Eating & Drinking in Zante
So it's the time for yours first (real) meal on Zante.
You settled in, and survived the first two days of excitement, and now it's time to go for a meal in some nice restaurant or an ethnic tavern.
There is a possibility to try delicious meals in the hotel you are staying in (providing that that the hotel has its own kitchen and restaurant). This is for those of you that don’t seem to bother moving from your hotel and prefer your holidays indoors. To be fair, there are hotels on Zante that offer great services when it comes to cuisine but that doesn’t mean you should miss out on the many great taste adventures Zante has to offer.
By simply walking 50 meters outside of your hotel, you are bound to find at least 5 to 10 places to eat. Every diner and street vendor has a flashing banner, big sign, and a big menu in front. (And many have PR boys and girls who will do their best to allure you in).
So, how do you choose? Which place is perfect for you?
Try some genuine local stuff.
You had pasta or pork chop while you were still home or in your favorite local restaurant. It would be a bore if you would order the same usual things while on Zante.
You're on a vacation (finally) and now you have the possibility to try something different, and exciting, something that will fire up the nerve receptors in your tongue.
Let's use that as a guideline, and help you discover some of the excellent dishes Zante has to offer.
Zakynthians are proud of their cuisine.
First of all, when in Rome… You are in the Mediterranean area. It means that meat, feta cheese, fish, olive oil, and vegetables are the fundamental parts of the local cuisine. Some of the sea specialties are a must.
In many restaurants, you will be served with starters (somewhere free, somewhere added to the bill) which usually contain sauces served with bread. Starters mainly consist of aubergines and fish eggs or as the famous combination of Greek yogurt, cucumbers and garlic (tzatziki). As for the main course, you can order many different meals from the barbecue or fried food, just as you would in any restaurant that you may find at home.
But of course, traditional Greek meals are the ones that you need to aim for here.
There is the famous Greek moussaka, lamb kleftiko (with feta cheese, vegetables, and red sauce), the papoutsakia (stuffed aubergines with mincemeat and béchamel), stuffed rabbit cooked in wine, spetsofai (spicy Greek sausages with peppers and tomato sauce) and the youvetsi (lamb with pasta).
Two of the most famous and most eaten Greek foods are the Souvlaki & Gyros
They are the most famous and most eaten. Period. There are fast food stands basically everywhere offering you a small gyros pitta (chicken, beef, lamb, or pork meat that is served on round pita bread with lettuce, tomato, onions, french fries and tzatziki).
Souvlaki is to the Greeks what a hamburger is to the US. Much like the gyros, you can buy it on every step. The usual price for both meals is around 2 euros.
Fish and seafood
From the alevins, mullets to the swordfish, the prawns, and the lobsters, you have a lot of choice for a fish meal. And Zakynthians make it great. In many taverns you will be encouraged to step into the kitchen and see the fish with your own eyes as they are swimming in tanks so you can check the freshness of the fish (how to tell if a fish is Fresh? - Follow the advice here so you’ll feel like a pro when you check out the tanks).
You can have the fish grilled or fried. Some of the meals you simply must try are Fresh Cured Sardines, Cuttlefish in Sauce, Shrimp in Wine and Grilled Sardines.
Octopus, shrimp, and other seafood will certainly bring you the taste of an exotic Greek island. Many great meals and courses are waiting for you to try them, and you won't regret changing the routine meals you eat at home.
Take a look at the meals
5 of the most popular domestic food products of Zante are:
Zante Feta Cheese
Well, how much does it cost?
Eating on Zante is not expensive. As we have said, you'll have plenty of options for eating out, from gyros stands to taverns & restaurants.
For a meal in a restaurant, you can expect to pay between 10-30 euros depending on what you want to eat. The meal usually includes one drink. You can have breakfast for as little as €1.50, and full English breakfast for around €4.50. Hot dog and chips plus a big soft drink is easily doable on a 10 euro budget, and roadside cafes sell hot dogs, burgers, and pizza slices for a price ranging between €1.50 and €2.50.
When it comes to lunch (the meals aforementioned in the article) you can expect to pay around 20-25 euros, and you will get a nice amount of food to eat, as Greeks usually serve rich meals.
If you decide to have some wine with your meal you won’t pay much, as bottles of house wine can be found for around €8. Want a pot noodle for dinner? That'll be around €1.50.
If would you like to prepare some meals for yourself
You should know that almost every room gets a small kitchenette regardless of accommodation, equipped with a little hot plate, not exactly suitable for advanced cooking.
You usually get two eating sets, containing two deep plates, two shallow ones, and a couple of knives, forks, and spoons. There is usually a small coffee set, several pots, a frying pan and some kitchen supplies (essential ingredients are not included; you have to buy them for yourself). Basic cooking will be possible, and you should be able to make some simple meals.
There is not much space available on those small kitchenettes, which can be a bit frustrating when you have to squeeze in the small area. That is made for several reasons.
Landlords want you to spend money on their food. They don't want you cooking; they want you to eat in their restaurants.
Kitchens, by default, occupy a smaller area inside the rooms. Space is used up by other objects. In simple words, bigger beds, bigger bathrooms, smaller kitchens.
Electricity. Only the finest (pricey) hotels have good and stable power. You will be instructed not to plug in too much stuff at the same time. (continental adapters are needed)
Drinks - prices & info
The prices of drinks are cheap and they don't vary much from place to place.
Soft drinks cost ~3 euros, cocktails are around €4. In a shop, you can get a large bottle of water for €0.60, or a large bottle of Coke for €0.90.
In a night out, a lot of places have 1 or 2 cocktails for 5euros with a few free shots deals. The beers of choice are the Greek Mythos, Alfa and Fix though Amstel comes as a close second.
Local wines are around 10 euros, although there is a range from the cheap and less quality ones, up to fine wines that are sold for 15-30 euros.
Shots of Ouzo are a must while on a night on Zante.
We have prepared for you guides and reviews so you can find out all about the best experiences available on Zante. Check out our blog and resort reviews to get the best insider info on your favorite island.
With our advice, you surely find the best options for eating and drinking on Zante!