Kokkari's waterfront is lined with restaurants dishing up classic Greek eats, casual coffees and plenty of glasses of local Samos wine. Travel inland a bit during your holiday to Samos and you'll ditch the sea breeze but find yourself faced with even more traditional tavernas, often run by whole families using the very same recipes they've perfected at home. The cuisine at Kokkari's restaurants is largely local, though you'll find distinct hints of the Mediterranean, plus sweet treats like crepes and waffles at quirky cafes.
Meltemi, with its on-the-shore location, can sometimes feel like a beach house, and has a seafood-heavy menu to match. You can dine at tables just beside the waves, on fresh fish you've chosen from the fish counter, or opt for other local dishes like octopus salad or prawns in ouzo and garlic.
Look for the thatched umbrellas along the coast and you're sure to find the Samia Restaurant. It specialises in traditional Greek food like tender lamb and rabbit stifados, fried calamari and homegrown veggies. They also boast a great range of Samos wines, so if you're looking to try the local tipple, this is your chance.
Aelio is like a little hippy paradise for your Greek island holiday, with quirky decor, colourful drinks in ice cold jars and a back patio that directly overlooks the sea. It's a scenic spot to pause for a coffee or cocktail, though they also have light bites like salads, waffles and crepes to share, plus a breakfast menu and freshly-squeezed juice.
Cafe Del Mar is a cool lounge with thatched umbrellas on the pebbled shores and a cabana-like interior. Most people drop by for drinks and the sunset, though the kitchen does feature a Greek lunch and dinner menu, plus frappes and a few desserts.
The Olympic Grill is located at the end of a stretch of restaurants, so it enjoys a more peaceful atmosphere than its beach counterparts. It's a carnivore's paradise, with juicy cuts of steak, plus Greek favourites like pork souvlaki and lamb chops. They also have a meat platter filled with all the restaurant's specialities, so you can ensure you don't miss out on a single morsel.
This Italian eatery is on the harbourside and everything here is homemade, including the pasta. You'll have your pick of meat-stuffed ravioli, veal fillets – the menu also has hints of Greek food – and, of course, mouth-watering pizzas, which are cooked in a woodfire oven.
Bringing a more land-driven edge to Kokkari's beach restaurants, Mythos features a back garden surrounded by foliage, that makes for a great backdrop to a warm night. The food here is classic Greek, with lamb and fish stifados and lamb shanks from hanging skewers, plus beef topped with prosciutto ham. Some nights here feature traditional Greek music and dancing along the patio, which you can soak in as you sip on a glass of wine.
The Dream Kitchen is a family-run restaurant at its finest, with Mum cooking in the back and her two sons out serving the food. Because of this, the menu is fabulously Greek and local, with sumptuous meat dishes and grilled fish. They're so accommodating here that if you let them know of a certain fish you'd like to eat, they'll have it prepared for you the next day.
Zakore Restaurant enjoys harbour views without the harbour winds, so you'll dine comfortably on their sheltered terrace. Meat dishes are the name of the game here, with choice lamb and beef steaks grilled to perfection. Their portions aren't for small stomachs though, so if you dine here, make sure to arrive very hungry.
The Face Cafe is one of those places where you can set up shop with a mug of coffee or fresh mojito on your Samos holiday and watch the world glide by. The menu offers everything from tuna salad for lunch, to burgers for dinner and sweet treats for dessert, accompanied by glasses of wine. The cafe is also right along the harbour, so you'll have beautiful views to drink in as well.