The island of Rhodes is famed as a summer destination with vibrant nightlife and pristine beaches. According to acclaimed local chef Stamatis Misomikes, Rhodes is also a gastronomic destination, with restaurants ranging from traditional tavernas to upscale fine dining.
Born and raised in Rhodes, chef Stamatis Misomikes worked for 10 years on the island. In 2016, he won the European Young Chef Award, representing the South Aegean Islands. He and his mentor, chef George Troumouchis, put traditional Rhodian cuisine firmly on the map when they won the Toques d’Or in 2019. Misomikes is now working as an executive chef at De Pastorale restaurant in Antwerp, Belgium, a restaurant with two Michelin stars and aiming for a third. This decorated chef gave Culture Trip the low-down on the best restaurants in Rhodes, from fine dining at Noble Gourmet Restaurant to authentic Greek cuisine at Paraga.
Located on the top floor of the Elysium Resort and Spa in Kallithea, Noble Gourmet Restaurant was awarded the Greek Cuisine Award in 2018 and 2019. “The chef, Yiorgos Troumouchis, after undertaking personal research for years, has a deep knowledge of old and ‘lost’ local recipes, which he re-creates with modern techniques, resulting in extraordinary dishes,” says Misomikes. The pitaroudia (chickpea fritters) and sun-dried octopus are highly recommended. In addition to the food, the romantic live piano music and the panoramic sea views make for a truly wonderful experience at Noble.
Paraga is the ideal place to try authentic local dishes and local wine in a cosy and traditional environment, far away from the more touristy areas of Rhodes. Apollona, the village where Paraga is located, is in the middle of the island and is surrounded by beautiful green landscapes. “Paraga is quite an experience and certainly worth a visit. The ingredients are very fresh, and many dishes such as the kapamas, or goat meat with chickpeas, are baked in a traditional wood-fired oven,” says Misomikes. An extra feature that will make your experience unforgettable is the taverna’s charming interior, which is decorated with elements of Rhodian folk tradition.
In the wonderful garden of the Rodos Palace Hotel at Ixia sits 12 Nissia Restaurant, one of the best gourmet restaurants on the island. According to Misomikes, “This restaurant moves between international and regional cuisine, creating high-level gastronomy.” 12 Nissia is particularly known for its meat and seafood dishes. Complete your meal with a bottle from the restaurant’s selection of fine Greek wines.
Located at Pefkos, Hellas restaurant serves traditional dishes using modern techniques. “It combines the old with the modern, and Greek traditional cuisine with local recipes,” says Misomikes. Here, you can find typical Greek dishes like moussaka and souvlaki, but at the same time, you can try Rhodian pitaroudia, chickpea fritters with fresh tomato and mint. Enjoy your meal in the unique atmosphere of the courtyard – constructed of stone and wood, with a floor paved with pebbles – which takes its cue from local traditional architecture.
Located at Vlycha Beach next to Lindos, Thalatta restaurant is set within the Lindos Village Resort. The executive chef Stavros Manousakis has created a menu bursting with Mediterranean tastes with a touch of local Rhodian cuisine. “Fresh, local products and the creativity of the chefs make for unique dishes,” Misomikes explains. Among the many choices on the wine list, you will find labels from celebrated local vineyards to accompany your meal.
In Kolymbia, on the rooftop of the Atlantica Imperial Hotel, you will find Blue Bay – a refined restaurant where the presentation can best be described as culinary art. “The executive chef of Blue Bay, Elias Kakouris, has created a menu combining Greek and international dishes, with an emphasis on seafood,” Misomikes says. While Blue Bay is best known as a venue for a refined dinner, the restaurant also offers a breakfast and snack menu – all accompanied by panoramic ocean views.
Cesar Meze Bar is considered one of the best restaurants in Greece, as evidenced by the Greek Cuisine Award it won in 2019. Located in Lindos, this restaurant offers traditional dishes using modern gastronomic techniques. “This combination does not make the dishes less traditional. It just harmoniously connects the past with the present,” says Misomikes. An example of this postmodern menu is its version of traditional moussaka, featuring ragout dumplings, smoked aubergine and cherry tomatoes. Cesar Meze Bar also offers a brunch menu and a wine list with labels from all over Greece. The setting is also beautiful, as the restaurant offers a panoramic view of Lindos.
Nestled in Faliraki, Rattan will satisfy even the most demanding visitors with its refined takes on traditional Greek cuisine. With innovative dishes and cocktails, along with a relaxed atmosphere enhanced by the airy interior and abundant greenery, Rattan is a perfect choice for the discerning diner. According to Misomikes, “The menu is carefully designed around and based on local products.” At Rattan, you will also find choices to delight any vegetarians in your dining party. The large windows looking into the kitchen result in a particularly special dining experience, as you can enjoy a glass of wine or a cocktail while observing the chefs as they prepare your meal.
As the name reveals, an evening at this restaurant will awaken your senses. Five Senses restaurant is housed in the Lindos Blu Hotel at Vlycha Beach and offers a blend of modern Mediterranean cuisine with local influences. The dishes are presented in an artistic way, and the romantic atmosphere is completed by a breathtaking view of the sea. Make sure you leave room for dessert because, according to Misomikes, “At Five Senses, you will be spoiled by the very interesting and tantalising dishes that patissier Lazaros Hatzisavvas creates to top off a wonderful dining experience.”
Located in a peaceful and quiet location in the village of Profilia, To Limeri tou Listi is one of the best places to try traditional Rhodian cuisine. This rustic restaurant was voted one of the best restaurants in Greece in 2019. “Savvas and Konstantina, the owners, serve authentic traditional dishes such as meats slow cooked in a wood oven and pitaroudia,” says Misomikes. You can enjoy this traditional culinary experience sitting under an enormous sycamore tree in the courtyard, which has become the symbol of this restaurant.
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