Corfu has a unique history in contrast to the mainland. While the mainland was occupied by the Ottoman Empire, Corfu was occupied for over 400 years by the Venetians. The island of Corfu was subsequently influenced by the British, French, and Italians who had significant impact on the cuisine of Corfu. Specialties consist of local ingredients found on the island such as olives, lemons, herbs, meats, fish, cheeses, vegetables, and fruit and can be commonly found throughout kitchens in Corfu. There is also a strong emphasis on seafood here compared to the mainland, much to the delight of locals and travelers alike.
Corfiot cuisine is neither characterized as spicy nor bland, but rich in the flavors of the Mediterranean. Fresh oregano is often used to season lamb or other meats. Other commonly used Corfiot herbs are basil, parsley, mint, and dill. Garlic and onions are an integral part of Corfiot seasoning. Many dishes date back to the days when cooks put all the ingredients in a single pot and left it to simmer all day, resulting in the deep rich flavors of Corfiot cuisine.
Lamb was traditionally the main meat in Corfiot cooking. It can be found in dishes such as the classic Moussaka, or cut into pieces and marinated in olive oil and lemon juice and then grilled on skewers. Pork, beef, and game are also marinated and then grilled or baked, and chicken is most commonly grilled or roasted.
Fish is usually cooked whole with the head and tail intact. It is often seasoned with herbs, and then marinated in olive oil and lemon juice. Fish is grilled over hot fire or baked, and shrimp, octopus, and squid are also popular seafood dishes in Corfu.
Cheese is another important element in Corfiot cuisine. Feta cheese is made from goats’ milk and is white and crumbly. It can typically be found in salads, meat dishes, spread on bread, or even wrapped in grape leaves and then grilled. Kefalotiri is another popular variety which is firmer in consistency, and is grated and used similar to Parmesan.
Pasta is another popular food in Corfu, particularly orzo, which has a distinct rice-grain shape. Thin pastry sheets called filo are used for appetizers like cheese or spinach pies, and desserts such as baklava, which is filled with nuts and then drenched in honey.
Drinks which are well-known to the island include Ouzo, Tsipouro and Retsina are popular with locals and tourists alike. Ouzo is a clear spirit made from the vine stalks, and then flavored with aniseed. Ouzo and tsipouro can be drunk straight from a shot, or can also be diluted with water and enjoyed with ice. Retsina is white wine flavored with notes of pine resin. It is usually served chilled, and can also be diluted with a drop of soda water and enjoyed as a refreshing spritzer.
Greek wines have considerably improved in recent years, and are modestly priced and readily available. Locally produced beers are usually lager style and served cold, but many imports are also available.
Sofrito (Venetian Soffrito) The dish includes thin slices of fried beef with white sauce from finely chopped garlic, parsley, white pepper, white wine, salt and vinegar. It is served with rice or mashed potatoes.
Pastitsada (Venetian pastizzada) This is perhaps the most popular Corfiot dish served at formal dinners and celebrations. It is made with chicken or beef cooked in tomato sauce and local herbs. There are also seafood variations such as ‘pastizzada’ or ‘lobster or octopus pastitsada’.
Bianco (Codfish-Venetian Bianco) Codfish or tope fish with potatoes cooked in a skillet, with a rich white sauce made from finely chopped garlic, parsley, lemon juice and coarse black pepper.
Bourdeto (Venetian Bordeto) Boiled sea scorpion, tope fish, or codfish fillets, well salted and cooked in a spicy sauce which consists of paprika and tomatoes, complemented by a squeeze of fresh lemon.
Tsigareli (Vegetarian) Sautéed wild greens and vegetables served with spicy tomato sauce. Some recipes for Tsigareli include ground meat, while some ignore tomato sauce and use potatoes and cayenne pepper for flavor, and still others sweeten the tomato sauce with carrots.
Benitses cuisine is influenced by the sea, and the local food is famous for serving variations of freshly caught fish, and is known for its quality. Food prices start from as low as 5 euro per person in grill rooms and local taverns.
The restaurants in Benitses village are of exceptional quality, with moderate prices, and a wide variety of tastes. The following list is recommendations of local restaurants and taverns, but by no means includes all of the restaurants in the area! We would be pleased to hear of other suggestions to add to our website for future reference for guests. We look forward to having the pleasure of welcoming you to Benitses to experience the local tastes of our village!
Excellent fresh fish grilled to perfection, as well as traditional and very flavorful Greek cuisine. The restaurant provides diners with a comfortable atmosphere, and is centrally located in the center of the village.
Delicious crispy pizza cooked in a traditional clay oven, delicious pastas and raviolis, fresh seafood, and Greek cuisine. Lovely outdoor covered patio for diners to enjoy.
Grill room with an international menu including Greek, British, and Indian dishes. Located on the waterfront and waterfront tables available. Friendly service and generous portions for reasonable prices.
Corfu specialties, coffee and drinks, located directly on the beach making the perfect setting to enjoy a meal or beverage.
Benitses and Corfu specialties served in a meze style.
Chinese cuisine and Corfu home-made cooking
Grill room with excellent quality and reasonable prices.
We hope to have the pleasure of sharing all the delectable cuisine and flavors of Corfu with you during your stay here in Benitses. Bella Vista Hotel is located within walking distance to a variety of tavernas, restaurants, and cafes and is sure to satisfy your palate. Our friendly staff is always happy to make specific recommendations or reservations for our guests. We kindly welcome you to come and try Corfiot cuisine for yourself, while enjoying a relaxing stay at Bella Vista Hotel!