It’s quite common for visitors to Symi to have to spend some time on Rhodes. This is usually to do with boat connections. So, I am often asked about the best places to go to eat, or the best bars to have a drink in, and so on. What’s best for me isn’t always best for someone else so it depends on what you are looking for of course, but when I’m wandering around the new town or the Old Town I’m always on the lookout for new places to try. I also like to call back into places I’ve used before as I know what I am going to get. And there are a lot of places to choose from.
Being in the Old Town on Friday last week, I was sad to see that Boukia Boukia, a very traditional Greek taverna, is no longer there. It may have moved, I don’t know, but it has been replaced by another taverna which I’ve yet to try. The long-running and popular ‘China Burger’ has also closed and is now a souvlaki place, still with tables and quite a big menu, but no longer Chinese. Safron, the Indian restaurant, is due to open again this Friday with limited space (the outside part is not yet ready) so book first if you are going.
If you’re there and you’re looking for something different, healthy and not expensive, try the salad and soup place opposite the Casino gates, just up the parade of shops from the Indian spice shop, also worth a visit. We called into a place that’s new to us, this was only the second visit. I can’t remember what it’s called but it’s in ‘MacDonald’s Street’, the one that runs from the college up to the taxi rank. Up at the top, on the right, it has pizzas, souvlakia and a taverna in three adjacent buildings. It’s good to be able to get traditional Greek food that’s not a giros, though you can have that too. Over at the old fish market in Mandraki, we use the Symi café (opposite the cheap, clean, attended, public toilets) and we used to go to Indigo next door, but that has now moved. George’s Giros place nearby is still good value if you want one of those.
Over the main road at Mandraki, there’s the Yacht Club bar, not cheap but generous measures, and further along that quay is Kontiki. Huge portions here, so you may not need a starter and a main. And, dashing back to the Old Town again, The Walk Inn is fast becoming a popular destination of ours. This is a pub/eatery with a good menu, fresh soups, fresh pizzas made there, and then and other goodies. Down at the seahorse fountain in the square with the parrots (I must learn the real names of these streets) is a café called Mike’s. We have used this one in the winter and summer, as it’s open all year round and it’s where the locals go. And by Akandia Gate, on the way to the Blue Star ferry quay, just inside the gate, is Nimos, which is run by two guys who used to live/work here on Symi.
I am sure there are plenty of other places and you have your own favourites, but these are the ones I’ve been using in the last few years. I should also add that we use the Plaza bar and restaurant too; good prices, great staff, good food and not too costly. Just up- the road is Napoleons, also worth a visit. There, a few ideas for you when you are next on Rhodes and waiting for a boat or a plane, or when you’re just visiting.