[Tsaros Pool Bar]
Return Visitor

Many of the families who repeatedly come to Agios Stefanos (San Stefanos) originally came on a Self Catering Package Holiday with one of the big tour operators and have been coming back ever since. In some cases it is more than thirty years and now they come with the grand children. Those who came that long ago remember that roads did not exist and it was easier to travel by boat.

After a few years most of us have converted to booking directly with the owners of the rooms. This has got easier as the tour operators have realised that a market exists for flight only bookings. Easyjet has now made it even easier by introducing a little real competition to the tour operator cartel.

Go on take the plunge book direct we can help make it easy and painless.

Why does a good restaurant go bust?

For a few years now the food in San Stefanos has been improving because of competition. Suddenly this year a number of restaurants have disappeared and a number of others seem to struggle. Why?

Sadly, the margins these businesses are running at are very slim and the government has increased the taxes they must pay. Unlike Doctors and others it is difficult to hide the number of people eating in a restaurant so the tax man tends to get his fair share. Even worse the price we are willing to pay has remained much the same for a few years.

The slightest thing can now result in a business going; a broken freeze, a relationship problem or a rent increase. We now know of restaurants that have closed for all these reasons and if it continues eventually..........

Corfu Sunshine

The Local Restaurants


The restaurants come in all styles, qualities and prices, most have a menu outside. If a menu is not available outside simply ask to have a look and make it clear you have not yet made your decision. If the restaurant you select is offering a fixed cost menu the food will be simpler than if it is selected from the menu. Please expect to get what you are paying for so if you are paying six euro expect to get very simple cheep food.

This year I have decided to order the restaurants, best first, in a way that reflects what we think of them. This rating is about the quality of the food first, the value for money second and finally we consider what other reports we have received. Thus the best restaurant comes in below some others because it is so expensive and thus we could not eat there every night.

The average price of a meal has continued to rise and now we consider it to be average to spend about €70 for four people eating two courses and having two drinks. The most expensive was about €100. However, it is possible to eat for less and to spend a lot more if you are not careful.

Beachcomber Bistro

The Beachcombers Bistro is possibly the most upmarket restaurant in town with a reputation to match. Nicki the chief has been a friend for a number of years now and we find it hard to pull ourselves away the restaurant is such a firm favourite. The food and the service is always first class and cannot be faulted, they are friendly but not in your face, I cannot find the words. However, one word of warning book you table or be ready to accept you may not get in!

One of the problems none of the restaurants can solve is when we all arrive at one time. This results in slow service and all the restaurants suffer from this but particularly those that are not enormous. So if you are not willing to wait choose a time when they are quieter, i.e. before 7:30pm or after 9:00pm.

Yet again the Beachcomber did the business, I have searched hard to find a downside to it and the only comment I can make is if the wind blows they have no choice but to put you inside which can be a bit on the warm side. But if you want to eat good food in surroundings that are wonderful with the best views in town - well take your chances!

Mon Amour

This year we had a very special evening an Mon Amour Kokkinos to give it it's full title. We were collected from the bar on time and taken to the restaurant, by any standard the drive was comfortable and relaxed. Once we had eaten and wanted to return we were brought back in an equally agreeable way. This really made a difference because we were all able to relax and enjoy the evening.

The food in what is a typical Greek Taverna was excellent, simple, traditional and I can only say first rate. Service was very good and the atmosphere great, no dancing or any other distractions just great food. One word of warning don't expect to come back feeling the need to eat again, the portions are large.

We were a table of six and the table next door was ten. They were mixed German and Greek but everybody else seemed to be Greek so it really felt like we were in Greece and not some anonymous European location.

If you have no idea what a Taverna used to be like it is worth the trip just to stand and look. The walls are covered in all kinds of memorabilia and photographs.


The Vines - Avlioties

For as long as we have been coming to San Sefanos we have been passing through Avlioties. This is where the locals live and escape when it is too hot or the weather is bad. Yes! they do get cold wet weather in the winter, why do you think Corfu is so green?

For quite a number of years now my wife has said we must stop for a drink every time we have passed through and for one reason or another it has never happened. Well it still haven't had a drink but we have stopped at last and had lunch.

The verdict is unanimous the little terraced restaurant that overlooks the valley is great. A light lunch, very reminiscent of those eaten on holiday in France, with Omelettes, salads and Toasties was enjoyed by all.

