The Greek island of Paxos is a popular holiday destination with its three resort villages of Gaios, Loggos and Lakka. Most of the restaurants on the island are located around the harbours al fresco with canopies, creating a relaxed ambience. The culinary tradition on Paxos has a distinctively Italian flavour. Mezdes, a seafood salad combo of octopus, sardines, calamari or clams, is a sought-after appetiser.
The most common Greek restaurant, the taverna, offers traditional Greek cuisine and is usually family-owned and operated. The psarotaverna specialises in fish dishes, and the menu changes depending on the day’s fresh catch. While the fish entrees seem comparatively costly, theyíre usually priced by the kilo, instead of by serving portion.
The tavernas in Gaios (the islandís capital and largest resort) serve delectable local Greek dishes, including pizza, pasta and souvlaki (kebab). Taverna Dodos sets up tables under olive trees with Greek music setting the right mood. House specialties include the classic spetzofai (country sausage with peppers and tomato), spicy or stuffed pork, and other dishes to tickle the palate of diners. Vontza, another restaurant in Gaios, is distinctive for meals made to order in a wood oven, with fresh herbs from the ownersí garden and honey from their beehives. They offer a different menu daily with a wide variety of traditional Greek meals of fish, meat and pasta.
Akis Fish Bar and Restaurant in Lakka prepares a broad selection of Mediterranean cuisine. Some of the menu items are lobster spaghetti, fresh seafood, grilled fish and various homemade pasta. Diners can also sample the scrumptious handmade desserts such as cakes, creme brulee and tarts.
The islandís smallest resort Loggos takes pride in excellent seafront tavernas serving native culinary delights like stuffed tomatoes and fresh lobster. The Olive Tree Restaurant is the place to wine and dine for special occasions. Its gourmet specialties range from Greek and Mediterranean to vegetarian cuisine. Vasilis is a charming little place that can hold its own with delicious Greek and seafood courses.
The local villages on Paxos run charcoal grill-type eateries called psistaria, which offer barbecued dishes, along with a selection of appetisers and salads. Tourists who are gastronomically adventurous may want to try kokoretsi, a tasty Greek delicacy of grilled goat innards wrapped in intestine.
Visitors on the go all day may opt for takeout at a souvlatzidika. These are Greek fastfood places serving up small souvlakis wrapped as gyros in toasted pita bread with a tangy tzatiki dip and a side dish of salad. For dessert, those with a sweet tooth can feast on mouthwatering treats at cake and coffee shops called zacharoplasteion.
A holiday on Paxos Island wonít be complete without a visit to the Olive Museum. Restored to working order, its olive press produces olive oil which islanders claim to be the finest in Greece.
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