Samos: Food and Drink
Tropical beaches, rolling mountains, pine forests and vineyards
In the larger towns, such as Samos Town (Vathi) and Karvalossi, you can find tavernas, international restaurants, pizzerias and fast food outlets, whereas in the villages, eateries are more traditional. Wherever you go, you can find the popular favourites such as moussaka, souvlaki and keftedes as well as the famous starters known as ‘mezes’.
If you’re in a traditional taverna, it’s worth asking what’s not on the menu – you may find out about some mouth-watering local favourites. As with all the Aegean islands, a safe bet is to try catch of the day. The fresh fish and seafood are always good, but check prices if you’re ordering lobster since it’s sold by weight. The staple dish for lunch is a Greek salad, with chunks of feta cheese.
For those with a sweet tooth, there are lots of patisseries stocked with sweet treats such as baklava, kataife and loukoumadhes, which are dripping with honey and mind-bogglingly calorific. When it comes to drink, a glass or two of Samos wine is the favourite choice. For an aperitif you can try ouzo and some of Greek brandies make a lovely after dinner drink. Samos' cuisine has been influenced by two key factors. Firstly, the population settled in Samos from different places around Greece and Asia Minor and each culture brought their own recipes. The second key influence is the agricultural produce of Samos and its fish. ‘Gemista’ is the speciality of Samos. This can take the form of tomatoes, peppers, egg-plants or even potatoes stuffed with rice and seasoned with basil and oregano.
Local pies are also famous. Fish is usually served broiled on the grill, while some of the local delicacies are smoked herring and anchovy fillet on the grill cooked with onions, peppers and tomatoes. Local recipes that visitors won’t want to miss include zucchini balls and chickpea balls which can be washed down with wine or the local drink, ‘souma’.