This plan failed too because of some problem in the family and we just had to pick anything acceptable in the highest season. Not that Gytheio is an unattractive place to spend summer vacation (on the contrary!), but the fact that we have been there twice in the past made it a less interesting choice for us.

Here are some photos from Gytheio and around, if you are interested in planning a trip.

As always, I concentrate here on the food. We spent 5 nights there and I can say that I have a good overview of the restaurant scene in the area.


The first place where we ate was the most low-key of all. Gytheio is only about 3.5 to 4 hours drive from Athens. Having left our home at 8 o'clock in the morning to avoid traffic, even with some stops for coffee and toilet, we were already in Gytheio around 1 o'clock in the afternoon. The hotel room was available only from 2 o'clock, so we went out to eat to kill some time. GH was thirsty and wanted to settle somewhere close . That was why we settle here that had shade and fan (he tends to avoid air-conditioning, as many Greeks do).

It is one of the tavernas and cafes standing around the square toward the end of Vasiliou Pavlou Street and is called Treis Laloun. (By the way, the bakery next to the taverna in the photo makes excellent cheese pies; try especially 'horiatiki tyropita', if they have).

The menu is classic Greek one and has a very wide range of food, both meat and fish. We opted for souvlaki, but seafood on the other tables looked good.

Bread came grilled, with olive oil and oregano. Tomato and cucumber salad was also fine, although I wanted the portion to be larger.

Tzatziki was very thick and creamy. The best dish we had at this taverna.

Gemista (staffed tomatoes).

Souvlaki "Tris Laloun" tasted fine, but again small.

With a bottle of beer, the bill was 20 Euro. Food was fine, if nothing special. You'd better order an extra dish, as portion is small.

Tris Laloun - ΤΡΕΙΣ ΛΑΛΟΥΝ
Gytheio, Laconia
Tel. 27334 00123


In the first evening, we went to a fish taverna called Trata. I had wanted to visit this place for years, not because it is on the top of Tripadvisor list (at this moment, it actually is), but because I missed it the last 2 occasions for some reason or another regardless of the recommendation I received 5 years ago.

To start, we ordered a boiled green (horta) and this zucchini cake. It was made from zucchini, feta cheese, egg and herbs. Pretty nice and interesting dish.

Fried calamari was also well executed and in a large portion.

We had also a portion of shrimp spaghetti (garidomakaronada), which was a disappointment. Admitted that the price is quite low (8 Euro), I would not order again over-boiled spaghetti with 5 or 6 small shrimps tossed in. I did not like the spice (cinnamon?) in the tomato sauce.

The total bill came to 27 Euro, which is quite reasonable in Gytheio where the food tend to be expensive for a regional town.

So if you keep your food expense low and still want to have a nice Greek food, Trata is a good choice. The owners were very friendly too. But I do not think the food is top-notch. I did not like the white wine with vinegary flavor either.

I Trata - Η Τράτα
Tzanni Tzanetaki
Tel. 27330-24429

10 August, 2015

Rakaki @ Kaisariani

It has been a couple of month ago since we visited Rakaki in Kaisariani. It is a Cretan restaurant in the Kaisariani Square. As it was already a good season, there were many tables outside. The indoor space is very limited.

The bread came with a cheese dip and small Cretan olives. 1.50 Euro per a head.

Under the bread there were some dried harbs and their fragrance filled our table all through the meal.

They just put a bottled water even if you do not order. 1.70 Euro. It was Cretan water I have never seen before.

We ordered only 3 plates, as we were not hungry and also the price looked a bit high. When the price looks too high in tavernas in Greece, there are two possibilities. One is just because they can charge as much as they want. The other is because portion size is larger than normal. Anyway, in both cases, it is better not to order too many things.

The first dish was a salad of almyra green, boiled potato and spring onion. 7.10 Euro. I have never tries this combination and it turned out to be really good. Because of the potatoes, it becomes filling, too.

Baked kataifi with cheese filling, served with honey and what I think was onion seeds. Enjoyable. Portion size was rather small. 6.30 Euro.

For the main dish, we ordered a stewed rooster with handmade pasta. 9.90 Euro. It was a rather indifferent dish and the meat was extremely small (note that these 2 pieces are on bones).

At the end we were offered glasses of sweet cinnamon drink without alcohol. With one bottle of beer, the meal with 3 dishes came above 30 Euro.

All in all, the food was good, but the price looked too high for what it was.

Rakaki - Ρακάκι
Moschonision 2-4, Kaisariani, 161 21, Athens
Μοσχονησίων 2-4, Καισαριανή, 161 21, Αθήνα
Tel. 210 7237457

07 August, 2015

Hot Hot Burger Bar @ Piraeus

I have past in front of Hot Hot on Kolokotroni Street in Athens, but have never stopped to eat, because there usually was a lot of people and because I am not really a burger fan.

But one day, we decided to drop into the outlet in Piraeus which opened, I think, several months ago.

Hot Hot Burger Bar offers and has made a big success with gourmet style burgers for very affordable prices, starting from 2 Euro.

I ordered Classic Hot Hot Burger, which came with a slice of cheese. I do not know the difference between this one and their cheese burgers

It tasted all right for a burger of 2 Euro. Nice change from a souvlaki wrap which costs more or less the same.

If you want potatoes, you should order separately. In the photo is potato wedges with cheese and bacon. Very filling.

I did not like the service here, but it is not really a restaurant and you won't expect so much. You can order from home, too. If you like burgers, you'd like to give it a try.

Hot Hot Burger Bar
Grigoriou Lambraki 91, Piraeus
Γρηγορίου Λαμπράκη 91, Πειραιάς
Tel. 210 4102444

05 August, 2015

Premiera Again @ Kallithea

2 Sundays ago, we went to Premiera in Kallithea. It looks that I did not write about it the last time we paid a visit and this was our second. It is housed in an elegant residence building and the interior is quite nice. This time, however, we sat down in the courtyard; it was a bit hot, but there was some breeze from time to time.

It was totally vacant when we arrived at around 2 o'clock, but started to fill from 3 o'clock on by the people who looked and/or sounded like Russian Greeks (i.e. the Greeks who moved from the former Soviet Union countries and their kids and grand kids).

First come was warm pieces of bread and garlic butter colored by red beet. Good, but you really should be aware that it fills your stomach.

Crepes (which is not the real name) filled with yellow cheese as starter. Very nice but a bit heavy, maybe I should have chosen minced meat or smoked salmon version.

Here is the starter for GH: fried potatoes. Besides, his main course was a pasta dish (as you will see later). Do not ask me why. He said that they were delicious. Lucky for him.

Caesar salad with croutons, grilled chicken and Parmesan cheese. We should have ordered something more Russian, but it seems that the Russians do not have habit of eating raw vegetables. As it was a hot day and I needed fresh veggie, I ordered this and was happy with the result.

My main dish was pork shashlik, which is like an enormous souvlaki. The meant had some fat and sinew, but it was fine for me, as I do not a big fan of clean fillet.

GH got Russian ravioli with ricotta cheese served with butter and sour cream. I think he ordered the same dish when we came here for the first time. He loved it, but had difficulty finishing all, as he has eaten too much already.

But you don't say no to the ice cream at the end in such a hot day (on the house).

The bill was a bit above 30 Euro, which we think is excellent value for money. Very much recommended.

Doiranis 29, Kallithea, Athens
Δοϊράνης 29, Καλλιθέα

Tel. 217 716 9500