Rhodes is a beautiful island in the Aegean Sea, famous for its medieval castles, ancient ruins and sunny beaches. But Rhodes is also a paradise for food lovers, who can enjoy a rich and diverse cuisine that reflects the island’s history and culture. Rhodesian cuisine is influenced by the various civilizations that have conquered or settled on the island, such as the Ottomans, Venetians, Franks and Italians. It also incorporates elements from Asia, Africa and Europe, creating a unique blend of flavors and aromas.
In this blog post, we will explore some of the best dishes and restaurants that you can find in Rhodes, whether you are looking for traditional taverns, modern fusion cuisine or street food. We will also give you some tips on what to drink and how to order like a local. So, get ready to discover the gastronomic delights of Rhodes and enjoy a memorable culinary experience!
What are the main ingredients and characteristics of Rhodesian cuisine?
The basis of Rhodesian cuisine is wheat and olives, which are abundant and high-quality on the island. Wheat is used to make various types of pasta, such as trachanas (a sourdough pasta made with milk and wheat), macaroni, hilopites (egg noodles) and loukoumi (a sweet pasta). Olives are used to produce olive oil, which is the main fat in cooking, as well as olives for salads and snacks.
Another important ingredient in Rhodesian cuisine is cumin, which is used extensively to season meat, fish, vegetables and legumes. Cumin gives a distinctive aroma and taste to many dishes, such as lacana (a stew with goat meat and chickpeas), pitaroudia (fried balls with chickpeas or other ingredients) and karavolous (snails cooked in tomato sauce).
Rhodes is also blessed with a variety of fresh fish and seafood, such as red mullet, octopus, squid, shrimp, lobster and mussels. Fish and seafood are usually grilled, fried or baked with herbs, lemon and garlic. Some of the most popular fish dishes are kakavia (a fish soup), gouna (sun-dried mackerel) and astakomakaronada (lobster with spaghetti).
Meat lovers will also find plenty of options in Rhodesian cuisine, especially lamb, goat and chicken. Meat is often cooked with pasta or vegetables in clay pots or casseroles, creating tender and juicy dishes. Some examples are pydiako (goat cooked in a tall ceramic pot), chicken with trachanas or loukoumi and spetzofai (sausages with peppers and onions).
Vegetables and legumes are also essential in Rhodesian cuisine, as they provide vitamins, minerals and fiber. Some of the most common vegetables are tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, eggplant, cabbage, spinach, wild greens and capers. Legumes include beans, chickpeas, lentils and peas. Vegetables and legumes are often cooked in tomato sauce or olive oil with herbs and spices, or stuffed with rice or meat. Some of the most delicious vegetable dishes are gemista (stuffed tomatoes and peppers), kolokithi (baked pumpkin), lachanorizo (cabbage with rice) and fava (yellow split pea puree).
Finally, no meal in Rhodes is complete without dessert. The island has a rich tradition of sweets made with honey, nuts, fruits and spices. Some of the most famous desserts are melekouni (a sesame-honey bar), baklava (a phyllo pastry with nuts and syrup), loukoumades (fried dough balls with honey) and amygdalota (almond cookies).
What are the best restaurants in Rhodes?
Rhodes has a wide range of restaurants to suit every taste and budget. You can find traditional taverns that serve authentic local dishes in a cozy atmosphere, modern restaurants that offer creative fusion cuisine with international influences, street food stalls that sell delicious snacks on the go
and pastry shops that tempt you with mouthwatering sweets. Here are some of our recommendations for the best restaurants in Rhodes:
|Ta Kioupia||Traditional tavern||Lahania village||Lacana|
|Mavrikos||Modern restaurant||Lindos town||Astakomakaronada|
|To Steno||Street food stall||Rhodes town||Pitaroudia|
|Koukos||Pastry shop||Rhodes town||Melekouni|
What are the best dishes to try in Rhodes?
If you want to taste the essence of Rhodesian cuisine, you should try some of the following dishes that are typical and representative of the island’s gastronomy. These dishes will give you a sense of the diversity and richness of Rhodesian cuisine, as well as the creativity and skill of the local chefs. Here are some of the best dishes to try in Rhodes:
- Lacana: A hearty stew with goat meat, chickpeas, tomato sauce, onion and cumin. It is cooked in a clay pot for several hours, until the meat becomes tender and the sauce thickens. It is usually served with bread or rice.
- Pitaroudia: Fried balls made with chickpeas or other ingredients, such as minced meat, zucchini, cauliflower or pumpkin. They are seasoned with parsley, mint, onion and cumin, and served with yogurt or salad.
- Trachanas with fish: A sourdough pasta made with milk and wheat, cooked with fish, tomato sauce, onion and herbs. It can be served as a soup or a thicker dish, depending on the amount of water added.
- Karavolous: Snails cooked in tomato sauce with onion, garlic and cumin. They are usually served as an appetizer or a main course, accompanied by bread or potatoes.
- Melekouni: A sesame-honey bar that is traditionally offered at weddings and festivals. It is made with sesame seeds, honey, almonds, orange zest and spices, such as cinnamon and clove. It is cut into pieces and wrapped in paper.
What are the best drinks to accompany your meal in Rhodes?
Rhodes has a long history of wine production, dating back to ancient times. The island produces some of the finest wines in Greece, with a variety of grapes and styles. Some of the most popular wines are Athiri (a white wine with floral and citrus aromas), Mandilaria (a red wine with spicy and fruity notes) and Muscat (a sweet wine with honey and apricot flavors). You can find these wines in most restaurants and bars in Rhodes, or visit some of the local wineries for a tasting tour.
Another drink that you should try in Rhodes is souma, a traditional spirit made from distilled grape pomace. Souma has a strong alcohol content (around 40%) and a distinctive aroma and taste. It is usually served chilled in small glasses, as an aperitif or a digestif. Souma is often flavored with herbs, such as aniseed or sage, or fruits, such as figs or quinces.
If you prefer non-alcoholic drinks, you can enjoy some of the refreshing beverages that Rhodes has to offer, such as fresh juices, smoothies, lemonades and iced teas. You can also try some of the local herbal teas, such as chamomile, sage, mint or rosemary, which have health benefits and soothing effects.
How to order like a local in Rhodes?
If you want to order like a local in Rhodes, you should follow some of the customs and etiquette that are common in Greek restaurants. Here are some tips to help you order like a local in Rhodes:
- Greet the waiter or waitress with a smile and a “kalimera” (good morning) or “kalispera” (good evening), depending on the time of day.
- Ask for the menu or the specials of the day. You can also ask for recommendations from the staff or other customers.
- Order your drinks first. You can order water (neró), wine (krasi), beer (bira), soft drinks (anapsiktika) or coffee (kafes). If you order coffee, specify how you like it: black (sketo), with sugar (metrio) or with milk (gala).
- Order your food next. You can order appetizers (orektika), salads (salates), main courses (kyria piata) or desserts (glyka). You can order individual portions (merides) or share plates (mezedes) with your companions.
- Enjoy your meal and