Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Eating and drinking in Ikaria.

On the side of this main, pedestrianised road which cuts through the main square in St Kirikos,

is this cafeteria where we had pre-dinner ouzos for the first three days of our stay in Ikaria. We would arrive at around 7:00, when it was blissfully empty. By 9:00 there would be no table to be found. They make the most delicious pikilia (tapas) which unfortunately contributed to the weight we gained while we were on the island. Irresistible, though.

Even though we really liked it here, we abandoned this place after the third evening, as we fell in love with Therma.

Our view was this sculpture by Nikos Ikaris but in reverse: this photo was taken from the harbour, and beyond the sculpture you can see the shore and the place where we sat.

Klimataria, The Vine, is where we would go after the ouzos, but we also used this place for lunch quite a few times.

The tables are outside, on the pedestrianised street, wrapping around the block, so that the taverna forms three parts of a square.

It was fairly busy at lunchtimes and packed at night. A very popular venue.

Lovely atmosphere, the place was buzzing, and you felt that this is where it was at. The staff are extremely friendly and delightful, the food so-so. But, we liked coming here.

This is Kritikos on the beach in Therma, situated on the sand. We ate here twice, once for lunch, and once in the evening.

You can see my beach towel on my seat, used to protect the chair from my wet bikini. This is what I love about having lunch in Greece on the islands - it is totally accepted to move from swimming to eating, without having to change.

Kritikos is no.1 on TripAdvisor.  The food is new Greek cuisine, and it's very good. We developed a strong dislike to this place however and never went back after the second time, mainly because of the attitude of the staff. They've over-friendly, the kind of friendliness that you know is totally insincere. 'How are you today?' would the waiter ask. 'Very well, thank you', would be our answer. 'You have no idea how happy this makes me, you have made my day', would be the answer. Really? This would have been a minor irritation had Ken not gone into the taverna to enter his pin on the card, where all the staff were assembled making fun of the customers in roars of laughter. Not nice. The other thing about Kritikos is that the locals and Greeks in general do not use it - it's only foreign tourists, which is always an indicator.

Instead, we started going to Paralia, on the other side of the bay, where the friendliness of the staff felt genuine without being overbearing, and where the food was exceptionally good. Traditional Greek cooking which was so delicious that I wanted to sample everything on the menu while at the same time wanting to have what we'd had the previous day, as it was so good. Their fried courgettes were the best I've ever had, as was the tzatziki. I also had the best keftedakia (small fried meatballs) I've had for a very long time. We pre-ordered lobster for our last night: we were told that having it would depend on whether the local fisherpeople would be able to catch any, and they did. It was a good meal to end our stay.

Next door to Paralia was the cafeneion where we had our pre-dinner ouzos. Friendly staff, good ouzo, and lovely views

that changed as the light changed.

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