The Aegean Tavern
This restaurant is probably the best one on the island. It is located just at the end of Masouri beach and has been feeding the hungry tourists and locals delicious food since 1989. It isn’t your average Greek taverna – sure they have all of the usual items you may find in a typical taverna menu, but they are exclusive because of their modern approach to the cuisine.
From grilled tuna steak served with a fig sauce to incredibly delicious Greek and Kalymnian style salads: they provide fresh food, with new innovations and pleasant twists to the Greek cuisine. This family owned business thrives in their location due to the amount of tourism, especially on the west side of the island where’s it’s located. Also, the service here is top class and the staff is always very friendly and attentive.
After finishing your delicious meal at the restaurant, another treat is waiting for you. As most restaurants do in Greece, they serve you a little something when you ask for the bill. Either a shot, a piece of cake, Greek yoghurt with honey or perhaps watermelon. At the Aegean Tavern they give you sweet loukoumades with ice cream on the side. Loukoumades are Greek donuts with honey and cinnamon on top, and together with the ice cream it is absolutely delicious!
The food is one thing that will knock you off your feet, but they also feature one of the best views of the island: a picturesque view of the island of Telendos with the deep blue, shimmering water surrounding it. Their location is just perfect if you want to enjoy an incredible meal while having a front row seat to a memorable view.
Avra Aigaiou is located in Masouri right next to the Aegean Tavern. That means they both share the same beautiful view, overlooking Telendos, the beach and the beautiful blue water. Here, you’ll also have the option of seeing some incredible sunsets. Compared to the Aegean Tavern, this restaurant is way more traditional in its Greek cooking. It’s very Kalymnian with big portions, authentic food, good prices and great service.
Like with many other Greek restaurants on the island, you get a lot for your money, and the food is fresh. Especially the traditional oven baked dishes as giouvetsi (γιουβέτσι), moussaka (μουσακά) and kleftiko (κλέφτικο) make you feel warm and loved. It is Greek food at its best. You can easily get full even if you just share a few appetizers, as they are big in size.
The owner of the restaurant is a very kind, warm-hearted man with a big smile on his face. He remembered us even though it had been a year ago since we dined with him the last time. This year, I bet he’s going to recognize us again.
It’s very common to form a connection with the owners of the restaurants and shops in Kalymnos, if you return every summer. That makes Kalymnos even more special to us.
Ambiance Café is the place to go if you want a lovely breakfast in the morning, or you want to play a game of pool, while enjoying a nice cocktail in the evening.
We’ve had some of the best omelettes here with lots of vegetables and feta cheese. They also serve a solid Greek yogurt with fresh fruit, nuts and honey and delicious coffees.
The café is located in the Masouri area overlooking Telendos, so this is yet another place to take in the stunning view while you enjoy your drinks and food.
The staff is very polite and helpful and they make sure you are not missing anything. (Honestly, almost every place in Kalymnos have kind and helpful waiters).
It’s a hip place with cool interior, as well as a couple of white egg-shaped swing chairs outside, suitable for those Instagram pictures. Grab a drink or a snack here any time of the day.
O Sfouggaras (The Sponge Diver)
Right by Vlihadia beach you’ll find this excellent fish and seafood taverna. It’s right by the water and the restaurant is a perfect place to eat your lunch or dinner while getting some beach time. The name in Greek means the sponge diver, which is the perfect name to describe Kalymnos. After all, the island is known for their incredible nature sponges that are sold worldwide.
The tavern offers delicious Greek food like octopus meatballs, Greek salad, grilled fish etc. Everything is tasty and fresh, and you can enjoy your food with the water in front of you. You sit outdoors under a little roof that provides you shade, so you won’t be cooking in the sun while eating.
The restaurant is family-owned and many of the local Greeks think this restaurant is the best on the island because of its fresh seafood and authentic Greek flavors. George’s family all think so as a matter of fact.
The staff is always very kind and they welcome you with a big smile. We’ve eaten here multiple times and it never disappoints. You can bring your entire family and your friends or relax alone or with your significant other, while sharing a variety of amazing appetizers and great entrees – or just a cold frappé.
Besides great food and very good people, the place is quite big and they also host baptisms, wedding parties or birthdays. Any special occasion can take place at the Sponge Diver. (We even wanted to have our wedding reception there, but unfortunately they weren’t available on the date).
Psarotaverna – O Pantelis
O Pantelis is a fish tavern (psarotaverna is the Greek word) down in the main port Pothia. Right by the entrance you’ll find an interesting installation with the word FOOD shaped with light tubes and a bike. The O’s of the word are made from the two wheels of the bike. It’s quite cool.
When you walk into the restaurant you’ll see the typical blue and white colors on the chairs and tables, which gives the place a lot of Greek charm. You sit and eat outside in the front of the restaurant, where people have a good time. We went there to eat with George’s family and Christina’s parents, when they all visited Kalymnos for our wedding. We ordered a bunch of small plates to share, like skordalia, tirokafteri, fried zucchini, octopus, Greek salad and more. Sharing small plates (a Greek meze) is the way to go.
