16 Best Restaurants in Epirus and Thessaly, Greece

Maison

$ Fodor's choice
The coffee here is pretty special, but what really steals the show are the delightful desserts. Treat yourself to one of the maison speciality waffles, the honey-soaked French toast, a chocolate cheesecake, or the deconstructed banoffee pie, all with an innovotative twist inspired by pastry chef Dionisis Alertas. If you're feeling peckish you can grab a serving of the gastro-fare dished out here, more at home in a fine dining establishment than a café.

Mirovolos

$ Fodor's choice

One of the last in Ioannina's main and famous row of lakeside tavernas, family-run and welcoming Mirovolos serves great food. Graze while you gaze at the lovely view of the minaret of Aslan Mosque reflecting on the calm waters of Lake Pamvotis. Enjoy delightful local starters, such as melitzanabourekakia (eggplant-stuffed phyllo sheets), kolokithokeftedes (zucchini and feta fritters), and the zingy cheese dip tirokafteri (made with feta) from nearby Dodoni, washed down with their light house white. For a main course, savor the spiced kontosouvli (pork tenderloin) or the Greco-Roman chicken pie with a light Parmesan sauce.

Strat. Papagou 28, Ioannina, 45221, Greece
26510-78695
Known For
  • Al fresco lakeside dining
  • Slightly elevated and international take on local Greek cuisine
  • Friendly service

O Kipos Tou Ilia

$ Fodor's choice

Also know as Elias's Garden restaurant, this simple taverna with a traditional Greek menu and a waterfall in the garden attracts everyone from visiting royalty to Olympic-medal winners. Kids get their own pethika piata (kids' plates). Unusual appetizers include spicy fried feta with peppers and grilled mushrooms. Among the main dishes are beef stamna (baked in a covered clay pot with herbs, potatoes, and cheese), rabbit with onions stew, a range of local village sausages and perfectly fried vegetable croquettes.

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To Koutouki Tou Nikola

$ Fodor's choice

Koutouki ("little box"), aptly named for its diminutive interior, is a good value, just one reason this place is so popular with the locals. All the taverna favorites are here, but order something made with the local cheese, or the amazing hilopotes (local pasta) cooked in a chicken broth, or the divine celery-leek-and-beef meatballs. Anything served in this taverna is delicious and honest, and the local wine isn't bad either. Kali Orexi! (Good appetite!)

Averof Georgiou 44200, Metsovo, 44200, Greece
26560-41732
Known For
  • Excellent local cuisine
  • Really good quality at a low price
  • Warm and friendly service
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: No credit cards

Estiatorio Meteora

$

At this spot on the main square, a local favorite since 1925, the Gkertsos family serves food prepared by the matriarch, Ketty. Meteora is known for hearty main courses—try Ketty's special wine-and-pepper chicken, veal, or pork stifado (stew)—and some specialties from Asia Minor, including tzoutzoukakia Smyrneika, aromatic meatballs in a red sauce laced with cumin. The surrounding hills and mountains are noted for goat and sheep rearing, and these meats are grilled to perfection here. Customers are ushered through the kitchen to place their order.

Ekonomou 4, Kalambaka, 42200, Greece
24320-22316
Known For
  • Traditional local recipes
  • Family-run service
  • Warm surface
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: Closed Dec.–Jan. Lunch only Oct.–Nov. and Mar.–May, No credit cards

Fisa Roufa

$

This is the best place in Ioannina to enjoy Grandma's home-style cooking, such as pork and celery in a velvety egg-lemon sauce, chicken in yogurt sauce, and patsa (tripe) and beef in tomato sauce—simply head to the counter at the back of the charming little magirion, a canteen variety of taverna, and point to the dishes that strike your fancy. Beer is served cold and the wine by the kilo (or half, if you must).

Averof 55, Ioannina, 45221, Greece
26510-26262
Known For
  • Old-style Greek eatery
  • Good value for money
  • Warm and friendly staff

Galaxias

$

A local classic with vintage rustic charm (crackling fireplace included), situated in the town’s main square, this has been a go-to choice for quality local flavors for three decades. Try various homemade pies, a wide array of regional cheeses, trachanas (a Greek type of pasta crumb, served here in an extra creamy rendition with feta and butter), local hylopytes pasta stewed with tomato sauce in a ceramic pot, local game, and kokoretsi (lamb’s intestines seasoned and cooked to a crisp on the spit).

Main Square, Metsovo, 44200, Greece
26560-41202
Known For
  • Top-quality local produce
  • Tasty traditional cuisine
  • Great location and ambience

Gastra

$

For more than 30 years Mr. Vassilis has run this friendly place, where you can discover how Greek grandmothers cooked before the comforts of electricity were introduced to Epirus. The gastra is basically a large clay or iron container placed on a fire with hot coals scattered on the iron lid over the pot. Your meal (of lamb, chicken, or goat) roasts very slowly in its own juices, resulting in tender, juicy meat with a crispy outer skin. Even though the location is rather charmless, the great food has local diners coming in droves.

