Discover the culinary delights of Lesvos, an island rich in gastronomic tradition. From the historic coffeehouse of Ermis serving traditional Greek cuisine, to the atmospheric taverna-ouzeri Koutsomitis in the refugee neighbourhood, Lesvos offers a diverse dining experience.


Whether it’s fresh seafood at Balouhanas under the shade of pine trees or innovative meze centred around local produce at A-the Bar, each eatery tells a unique story. With local ingredients, friendly service, and a love for preserving traditional recipes, dining on Lesvos promises honest and tasty Greek food.


This is one of the island’s most historic coffeehouses, operating since around 1800 and under its current name since 1922. The owners have preserved the ambience, the marble tables, the paintings, and even still prepare Greek coffee the traditional way. The food honours tradition: courgette blossoms stuffed with rice, octopus stewed in wine, hand-wrapped dolmades, and small fried fish. Try the local “sougania” (onion dolmades filled with minced meat and flavoured with cumin and cinnamon). An extensive selection of ouzos and friendly service.

Address: Kornarou 2 & Ermou, Mytilini, Phone: +30 22510 26232, Website:


Eva and Sentan serve flavours from Smyrna using local Lesvos products, following the recipes of Sentan’s father in a warm and hospitable space. Try Turkish dishes such as “giaprak jiger” (grilled liver seasoned with sumac), “kogiun kizi” (sheep marinated in ouzo and spices and slow-cooked), “tsitme” with courgette and mint, and “Hünkâr beğendi”.

Address: Mytilini, Pamfila, Phone: +302251 031482, Website:


One of the island’s finest seafood taverns is situated beneath the city’s castle, right by the sea. Here, some of the dishes on offer are truly unique, such as the fresh picarel and cured bonito, as well as the local that’s octopus simply grilled over charcoal. Fresh beans and peas are also served when in season.

Address: Epano Skala, Phone: 22510/55701, Website:

Steki tou Yianni

Tucked away behind the post office in a narrow alley, Giannis Karampetsos‘ haunt is highly esteemed by all locals in Mytilene. The establishment is adorned with an array of eclectic decor, and the menu radiates the scent of the sea and freshness. Your culinary journey begins with a meze to accompany your ouzo. Juicy tomatoes, fragrant ripe cucumbers, spicy rocket, local varieties of olives, peppers, and fragrant radishes, as well as pickled quince, are all on offer. Following this are boiled greens. The magic concludes when the platter of shellfish arrives. Scallops, shiny mussels, clams, cockles, and whatever else you can imagine, all tantalisingly succulent and fresh. Finally, in addition to a perfectly grilled large fish, the crispy, fried red mullet is simply dinvine.

Address: Therapondos 24, Mytilini, Phone: +30 22510-28.244


Initially the village “kafeneion” coffeehouse, today it has evolved into the gastronomic hotspot of Lesvos. Antonis’ place in Kagiani epitomises the ouzeri experience: a relaxed atmosphere, friendly service, an extensive selection of ouzos and a wide range of mezze, all handmade from high-quality ingredients. Try the smoked mackerel fillet with onion and parsley, crispy cheese pies filled with feta and mint and pan-fried, octopus stewed in red wine, cuttlefish lightly deglazed with vinegar in the pan, runner beans, aubergine meatballs, and lightly cured sardines. Added to this, a splendid view of the sea and the city of Mytilene.

Address: Taxiarches, Kagiani, Phone: 0030 22510 61951

To Stavri tou Papeli

A signature spot in the mountainous village of Agiasos, you’ll find it at the highest point. Brimming with inscriptions in the local dialect, traditional tools and old objects on the walls, it also has an outdoor area shaded by a large plane tree. On the menu, you’ll discover the classics of an ouzeri, such as meatballs, sausages, small fish, and fried seafood. If you happen upon an omelette with avronies (wild, thin asparagus), it’s a must-try, as are the mushrooms and greens, which they forage from the mountain and cook deliciously.

