Dikeos Taverna, Zia
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Review of "Dikeos Taverna, Zia"
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This year we took a family holiday to Kos, Greece, although we spent the majority of our time in the beautiful resort we also took a few day trips. On our last day, we rented a car and took a drive around the whole island, this didn't take us long considering Kos quite small so we had plenty of time to stop of at various place and take in the beautiful views. My partner decided that he wanted us to take a drive through the beautiful mountains, which was in itself an stunning experience, the views were just amazing. At one point we got a little lost and seemed to be driving aimlessly around little roads on the mountain, it was then we happened upon a little area on top of the mountain called Zia, bustling with tourist (literally arriving by the bus load!), so we decided to stop, have a wander and grab a bite to eat. After perusing the different shops and being chatted to by the rather over bearing shopkeepers, we were getting pretty hungry and decided to seek a restaurant out to get us out the heat for a little while. As a family of vegetarians, we knew it may be a little difficult to find a suitable place to eat, however we were pleasantly surprised to find this little gem offering a separate veggie menu to the meat one and so we decided on Dikeos Taverna.
Dikeos TavernaDikeos Taverna has been around for quite some time, in fact it was opned way back in 1993 and apparently it is one of Zia's most famous tavernas. This is a family run established, with mama Christina at the head, cooking all the food from scratch, they serve real classic Greek home cooked meals here. Christina's grown up children work as the waitresses and waiters and do so very efficiently.
The restaurant itself is not difficult to find as it is located on the main street, we passed it on the way into Zia and it stood out to us straight away. As this is such a small area, none of the streets are named or numbered, but its still not difficult to find. Look out for the wooden sign showing the restaurant name hanging high up above the establishment.
What does it look like?As far as I could tell, all the seating for this restaurant was in the outside area - although there may have been some hidden inside which I didn't see, the outside seating area was covered over the top though, so would be fine even if the weather was less than perfect. It was over 30 degrees during our visit, so the covered roof gave a nice break from the sun. The side is opened up which gives a beautiful view of the mountains and shops, but this was ruined slightly by the buses and coaches manoeuvring themselves along the tight road alongside. The restaurant had a rustic charm to it and looked very Greek and indeed the best way to describe it would be to say it was a classic Taverna. It was painted a burnt orange colour and decorated with climbing plants, flowers, empty wine bottles, wooden instruments, pumpkins and other knicks knacks. The tables and chairs were well worn and many didn't match, but again this added to the rustic charm, each table was decorated with a simple green and white checked tablecloth.
We visited around 2pm and although Zia itself was bustling, the restaurant itself was quiet with only around 4-5 other tables being occupied. I noticed a couple of the other people in the restaurant also had kids with us, and I would say it was kid friendly enough. Even mid-day the ambiance in the restaurant was lovely but I can imagine it would be just amazing at night, all lit up and with candles on the tables.
Our ExperienceThis was one of the few places in Zia (and the whole of Kos for that matter) that didn't have staff trying to pressure us into their restaurant, we were able to peruse the menu outside without feeling rushed or talked into coming in. Once we had agreed on this particular restaurant we walked up the steps at the front and were greeted by a lovely waitress who welcomed us in English (this happened an awful lot in Greece...I didn't realise we looked so obviously British!) she showed us to our seats and offered us the drinks menu and food menu, I enquired about the veggie menu and she then brought this over separately. The drinks menu had all the usual really, beers, fruit juices and hot drinks. There was a nice selection of beers, mostly Greek and German, I had a Heineken which came in a frosty tankard. My partner opted for a coffee (he was the one driving) whilst the kids went with Coke. After taking our drinks order she left so we could take in the food menu in our our time.
I was a little disappointed that there was no separate kids menu, I like my kids to try different things whilst away so I didn't want a menu with things like nuggets and chips on it or anything, but I felt that ordering an adults meal for an eight year old would be a bit much - both price wise and also the general amount. However, this is what we ended up having to do. My eight year old ordered 'special' spaghetti whilst my older teenage daughter decided to be bold and different and order a ...... veggie pizza.My partner and I decided to share a selection of mezes which included stuffed vine leaves, feta salad, grilled courgette & aubergine, garlic bread and a traditional Kos dish - Krassotyri - which is a log-shaped, ribbed wine-soaked cheese.
Our waiter was a very friendly guy, and he was very helpful answering some questions we had relating to the menu and Zia in general. I enquired about the veggie menu, ensuring no meat stock cubes were used and that none of the dishes contain fish, thankfully he seemed very sure that there was no meat derivatives contained in the food. This may seem a little odd to some, but I have lost count of the times I have ordered a meal (even here in the UK) labelled as veggie only to be served something with fish or fish sauce in. However, on the whole - I wasn't 100% sure about the cheese as I thought it could possibly have contained animal rennet and so I let my partner finish that off.All of the food arrived beautifully presented, again with a mish mash of different plates and bowls adding to that rustic charm. The kids enjoyed their food, but the spaghetti was just too much for my daughters little appetite and she left quite a bit of it. My partner and I thoroughly enjoyed our meze, I absolutely love stuffed vine leaves and have them regularly here at home, but the ones served at Dikeos were by far amongst the best I'd ever tasted. All the veg was cooked and seasoned to perfection and it was clearly fresh produce. Most of our dishes were small, which is expected with this type of tapas style meal, but we were both left feeling nicely full.
We were offered a desert menu but declined, opting to visit an ice cream parlour further down the main road which we had spotted earlier that day. We asked for our bill which was brought quickly, we paid around 40 Euro in total which was very reasonable. We paid cash, but they do accept Visa and credit cards.The staff were great in Dikeos Taverna, they were knowledgeable about the food they were serving and I found them helpful when discussing our vegetarian diet. It was all really relaxed and we did find the staff kept disappearing off somewhere when we needed them but of course this isn't unusual for Greece.
I visited the toilets with my daughters during our visit and these were located inside, there were just two cubicles - a men's and ladies - so I can imagine a bit of a queue forming during busy periods. The cubicles were very small but fit for purpose, complete with a bin next to the toilet for the paper which can of course no be flushed in Greece.
Final ThoughtsIf you ever find yourself up this mountain and perusing the beauty that is Zia, then make a bee line for Dikeos Taverna. The food was wonderful, the staff were lovely and the rustic charm and views are idyllic. Vegetarians will no doubt appreciate the separate menu, its just a shame they didn't also do a separate kids menu.
Telephone: 0030 22420 69683
Product Information : Dikeos Taverna, Zia
Manufacturer's product description
Listed on Ciao since: 23/08/2017