The rare experience of a traditional Cretan tavern without electricity

Gianni's Taverna, Kyparissos, Crete rare experience

In a village 22 km from the Cretan city of Heraklion, in Kyparissos, is a special tavern where one can have a rare experience.

Giannis Somarakis, the owner of the special tavern, takes us back to another era. His tavern is atmospheric and offers local delicacies cooked on LPG.

There is no electricity here and the place is lit only by candles, A journey through space and time, with authentic Cretan flavors and local wine.

Gianni's Taverna, Kyparissos, Crete

How did the idea start?

Giannis studied tourism and for a short time worked in hotels. But something did not fill him in the space, so he decided to learn foreign languages.

How? Traveling and working abroad.

He first went to England and then to Germany, where he stayed for about 3 years. There he worked in a large group that offered "bread and ... spectacles."

Working in the kitchen of a large restaurant in Germany, he noticed both the positives and the negatives. What he didn't like, he said, was the way they singled out the wealthiest customers from the others.

For him, everyone should be treated the same way.

Returning back to Crete - because the climate of Germany and especially the people did not lift him up - he decided to open his own shop, as he dreamed of, based on his personal worldview which he can explain to you in detail if you are there!

When he started the project, both his people and his fellow villagers were skeptical. However, because the idea was very original, it quickly brought people first from Heraklion, then from all over Crete and then from all over Greece.

Gianni's Taverna, Kyparissos, Crete

Tavern, like in the old days

As he said, "I always had in mind the idea of ​​reviving the old days". So, he made some minor changes - for practicality and safety reasons - to his grandfather's house and turned it into a small tavern, operating by candlelight.

There is no menu here. Everyone eats the same things - whatever is prepared in the kitchen that day - while they can choose their wine from the 12 different barrels that exist in the space.

Gianni's Taverna, Kyparissos, Crete

The menu costs 20 euros for everyone, without exception. "Whether a student or a senior doctor comes, they will pay the same."

In order for someone to come and eat, they must definitely reserve a table as the space is very small - it holds a maximum of 45 people - while the goal is to not throw anything away.

What will you eat at Giannis tavern?

His father, at 93 years old, sits early in the kitchen every day, cleaning and cutting the potatoes that will be fried to accompany the dishes. After all, the shop is famous for its fresh, chunky fries.

Other dishes? Every day there are at least two cooked meats (beef, chicken or pork), as well as salads and side dishes: dakos, beets, greens, tzatziki. Other options? The gamopilafo and the braised goat with thick spaghetti.

At the end of the meal, raki and sweets are offered.

Gianni's Taverna, Kyparissos, Crete

The theatre of Agros

Now this summer the tavern "moves" outside, to the theatre of Agros, which Giannis Somarakis has literally built with his own hands. Musical and theatrical performances as well as various events take place here.

He is both a musician and an actor and presents his own shows together with his band at the theatre. However, the venue hosts other musical and theatrical events with the participation of well-known names (Malamas, Ioannidis, etc.)

Here there is also a kitchen and the dishes are again cooked on LPG. However, the place also has a grill, so you can enjoy delicious grilled meats. The tables of the tavern are placed around the theatre of Agros.

It should be noted that Giannis Somarakis opened a shop in Heraklion due to the coronavirus, only for delivery and take away, the "Oinomagireion tsi otrollis", which works from morning to early afternoon.

Gianni's Tavern, Kyparissos, Crete, tel. 6946 969971

READ MORE: Dounias Crete’s Most Authentic Tavern Serves The Tastiest Traditional Dishes.

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