The island’s cuisine is reason enough to visit beautiful Leros—kolokithopitakia (small pies made with pumpkin), cauliflower roasted with tomatoes and onions (served alone or with potatoes or as a side-dish to chops or beef burgers), oven-cooked okra, patatokeftedes (potato patties), and revithokeftedes (fried chickpea balls).
But dishes that exceed expectations feature fish or seafood: grilled octopus, octopus stewed in wine, small whitebait pies, calamari (grilled, fried, or stuffed), mussels saganaki, fish baked with tomatoes and onions or marinated in rosemary, shrimp with sauce, stewed cuttlefish, and a divine thick stew made with several different types of fish.
Meat also features in local dishes. Goat in lemon sauce, cabbage rolls filled with minced beef, marinated livers, are just some. There are also a number of local cheeses to be sampled like Leros mizithra as well as hand-rolled pasta.
Sweets round off the gastronomic tours: spoon sweets, kserotigana (fried dough strips drizzled with honey, bougakia traditionally served at weddings, amygdalota (marzipan biscuits dredged in confectioner’s sugar), walnut cake, pancakes with raisins, and almond cordial (soumada), a traditional refreshment served at weddings but also at all of the island’s patisseries. The list closes with gavafes, a citrus-flavored type of guava grown only on Leros.