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“Can't beat the location, owner should be less arrogant” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Lela's Taverna Restaurant

Lela's Taverna Restaurant
seafront, Kardamili, Greece
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Ranked #12 of 18 Restaurants in Kardamili
Cuisines: Greek
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations, Late Night
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".
Tucson, Arizona
Top Contributor
620 reviews 620 reviews
212 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 131 cities Reviews in 131 cities
400 helpful votes 400 helpful votes
“Can't beat the location, owner should be less arrogant”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2014

Despite the nice reviews we almost didn't make it because when we arrived to book in person for later, the owner looked at us weirdly and said to call him!!! Like you trust more a phone call then a person coming in person?! Then I saw on TA that we were not the first people to be set a bit back by this attitude.
Staff doesn't speak English well enough to explain the dishes, we needed the owner to do this.
Lela has great vegetarian options so we decided to go anyway, were better welcome then so decided to stay and we ate well but our best meal was at the Kastro just outside the village.
We arrived at 7pm so there were still perfect tables to watch the sunset.

  • Visited July 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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83 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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    3
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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
Athens
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“The rudest restaurant owner in Europe.”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2014 via mobile

The owner of Lela's is a total disgrace for Greek hospitality.he takes advantage of the good location of his restaurant and he is extremely rude to his costomers. We asked him politely whether we could sit in a certain table that we just saw the people siting there asking for the check and he answered: "I will be the judge of that and only if I say so you will sit there" we told him that this is why we asked him in the first place and that he could respond in a more polite way and he answered that "you will not tell me how to do my job"!!!!... Need I say more? The man is in a primitive stage. STAY AWAY

  • Visited June 2014
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wales
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
“The most perfect little place in beautiful Kardamili!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 29, 2014

My husband and I fell in love with this wonderful little taverna in one of the most beautiful spots to watch the sunset. With wooden tables and chairs right next to the sea and the menu on a blackboard containing different daily dishes, this taverna is beautifully Greek in every way!

We visited Lela's twice and on both occasions we had a fantastic evening; I went for the beef stifado on my first visit which was superb and the prawns in feta and tomato on my second visit was one of the nicest dishes I had all holiday.

A beautiful little taverna that is a must when visiting Kardamili!

  • 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Exeter
Top Contributor
91 reviews 91 reviews
44 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 53 cities Reviews in 53 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
“A lovely place to eat”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 20, 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
    • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
150 reviews 150 reviews
78 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 56 cities Reviews in 56 cities
94 helpful votes 94 helpful votes
“Up to Expectations”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 9, 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 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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