Little treasures that only the locals know

Written by litsa on. Posted in My thoughts


On my recent trip to Greece last April, I had a glorious time. 

The weather was amazing, even though the locals complained constantly about the African dust.

A phenomenon that happens every year, warm winds from Africa bring this dust that covers part of Greece, this dust is landing everywhere and the cars balconies, windows are covered with the pink cloud that is landing with such grace in places it doesn’t belong.

 I still had fun!

The trees were in full bloom, even the olive trees were leaning over from the abundance of flowers, and as you can imagine that means a good year, as far as olive oil is concerned.That blessed tree is such a gift to the human family!

I had many pleasant experiences and some not so pleasant, with the food industry. I came away sad and I will explain why!


(This is Nafpaktos)

Millions of tourists visit Greece every year, 17-18 million people! Greek cooking is good in general and the visitors are happy with the Greek food they enjoy, but if they had a chance to taste real Greek cooking like the locals do, their trip would be a magical adventure.

   One of my sad experiences was in Plaka, after a wonderful day walking around and really having fun in this majestic area of the planet, I got hungry.Naturally, I stopped at a very famous place for souvlaki.



( this picture is from Nafpaktos)

Very soon I realized that their souvlaki was with mincemeat, I have a rule and it’s not negotiable: never eat mincemeat unless I make it myself, especially in such a busy place. I asked for chicken souvlaki and it was available, the worst meal I had, it was so dry that I almost choked to death. I asked for some kind of a sauce there was nothing and the waiter suggested ketchup and mustard, it didn’t work, then I asked for some tzatziki no good, the meat was so dry nothing helped. I asked for the bill and mention to the waiter that it was my worst meal ever, he said we make it like this forever, well I said too bad, it’s about time you make some changes.

 It does not make any difference how I felt and they don’t care, millions of tourists will be visiting Greece leaving behind their precious EU and life will go on.

    On the other hand, I am so grateful for my family and friends, that know all the little treasures hidden away in places you would never think there is a restaurant, by the water for the most delicious fresh fish possible, or in small villages for spring lamb and all kinds of meat available, cooked to perfection, with all the meze that you can imagine, and the vegetables, do they ever know how to cook eggplant, artichoke, zucchini, just to mention a few

Here is a selection of my finds for Greek cooking beyond compare:

For fish and everything that compliments the meal:
“O KABOS” Isthmia Korinthos “Tel. 27410 37906 & 37422
Reservations a must.
45 min. from Athens 15 minutes from Korinthos


For Modern Greek cooking:
“RIGANI” Papanikolaou 5. Loutraki

Tel. 27440 66744 & 27440 21044

Reservations a must
Close to the Casino in Loutraki.


I loved a little place with live music and good food:
“Paei Kairos’ Taki 16 at Psirri
Tel. /fax:210 3212858
e-mail: [email protected] In Athens



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Children's book and cookbook author Litsa Bolontzakis is an expert on Greek cooking and that culture's easy, simple way of life. Her desire is to help other families learn from her culture how to appreciate the simple things in life and grow to enjoy the seasons and the gifts they bring.

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