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“Loved it!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Kastella

Kastella
Sofokli Venizelou 7 | Venetian Harbor, Heraklion, Crete 71202, Greece
+30 2810 300779
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Ranked #2 of 236 Restaurants in Heraklion
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Price range: $11 - $17
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Scenic view
Dining options: Breakfast, Delivery, Late Night, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Sun Prairie, Wisconsin
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Loved it!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2014

Went here with my husband and two other couples. We ate at one of the tables looking over the ocean. It was a truly beautiful view. The service was fantastic and food was good. We ate here for lunch and asked our server for a recommendation for dinner. He actually called a friend who actually opened his restaurant for us. AMAZING!

  • Visited July 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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212 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    140
    53
    14
    3
    2
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Greek first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Basking Ridge, New Jersey
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“Food is not good”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2014

Sorry , we were disappointed with the food. Tripadvisor gave such a good review but no luck on our side.
Seafood was fresh. Service was very good. View was good despite loud street with traffic.Price was inexpensive.
But the main thing for me in the restaurant is a taste of food. In 2 weeks on Greek islands this was the worst chef. Food was just mediocre. Maybe we were not lucky and somebody replaced chef this night....

  • Visited July 2014
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Warsaw, Poland
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Places created with passion - Kastella.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2014

I have spent two weeks in Crete with my 13-year-old son, we lived in Stalis. With a focus on seafood, after a two days restaurant reconnaissance along the sea cost between Elounda and Heraklion we arrived in Kastella. After that driving from Stalis to Heraklion for “the Kastella dinner” became our day-to-day trip, the only constant point in our holiday pattern. Let it add to the value of my recommendation.

If you like “simple” courses, allowing you to appreciate the quality of food and the skills of cook - you`ll be satisfied. The menu is strongly "seafood/fish" profiled, just as one can expect from a restaurant localized close to Koules fort in the old Venetian harbour. You can seat at a table next to the sea, enjoy the view and feel the heartbeat of the city. Slow rhythm of the sea on one side of yours and bustling street on the other create a contrast sharpening your senses for what is yet to come.

The fisherman sitting every day at a small table inside the taverna, eating, drinking and smoking - looking just as you imagine a Greek fisherman, makes a sort of natural connection between the food on your plate and the sea on your sight.

The food is fantastic. We`ve tried every seafood menu point, the most of the fish list and some other traditional courses (delicate mousakas, dainty dolmadakia or just lazy boiled vegetables). Squids in oil and lemon, fried shrimps, boiled mussels and snails, small gavros and sardines are served separately as starters so you can easily design your own feast. I can honestly recommend them all. You can also order “the grand” seafood risotto – a large choice of sea creatures served on spicy rice – that is a one-plate feast. You mustn`t forget about the wine – order the rose, it`s really exceptional.

A few courses however went even further beyond our expectations.
No 1: grilled octopus – just perfect. Crispy top boosts the taste of vinegar – the first note you taste before you reach the elegant, white meat inside. Amazing harmony adequate for a sea predator. Try it with the Kastella salad to finish the taste with the parmesan counterpoint. We ordered octopus in Kastella almost every day and every time the harmony was there. Out of pure curiosity and in order to meet the cognitive reliability;-) we`ve tried octopus also in other restaurants and there was always something missing. It appears to be so easy to become an octopomaniac.
Still No 1 – this time in plural – fish. The waiter will tell you what is the offer of a day according to the results of the last catch. We tried grilled tsipoura (gilt-head bream) and lavraki (seabass) – both excellent. You can also make a special order for the night catch and eat your fish the next day – ask for fagri, it`s one of a kind, baked with herbs will meet expectations of the most demanding fish-eaters. As someone has already written in one of the Kastella reviews, it seemed to him that the fish he had there was the best in his life. I cannot agree more, although it is convincing only when you say it just once. What to say when for seven fish ordered during/over 11 days all seven were “the best in your life”? The best (oh no, again) therapy after coming back home, to the country of herring, is to write a review.

I could describe service in Kastella with only one word – smooth. It is a good example of how one can perform his tasks so smoothly that you completely loose the appreciation for how difficult it really is. What you`ll catch is only the unconstrained hospitality and non invasive informality.

Leaving Kastella you may wonder why you feel so good, what makes you feel like coming back again, which is of course more complexed than just “having eaten well”, then you realize the difference between “just service” and hospitality, and at the time you know that you have not been just served - you have been received. Places like Kastella slip out of the review/opinion pattern in which there is a place only for food and service. A place like this makes you see how the quality of the food and service results from the passion and devotion to every single task. To find and experience places created with passion is one of the best things you can expect - not only from your holidays. Go and find it your own way.

… and at the end there is always something deliciously sweet, fruity or alcoholic – on the house.

  • Visited July 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Authentic dishes, warm atmosphere!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2014

Having been to Kastella on our last summer we couldn't miss it!! We had our dinner there 3 times totally and tried different dishes. The ones that made us to go back and other as well. Do not miss the stew octopus dish and the mussels although all the dishes we tried had special pleasant tastes. Don't hesitate to ask for the recommendation of the waiters, they are very helpful and will make the experience even better, specially Kosta, the bald guy with the earing. Put Kastella in your list and it will stay there positively. Not to forget! They offer dessert which is gorgeous and of course RAKI!! Eviva!!

  • Visited June 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Budapest
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Fresh and tasty seafood”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2014

I recommend this restaurant for seafood, as it is fresh and excellently prepared. My partner and I ate grilled octopus and cuttlefish as well as boiled mussles, and everything was very tasty and fresh. I think it is good value for money as well. Everything is as it should be :-)

  • Visited July 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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