Kos, you had me at xαίρετε. From the stunning hotel Aqua Blu Hotel and Spa (review here) to the friendly and welcoming nature of the island’s people to it’s sandy beaches, it has it all. If you’re planning a visit it can be a daunting task sifting through the vast array of eateries and watering holes to find the best but don’t worry I have you covered with my guide to eating and drinking on the island of Kos.
Where to Eat in Kos:
For Fine Dining:
Aqua Blu Boutique Hotel and Spa on the north of the island in Lambi is a haven of decadence and luxury and this is continued in its fine dining restaurant Cuvée. Translated as vintage, there is nothing old style or antiquated about this food. On the contrary this is current, relevant, Michelin quality cooking from chef George Kostis and his team. Honing his skills in restaurants such as the Grill at the Dorchester in London, and one star restaurant 5 in Stuttgart, George has collaborated with chef Pavlos Kiriakis to create a menu that has its base firmly rooted in the technique of classic French cookery with dishes such as the beef short rib, truffle, and lamb but who also take inspiration from classic Greek and Mediterranean cuisine and give it a fresh modern twist. Delicious food with beautiful creative presentation, Cuvée is distinct in that no other restaurant is offering this type of destination dining on the island so even if you are staying elsewhere I highly recommend that you make a special detour as part of your trip to Kos. There is a 4 or 6 course (along with snacks and petit fours) tasting menu available and also à la carte. Read full review here
Address: Ephelondon Paleon Polemiston, Lambi Beach, Kos 853 00, Greece
For Casual Greek Food with a Twist:
Don’t be fooled by the name here, this isn’t some downtown subpar diner but it does enjoy the wonderful casual atmosphere that you would expect from same. Broadway, hidden away from the busy port front of Kos town, has been in operation since 1990 and offers traditional Greek cuisine but with a modern contemporary edge to the food. Bustling with locals is often a good sign of an establishment and on the warm evening when we visited we were seated inside and presented with menus and water for the duration of our short wait for a street side table. Our waiter was enthusiastic and friendly, keen to discuss both the menu and Greek wines and to offer advice. Portions are very generous; a Greek salad starter would happily feed two people as a side. Appetisers range from garlic bread to prawns with aioli. Try the cheese saganaki here. Mains are more varied from American style beef burgers, pasta dishes, grilled steaks and pork to more traditional Greek dishes such as beef youvetsi, a slow braised beef cheek served on a bed of kritharaki, a type of Greek pasta similar to orzo.
Address: Meg. Alexandrou 36, Kos 853 00, Greece
On a small island like Kos one would be forgiven for thinking that fish and seafood is plentiful and of course you wouldn’t be wrong. However, sifting through the masses of restaurants that offer fare from the sea can be an arduous task. Barbouni or Nick the Fisherman, practically across the road from one another both offer fresh seafood and are a good bet for anything from calamari to simply grilled sea bream, mullet, or salt-baked sea bass. Barbouni in particular has a wonderful shore side setting so book in advance and ask for a table beside the water. Unusually the heavens poured on our visit there but it didn’t dampen the friendly service or atmosphere. Try the cod croquettes and courgette fritters for tasty snacks or starters. Other popular items from the menu include a large range of sushi and the squid ink tagliatelle. Nick the Fisherman is a little more rustic in its approach but no less tasty. The calamari in particular is excellent and rather than sliced into rings is served as a whole, the squid coated in a crispy batter with a wedge of lemon on the side. Whichever restaurant you go with, if not both, you’ll be guaranteed fresh, quality, seafood.
Barbouni – Address: 26 G. Averof St. Kos, Kos 853 00, Greece
Nick the Fisherman – Address: 21 G. Averof St. Kos, Kos 853 00, Greece
For Romantic Setting:
Zia is an idyllic mountainside traditional whitewashed Greek village, with stunning views and romantic sunsets over the island of Kos. Popular with tourists there are many options for eating here but none more so than Oromedon. Serving up traditional Greek specialities this is honest, simple cooking but which should not imply any lack of sophistication. Flavour forward food is what you’ll get here and many dishes come from their wood fired oven such as the succulent slow cooked overnight lamb with rosemary and garlic, served with potato and peas which was outstanding. Other highlights include a starter dish of mountain pork with lemon and fennel, which despite the pork being slightly on the dry side, was one of the tastiest dishes from my time in Kos. You’ll also find an excellent traditional moussaka that is certainly worth trying. Leave room for dessert, particularly galatopita “milk pie”. The bill (excl. tip) consisting of 3 starters (don’t judge we didn’t have lunch that day), 2 mains, 2 desserts, and a more than acceptable bottle of Greek Merlot came to just over €60. Excellent food, wine, and views
Address: Epar.Od. Zipariou-Asfendiou, Lagoudi Zia 853 00, Greece
Right in the centre of Kos town by the port this trendy little cocktail bar is definitely the place to go for an aperitif, digestif, or for any other reason as “if” (pardon the pun) you needed one. With my cocktail snob hat on and peak firmly facing forward it can be difficult in Kos, or many other tourist destinations, to find cocktails beyond what could effectively be a slushy with a wedge of fruit on the rim and sporting a sparkler cane. Not that there isn’t a place for lighter, more summery cocktails but readers of my page will know that I like my drink to taste of, well, alcohol. Sitar offers a comprehensive menu that is far from pretentious, offering cocktails to suit all tastes for the tall, fruity style, umbrella (though I can’t confirm the availability of those here) adorning beverage enthusiasts to old fashioned, hardnosed, cocktail elitists like me. I knew I was in the right place when I saw that they had Bulleit Rye in a town where bourbon can be a rarity. If you want a drink in Kos, go here. Sit outside, adjust your hat, and watch the world go by.
Address: Riga Fereou, Kos 853 00, Greece
When in the town square make sure to visit Aegli and recharge your batteries and take some respite from the afternoon sun with some excellent drinks and snacks. Aegli is an all women’s cooperative business that aims to employ women in low income situations such as being unemployed, a single parent, over the age of 50, or with four or more children. As if that wasn’t enough they serve a gorgeous, refreshing homemade lemonade, along with quality coffee, smoothies and juices.
Address: Kos 853 00, Greece (Opposite the Kos Market Hall in the town square)