Corfu Food and Drink

Corfu food and drink is, for the most part, similar to that available anywhere else in Greece, but it does have two specialties which appear on almost every restaurant menu. 

The Ubiquitous Greek SaladThe Ubiquitous Greek Salad

Sofrito is a veal casserole served with a white sauce of garlic, onion, pepper, wine vinegar and anything else the chef puts in to produce his version of the dish. Some serve a beef sofrito, though strictly speaking it is a veal dish.

So too is pastitsáda, another island speciality – veal served in a tomato sauce with pasta. However, the veal might be beef, the pasta might be any kind and the sauce depends on the whim of the chef, so try it in different restaurants.

Slightly less common, but well worth eating if you come across it, is bourdéto, a flavour-filled casserole of white fish, onions, olive oil and spicy red peppers. 

Corfu Food and Drink is More International

Another feature of dining on Corfu is its international nature. The vast numbers of tourists have created a range of restaurants to cater for them, including Italian, Chinese, British, French and Indian. Most of the chefs are Greek or British, and as adept at producing a chicken vindaloo as a plate of roast beef and Yorkshire pudding. 

A Corfu MenuA Corfu Menu

Photo by Mike Gerrard

Greek Restaurants or Tavernas?

There are several types of Greek eating establishments. Best known is the taverna, a casual place where it is usual for the diner to wander into the kitchen to see what’s cooking, rather than to order from the menu: not all the menu’s dishes are necessarily available, while the kitchen might conceal some daily specials.

Another feature is the paper or plastic tablecloths which are changed after each meal, and the little tumblers which serve as wine glasses. If all the tables are occupied when you arrive, simply wait: another table will probably be produced from somewhere and set out for you. Greek tavernas are surprisingly expandable. 

A restaurant (estiatório) is more upmarket: you should find a proper wine glass on the table, a linen tablecloth and a surprised expression if you try wander into the kitchen. Restaurants are more likely to take bookings, whereas at a taverna you generally turn up and take pot luck.

In addition to regular tavernas and restaurants, there are places serving only fish (psária), and grills (psistariés), where the menu is generally limited to freshly grilled meats – chops or kebabs – and sometimes fish. 

Cheers!
The Greek equivalent of cheers when raising a glass is yammas, and the custom is to chink the glass of everyone else at the table. This can take some time, especially as the Greeks like to do it whenever their glasses are refilled. Make sure you always touch the top of your neighbour’s glass with the top of your glass – to use the bottom is wishing a curse on the other person. Another drinking custom is the refilling of glasses whenever they are less than about half full. To drain a glass looks like greed, and to allow a glass to be empty is a slur on the host’s hospitality.

People toasting with ouzo in GreeceYammas!

Greek Desserts

Greece is not noted for its puddings. A restaurant may have a small dessert menu, but in a taverna the only choice is likely to be fresh fruit (usually watermelon) or ice cream. It is common practice to eat your final course elsewhere, at a café which serves coffee, Metaxa (the Greek version of brandy) and sticky Greek sweets such as baklavá.

Bottles of MetaxaMetaxa: the Greek Brandy Liqueur

Photo by Mike Gerrard

Greek Drinks

The Greeks, generally, are not great drinkers and are likely to accompany a meal with no more than a can of beer or a soft drink. The pre-dinner favourite drink is ouzo, an aniseed-based drink similar to Pernod, which is served with a tumbler of water. You can drink the ouzo neat, taking an occasional sip of water, or you can dilute it by pouring water into the glass, which turns the ouzo milky. This brings out the flavours more, and you can dilute it to the strength you like. See our more detailed page on Greek Alcoholic Drinks, and our special page just on ouzo.

Wine glasses and wine barrels at a wine-tasting in Greece

Photo by Mike Gerrard

Greek Wine

The cheapest wine available is retsina, an acquired taste – which many visitors never acquire. The white wine is flavoured with resin, originally from the wooden casks in which it was stored, but today the flavour is more likely to be added artificially. Not only is retsina cheap and available everywhere, it is in fact a good accompaniment to the oil-rich Greek food. Many tavernas serve it from the barrel, and a request for house wine may well produce a metal jug of retsina. In it you have the authentic taste of Greece. 

Where to Stay on Corfu



Some other Corfu pages

  • Visiting Albania from Corfu

    Donna Dailey of Greece Travel Secrets visits Albania by boat from Corfu Town, staying overnight and seeing archaeological sites with Sipa Tours.

  • Southern Corfu

    Southern Corfu has busy beach resorts like Benitses, historical buildings like the Achilleion Palace and Gardiki Castle, and wildlife at the Korision Lagoon.

  • Paleokastritsa, Corfu

    Paleokastritsa is on the west coast of Corfu and is one of the most popular holiday spots. This page gives information on beaches, boat trips, weather and map.

  • Northern Corfu

    Northern Corfu is the most diverse part of the island, with Corfu's highest point, Mt Pantokrator, and beach resorts like Sidari and Palaiokastritsa.

  • Northern Corfu Drive

    There are two sides to every Greek island, the tourist and the traditional, and this drive from Corfu Town through northern Corfu shows the two faces of Corfu.

  • Corfu

    Corfu or Kerkyra is the main island in the Greek Ionian islands with Corfu Town being one of the most attractive of Greek island capitals.

  • Corfu Town

    Corfu Town is the capital of Corfu and of the Ionian Islands and has museums, two forts, several museums, churches, and many other attractions.

  • Corfu Olives

    Corfu olives are an important part of this Greek island's economy, with an estimated 3-4 million trees producing olive oil of exceptional quality.

  • Corfu Offshore Islands

    There are three islands off the northwest coast of Corfu, Erikouusa, Othoni and Mathraki, popular with day-trippers from resorts like Sidari.

  • Corfu Festivals and Events

    Information for travellers to Greece on Corfu festivals and events including Easter, the Feast of St Spiridhon, Carnival and Name Days.

  • Corfu Climate: Sun, Rain, Winds

    The Corfu Climate page describes the hours of sun, the rain, the winds, to help you plan the best time to visit this Ionian island.

  • Corfu Beer Festival

    The First Corfu Beer Festival took place in Arillas in North West Corfu and celebrated the beer of Bavaria and of Corfu, in the Ionian islands of Greece.

  • Best Things to Do on Corfu

    The best things to do on Corfu include visiting Palaiokastritsa, a day trip to Albania, seeing the Achilleion Palace, and the museums in Corfu Town.

  • Best Beaches on Corfu

    The best beaches on Corfu, chosen by Greece Travel Secrets, include Paleokastritsa, Mirtiotissa, Sidari and Cape Asprokavos.

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