Eating in Rhodes

The start of a new month is always a good excuse to visit your favourite taverna and feast on the local Greek cuisine. We all have a favourite taverna – I have several, depending on whereabouts on the Island we are heading. Go early lunch-time or you may be disappointed – the early birds may have eaten the taverna out of its home-made delights.
Recreating the dishes at home is some feat! I still cook mostly English food with the odd splattering of curry and roasted lemon pots and carrots. Cooking Greek food often results in a groan… ‘Mum’s been making her own version of -, …doesn’t taste anything like the real thing!’ In other words I need help… your help! So if you know of any tried and tested recipes you’d like to share with us, let us know and we’ll collate them into a ‘Recipes’ page.

Greek dishes

I can never remember what the Greek dishes at the taverna are, so here goes with an explanation…again, if you know of others, help us out!

Starters and appetisers

Meze: A mixture of hors d’oeuvres such as the below

Bamies: Okra, ladies’ fingers.

Dolmades: Vine leaves stuffed with minced meat, rice & herbs.
Gigandes: Large white haricot beans baked in the oven with a tomato sauce and carrots.

Horiatiki salata: Traditional Greek country salad with tomato, cucumber, onion, green peppers, olives, lots of feta cheese and sometimes a sprig of caper plant.

Horta: Spinach with garlic and lemon juice (squeezed lover it just before eating).

Keftedes: Meat balls

Kolokythakia tiganita: Fried courgettes in batter.

Lahanodolmades: Cabbage leaves stuffed with minced meat, rice and herbs. Usually served with a lemon sauce.

Melintzanosalata: Aubergine/eggplant dip
Patates: Chips/fries
Pitarouthia: Grated pumpkin, onion and sweetcorn mixed in batter and fried.

Skorthalia: Garlic dip made from either potatoes or bread.

Taramosalata: Fish roe dip.
Tyrokafteri: Cheese dip with chilli
Tyrokeftedes: Fried cheese balls.
Tzatziki: A dip with plain Greek yoghurt cucumber and lots of garlic.

Yemista: Stuffed tomatoes or peppers with minced meat, rice and herbs. Baked in the oven.


Ahini: Sea urchin
Astakos: Lobster, often cooked with pasta

Garides: Large shrimp/prawns
Barbouni: Red mullet

Kalamari: Squid fried in batter.

Merithes: Fried white bait.

Mydia: Mussels, usually steamed
Oktapodi: Octopus, grilled or stewed in wine

Sardelles: Sardines

Symi garides: Baby shrimps/prawns (served with the shell on)
Tsipoura: Gilt-head bream, grilled

Xifias: Swordfish

Main dishes

Arni: Lamb
Paidakia: lamb or goat chops.
Bifteki: Beefburger, mince patty
Brizoles: Grilled or barbecued beef steak or pork chops.
Hirino: Pork
Kleftiko: Lamb casserole baked in the oven.
Kotopoulo: Chicken (Stithos = breast, Podi = leg).

Kounelli: Rabbit
Loukanika: Spicy village sausages
Moskhari: Beef
Mousaka: Layers of minced meat, sliced potato and aubergine/eggplant. Topped with a cheesy béchamel sauce.

Pastitsio: Minced meat and pasta topped with a cheesy bechamel sauce.

Salingaria: Snails
Stifado: Meat stew, usually made with beef (but it can be rabbit!) in a tomato sauce and onions or shallots.

Souvlaki: Pork or chicken on a stick (Pita souvlaki is wrapped in pita bread with tomato, onion and tzatziki)
Youvetsi: Beef, vegetables and small pasta pieces served in a clay pot.

Baklavas: Filo pastry with nuts and sweet syrup.

Halvas: Sweetmeat of sesame or semolina
Loukoumades: Dough fritters with cinnamon in honey syrup
Pagoto: Ice cream
Yaourti me meli: Yoghurt with honey.
Most tavernas will offer fruit of the season.

Some of our favourite tavernas on Rhodes

Rhodes Town: Meltemi, on the main beach – one might think, given its location, that this taverna is strictly for the tourists. The food is good, however, and you have a great view of the beach and diving board.

Fasoli Springs. Psinthos – a little way out of the main village, this taverna has excellent meat and little ones can feed the ducks or play on the stepping stones over the stream.
Embona – all the tavernas here do good meat, its difficult to pick just one.
To Steki, Eleousa – cosy up by the fire in Winter with good grilled meat and courgette florets. You can head up to the chalets on Profitis Ilias afterwards for yoghurt and honey or a hot chocolate.

Taverna Maria, on the road to Tsambika Beach – this is a great taverna to visit with children after a morning on the beach at Tsambika. There is a pleasant shady garden with a playground, self-service ice cream, and owner Maria sometimes even gives us fresh eggs from her hens to take home with us.

British Groceries

And in case all that Greek food is getting too much for you, you can always drop in at the British food shop to stock up on products you can’t find in the supermarkets here. Its just outside Rhodes town on the Lindos road by the turn off to Koskinou. For more information and a product list see

Comments are closed.