I am writing this Rhodes post on a rainy day in Seattle. Rhodes trip seem so close yet so far today.
I went to my third Rhodes trip this summer. It is a quick trip from our summer house. That is not the reason though for why we go back. Rhodes, despite being a large island, is packed with charm and fun places to explore.
I think we have found the perfect mix this time. A night away from Rhodes city and a night in the city. We stayed in our favorite bay, Stegna for a night so that we can enjoy the food. Stegna suprisingly is a pretty full bay but not busy. Even though we made plans to stay at a different apart hotel, there was some confusion. So we ended up at Bella Vista at Stegna. At the end of the bay, the small boutique hotel has stunning views.
I stayed at a number of different hotels in Rhodes in downtown area. Not any was as cute as Casa Antika. It is in the back streets of Rhodes filled with old apartment buildings, stray cats and local restaurants and it is still walking distance to the antique city. It is a must stay and it is worth the slightly higher price than the area boutique hotels.
Let’s come to the real deal. Rhodes has good food. To access it you need to rent a car (also to access bays like Stegna).
I will start at the bays (each of which are about 30 minutes drive to city center) and move to the city center last.
In Stegna, you have to visit my friend Dimitris and Eleni’s restaurant Stegna Kozas. It is a third generation family restaurant. Dimitris will be the most fun person you will meet on the island and the food is great. They have delicious mezes.
My recommendation for best time to go to Stegna Kozas is a late lunch. Go around 1:30/2:00 PM. Have a spread of mezes with a cold Mythos, when you feel too full take a snooze at the beach followed by a hour long swim. Go back and have turn two. If you are not staying in Stegna you can go for one last swim to digest the double lunch.
I was recommended by our dear family friend Ahmet Senol a new find. 8 km’s towards Lindos beach from Stegna (so towards the opposite direction of Rhodes city) is another town Haraki. Haraki is unique as the town’s community does not allow big hotels to settle on the bay. Instead you find are seasonal (or year round) Greek natives and a few day visitors like ourselves. There is one address in this bay that is a must go and that is Kapetanios. It is the shit. The owner is in the kitchen, not with the people. The seafood is to die for (so are the other offerings).
In Rhodes city, Meltemi close to the Casino on the bay is where you go for lunch. Period. There is a little breeze. You watch sometimes your courageous friends or young kids jump from a very high diving board to the water and you order mezes, as much as you can eat. after many trial and error for dinner
Most dinner spots are a miss in the old town but Petaladika was super solid. It is hard to find but most customers are greek. We ordered a bit too much but were happy to eat more than our bodies could handle. A NOTE: Ask your hotel to make a reservation for you as this restaurant tends to get full.
Finally – a late find – so we couldn’t have dinner there but had a late breakfast. A local favorite and it just looked and felt right is Koykos. In the back streets of Rhodes, order a sandwich or a have a proper meal and feel happy about how you escaped the tourists.
A QUICK NOTE: These are places I stumbled upon or found by way of Greek or Turkish friends over the years. After having been there and having tried a lot of places, I would recommend to shy away from Trip Advisor lists. For Rhodes (and I think in general) they may not match your needs if you are a food lover like myself. However, a suprise, Lonely Planet’s highlighted selection almost matched my suggestions.
YAMAS TO YOU ALL!