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“A lovely place to eat”
Review of Lela's Taverna Restaurant - CLOSED

Lela's Taverna Restaurant
Cuisines: Mediterranean, Greek
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Child-friendly, Romantic
Dining options: After-hours, Dinner, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Description: "Layla's has occupied the same site in Kardamili for over twenty years. Layla is very old now but is helped in the restaurant by her chldren and grandchildren. The restaurant is in a lovely 19th century building and has outside seating on a terrace just above the sea - the sunset view is incredible. The terrace is topped with vines and surrounded by red blooms. The food is traditional greek with an emphasis on local classics; potatos baked with rosemary, chicken baked with lemon and thyme, spiced sausage, fried courgettes etc. I have been going to Kardamili for years and this is the best place to eat".
Exeter, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
159 reviews
73 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
“A lovely place to eat”
Reviewed 20 June 2014

Imagine - a terrace by the sea, the sound of waves gently lapping on the rocks below, oleander, vines and red geraniums, the sun slowly setting beyond the headland. Then add to all this tzatziki, tomato salad, meat balls, stuffed tomatoes, wine, coffee and Metaxa. That is Lela's Taverna.

  • Visited June 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Samuel007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

125 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    40
    46
    27
    4
    8
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Greek first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
223 reviews
126 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 165 helpful votes
“Up to Expectations”
Reviewed 9 June 2014

The passenger next to me on the flight from Gatwick to Kalamata was on his way to a 10 day holiday in the Peloponnese and he mentioned that he intended to visit Kardamili. I suggested that he should try Lela’s as somewhere good to eat while he was there. I was rather taken aback when he replied that he knew about it and said that recent web reviews claimed that it was overrated and expensive.

With his comments in my mind we ate at Lela’s half way through our stay in Kardamili. At this point I should probably say that I’m predisposed to favour this establishment. First, I have been several times before and have always enjoyed it very much - my favourite restaurant in the village. Second, I’m drawn to it because Lela was the housekeeper to Patrick Leigh Fermor, one of my literary heroes, and going there feels like making just the faintest of connections with the man himself.

The unchanging setting is still one of the best in Kardamili and is perfect for outdoor eating as the sun sinks over the Gulf of Messenia. It’s worth noting that there is very limited space to eat undercover, so dress accordingly if it’s likely to be chilly at the beginning and end of the season.

The blackboard menu offered 14 salads and starters from 3.50-10.00 euros and 13 mains from 5.00-14.00 euros. Surely not too expensive. Vegetarians were catered for pretty well.

We opted for the ‘Mix of starters’, which proved to be a good sharing plate for two. Mains: B went for artichokes and vegetables (a bit vinegary, and possibly not a good choice out of season); S had stuffed tomato and green pepper (generous portions and tasty); and N and I went for slow roast lamb and potatoes (as delicious as ever). Dessert was a complementary piece of honey cake, just right in sweetness and size to round off the meal.

But still no coffee! And this reflects the one downside of Lela’s: something about it seemed to discourage lingering long over a meal. It’s not that the staff were pushy – the service was fine – it just seems to be something in the culture of the place. Lela’s is by no means alone in this among Kardamili’s restaurants.

Despite the received views of the man in seat 14C, Lela’s lived up to my expectations and if it’s not the best restaurant in Kardamili it’s still my favourite. But with the Lela sitting there watching over proceedings, how could I think otherwise?

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Brian_Human
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
20 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Don't Miss It”
Reviewed 6 June 2014

Fabulous oceanfront location, limited menu but we loved what we ordered, especially the lamb with lemon sauce. We went back two days later for the lamb but alas it wasn't available so we had pork instead, which was good but it was no lamb;-) Good service and friendly owner, can get a bit hectic when busy.

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Joe B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chichester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
44 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Great location and good food”
Reviewed 20 May 2014

The beachside location is an important part of the Lela's experience but the food's good too: same sort of range as elsewhere and well-cooked. Lela's salad was a bit of a disappointment so I'd recommend sticking to the regular tomato and cucumber salad, but their aubergine dip was excellent.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
Thank HappyTraveller186406
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sheridan, Oregon
Level Contributor
18 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Best Food in Town and Lela is great”
Reviewed 15 May 2014

The food was wonderful and so different. We went back the next night it was so delicious. We are vegetarian so we thought it might be difficult but they have a large menu, printed on the chalk board outside which means everything is fresh. The view outside is spectacular. This is a very popular restaurant so we went early.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
Thank OrWildf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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