When your car rental company informs you that access to the remote coastal settlement of Empourios is not permitted, then you definitely know there’s something worth exploring down there. And indeed, the traditional and very simplistic taverna of Empourios right on the water is a hidden gem for those in the know.
Located in the northwest side of Milos, just opposite the bay from Adamas, Empourios is a small fishing village with not much to see around. Having explored the remote and isolated coves of Triades beach, we took a turn from the main road and followed the sign to Empourios, a good 15min drive on rough dirt road. What we didn’t know (and learned the next time we visited… or soon after the end of our first lunch) was the the dirt road through Agia Marina church is a bit better and faster if you’re visiting from the north of the island. Regardless what road we took, any time we visited we were astounded by the experience at Empourios!
The place is very basic with random plastic chairs and tableclothes all around built next to a flour mill that dates back to the 1850s. Mr Yiannis took over from his father in 1998 and has been coming to work all the way from Plaka where he lives with his family, every single day -rain or shine- all year round. A former truck driver and a father of two daughters, Mr Yiannis loves the Melian land and harvests quite a bit of a vegetable crop with homegrown potatoes, zucchini and more. They also make their own feta cheese – you should definitely try with their Greek salad!
Probably the best pittarakia (cheese pie) that Milos has to offer, crunchy indeed but tender enough! Both the tomato and zucchini fritters are tasty and their aubergine spread is epic! As for mains, if you visit on a Sunday after 14:30, you’ll get to enjoy their signature treat – oven-baked goat stew. It’s sometimes also featured on Saturdays (during the busy weeks of summer) and it is quite the experience. If you’re there on a weekday, then you can opt for the hare stew in tomato sauce and the normal goat stew in lemon sauce.
What tops them all though is their signature dessert (pictured below), to empouriano! Mind you I’m a chocolate lover but this one has definitely won me over. Made from a mystery cream and moist galettes and sprinkled with brown sugar and caramelized almond, it’s a spoonful from heaven! No questions asked, just order it straight up.