High 5: Foodie tips for Corfu

September 10, 2013

Corfu has a somewhat chequered reputation, with many only associating the island with the downmarket excesses of Kavos in the south. But, in the last few years, I’ve returned to the north-east of the island again and again, particularly enjoying its immense greenery compared to neighbouring islands, with thousands of olive trees making up much of the landscape and the small, rural, sleepy towns with little shops selling fresh olive oil and olive wood crafts.

Due to visit for the third time this week, here are my High 5 foodie tips for eating out and in on this pretty island…

For the best food and setting
Taverna Toulas is possibly my favourite restaurant in Corfu. Right on the beach, looking out across the sea towards Albania, it has a simply beautiful, and incredibly peaceful, setting. The food is delicious: whole, freshly caught fish is a must, but I particularly recommend the large ‘fish baskets’ (seafood platter) served with a typical Greek salad. What’s more, for just five Euros, you’re escorted back to your resort in your own boat taxi!

For the best atmosphere
Taverna Cochelli overlooks the pretty harbour of Agios Stephanos – not to be confused with the bustling resort of the same name on the opposite coast! This little restaurant boasts elevated views of the bay, a very good chef and, most importantly, a brilliant host who kept us entertained all evening.

For the best family warmth
Taverna Mitsos is a stunning, family-run restaurant set on a rock that juts out into the sea. Here you’ll find four generations of the same family, pitching in with various tasks. On each visit we have been greeted very warmly by the same lady, who always remembers us clearly and, impressively, what we ordered! I’d definitely recommend the homemade moussaka, served as a generous slab on your plate (a side salad is a must!).

For the best barbeques
If you’re looking to enjoy a couple of evenings in, plan ahead and order fresh fish from your local supermarket to collect the next day. We visited Aphrodite’s in Nissaki. It was a little pricey, but the freshly caught sea bream and sea bass – stuffed with lemon and herbs, and chargrilled on our barbeque – were worth it.

For the best Mezzes
Choose the right time to visit your local supermarket – not just to grab the fresh bread and pastries in the morning – but to find out when the freshly-made hummus, tzatziki and taramasalata will be put out. If you arrive at the shop too early, you may find yesterday’s leftovers. Arrive too late and you might miss out on the Mezzes altogether!

* Insider tip *
Pair your home-prepared meals with some wine from your favourite restaurant – the tavernas buy their wine in bulk, and many are willing to fill up your own bottles to take away at a very decent price. I’d recommend buying a couple of bottles of wine from a supermarket first, so as to avoid serving wine in an old lemonade bottle all week!

Laura Manning