The Vines is very easy to find as you drive west back towards San Stefanos simply drive into the town square car park and climb the steps at the back of the Music School. You will have arrived when you are hot and can smell a cool drink, it's right at the top of the steps and you can see the terrace as you drive into the square.

The paragraph below reminds us that a small part of my stomach and my heart yearns forever for the old menu. Some of the traditional snacks have gone in favour of more modern food, it's all still wonderful just my favourites are no longer on the menu. If you own The Vines and are reading this please put the Dolmades and Teropita back on the menu - PLEASE.

This year we decided to visit the Vines in the evening and I have to say we were not disappointed the food was wonderful, full of flavour especially the Dolmades and the Teropita (little ones) but we found nothing to complain about in any way, not even the bill.


Ozzy Oil

I have to be honest I have changed my mind about htis restaurant, I must award it the most improved place to eat and say my family and many of our friends rate it very highly. Therefore, Ozzy Oil wins an entry.

The food promises so much and this year it delivered. The previous two times we have eaten here some of my food had been almost cold, the pastry was soggy underneath, etc. Now I have to say I am hypercritical of such things, and this time the food was wonderful, hot fresh and tasty. The bread which is fresh from the oven is wonderful, don't have a starter share a fresh loaf between two or three of you. The location although beside the road is interesting and comfortable and the traffic is almost non-existent most nights, besides road side eating is a Greek tradition. The service is always cheerful and welcoming and one night a week your waitress (owner) will sing to you, just listen.


Thalassa - translates as “Sea”

This restaurant is across in Arilla but is well worth the journey, after all it is just over the ridge. The view across the bay to the sunset is wonderful and the sunsets on this part of Corfu are to be seen!

The thing is the food is just as good as the views and the setting matches; all hanging linen and old wood. This is a Greek Restaurant with style and service to match, friendly and comfortable. However, not the cheapest meal in town - but worth it!

Graziella

The Graziella is located on the front in Arillas towards the southern end of the beach. The road effectively runs through the middle of the restaurant so every meal crosses the road before it arrives at your table, no mean feat in Greece. However, the food is traditional, with the addition of chips, and it is wonderful.

We drove over the headland and down into Arillas on two quads with five people so two trips. When we came to leave one of the waiters came running and offered to bring the fifth person on his bike. Just a typical example of the Greek spirit that still lives on - Thank you for a wonderful time.


Delfino Blu

This year Delfino Blu disappointed, it just failed to live up to it's reputation. By the standards of previous years it was just average. Having said that the staff I think realised and by the end of the evening despite the average performance we have a great time; I am leaving last years review as it is because it just might have been one of those night that should never happen!

Delfino Blu probably serves the best food in Agios Stefanos (San Stefanos) but also probably at the highest price. Five of us paid €98 for our standard two course, two drink meal, however I have to say this was an exceptional meal. It included Chicken on a Stick (Chicken Kebab) and Prawn Risotto two dishes as far apart as you can imagine and both executed to the highest standards. The wine list included wines from the very reasonable to the “Very Sharp Intake of Breath” but even the cheapest wine was worth drinking.

The restaurant is located at the northern end of the village, take the main road towards Avlioties and watch for a signposted turning to the left just after the supermarket and before you start to climb the hill.

I imagine that if you want a loud belly laugh this is not the place for you. However, if you want a quiet romantic meal with the lady in you life or a long lazy evening of warm chortles with good company this is the place to be. You are sat forty feet or more above the beach looking over the pool bar with nothing between you and the best sunsets in Corfu, eating excellent food, what more could you want. The staff are courteous, polite, unobtrusive and exceedingly well trained.

KOHILI at Delfino Blu


The Nafsika Hotel

The Nafsika Hotel is one of those places that you go to and for some reason the full extent of the place never quite sinks in. It is one of the oldest places still open and yet it is still fresh and interesting. The ground floor interior of the hotel has this year been refreshed all bright and light. Just the place to be in the early or late season when the weather is not up to sitting outside. In high season the restaurant moves outside onto the terrace and because it is well above the road level the traffic is just not noticed, that is apart from the tour busses which are so noisy they are noticed everywhere.

The owner, Spiros, has a very dry sense of humour which works very well in English despite being his second language. Pay attention when the specials board appears, it's well worthwhile. His mother cooks in the kitchen and it shows, the traditional food is wonderful and we always as what he has that is traditional that is not on the menu; try the Pastidada! We suspect we regularly eat the staff food but wow it is wonderful.

