It's time to let you in on one of the best kept dining secrets on Paros -- the Votsalakia Taverna!! This charming restaurant stands alone at the end of Paralia Bay in Aliki, tucked away from the crowded tourist areas, yet amazingly only two minutes from the central harbor.
Nestled quietly behind a column of ancient pine trees, it is often unnoticed by visitors to its beautiful beach, but what a treat they are missing! This taverna is spacious and stays refreshingly cool even on the hottest days thanks to the lacy screen of pine branches, continuous ocean breezes, and the delicate sound of trickling water from courtyard fountain, which invariably lures the children away from the swings in the play area.
Maria and Kostas Poulios moved to Aliki from Marpissa three years ago and assumed ownership of Votsalakia, engaging the services of Babis, their expert chef, who prepares some of the finest traditional Greek dishes I have ever tasted: generous portions (just like your mother used to give you), created from local meats and vegetables in season, together with a wide selection of plump fresh seafood, all superbly seasoned and cooked to perfection (at incredibly low prices). Combine them with a congenial atmosphere and friendly service, and top them off with a glass or two of Kosta's home-made wine, and you've "hit the dining jackpot".
But Babis truly excels on Saturday nights when the menu features his specialty and everybody's favorite: ROAST SUCKLING PIG cooked on a spit (get there early if you don't want to miss that fresh roasted, mouth-watering pork and crispy crackling!!). Votsalakia is open daily from May 20 to September 20, but, more importantly for permanent residents, it is open every Saturday night and Sunday lunchtime through the winter in a large newly-built annex with a cosy fireplace.
Special events planned throughout the off-season will be noted on Foreigner's calendar page each month. If you come to Votsalakia once, I guarantee you'll keep coming back -- after all, excellent food, cheerful service, tranquil surroundings with an uninterrupted sea view and no traffic noise, all at affordable prices, are just too good to pass up.