Restaurants in Kolymbari reflect their surroundings – the resort is on the coast, so menus are steeped in seafood choices, featuring everything from fresh catches grilled to perfection, to octopus in wine sauces and fried calamari, served with a Cretan twist. On top of that, you'll often be treated to sea breezes as you dine, mostly because the eateries here are located right alongside the waterfront.
For top-notch dining in an elegant setting, Palio Arhontiko fits the bill. With a stone, cave-like interior and sweeping views of the sea, this restaurant is cosy and scenic all wrapped into one. Every meal here starts with a shot of ouzo, followed by a complimentary bottle. The food is traditional Greek such as tender rabbit stifado and lamb kleftiko, though you can also get hamburgers and chicken fillets.
This quaint village taverna blends land and sea – in the views, that is – as it's nestled into the hillside and looks all the way out to sea. You can visit just for an ice-cold glass of beer and the relaxed atmosphere, or opt for items off the supremely Cretan menu. Dishes include pastry pockets filled with cheese, herbs or onions or oven-cooked meat.
The outdoor patio at this unassuming restaurant is one of those where there's only a line of rocks between you and the sea, so you'll enjoy a side dish of salty breeze as you dine. Greek eats reign supreme at Koundouros, with goat, calamari and stuffed vine leaves, all topped off with a glass of honey-flavoured raki.
Waves on the Rock is a hidden gem of a restaurant that enjoys views of – yes, you guessed it – waves on a rock. The cuisine here is, understandably, seafood-centric, with dishes like fried calamari and octopus, plus quirky veggie standouts such as stuffed squash flower leaves and courgette balls.
Also located along the coast, Edem Taverna provides all the classic Greek fare you could ask for – lamb, massive seafood platters and stuffed vine leaves – but it's the wines that really steal the show. If in doubt, the staff are always ready to give you a recommendation from their lengthy wine list, which includes a number of bottles that are exclusive to the restaurant and from local wineries.
It's easy to see that the fish served at Taverna Argentina is fresh, because the owner lets you choose your own from the freezer before it's cooked exactly to your liking. Enjoying a location above the harbour, Taverna Argentina serves up a largely seafood menu, though you'll also find goat, chicken and pasta shaking things up.
This waterfront restaurant brings all the right seafood flavours to Kolymbari, this time with a special attention to pasta. Diktina features a seafood spaghetti and a tuna-spaghetti special, plus classic Cretan favourites with a twist, like mussels saganaki and fresh, tempura-battered vegetables.
Based on the name alone, you've probably gathered that the Fish Tavern is a spot that pays special attention to providing its diners with fresh seafood. It doesn't skimp on the waterfront views, either. At this coastal spot, you'll find dishes like a sea urchin salad, stuffed cuttlefish and wine-braised clams, plus moussaka and carafes of house wine.
Don't let the name fool you – this restaurant isn't Italian, but one specialising in local Cretan food. It's a family-run spot and unassuming from the outside, but the food is homemade and delightfully inexpensive. The menu features starters like bruschetta and mains such as moussaka and grilled meat platters. And, though we said the restaurant isn't Italian, the menu also offers pizza, served vegetarian or topped with meat.
The Roya Mat is a waterfront cafe that's great for relaxed eats in between strolls or stints at the beach. The menu here is incredibly varied, and can often feature items ranging from Greek fare to cocktails, breakfast treats to sweet waffles and even fondue – and that's just during Happy Hour.