Exploring Ermoupoli Cuisine: Local Dishes and Restaurants

Discover Ermoupoli's culinary delights: local dishes and top restaurants! Perfect for food enthusiasts exploring Syros.

Exploring Ermoupoli Cuisine: Local Dishes and Restaurants

Exploring Ermoupoli Cuisine: Local Dishes and Restaurants

Located on the island of Syros in the Cyclades, Ermoupoli is not only known for its stunning architecture and vibrant culture but also for its diverse and delectable cuisine. The local cuisine is a harmonious blend of fresh seafood, traditional Greek flavors, and unique culinary traditions. This comprehensive guide will delve into the town's culinary landscape, highlighting its local dishes, historical context, famous restaurants, traditional recipes, local anecdotes, and fascinating facts.

Historical Context of Ermoupoli Cuisine

Ermoupoli, often called the "Noble City" of the Cyclades, has a rich history influenced by various cultures, including Venetian, Turkish, and Greek. This multicultural influence is evident in the local cuisine, which combines Mediterranean ingredients with Venetian and Anatolian flavors. The port city was historically a significant trade hub, which facilitated the exchange of spices and culinary techniques. This amalgamation of cultures has created a unique gastronomic identity that is both historically rich and deliciously contemporary.

Traditional Dishes of Ermoupoli

1. Loukoumi

Often referred to as "Greek Delight," Loukoumi is a must-try sweet treat when visiting Ermoupoli. Made from sugar, water, and starch, flavored with rosewater or mastic, and dusted with powdered sugar, Loukoumi is a legacy of the Ottoman era. The best place to try authentic Loukoumi is at the famous Gerolimenas Café, which has been serving this sweet delight since 1837.

2. Koukoulopita

Koukoulopita is a traditional Syros pie filled with a mix of local greens, cheeses, and sometimes fennel. It represents the island's knack for creating hearty, flavorful dishes with simple ingredients. This pie is typically enjoyed as an appetizer or snack throughout the day.

3. Lazaretta

This traditional Ermoupoli dish consists of small dough parcels filled with seasoned ground meat, cheese, and herbs, then baked until golden. The Lazaretta is commonly enjoyed during local festivals and religious celebrations.

4. Kaparosalata

A delight for seafood lovers, Kaparosalata is a salad made from capers, fresh tomatoes, and locally-sourced greens, dressed with olive oil and herbs. The flavors are distinctly fresh and vibrant, reflecting the coastal lifestyle of the island.

Famous Restaurants in Ermoupoli

  • Avant Garden:Located in the heart of Ermoupoli, Avant Garden offers a blend of traditional Greek cuisine with modern twists. The ambiance is chic yet cozy, providing a perfect setting for both casual and fine dining.
  • Kouzina:This restaurant is famous for its innovative takes on traditional Syros dishes. The menu is seasonal, utilizing the freshest local ingredients, and the wine selection is superb.
  • Pizzeria Daidadi:For those craving Italian cuisine with a Greek flair, Daidadi Pizzeria is the go-to place. The pizzas are wood-fired, and the pastas are made in-house, promising an authentic and delicious experience.
  • Stamina:A humble, family-run taverna known for its traditional Greek food and warm hospitality. The seafood is particularly noteworthy, caught fresh daily by local fishermen.

Traditional Recipes from Ermoupoli

Loukoumi (Greek Delight)


  • 2 cups of granulated sugar
  • 1 cup of cornstarch
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 tsp of rosewater or mastic
  • Powdered sugar for dusting


  1. In a saucepan, dissolve the sugar in 1 cup of water over medium heat.
  2. Melt the cornstarch in a separate bowl with some water to create a slurry.
  3. Slowly add the cornstarch mixture to the saucepan, stirring continuously.
  4. Add the flavoring (rosewater or mastic) and continue to stir until the mixture thickens.
  5. Pour the mixture into a greased pan and allow it to cool.
  6. Once firm, cut into squares and dust with powdered sugar.



  • 2 cups of mixed greens (spinach, chard, etc.)
  • 1 cup of crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch of dill, chopped
  • Olive oil
  • Phyllo dough sheets


  1. Sauté the greens and onion in olive oil until wilted.
  2. Mix in the feta cheese and dill.
  3. Lay out the phyllo sheets and fill with the greens mixture.
  4. Fold the phyllo over the filling to make a packet.
  5. Bake at 180°C (350°F) until golden brown.

Local Anecdotes and Interesting Facts

The culinary scene in Ermoupoli isn't just about food; it's about the stories and traditions that accompany each dish. For instance, Loukoumi has been a symbol of hospitality in Syros for centuries. Families and businesses alike offer Loukoumi to guests as a sign of welcome and comfort.

Did you know that the tomatoes in Kaparosalata are often harvested from the ancient terraces that line Syros' rugged hillsides? These terraces have been farmed for generations, producing some of the sweetest, most flavorful tomatoes in Greece.

Another interesting fact is that Ermoupoli hosts an annual gastronomic festival where local chefs and food enthusiasts gather to celebrate and showcase the island's rich culinary traditions. This festival is a testament to the community's commitment to preserving and innovating their food heritage.