The best restaurants in Corfu

·8-min read
The White House, Corfu
The White House, Corfu

Corfu’s Venetian rulers dealt a decisive hand in the island’s collective recipe book. Be selective about where you sample local fare such as sofrito (veal with garlic and parsley), bianco (fish stew) and pastitsada (beef, veal or cockerel casserole) and seek out lesser-known dishes. Deep in the heart of Corfu Old Town there are low-key mezedopolia (where meze is served), long-established restaurants and upscale eateries where inventive chefs do Corfiot cuisine differently. In spring and early autumn, vivid edible flowers colour the culinary palette at the island’s most happening spots. On the coastline, waterfront tavernas specialising in fish and seafood naturally reign supreme. Inland is where you’ll find no-frills slow food joints focusing mostly on meat.

For further Corfu inspiration, see our guides to the island's best hotelsbeachesnightlife and things to do.

Corfu Old Town

Pomo d’Oro

Aristotelis Megoulas isn’t a formally trained chef but was drawn to the profession while studying in Bologna, where he snuck into restaurant kitchens. He now cultivates his Corfiot roots at cosy Pomo d’Oro, a testament to his dedication and imagination tucked into historic Skaramanga square. Collaborating closely with small-scale producers, Aristotelis crafts delicate creations such as octopus terrine with smoked eggplant cream, pine nuts and raisins, referencing the classic Greek pickled version of the mollusc. French sensibilities and Italian finesse affect his visionary take on island recipes, like rarely-found orange and olive oil salad which he enhances with beetroot, almonds, spring onion, olives and saffron mayonnaise.

Contact: aristotelismegoulas.gr
Reservations: Essential
Prices: £££
Best table: Those looking out onto the square

Pomo d’Oro, Corfu
Pomo d’Oro, Corfu

Marina’s Tavern

Marina Beska always loved to cook for family and friends, so it was a natural progression for her to open her own taverna. With a broad smile she welcomes patrons to take a seat at one of five tables on the cobblestoned pavement, or within the salmon-tinted building situated on a quiet kantouni (alleyway) in the old Jewish quarter. Not always a stickler for tradition, Marina prepares local fish dish bourdeto with shrimp and sweet potato. Aside from the local specialties, made with a lighter touch, her piquant eggplant casserole is a must-try. Better yet, let Marina do the ordering.

Contact: marinas-tavern
Reservations: Not necessary
Prices: £
Best table: In summer, any table outdoors

Marina’s Tavern, Corfu
Marina’s Tavern, Corfu

The Venetian Well

This romantic bistro-restaurant in the dream-like setting of Kremasti Square is named after the marble Venetian well around which its outdoor tables and wrought iron chairs are arranged. Magenta bougainvillea spills down its tangerine rendered exterior. Indoors, jewel-coloured velvet-backed chairs and chandeliers add a regal air to a pea green backdrop. Chef-owner Yiannis Vlachos creates imaginative Mediterranean fare such as slow-baked lamb with smoked eggplant cream and fig chutney and Sardinian fregola pasta with wild mushrooms and summer truffle. Pay a visit to the 700-label strong cellar, which stocks first-rate Greek selections and rare French and Italian wines.

Contact: venetianwell.gr
Reservations: Essential
Prices: £££
Best table: Anywhere outdoors

The Venetian Well, Corfu
The Venetian Well, Corfu

North-east Corfu

Toula’s Seaside

A series of hairpin bends leads down to picture-perfect Agni Bay, where firs and cypresses cloak the surrounding hills and still waters beckon yachts to stay awhile. Toula’s has been there since 1982. Back then, it was a simple seafront taverna frequented by locals who arrived by boat and often overnighted on the beach. Today, Valentino and Armani sail in for contemporary fare by warm-hearted, wild herb-loving Toula who still holds the fort. It remains one of Corfu’s most atmospheric coastal dining locations. The lobster linguini and spicy prawns are legendary while Toula’s aromatic Sweet Secret will remain just that.

Contact: toulaseaside.com
Reservations: Essential
Prices: £££
Best table: Any table beside the beach

Toula's, Corfu
Toula's, Corfu

The White House

Even if you don’t choose to stay at The White House, the former home of the Durrells available for rent, it’s well worth dropping in to the stylish yet laidback seaside dining spot adjacent to the villa. The breezy stone-built al fresco restaurant boasts 180-degree views of Kalami Bay. Lefteris Lazarou, chef-owner of Greece’s first restaurant to gain a Michelin star,  designs inspired menus featuring refined Mediterranean cuisine. Expect dishes like weever fish ceviche with local kumquat in citrus fruit broth and veal rump with truffle mayonnaise, pickled mustard seed, aged graviera cheese and smoked paprika oil.

