Kos' diverse culinary landscape ranges from authentic Greek to Italian, British, Chinese and Indian, with the greatest variety of tastes in bigger resorts like Kardamena and Kos Town. A great way to sample a variety of Kos' authentic cuisine is to eat at an ouzeri. These Greek tavernas specialise in serving mezze-style meals that are divided into multiple small dishes, in the same way the Spanish do tapas.
Kos has rich Grecian and Mediterranean roots, and its local cuisine consists of meat, fish, vegetables, olive oil and potatoes in its classic recipes. Prawns, squid, lobster and octopus are popular catches, but if seafood is not for you, you can instead try delicious Greek favourites like moussaka, souvlaki and tzatziki.
A few ingredients local to Kos that are used in cooking include xinomyzithra, a sour cheese, and krasotyri, a spicy cheese that contains wine. Kos' traditional desserts are predominantly based around the key ingredients of honey and wine. And you'll often come across the popular dish of baklava - a sweet pastry made with layers of filo, chopped nuts and honey.
Five minutes out of Kos Town is the stunningly beautiful Lofaki Cafe Restaurant Theatre. Situated on top of a mountain, it overlooks Kos Town and offers up excellent views out to sea. You'll be in for a truly memorable experience watching the sun go down over the island from the romantic, candlelit tables. Couples from all over the world choose this spot for their wedding receptions, and with one glance at the view you'll see exactly why.
The menu uses fresh ingredients to put together Greek and international dishes, ranging from steak to schnitzel and calamari to carbonara.
Run by a husband and wife team, the charismatic owners of this restaurant are the king and queen of hospitality. You'll be welcomed with open arms and looked after the moment you walk in to this cosy taverna – a family joint that serves up traditional Greek specialities and a selection of mezze dishes. Everything here is cooked with fresh ingredients sourced locally on Kos.
Finding this restaurant can pose a challenge to the unprepared, as it's not on the traditional tourist route. But this Greek and American fusion restaurant is well worth the effort. Signature specials include the Broadway salad, as well as a fantastic array of burgers and pastas. With so much variety on the menu this restaurant will please even the pickiest of eaters.
Ta Adelfia serves up huge dishes at affordable prices, so arrive with an empty stomach.
This restaurant is easy to spot, sitting as it is on the main road, and is frequented both by locals and tourists. Ta Adelfia's staff are extremely attentive and will gladly give you a hand when ordering from their extensive menu. There's an abundance of choice, including local favourites such as ribs, calamari, fried fish and a fair few flavourful meats straight from the barbecue.
Off the beaten track, you'll find this restaurant in a square off a side street of Kos Town's old quarter. With a special emphasis on seafood, this family-run restaurant creates all sorts of mouth-watering, traditional Greek dishes, which are consistently full of colour, flavour and the catch of the day. Some of the most popular dishes on the menu include steamed mussels, squid and octopus. They hold regular Greek nights with music, dancing and shots of ouzo.