Naxos Culture and Food
As Naxos is one of a cluster of small islands, each one has its own distinct culture and food specialties, whereby each can be experienced with a short visit to the individual islands. You’ll find homegrown produce that is cultivated and served to visitors at restaurants or sold directly by local farmers, like honey, cheese, liqueurs and wines.
Naxos is truly a unique gastronomic destination, as it is the most fertile island of the Cyclades. The island is renowned for its cheese and other dairy products, different meats, fresh fish, vegetables, fruits, and most tasty potatoes. For food lovers, Naxos is a real treat, as they can visit the local olive oil press factory or cheese factory. As well, they can enjoy a visit to the citrus distillery, famous for its liqueur making.
Cheese lovers can go wild in Naxos, with different types made from goat, cow’s or sheep milk. They are famous for their mitzithra, a traditional and popular Greek cheese, but also their kefalotyri and graviera (Gruyere cheese).
- Award-winning Cheeses of Naxos
Naxos’ proximity to the Smaller Cyclades (see map below) allows for an opportunity to visit them all and to experience their individuality and specialties, in their raw beauty, as much of these islands remains untouched. They are much calmer than the other larger, more popular islands. So, if your idea of a vacation requires peace and serenity, then these smaller islands will fulfill your every wish.
The Food of the Small Cyclades:
The Small Cyclades islands offer many specialties, with each having its own unique signature products and dishes, as below.
These dining venues are often more traditional. However, Koufonissia has a wider variety. The Small Cyclades provide delicious cheeses and organic honey, traditional dishes like pasteli, fava, and patatato.
Koufonissia offers delectable fish, fava, loukoumades, and kokkora krasato (rooster in wine sauce) with rice soup.
Iraklia offers exquisite thyme honey, fava, and special cheeses like ksinomyzithra and sklirotyri, pasteli (a sesame sweet) and pittaridia, a boiled pasta made by hand with goats’ milk.
Schinoussa offers visitors their award-winning fava, rakomelo, a spirit from raki and sweetened with honey, honey and kserotigana, honey-topped fried dumplings, as well as their homegrown cucumbers.
Fava of Naxos
Donoussa serves up kavourmas, browned pork prepared with spices which can be eaten as an omelet or as an appetizer, a traditional goat and potato dish known as patatato, kserogana, pastelli, klosta, and more.
Kavourmas – Braised Pork Traditional Dish
Naxos Island Dining, Food, and Culture, and the Small Cyclades
Seaside Dining in Naxos
Ippokampos Beach Restaurant