The Gastronomy of Epirus

Epirus’ particular terrain, the mountainous areas, the sea, the climate and centuries-old history have all played a part in creating countless dishes and tasty combinations that make up the local cuisine. Your journey to Epirus will become an unforgettable experience once you have savored the culinary delights of this part of Greece!

Well-known and well-preferred within as well as beyond Greek borders, Epirus’ cuisine is about straightforward flavors and thanks to the fine quality of raw materials, local gastronomy offers a variety of delectable traditional dishes, complementing the region’s special cultural identity.


Mouthwatering pies

Pies are central in the region’s gastronomy and are prepared either as a weekday meal or as a special dish on feast days. They can be simple and straightforward to make or complicated and require more skills, there are salty or sweet ones, made with or without phyllo, stuffed with all sorts of ingredients, seeing that in Epirus, practically everything can be made a pie: meat, fish, macaroni, greens, vegetables, etc. So, take a pick: there are green pies, cheese pies, milk pies, leek pies, cabbage pies, minced meat pies, mushroom pies, macaroni pies and a host of other tasty culinary creations made from simple and inexpensive raw materials. The tasty outcome is a blend of the wisdom of household cookery and haute cuisine.

The gastronomy of the Epirus coastline is characterized by simplicity, with many dishes having fresh vegetables and herbs.

The combination of the ingredients makes meals simple, delicious and substantial. As you all know, the culture of pita was developed in Epirus. So, the main dish in the Prefecture of Preveza is pies.


Fish in abundance

Typical local delights include flathead grey mullet (the fish is cut side down from head to tail, dried in the sun and grilled), seabream with celery and savoro (sour) fish.

You should also taste the Ladopita (olive oil pita) of Preveza and the Bottarga of Amvrakikos (fish roe), ranked as the most expensive delight in the European Union, after the black truffle.

You can also taste the smoked eel.

Preveza is ranked among the first ouzo-producing areas. At the historic center of Preveza and all over the city, the tavernas, fish tavernas, clubs, and cafeterias, both scattered and picturesque, serve the best traditional local delights, sweets, drinks and ouzo being the best of all.

At Kanali, Kastrosykia, Lygia, Parga, Sivota, Igoumenitsa and all along the coastline of the Ionian Sea, you can taste fish, mezedes and food, overlooking the sea.


Epirus’ culinary identity

Whether you choose an haute cuisine restaurant or a traditional off-the-beaten-track taverna, one thing’s for sure: you will be served the best of what’s available, to ensure you are entirely satisfied. Small traditional little eateries (called “koutouki”) offer tasty appetizers, good wine and a sociable atmosphere; busy tsipouradika [tsipouro tavernas], gourmet restaurants and traditional cooking places are only a few suggestions off the long list of where and what to eat in Epirus. Try Molos, Ioannina town, by Pamvotida’s lakeside, where there are many fine restaurants; their location offers a fine view of the lake, the castle and Nisi [meaning Island] and you can taste local dishes such as frog legs, smoked trout, or smoked eel. Try the mouthwatering local pies in Zagorochoria villages and taste the local sausage, kontosouvli and smoked metsovone cheese in Metsovo town.


Sweet temptations

Syrupy sweets or phyllo pastries such as saragli, walnut cake, almond cake, flute-shaped sweets from Metsovo, Sker Bourek, klostati (local baklava with walnut filling), and the well-known kataifi from Ioannina are but a few of the sweets you can treat your palate to in Epirus. You wonder what the secret is: a successful combination of ingredients such as kataifi threads, baklava dough sheets, walnuts, almonds and thick syrup. You can also try spoon sweets made from the fruits of the Epirus earth. Try chestnut, unripe (green) fig, blackberry, prune with wine and cinnamon, and vegetable marrow.


Quality products from Epirus

Local cuisine mainly uses ingredients found on the mountain and depends mostly on stock farming products: milk, yogurt, cheese, goat and sheep meat. Milk is the basic ingredient in Epirus cuisine. It produces butter, buttermilk, yogurt and famous local cheeses. Butter is another essential ingredient in the region’s cookery as olive trees do not thrive on the mountainous part of Epirus.

The great variety of local cheeses is owed to the area’s fresh goat and sheep milk, resulting from a long tradition in cheese-making. Local feta cheese is top quality; it is produced within a short distance from the ancient Delphi Oracle and the Dodoni amphitheater and ranks high among Greece’s top fetas. Other types of cheese include smoked metsovone cheese, anthotyros (an almost salt-free cheese) or the spicier vasilotyri. You can also try galotyri, an incredibly creamy strong-tasting cheese. The hard and spicy kefalotyri is made from sheep and goat milk and is usually eaten grated on food. The salt-free Manouri is made from sheep milk or a mixture of sheep and goat milk.



Traditional Epirote cooking involved particular cookware; many of these items are still used today, namely tavas (a lidded baking dish), roasters and sagania (large pans for cooking on the fireplace).

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