Ioannina: 4 of the very best tavernas for authentic Epirote food

Virginia Ioannina

For autumn landscapes, walks in nature and traditional Epirus dishes, Olive Magazine visited the city of Ioannina and the enchanting villages surrounding it to try Ioannitian pies, lamb with potatoes, local meats and much more in four of the best tavernas.

Check out our picks below:

Χρύσανθος (Chrysanthos)

XRISANTHOS TAVERN Ioannina

The Amphitheatre, right across from the city, as its name indicates, offers a unique view of Ioannina, the Lake and the Island.

The same excellent view can be enjoyed from the balcony of Chrysanthos, along with the hospitality of the Miliotis family, with mother Aristeas in the kitchen, father Christos at the grills and the two sons at service.

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We love the pies, the boneless veal head – an incredibly delicious meze that takes several hours to prepare – the kokoretsi, the lamb ribs, the steaks, the bone in parchment paper, the kontosouvli and of course everything that comes out of Aristea's pots.

Quite a good selection of bottled wines.

Amphithea, Ioannina, tel. 26510 81892

Η Γάστρα (I Gastra)

I Gastra Ioannina

Reminisce of the traditional cooking method in Epirus in the vessel, Gastra is the place to eat delicious meat!

I Gastra Ioannina

Traditional Ioannina dishes, such as lamb and sometimes goat in the pot, gigantes with vegetables, pies, dolmades and much more.

I Gastra Ioannina

There is a decent selection of mostly local wines, too.

7th Km. Ioannina-Konitsas, Eleousa, Ioannina, tel. 26510 61530

Βιργινία (Virginia)

Virginia Ioannina

It is a beautiful stone-built village in Zagori with a long history and a guest house that saves the price of the continental pie. There, Virginia opens a sheet every day and makes authentic Epirus pies.

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The best pies in the restaurant are so good that the people of Ioannina order them when they return to their vacation homes. Gigantes with greens, chicken, local meats, pan sweets and a Virginia sweet.

Virginia Ioannina

The portions of the pie are huge, as you can't imagine. Tables with a view and a beautiful village. N.D.

Asprangeli, Zagori Ioannina, tel. 26530 22628

Το Στέκι του Καρδάση (The Steki of Kardasis)

To Steki tou Kardasi Ioannina

In the once capital village of Vostina, now called Pogoniani, next to the Greek-Albanian border, the inhabitants are at most 100. But the beauty of the place is also the Steki of Kardasis, of Vassilis Tomos, which continues the tradition of father and grandfather.

It is more than a cafe or taverna. Here, the passing traveller will find food; the lonely local will drink his tsipouro or coffee.

To Steki tou Kardasi Ioannina

Tripe is an iconic dish served every Sunday and is a reason to come here. On the rest of the days, omelettes, delicious pies, skewers, steaks and one or two were cooked by Sofia's hands for regular customers and passers-by.

Pogoniani, Ioannina, tel. 26570 31416

READ MORE: A culinary journey in Zagori – Pies, stews and quality meats.

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