Epirus local products
The main ingredients of local cuisine are products from the mountains and farms, sheep and goat milk, yogurt, cheese. Milk is actually the main and basic ingredient of most traditional dishes in this region. Apart from milk, dairy products like butter are also the main ingredients of dishes, but also olives and olive oil.
A large selection of local cheeses is also characteristic for this region, and you should try Metsovone smoked Cheese from Metsovo, dodoni feta cheese produced near the Dodoni amphitheater which is one of the best feta cheeses in Greece. For fans of unsweetened and young cheeses, we recommend anthotyro from these regions, but also manouri which is perfect for sandwiches and is obtained from a combination of cow and goat milk.
Various pies are also characteristic of this region and you can try them in some bakeries, but even better in traditional restaurants. Parga is packed with restaurants and taverns where you can taste different specialties from this area, but less commercial places like Ioannina are perhaps even better choices for enjoying traditional tastes. The characteristic cuisine has the lake Pamvotida in Ioannina where you can try frogs, river crabs, eels ... You can try the best pies in the villages of Zagorohori, in Metsovo the best specialties with cheeses. We recommend that you try the warm appetizer of the buyurdi straight in Metsovo, in case it is prepared with Metsovone cheese, and if you do not have the opportunity to visit Metsovo, then search for this cheese in one of the taverns on the coast. When we talk about sweets, they are traditionally made with syrup (baklava, kadaifi). In Ioannina you can try the best kadaifi. Like in other parts of Greece, in Epirus are popular sweets on spoon as the Greeks call them, and the best-known is chestnut-sweet, whole figs, blueberries.
Good food is accompanied by good wines, the most famous wines in Epirus are wines from the Zitsa area. Those are white and sparkling wines from high altitudes. Wines have a slightly higher acidity that is perfectly compliant with local dishes. They are obtained from the grape variety Debina which dominates Zitsina's vineyards. If you are red wine lovers, then you must try wines from Metsovo and vineyards from 1000m altitude. These vineyards are precisely the same place where grapes Cabernet Sauvignon were first planted in Greece, and the wine produced in Metsovo is still one of the best in Greece today. Locals as well as in the rest of Greece produce an excellent tsipouro (vine brandy) so you can buy it from the peasants at the market or sometimes from the owners of the accommodation, and if you like the liqueurs, try the cranberry and blueberry one.
The most famous restaurant with local cuisine in Parga is Sakis restaurant, but besides this one, there are many good ones, Hellenikon tavern, Dokos, Perivoli. In Metsovo the Tou koutouki tou Nikola tavern is famous, in Vrachos and Loutsa- Arhipelagos and White Sands, while in Ioannina there is really a great choice, but we would single out Frontzou Politia.
If you want to visit Parga, you can also visit the organized cooking-lesson of Greek specialties where you get groceries and instructions on how to cook tzatziki, mousaka and other Greek traditional dishes. After preparing, the dishes made by participants are served, and you receive photos and recipes by e-mail.
Accommodation in Parga and Epirus can be found here.