Andreas Zagakos' restaurant - mezedopoleio
The beach at Kalamata is one of the most beautiful in Greece. It stretches for 2 kilometres and besides taking a wonderful walk at the water’s edge, you can swim, jog, ride a bike or have a romantic stroll in the evening.
In about the middle of the beach, just above the water line, is Andreas Zagakos’ mezedopoleio (nibbles restaurant) called, appropriately Sto Kyma or ‘At The Wave’. Seated a mere breath away from the sea, you can have your drink, eat marvellous mezedes (little dishes), enjoy your ouzo or your tsipouro and, in summer, have a dip as well.
‘Most of our customers are friends, locals,’ says Andreas, an open, generous man who makes you like him the moment you meet him. ‘Of course, in summer we also get foreigners who really appreciate our beautiful city. And I appreciate it too so by offering this shop to my customers I have the additional satisfaction of enjoying the place myself’.
Andreas loves his city and he shows it in his actions. For the past three years, he has succeeded, along with his friend, Kostas Andrianopoulos, in turning their idea for a Kalamata School for Tourism into a reality.
At Sto Kyma, in the winter quarters, on the other side of the road, two large shelves full of books reveal his love of literature and reading. Here in winter, book presentations are held and many notable writers have come to speak to the people of Kalamata about their works.
The dishes that we shared, while chatting with Andreas, were all delicious and the portions more than filling, especially his platters of meats and cheeses.
Some of the tastiest sounding dishes we noted were codfish tsiladia (fried and then cooked with fresh tomato, onions and currants), local salad (with boiled potatoes, oranges, cured pork and crunchy lalangia, Kalamata’s looped version of breadsticks), green salad with rocket and lettuce sprinkled with grated sfela cheese.