Contact: thewhitehouserestaurant.gr
Reservations: Recommended, especially in peak summer
Prices: £££
Best table: A corner table with uninterrupted views of Kalami Bay

The White House
The White House

RR – Rodostamo Restaurant

RR sits poolside at the luxury adult-friendly Rodostamo Hotel & Spa, looking out onto calm Kommeno Bay and Gouvia marina’s twinkling lights. Dress up for an intimate night out as this sophisticated restaurant, which delivers true five-star dining a short drive from Corfu Town. Soft lighting enhances the electric blue, white and grey furnishings and marine-themed driftwood sculptures. While the menu may sound understated, it is, actually, exquisitely good. Highlights include glazed octopus with honey, garlic, potato rösti, wild greens and octopus emulsion and slow-grilled lamb with topinambur puree, grilled carrots, lamb jus and rosemary. Leave room for yogurt mousse with white chocolate, strawberry sauce and seasonal fruit ratatouille.

Contact: rodostamo.gr
Reservations: Essential
Prices: £££
Best table: Poolside

RR- Rodostamo Restaurant
RR- Rodostamo Restaurant

Etrusco

Italian-Greek chef Ettore Botrini, whose Athens restaurant bears a Michelin star, doesn’t stand still for long. Perfectionist by nature, he insists on constant evolution at Etrusco, which he inherited from his Tuscan father. The restaurant has laid the foundation for haute Greek cuisine. Etrusco’s creative Mediterranean style is not only an epicurean tribute to the island’s culinary traditions but references memories of places Ettore has lived, including Spain, where he worked alongside the renowned Martin Berasategui. Seating is on the patio of a peach-hued villa whose garden generously provides vegetables, fruit and flowers. Degustation menus deliver a holistic experience underscoring family ties to Corfu and Italy, while à la carte highlights include king prawns in a kataifi crust with strawberry vinegar and reimagined sofrito.

Contact: etrusco.gr
Reservations: Essential
Prices: £££
Best table: On the patio

Etrusco
Etrusco

South-west Corfu

Klimataria

When travel agent Nikos Bellos lived in London and hosted dinner parties, he would call his mother in Corfu, asking her to divulge her island recipes. In 1997 he decided to open an unassuming taverna in a narrow high-ceilinged late 18th-century building in coastal Benitses village. His bet paid off and Klimataria is now considered one of the island’s best fish tavernas. Together with Irish wife Deidre and son Kostas, Nikos lovingly prepares local soul food dishes such as bianco, a lemony fish and potato stew particularly suited to scorpion fish. Save the village bread to scoop up the garlic-tinged sauce.

Contact: klimataria-restaurant.gr
Reservations: Essential
Prices: ££
Best table: Outdoors, to catch a sea breeze

Klimataria
Klimataria

Spiros Karidis

Apart from lazing on the beach and marvelling at a sublime sunset, there’s not much else to do in the sleepy settlement of Boukari. The real reason you need to make the trek there is the Spiros Karidis fish taverna. Work up a serious appetite for Corfu’s famed bourdeto, a hearty spicy fish casserole with onions, red peppers and potatoes, usually made with scorpion fish or grouper, and served steaming in its pot. Regulars, who arrive by boat, pair it with Zitsa red table wine. The succulent chargrilled whole calamari, doused in fresh olive oil and lemon, is also excellent.

Contact: spiros-karidis-boukari
Reservations: Recommended in peak summer
Prices: ££
Best table: Closest to the beach

North-west Corfu

Taverna Elizabeth

If you’re hankering for Corfiot-style slow food, head northwest to the village of Doukades to dine at much-loved stone-built Taverna Elizabeth. There are just a handful of tables outdoors facing the village square and a few more inside, amid lime green walls, one of which is adorned with vintage ouzo and Metaxa bottles. Elizabeth’s granddaughter has taken over the reins at this old-school spot, serving emblematic traditional dishes such as pastitsada, a rich, tomato-based, spice-laced casserole – once reserved for Sunday family lunch - usually made with beef, veal or, if you’re lucky, cockerel and served with pasta and grated cheese. Turn up hungry.

Contact: 0030 2663 041728; facebook.com/tavernaelisabeth
Opening times: May-Oct, daily, 12pm-11pm; Nov-Apr, daily, 2pm-10pm
Reservations: Not necessary
Prices: £
Best table: Outdoors, to observe village life

Taverna Elizabeth
Taverna Elizabeth

Evdemon

At Evdemon, the whiteboard menu is in a constant state of flux. Chef Elia Vita allows the seasons, small-scale producers and her organic garden to dictate the half-dozen health-conscious Mediterranean plates she dishes out daily. One day, there might be an oven-baked sea bass fillet in basil oil and aged vinegar. The next, bright local vlita greens twirled into a rose, topped with diced tomato and framed with marinated anchovies. Elia’s cuisine is as deliciously unpretentious as it looks. Add her husband Giannis Goudelis’ wine expertise, their gracious hospitality and a peaceful seaside location with Diapontian island views and you’ll understand why the restaurant has amassed a devoted following.

Contact: 0030 698 032 9903; facebook.com/evdemonrestaurant
Reservations: Recommended
Prices: ££
Best table: The tables closest to the edge of the sea-facing terrace

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