The tavern has a lot of great fish and seafood on their menu, so if you’re into food from the sea you’ll have yourself an excellent time here. Don’t worry, they also serve meat and vegetarian dishes, so meat eaters will be satisfied too.
If you’re out for octopus, fish and Greek salad with ouzo on the side, this is the place to go. The food is delicious and the place is super cozy. Also, it’s very conveniently located just by the port, so you can eat a meal here before you leave Kalymnos by boat or immediately after arriving.
This fish tavern is located on the top of a cliff, right above Palionnisos Beach. You walk up a handful of steps at the very end of the beach (if you look towards the sea, it’s on your right), before you continue walking up a path towards the restaurant.
The theme is very Greek. From the steps towards the restaurant, to the building itself, everything is white and blue. Right next to the restaurant you’ll also find a huge Greek flag painted on the side of a wall – it’s very picture perfect.
We went there a couple of times, and the food is always amazing. You should try their fila (stuffed grape leaves), which are completely homemade and taste just like the Kalymnian moms make them! The flavors are traditional Greek and all the food is fresh and delicious.
Besides the great food, another amazing thing about Kalidonis is of course, the view. While sitting on the side of the cliff above the beach, you get to see the whole bay with the calm water and the small boats floating around. The water is all kinds of blue and green, and you can easily stare at the shimmering surface for a while!
Harry’s Paradise Garden Restaurant
This gem of a restaurant is conveniently located in the same area as the beach in Emporios. It doesn’t offer a view of the water, nor is it located on the beach itself; however, it’s literally a paradise garden where you can enjoy an authentic, delicious homemade meal.
When entering, you proceed down a short path with a lovely display of flowers on your left and right. The restaurant is hidden away under a cozy canopy of vine leaves, and there are a number of tables scattered around. There are also some couches where one may lounge and enjoy a drink or a bite to eat.
It isn’t your average restaurant in a sense that you’ll be welcomed with a handful of menus. Instead, the owner herself comes to your table and informs you about which fresh and delicious items are on the menu that day.
The experience is quite casual, providing you with a number of small plates, which are nice to share. Each plate is made with love and passion, and they come out as they’re ready. There are a number of fresh salads, seafood, small pies, and Greek favorites such as dakos (barley rusk with tomatoes, feta, capers and olive oil), and mouth-watering fila (vine leaves stuffed with rice). The place is vegan friendly, and everything all fresh made. This restaurant is truly one you should try!
Azul Wine bar and restaurant
Azul is a hip and modern wine bar with a great selection of good wine and other drinks. The wine bar also serves food such as burgers, tapas and salads, so you don’t need to stay hungry when you’re coming for a drink. They focus on healthy choices so you’ll find quinoa salad as well as burgers made with beans and vegetables on the menu.
The place is beautiful and the scenery is even more amazing. Azul is surrounded by the big and bright pink flowers you find everywhere in Greece and it’s overlooking Telendos. Located in Masouri, the place is often packed as it’s popular among tourists as well as locals.
To enter the wine bar, you must walk down steps that each have a bright color on the front of the step. Going up the steps, you’ll notice it and it makes a good backdrop for cool and vibrant pictures.
This is the place to go if you want a big, fat souvlaki (or commonly referred to as a gyro). The Greek version of fast food isn’t your ordinary hamburger or hotdog: it’s succulent pieces of shaved pork or chicken that have been rubbed down with spices and roasting on a spit for hours. (If you want a vegetarian option, you just ask them to leave out the meat. It still tastes amazing).
The classic souvlaki has a soft, perfectly grilled pita bread, tzatziki, red onions with parsley, tomatoes, your meat of choice, and French fries (that’s right, French fries inside the pita) all topped off with a sprinkle of paprika.
If you’re wondering about where the word gyro comes into play, it’s the meat that’s shaven from the spit (or the gyro). You can also have a pita kalamaki as they call it – or simply a Souvlaki with whole chunks or chicken or pork, but on a kalamaki (a skewer). Whichever you choose, it will be a mouth-watering experience. It’s a quick and easy way to enjoy a lunch or perhaps an inexpensive dinner on the island.
Vouros is the best local ice cream and cake shop on the entire island. It’s been around for a little more than 100 years and has been passed down from one generation to the other since 1918. The fourth generation is now running the business, and Vouros Patries is as succesful as ever.
Here, you’ll find a big selection of pastries, cakes, handmade chocolates, cookies, marshmallows, jams and the best ice cream you’ve ever tasted! Vouros ia also the place to go when ordering wedding cakes, or cakes for any festive occasion. We got our wedding cake from Vouros and it was beautiful and delicious.
The people there are very kind and helpful. They let you try all the ice cream flavors to make sure you pick the perfect combination. If you’re in the mood for something sweet, you go to Vouros!
Kalymnos = great food
The restaurants above are some of our favorites, but we continue to discover new and delicious places to eat each time we go on vacation. Please let us know if we have missed a hidden gem – and we will make sure to try it next time we’re in Kalymnos!