The Venetian Well
For the fancy, last-night-of-the-holiday finisher, an outdoor table at this elegant, twinkly-lit courtyard on Kremasti Square set around a – yup, you got it – marble Venetian well is hard to top. The foam- and smear-happy fine dining won’t suit everyone but, if you’re into it, dishes like scorpion-fish bourdeto with shrimp-stuffed, zucchini-blossom tempura would bring a suitably splashy close to any Corfu sojourn.
L Dessyla 1, Plateia Kremasti
Pane & Souvlaki
Friday nights see serious competition for outdoor tables at this buzzy, come-as-you-are, town square eatery, popular with a boho-chic crowd that come for the souvlaki (meat skewers) as well owner-chef Dimitri Skarkoutso’s list of vegan-friendly salads including the quinoa-spinach-pomegranate banger. It's also a great spot for people watching. Highly recommended.
Town Hall Square, Gkilford 77
Right next to the fish market in Corfu’s old town, this beautifully appointed, charm-to-spare seafood crowdpleaser maintains its hold on the local palate with its well-priced fish dishes that include classics like cracked lobster, but also more artful, descaled delights such as smoked swordfish carpaccio with orange vinaigrette and kumquat. Expect generous portions.
11, Lochagou Spiridonos Vlaikou 1
Take one look at this impossibly attractive, lost-in-time taverna and the heart begins to melt: opened in 1979 in the small village of Doukades, the original owner’s granddaughter now keeps the kitchen turning out the same, country-style Corfiot comfort food such as the island’s Sunday-dinner staple pastitsada (a spicy meat-tomato pasta dish). The best tables are out front on the village square.
Corfiot-Italian chef Ettore Botrini is to Greece what Ferran Adrià might be to Spain: a household name that’s done buckets to put his country on the culinary map via playful, experimental fine dining at a critically raved-about restaurant. This is widely accepted to be one of the best restaurants in Greece and does a ten-course, food-as-art degustation menu for €100 a head. Book well in advance.
Kato Korakiana, Dassia
Everyone loves Avli and for good reason. It's set in a delightfully chilled, tree-covered garden on Garitsa Bay, just a coastal stroll away from the old town. The mellowed-out vibe, sea views and on-point Greek cooking rarely misfire and make a good opening meal for Corfu first-timers. Expect classic dishes such as bouyiourdi (baked feta with spicy peppers) and tsigareli (pork tenderloin with kumquat). Vegan friendly.
Alkiviadou Dari 3 Garitsa
Based on the hilltop village of Lakones, this smart patisserie-gelateria might require a road trip, but anyone who does can expect what is comfortably Corfu’s best ice cream, as well as well-made coffee and a surprisingly high standard of pastries. The added sweetener? A usually pretty vacant, open-air roof terrace with some of the island’s best views over the Bay of Paleokastritsa.
Lakones Main St, Lakones
Set in the village of Kinopiastes, 10km from Corfu town, this old-timey but by no means under-the-radar taverna has been run by the same family since 1936, and offers a set-course menu that opens with classic Greek mezze then spit-roasted lamb or beef stifado. Chic and trendy this certainly is not – expect piles of food, gallons of wine and, upping the touristy allure, live music and dance in the late evenings.
Just south of Corfu’s Old Town is the dainty fishing village of Benitses and this tiny, 11-table restaurant known locally as 'Bellos' on account of owner Nikos Bellos, who set up here in 1997 with modest ambitions but has since created what locals regard as one of Corfu’s top fish tavernas. The menu varies, but don’t miss the superb xtapodi ksidato (thin-sliced octopus in vinegar) or psari bianco (white-fish stew). Booking is essential.
A contender for Corfu’s chicest seaside spot, this long-standing, see-and-be-seen taverna in the small, fashionable town of Agni attracts at least one celeb most summers and is popular with a bougie yacht set. The menu centres on gussied-up but good-sized fish dishes angling for Insta attention. If this is full, more grounded Taverna Nikolas (agnibay.com) offers simpler pleasures on beachside tables just down the bay.