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Greece & Turkey, looking for a few fabulous lunch spots

Going in late May, Istanbul, Kusadasi, Santorini, Mykonos, Rhodes and Athens.
We have half day tours booked for our group of 8, and are looking for some absolutely wonderful lunches in any of these spots. Santorini and Mykonos, especially as we have no guide, we have the entire day. No budget, love local, fresh, interesting, and would always love a view.Thanks.

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  1. I'm looking for the same type of recommendations. Have you found any other websites or places to get recs?

    1. In Rhodes, Marco Polo or Ta Kioupia, both in the old town. In the city center, try Indigo or Ergon.

      1. Check first to make sure they are open for lunch as many better places are only open for dinner.

        1. Maybe in Rhodes for something quite special tru Botrini's Rhodes. In Athens most of the great restaurants are only open for dinner.

          1. In Fira (Santorini), Archipelagos, Greek fusion, looks into the Caldera, delicious. http://www.archipelagos-santorini.com/ .

            1 Reply
            1. re: PSZaas

              The view is beautiful at Archipelagos. The food was quite good when I dined there in 2007 (so it's quite possible the food could have improved since my visit), but I preferred the simpler food at some of the more basic tavernas. While it's on the pricey side, it does offer a change from the more typical rustic foods found in most tavernas.

            2. My best meals in Santorini and Rhodes were at tavernas that weren't mentioned online or in any guidebooks, that had menus or blackboard specials that looked good to me. If the restaurant offered a menu that was translated into a dozen languages (common in more touristic parts of the main towns), the chances of the food being decent seemed to decrease, in my experience. I visited Greece in 2004 and 2007, so any specific recommendations for tavernas or restaurants I would have would be outdated.

              In Rhodes, the wild shrimp were fantastic. I really like the bread in Rhodes, as well.

              Definitely order some tomato fritters (tomatokeftedes- they don't contain meat, despite the name) in Santorini, which are a regional specialty that are found on most menus.

              I find most islands do rustic taverna-style dishes better than upscale/innovative dishes.

              Most of the restaurants I visited in Mykonos ended up being tourist traps- I think it's hard to avoid on a party island.

              If you like calamari, I encourage you to specify fresh calamari (freska). If you don't mention fresh calamari (which costs a little more), some waiters will assume you want the cheaper, frozen calamari that may be sourced in Asia, rather than the Mediterranean.

              3 Replies
              1. re: prima

                You are right about the calamari. The fresh is made by whole calamari usually roasted over charcoal fire, and it costs about 40 euros per kilo. The more common calamari is the prefrozen one that is usually prepared with deep frying.

                Generally mediteranean has the best fish you can find. To mention a few sfyrida (σφυρίδα or epinephelus aeneus, my favorite fish in the world), synagrida (συναγρίδα), rophos (ροφός). These are on the high end of prices and taste, and they are wonderfull and a bit hard to find as they are only wild fishes.

                1. re: Giannis

                  I like rice-stuffed calamari and gouna. ;) If you ever visit Lesvos, the seafood in Sigri is fantastic.

                  1. re: prima

                    Yes both are very nice. Also octopus in Greece is amazing if you find a place that knows how to prepare it. It can be extremely tender. I only had octopus in France once in a 2 michelin starred restaurant and it was miles away(worse) than in some casual taverna in Greece.

                    For me what makes a nice fish to become great is the roasting over charcoal. :)

              2. In Santorini, we loved Floga in Oia - the view was of course, stunning, but the food was even better. The spaghetti with garlic and Santorini tomatoes was FABULOUS!