Cafes in Paxos
On tiny island of Paxos, life runs at a different pace. A slower pace. Living the moment, striking up new friendships, and enjoying the delicious food and drinks that Greece has to offer, are high on the priority list of the local population. Their daily rituals, which are built around these values, include a visit to their favourite cafe.
Cafe is actually the French word for coffee, but it has also been adopted as the name for the establishment that serves coffee, along with tea and snacks or light meals. In Paxos you will find them spelled ‘cafe’ or in the Greek alphabet: καφέ. Visiting a local cafe is a wonderful opportunity to try a strong, Greek coffee.
What’s so special about Greek coffee?
Greek coffee is made by pouring water over ground coffee and bringing it to the boil. If you like your coffee sweet, you tell the waiter and he or she will add suger during the boiling process. If you prefer to add stevia or an artificial sweetener, you can do this afterwards but you will then need to wait till the grounds have settled in your cup.
That’s right – the coffee grounds are not separated from the water, so your cup of coffee is thick and grainy. Remember to take small sips. After all, you wouldn’t want to upset the coffee grounds on the bottom!
While this way of coffee brewing may be new to you, it is actually not unique to Greece. This method was probably developed in Yemen centuries ago, and is now the preferred brew in the Middle-East and the Balkans. Since you have drink it in small sips, you’ll have ample time to catch up with friends or neighbours, gossip, and laugh.
What is, however, a typically Greek drink is frappé. This is an iced coffee that looks like a milkshake. It’s refreshing and it gives you an energy boost, both of which are welcome on a hot summer’s day!
Cafes in Lakka
When in Rome, do as the Romans. We’re not in Rome, however, but in Greece. But feel free to copy their morning ritual with a visit to a local cafe. Settling down into the Greek way of life adds an extra dimension to your stay on Paxos.
In the north of the island, by the beautiful natural harbour of Lakka, you will find a number of cafes that attract locals and visitors alike. One of them is Romantica Cafe Bar. With its ample opening hours, it welcomes clients from early in the morning. Local fishermen, pensionados, and yachties mingle here, while enjoying a strong, Greek coffee.
Giappy is a cafe with cute indoor seating, as well as an outdoor terrace by the harbour. Choose from various styles of coffee, among which Greek and Italian. With a selection of breakfast dishes, among which pancakes and eggs benedict, this is a tourist favourite that is quickly winning the hearts of the local population.
Cafes in Loggos
Roxi Bar has been around for a long time and is a true institution on Paxos. Right by the water in Loggos harbour, this terrace welcomes you day and night. In the mornings, this is the place for the necessary caffeine boost.
Opening at 5 AM, the 4 Seasons Restaurant is the place to go for early birds like fishermen and other workers. This cafe and restaurant is run by the same Grammatikos family that opened it, over 20 years ago. This is one of the few establishments that is not directly by the water side. Instead, it is located on a picturesque square named “Zoodochos Pigi” which translates as “source of life”. This name is derived from the little church that is located on the square.
Cafes in Gaios
Of all towns in Paxos, Gaios is where the local action is. If you want to know where the Greek coffee is good, just seek out the wrinkled pensioners that set up camp at their favourite cafes.
But since you insist, let’s give you some suggestions. Let’s take Capriccio. This cafe in the capital of Paxos serves Greek and Italian coffee, fruit smoothies, pancakes, and waffles, all by the waterside. Enjoy your favourite drinks and snacks while watching the fishermen and yachties prepare their boats.
Highly rated Kalimera Cafe is another institution on Paxos. In a pedestrian street in the centre of Gaios, this place is popular day and night.
Libretto is right on the quay where the excursion boats are. It opens at 9 AM and serves good quality coffee that you can combine with its fruit salads, healthy breakfast bowls, and sandwiches. It scores extremely high reviews scores.
Fanalino Restaurant Bar is a good alternative. This stylish cafe draws mainly visitors, but for a good reason: its pastries and breakfasts cater to all tastes, and give you the opportunity to really spoil yourself. Choose from pancakes, ice-cream, cakes, smoothies, and fruit juices.