Address: Agiasos, Phone: +30 22520 22936


On the seaside and shaded by pine trees, Balouhanas serves freshly-caught seafood meze and sophisticated dishes. Overlooking the bay of Gera, the owners source fish and seafood from local fishermen and grow their own vegetables. Try the ‘tiganitelia’, a local speciality akin to courgette balls, but also contains courgette blossoms and mizithra cheese. Don’t miss the fragrant anglerfish with herbs and caper leaves, the octopus meatballs, and the cured skipjack tuna. Their extensive ouzo selection features over 15 local labels, accompanied by a wide range of bottled Greek wines.

Address: Perama, Geras Gulf, Phone: +30 22510 51948, Website:

Α-the Bar

Set within an olive grove in a modern, striking space with a sea view, chef Minas Papanikolaou creates ouzo meze centred around local tradition and local produce, transformed by modern creativity. Try the bruschetta with lobster pate, or the bruschetta with sea urchin pate and grated tomato, paired with an ouzo-based cocktail.

Address: Plomari, A-Luxury Villas, Phone: +30 2252033319, Website:


In a peaceful, picturesque village with a sea view is a small taverna run by Maria Xenitelli, who loyally reproduces old traditional recipes using only local produce (the vegetables come from her own garden). Be sure to try the stuffed squid, traditional potato and courgette fritters, and “giouzlemedes” (the local fried cheese pies).

Address: Drota Beach, Phone: +30 2252 091390, Website:


Perched on the shoreline, this restaurant offers a stunning seaside setting, especially at sunset. Traditional cuisine is at the heart of their menu, with vegetables from their own garden, olive oil from their olive trees, local meat, and fresh fish. Sample their stuffed vine leaves, tomato fritters, cheese-stuffed courgette flowers, and expertly grilled fresh fish.

Address: Skala Eressou, Phone: +30 2253 053665, Website:


An atmospheric taverna-ouzeri in the refugee neighbourhood, housed in a 1960s café. Traditional flavours and local meze dishes are saerved, like “souganias” – stuffed onions drizzled in a rich egg-lemon sauce, pastourmadopita, dolmades, bread with skordalia, sardine paste, and fresh fish and seafood depending on the season.

Address: Mytilini, Sinikismos, Zaloggou 25 & Koutsomiti, Phone +30 2251 043332, Website:


A mountain grill restaurant known for its high quality local meats, especially the charcoal-grilled malengka (lamb). Try the liver, fried amanitas, and if in season, the “svirnies” (asparagus) with fresh local egg omelette.

Address: Leptetymnos, Halikas, Phone: +30 698 147 7320, Website:


A chic restaurant in an idyllic location right by the sea. Chef Giorgos Hatzelis has created a menu based on Greek culinary tradition that honours local products. Signature dishes include pan-seared sole with capers and ouzo sauce and stuffed squid with avocado mousse and wild rice.

Address: Porto Plomari hotel, Plomari, Phone: +30 2252 031000


A tranquil and welcoming spot on a pier by the sea with vibrant colours and a travel-inspired atmosphere. You’ll find well-prepared Greek cuisine featuring dishes such as fennel pies, stuffed courgette flowers with rice and delicious prawn fritters.

Address: Eressos, Phone: 2253 053088, Website:

Pelago Mousiko Entefktirio

In one of the most picturesque neighbourhoods of Mytilene, this ‘cultural’ meze house prepares rare old local recipes that you can enjoy accompanied by music and song. Noteworthy dishes include the octopus with aubergine, oven-baked octopus with tarragon and star anise, and wine-soaked mutton.

Address: Mytilini, Ladadika, Ath. Mitrelia, Phone: +30, 2251 045267, Website:

Read also:

A Spirited Tour of Some Ouzo Distilleries on Lesvos

Agiasos, the colourful mountain jewel of Lesvos

Lesvos: Gastronomic paradise of the Northern Aegean with turquoise waters and sandy beaches