Tips on where to eat
It is clear that in this part of Greece, life is lived by the bite.
At the homonymous village, Kasos 22450-41586
Kasos is broadly known for this one excellent tavern, which apart from the sweeping views of Emboreios beach, it offers some of the best Greek food you can taste countrywide. Run by two really friendly families, this is the place to savor delicious casseroles according to season, fish and homemade dishes, impromptu feasts - as the owner is a skilled musician, playing cretan lyra. From the moment they come to your table to proceed with your order to the moment they recite rhythmic song patterns (mantinades) while serving, here you will experience the authentic Greek hospitality. The musts include stuffed vine leaves (kassiot ntolmadakia), snails with potatoes and courgettes, lobster spaghetti, the black cuttlefish risotto (or both), crunchy shrimps from Symi and a mouthwatering octopus on the grill, salads and spiny chicory (local greens) often locally sourced, regional meat options, and the local cheesy pasta of course. The restaurant can get very busy during high season, runs daily during the summer months, (only on weekends during wintertime).
Fry, Kasos, 22450-41053
At Oraia Bouka (translates to Nice Bouka), a restaurant on the waterfront of the island, you can savor an endless array of fantastic traditional dishes prepared with care. Pasta with caramelized onions and sheep's cheese (the famous makarounes), raikia (locally-sourced greens), dormaes (mini stuffed vine leaves), Greek green beans, as well as oven baked goat meat and pilafi. Mrs. Sophia generally cooks with the island's finest ingredients; and her place also serves up beautiful sunset views. Do yourself a favor and make reserve a spot at the terrace overlooking Kaso’s pretty port, for more unforgettable bites.
Fry, Kasos, 22450-41908
How locals and tourists do brunch. Try Apagkio, a gorgeous amalgamation (appetizers, sweeping-views and chill beats) of all that’s right with the ouzo consumption. Located in the heart of the island, above the little port of Bouka, with tables out front on the dock. This is the place to splurge. We swear by Giorgo’s (aka the owner) cheese homemade pizza, who also can serve you breakfast and dinner delicacies.
Ammoua beach bar
At the homonymous beach, 694 819 3255
Summer snacking booms out of a humble beach bar that serves the comfort yet utterly delicious food of that Mediterranean island.
Maroukla’s coffee shop
The atmosphere in Maroukla’s is that of a typical 1980s Greek, in which large groups of old men gather to play backgammon and local families eat hearty, value-for-money fare (spit-roasted delicacies accompanied by really good wine) amidst a small square of lively village of Arvanitochori on which the kafeneio (coffee shop) sits. The spontaneous revelry that may erupt is an added bonus – as the owner is apart from a good roaster, he is also a talented singer. Another pro tip: ask for his housewife's handmade delicious Kasian dolmadakia (tiny stuffed vines).
Agia Marina, Kasos, 22450-41112
Our personal favorite haunt and popular among the locals, “Kathistres” is a famous traditional coffee shop/ tavern that is considerably less touristy than others in the area. This simple and unpretentious spot serves succulent kopsidia (chargrilled lamb chops), the famous cheese of the island (sitaka) as well as local sausages. Located on a hillside in Agia Anna’s hamlet, Mr Minas – the owner who will probably become your friend place also has spectacular views overlooking the plains. The word “Kathistres” derives from the Greek word translated to “seats” and is used mainly to describe the case you end up seating half your day there every time you go - spontaneous Kasiot feast that may also be an extra reason.
Fry, Kasos, 6976102424
When you get bored of all the traditional menus and you really want to treat yourself, head to Meltemi. For a glass (or many more) of ouzo, some delicious seafood mezes (squid cooked in wine) and even unusual dishes (like boiled skate wings with skordalia (garlic dip).
Fry, Kasos (in front of the city hall)
The owners of this hidden seafood eatery are fishermen, so that means fresh fish every single day. Grilled Mediterranean parrot fish fished is definitely a hit – served entirely intact. Here you will also meet celebrities (see businessmen and the tenor Marios Frangoulis, whose mom was born is the island of Kasos) slurping over a dish with shellfish cooked in seawater.
At the homonymous neach
Our favorite order: beachside bites at Helatro’s beach canteen. Try anything from the daytime hearty menu with toasties and salads until grab a beer to enjoy the sunset.
Fry, Kasos, 22450-41229
Sweet Memory cafe/pastry shop - A hidden gem of a loukoumades joint but also perfect for savory breakfast. One a hot summer morning between 10-12 A.M., locals were lined up inside a shady narrow alley following the smell of something sweet waft over the port of Kasos. For sugar lovers, several Greek-style crispy doughnuts done in the traditional way, sprinkled with honey, or even better covered in Nutella that almost melt at the touch of your fork, are certainly bringing the divinity of breakfast into the table. Enraptured, we ate every single ball we ordered. After that morning we would head to Sweet Memory's and take breakfast every single day for the rest of our holiday. Mrs Foreini, an ageless hyperactive cook, and her son and daughter-in-law, serve from loukoumades (Greek-style doughnuts), homemade savory pies and pastries, sweet treats, to a nice selection of local specialties, including xylikopites (honey fried dough) or moschopoungia (sweet pies stuffed with almonds), altogether helping to keeping your intense sweet memories from Kasos alive. Neverthess, visitors and serial Kasian travelers alike sit down here for a bowl of authentic Greek yogurt covered in honey and walnuts, locally sourced and lovingly prepared egg-omelettes accompanied with cold pressed, delicious juices, while others gather just for the taste of cold coffee and the big genuine smiles from the owners, who can basically prepare anything you want on spot.
Coffee & Drinks
Coffee shops may get a lot of shine; however local bakeries - a quick spot for good pastries and savory pies, are also preparing in Kasos the most important meal of the day. In case a lazy coffee is what you seek, grab a seat in one of the coffee spots at Bouka. Not only they will satisfy your caffeine cravings, but you’ll also hear vivid accounts of Kaso ’s history from veteran seafarers and adventurers. Is night out what you are looking for? Get to the terraced bar that is overlooking the port – aka Free, the perfect place for boozy hangovers and late snacks (not to mention that you can ask the DJ for your favorite songs).
What to buy from Kasos
The artisanal local cheeses quality products can be purchased the only certified dairy on the island, aka Vonapartis (Tel. (+30) 22450.419.53) to enjoy them also back at home.
Tips on where to stay
Bear in mind that in Kasos, there aint no luxury hotels (at least not yet), rooms-to-let are not too many, so make your reservations in time. Alternatively, think about staying at one of the island's monasteries overlooking the Aegean Sea - as it is possible to stay overnight in one of the cells by arrangment.