Syros Food and Drink

Syros offers a hearty cuisine with a powerful variety of fish, meat and vegetarian dishes, as well as many types of local sweets. On the savoury side you can try original dishes like cuttlefish with spinach pies, cabbage stuffed with rice and raisins, chickpea salad and more. Taverna Savvas, for example, claims to use organic produce from its very own garden and may be worth checking out.

The island is best known for its sweets, however, such as Loukoumia (known by the not-so-politically-correct name of Turkish Delight in the west), flavoured with pistachio, rosewater and other goodies. Try also the Halvadopita, a round tablet made with nougat and almonds in slices of wafer. The local Halva, a hard fudge-like loaf that can be cut into slices, is made with sesame paste (tahini) and almonds. Many of these sweet traditions came with the Greek diaspora that fled from Asia Minor.

Dairy products are excellent, including the local hot, soft cheese called kopanisti, as well as Saint Michali. They work well with ouzo or with homemade wines, produced from small local vineyards. There is also a liqueur made locally and known as Grandmother's drink. It is a concoction of brandy and cherry fermented under sunlight, then infused with spices and fruits to yield a delicious brew.

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