If you're in search of some traditional plates – smashed or un-smashed – on your holidays to Greece, Piskopiano is the resort for you. It's home to only a small amount of tavernas, but each one of our picks knows how to dish up a helping of lamb kleftiko and rabbit stifado like you wouldn't believe. Some even throw in a few dishes plucked from the best recipes found elsewhere in the Mediterranean, like spaghetti or pizza. But more often than not on your Greece holidays, you'll be treated to delicious, home-cooked eats with local wines and on-the-house desserts.
An unassuming taverna tucked away across the courtyard from a beautiful, historic church, Kostas whips up classic Greek cuisine like the locals have come to love over the years. Everything here is made to order, with dishes like lamb chops and chips – a surprisingly delightful combo – and seafood risotto, washed down with a glass of local wine.
You might find a queue upon arriving to this restaurant, but the wait will be well worth it. David's has a leafy awning shading its outdoor terrace, so even when enjoying the glorious Mediterranean climate you'll have shelter from the sun. The dishes aren't bad either – top choices here include mezze plates of octopus and calamari, plus carafes of house wine.
Run by a mother-and-daughter duo, Gevsi serves traditional Greek food in rustic surroundings. Here, you can expect classic dishes like beef stifado and moussaka, as well as meals with Mediterranean hints, like spaghetti bolognese or chicken kebabs. They also have a pleasing vegetarian selection – a particular favourite of ours being the peppers generously stuffed with feta cheese.
World cuisines collide at Taverna Aposperida, where you can sample dishes from across Europe. Greek food largely triumphs, with mezze platters and dishes like chicken souvlaki, but they also feature pizza and schnitzel to keep you on your toes.
Lichnos can be found slightly further up the mountain on which Piskopiano is perched. This means you'll be treated to cool sea breezes and views of the Aegean while you dine. Savour dishes like melt-in-your-mouth lamb and oven-cooked feta. The restaurant's charismatic owner is known for entertaining diners with puzzles, making for an enjoyable, albeit not always entirely successful, evening.
Metohi will transport you back to simpler days, thanks to its walls decked with tools, pans and jugs, murals and family portraits. Much in the same spirit, the restaurant serves classic Greek eats like oven-roasted pork, stifado and homemade moussaka, as well as a mean apple pie. They also feature a stage where you can listen to live music as you dine.
The rear veranda at this taverna has views taking in all of Hersonissos and stretching out to sea. You can go a la carte with dishes like oven-cooked lamb and classic burgers, or opt for the meat or fish grills, which will have you tasting all of the house specialities. Taverna Romantika is also a pleasant spot to pause for a cinnamon-topped coffee or pre-dinner glass of wine.
Central is a top spot for diners in search of a little taste of home but also willing to branch out and sample the local cuisine. The family running this quaint restaurant serves up a menu bursting with flavour. Try the zesty rabbit stifado, or the meatballs in tomato sauce. Alternatively, take a temporary trip home with a freshly-cooked traditional English breakfast. Central is also known for its crowd-pleasing desserts, with sweet dishes like homemade chocolate cake and apple pie.
Located a little off the beaten path – just past the main strip in Piskopiano – Metoxi Restaurant specialises in Greek food in huge, Greek portions. You can expect favourites like stifado and lamb, plus Greek salads and T-bone steak. Desserts here aren't to be missed either, and include crepes and homemade cheesecake.
By night, Antidote is a modern-looking spot made popular by its fruit-topped cocktails and sports on TV. During the day, it's a great place to set down on the street-side terrace and enjoy a milkshake and pastry, drinking in the views of Hersonissos on the horizon.