Throughout the Dodecanese, you can find sophisticated restaurants, as well as simple tavernas serving excellent food. On Rhodes and Kos, beware of many completely mediocre eateries catering to tourists with fast food—the grabby hype-men standing outside are usually a good clue. It is sometimes best to wait until after 9 pm to see where the Greeks are eating. Because Rhodes and Kos produce most of their own foodstuffs, in better restaurants you can count on fresh fruit and vegetables. Fish, of course, is readily available on all islands. Large fish goes by the kilo, so confirm the exact amount you'd like when ordering or risk huge bills. Tiny, tender Symi shrimp, found only in the waters around this island, have such soft shells they can be easily popped in the mouth whole. They are used in dozens of local dishes. Wherever you dine, ask about the specialty of the day. Rhodes produces some excellent wines that appear on tables throughout the Dodecanese, and vintages from throughout Greece also show up on wine lists. With the exception of a few very high-end spots, dress on all the islands is casual; reservations are not necessary unless specified.

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Fodor's Essential Greece: with the Best of the Islands

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