The island speciality, mouth-watering Pastitsada; veal casseroled in a red tomato sauce served over the Corfiot style long penne, is a must to try. Other dishes that are Greek and most delicious are Moussaka, Stifado, Sofrito and Pastitsio.
Gyros, the Greek answer to hamburgers, are readily available all over the island. If you are dashing around sight-seeing, you can always grab a gyro on the run. Choice of shaved, grilled chicken or pork meat is served on tsatsiki (yogurt, cucumber and garlic dip), with sliced onion and tomato and freshly fried chips rolled in a Greek pita bread. Gyros are also available with pork or chicken souvlaki (skewers of grilled meat on a stick, stick then removed), or with the flavorsome Greek village sausage or bifteki (home-make beef patties) as an alternative.
Seafood tavernas are abundant, unfortunately shellfish are not. Lobster and crayfish can be found, but at expense. The calamari and grilled octopus are good at most fish tavernas, our favourite being “O Stratos” at Benitses and “Thomas’s Place” at Kalami
A large majority of tavernas are grill-houses and meals are always served with a pile of chips. Pork ribs, pork chops, lamb chops and spatchcock chicken are mostly on the menu. Grilled eggplant and Greek style Mediterranean vegetables are yummy, when seasonally available.
For anyone in self-catering accommodation, the local bakeries bake the most beautiful assortment of breads. Pick up a loaf of corn sesame bread, Corfiot ‘black’ bread, a seed loaf or even a white bread. Trot along to the local supermarket and purchase hot cheese dip (another Corfiot specialty), some Corfiot Virgin Olive Oil and some salt and tear pieces of bread, douse with oil, and sprinkle with salt. Alternatively smother a piece with the scrumptious dip, and lunch is served. Tyropitas (cheese pies) and Spanakopitas (spinach pies) are freshly made daily and are great as a light lunch.
The top hotels on the island all do a buffet breakfast for those who don’t function well on an empty stomach or cups of coffee. The Mon Repos Hotel, Corfu Holiday Palace Hotel and Corfu Palace Hotel all do good English and Continental buffet breakfasts.
Corfu does not limit its restaurants to Greek food only. For those that like an Indian or Thai curry, excellent Chinese or tasty Italian, you won’t be disappointed. Greek pizzas are better than Italian though! Also, most Pizzerias do a starter of fried chips with a bacon and mushroom Carbonara sauce…seriously not to be missed! Foodies interested in Greek cooking lessons can experience an authentic Corfiot culinary experience at Ambelonas, at Pelekas on Corfu.
Suggestions by Adelia Cook
Should you have time restraints, the ultimate dining experience is an evening at ‘Taverna Tripa’ at Kinopiastes, where the hosts provide in excess of 20 exceptionally tantalizing traditional Greek dishes (starters, mains and desserts). Live entertainment is provided with authentic Greek dancers showing how it should be done, followed by lessons on how tourists can master some steps. The evening ends with the live band playing romantic Greek ballads as their patrons’s eyelids become heavy! Cost of meal including wine, beer and soft drinks is +-Euro 30/person. There is no cover charge for entertainment. Reservations essential.
Warning 1: – Do not have lunch before going to ‘Taverna Tripa’.
Warning 2: – Pace yourself or you will not get to relish half of the cuisine!
General warning: If you are weight conscious, go on diet before coming to Greece. You will have to loosen your belt! Expecting great tasting fresh produce that is tantalizingly delicious is not an unrealistic expectation. The Greeks love their food, so do the tourists!