Again, here you will occasionally see Greek dancing but Spiros and his waters always look as if they are doing it because they enjoy it not because it is expected. You get the feeling the younger waiters are pushing the boss more than just a little but that adds to the fun.

A couple of night a week music takes a much higher profile and unlike some others it is generally well worth the listen.

The hotel offers so much more that we never think to use, there is a swimming pool and a pool bar with a pool table. Does that make sense, are there too many pools?


Yiannis Takeaway

Opposite the entrance to the Athena Hotel you will find Yiannis, the best take away in town. Here you can purchase Giros, Grilled Chicken, with Zatziki and salad all as a wrap or Suvlaki the traditional kebab along with all the other street food you might want including chips.

Sit on the front and have a beer or a couple of cans of soft drink with your food. If it is busy don't worry it is worth the wait and when it is supper busy they move extra tables onto the front of the travel shop next door. Really simple and very very good......

Tasty Corner

The Tasty Corner has to get a mention this year. We sat on the junction looking down the main drag eating Suvlaki and drinking Ginger Beer brewed in the micro brewery in Arillas, try it it is very good. This take away may look nothing but the food is just as good as any of the restaurants just simpler.

I have to say Tasty Corner has become a favourite; well worth a visit!


The Little Prince

The Little Prince has for a long time provided a good quality of food. The menu is large and varied with both Greek and European dishes on the menu. For a large restaurant it is both friendly and efficient.

The Greek Dancing is very good and includes more than the clichéd Zorbas, in fact when the owner dances with his wife it is incredibly sexy, worth a visit just to watch them dance! This is one of those places where we just go and eat without great discussion.

Because this is the largest restaurant in town it is also the one least likely to get overwhelmed by a surge of customers. However, even here service can be a little slow when it is very busy so please be patent.


Fantasea

High over the beach next to the church on the southern end of the bay is the Fantasea, this retaurant is part of the small familey owned hotel and appartment group which has recently been rebrandeed as San Stefano Hotel rooms, Apartments and Villas and is one of the oldest businesses in town. It has been given a thorough cleaning and tidying up whilst retaining many features that would be considered quaint and very Greek by us the English. This in our mind is no bad thing because although you can get chips, the food has also retained a very strong Greek influence. The Pastichio is magic and the Giant Beans the best I have eaten in years, Greek food just as it should be.

The elevation means that some of the best views of the bay are seen from here and step outside to see the whole bay vista at sunset, wonderful!

We love speedway and I have to say with a little warning Fantasea can show you almost anything you want to see. However be warned if you want to watch TV you have to sit inside and the best views and cool air is outside on the terrace, you choose!


Zorba

As you might expect with a name like Zorba this restaurant sells traditional Greek food which is supported by traditional Greek dancing.

The food is good and everything is done with the typical Greek showmanship. The dancing, is very special for the ladies, personally he does nothing for me but my wife, my daughter and Mrs P all go mad for him. Zorbas has a dark and traditional Greek feel and the service is as good as any.


Town Pizza

Town Pizza one of the older restaurants in town, a traditional Pizza shop. The pizzas are cooked in a traditional oven and have a traditional base, thin and crispy just like the Italians do.....

Town Pizza also has a delivery service and boy do they deliver the fastest Pizzas on two wheels with the loudest exhausts in town!

Everything here looks a little tired but the food is excellent fresh and hot. I don't know why but you need to be aware the Pizza in Corfu are often made with cheeses other than Mozzarella. If you want Mozzarella check the menu but the cheeses used normally work well.

To give you a feel for the place the tables are chunky and wooden, the chairs steel framed and raffia covered and the staff are very friendly.


Two Stars

The restaurant 2 Stars has this year moved round the corner onto the main drag and into what was Paradise.

I'll be honest many years ago we tried 2 Stars and did not like it but my brother who is an Gammon, Egg and Chips man loves it so we decided to try the new 2 Stars. As we have said before we are foodies and so although there was little wrong with the food it was not for us. It was clean, the service efficient, polite and cheaper than many. However, it just lacked something I don't know why!

By the way my brother recommends you try the Gammon, Egg and Chips.


Waves

Right on the beach Waves is again a more traditional Greek restaurant with a slight focus towards seafood. The food is always good the service always polite and the menu is varied and interesting. The traditional Greek food is more varied then most restaurants and they have not felt the need to mess around with the recipes.