Opposite the Dodonis factory, Eleousa, 45500, Greece
26510-61530
Known For
  • Succulent slow-cooked meats
  • Traditional local taverna
  • Friendly service
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: Closed Mon., Reservations essential

Meteoron Panorama Restaurant

$

Come here just for the knockout views of Meteora and the Kalambaka plain below, and the food isn't bad either. Of course, to make sure you get a prime position on the veranda it's best to book in advance. For starters, along with typical mezes, they serve mushrooms stuffed with cheese and a deliciously rich melitzana saganaki (roasted eggplant) served in a claypot with bacon. Try the beautifully prepared lamb chops or the smirneika meatballs, swimming in a spicy tomato sauce. For dessert don't miss out on the syrupy orange cake with a scoop of ice cream.

Miam Miam

$
A bungalow corner restaurant, with seating laid out on the wide gray flagstone pavement, Miam Miam is primarily a pasta place with 20 choices on offer. If the authentic carbonara (no cream) or the smoky bacon amatriciana don't tickle your fancy, try a sandwich wrap or hearty club sandwich. The service is speedy and the food satisfying, especially when you're on the hoof.
Neomartiros Georgiou 1, Ioannina, 45444, Greece
26510-65023
Known For
  • Large selection of pasta dishes
  • Good for kids
  • Cheap well-sized portions

O Vakis

$
Best grill/souvlaki joint in town, for either a sit-down meal or take-out (they can deliver to your hotel too). The gyros, both chicken and pork, are juicy and tender. You'll need to search out this eatery as it's on a side street just off the town's main road.
Siderodromou 18, Kalambaka, 42200, Greece
24320-24126
Known For
  • Speedy service
  • Top quality local meats
  • Tasty Greek style fast food

Paradisos

$

When a Greek cooks with meraki (good taste and mood), the world does indeed find paradissos (paradise). Owner Kyriakoula Fassoula serves meat dishes cooked tis oras (to order), such as grilled pork and lamb chops. Vegetarians can choose from delectable eggplant papoutsakia ("little shoes"), fried zucchini with garlic sauce, and various boiled greens. Complimentary fruit is served for the finale, but it would be a shame to pass up the flaky baklava.

Kastraki, 42200, Greece
24320-22723
Known For
  • Tasty regional cuisine
  • Friendly service
  • Good views of Meteora
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: Closed Nov.

Pub 38

$
English-style pub with a plethora of Greek and international beers in the heart of Kalambaka. Pop in for a sly pint (a liter here) or hang out and enjoy the predominantly rock (rather appropriate for Meteora) sounds and the easy eating, North American-inspired bar grub (burgers, hot dogs, and spicy glazed chicken wings) that they happily dish out.
28th October St. 18, Kalambaka, 42200, Greece
24320-25008
Known For
  • Large selection of beers
  • Warm friendly staff
  • Tasty food

Stoa Louli

$
The old-fashioned aura created by the old stone building, the interior of which is a stoa with an arched (partly glass) ceiling and doors, is the most alluring feature of this place. Stoas are covered courtyards or walkways used in Greek architecture since ancient times and commonly created for public use, and this one is no different—except that here you can enjoy tasty and well-presented local food along with some excellent wine and an accompaniment of acoustic live music.
Anexartissias 78, Ioannina, Greece
26510-71322
Known For
  • Great character and mood
  • Live music
  • Good wine list

Taverna Metsovitiko Saloni

$

A large fireplace, Metsovo costumes on the walls, old photos, and carved wooden furniture enliven the dining room. Try the vegetable pies, especially the kolokithopita (zucchini pie) made from bobota (corn flour), an unusual crust in Greece but an Epirote favorite. In addition, the saganaki (fried cheese) made with four Metsovo cheeses and tender lamb yiouvetsi (baked in tomato-wine sauce) are winners. The large wine selection includes good local choices, Katogi and Zitsa.

Tositsa 10, Metsovo, 44200, Greece
26560-42142
Known For
  • Local Greek cuisine
  • Extensive wine list
  • Authentic decor

To Paradosiako

$

The name means "traditional," and that's what this comfortable spot decorated with colorful weavings and folk crafts is. Vasilis Bissas, the chef-owner, has revived many of the more esoteric regional specialties. Try the fileta tou dasous (fillet of the forest)—a choice beef fillet stuffed with cheese, ham, tomato, mushrooms, and "woodcutters' potatoes" (potato slices baked with bacon and four kinds of cheese). "Grandmothers' bread" is toasted and stuffed with cheese, bacon, tomato, peppers, and onions, then baked in the oven. Accompany your meal with the house wine, guaranteed to be a well-researched regional specialty, or choose the heady local red Katogi.

Tositsa 44, Metsovo, 44200, Greece
26560-42773
Known For
  • Hearty winter fare
  • Good friendly service
  • Large portions
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: No credit cards