Ano Syros Cuisine: Local Dishes, Famous Restaurants & Recipes

Explore Ano Syros cuisine: local dishes, famous restaurants, and authentic recipes. Discover the island's culinary delights!

Ano Syros Cuisine: Local Dishes, Famous Restaurants & Recipes

Ano Syros Cuisine: Local Dishes, Famous Restaurants & Recipes

Ano Syros is a picturesque medieval village located in the Cyclades, Greece. Known for its charming streets and vibrant culture, the culinary delights of Ano Syros reflect a rich tapestry of history and tradition. This guide provides an extensive dive into the local cuisine of Ano Syros, covering everything from famous dishes and restaurants to traditional recipes and fascinating local stories.

Historical Context of Ano Syros Cuisine

The cuisine of Ano Syros has been shaped by various influences throughout history. Initially inhabited during the pre-Hellenic period, the island saw a blending of different cultures, which is mirrored in its food today. The Venetians, who ruled Syros from the 13th to the 16th century, introduced a variety of cooking techniques and ingredients. Later on, French and Turkish influences further diversified the local cuisine. This amalgamation of flavors and styles creates a distinctive culinary identity unique to Ano Syros.

Local Dishes

The culinary offerings of Ano Syros are diverse and richly flavored. Here are some of the most iconic local dishes:

  • Loukoumia (Syrian Delight): A traditional sweet made from sugar, water, and starch, often flavored with rosewater, mastic, or bergamot.
  • San Michali Cheese: A hard, salty cheese made from cow's milk, known for its unique piquant flavor. It has a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status.
  • Kapama: Lamb or goat slow-cooked in a rich tomato sauce with local spices, usually served with fried potatoes or orzo.
  • Marathopita: A savory pie stuffed with fennel, often enjoyed as a snack or appetizer.
  • Revithada: A chickpea stew that is slow-cooked in a clay pot, usually flavored with onions, garlic, and olive oil.
  • Halvadopita: A sweet pie made from nougat, honey, almonds, and sesame seeds, often wrapped in thin wafers.

Famous Restaurants in Ano Syros

Ano Syros offers a variety of dining establishments where visitors can savor traditional cuisine. Here is a list of some famous restaurants:

  • Lilli's Place: Known for its homely atmosphere and classic Greek dishes, including marathopita and fresh seafood.
  • Archontariki: Specializes in local cuisine with dishes such as kapama and fresh salads, paired with a beautiful view of the island.
  • Maritsa’s Taverna: A traditional taverna offering revithada and other local favorites, with live music on weekends.
  • Syrianon Kafeneio: Famous for its loukoumia and other local sweets, perfect for a midday snack or coffee break.

Traditional Recipes

Loukoumia (Syrian Delight)


  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 tablespoon rosewater or essence of choice
  • Powdered sugar for dusting


  1. Mix 1 cup of water with the cornstarch and cream of tartar in a pot until dissolved.
  2. Add the remaining water and sugar, and cook over medium heat, stirring continuously until the mixture thickens.
  3. Add the rosewater or other essence and continue to stir until the mixture becomes very thick and pulls away from the sides of the pot.
  4. Pour the mixture into a greased dish and let it cool completely.
  5. Cut into squares and dust heavily with powdered sugar.



  • 2 pounds lamb or goat meat
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 cups of tomato puree
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil


  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot and brown the meat on all sides.
  2. Add onions and garlic, and sauté until translucent.
  3. Stir in the tomato puree, cinnamon, and cumin, and bring to a simmer.
  4. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and let simmer for 2-3 hours until the meat is tender.
  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve hot.

Local Anecdotes and Interesting Facts

One interesting anecdote about Ano Syros cuisine involves the local loukoumia industry. It is said that the tradition of making loukoumia in Syros started in the early 19th century by Chios immigrants who fled to Syros following the destruction of their island by the Ottoman Empire. Because sugar was a luxury item at the time, the production of loukoumia quickly became a symbol of wealth and celebration.

Another unique aspect of Ano Syros is its Catholic community, a rarity in predominantly Orthodox Greece. This has influenced the cuisine, especially during Easter when dishes like Roman Catholic Easter cookies and cakes are made, which differ from the Orthodox traditions.