My top gluten free friendly restaurants in Rhodes


This summer I was lucky enough to head back to what I otherwise class as my second home, the island of Rhodes. If I have counted correctly, it was my sixth time back to this beautiful island situated in the Aegean Sea and I couldn’t have been happier to be back.

As you may well know from reading my other posts, Greece is my absolute favourite place on Earth. I have spent many happy holidays here throughout my childhood and it seems to me to be the one place that never changes. Even if the year is 2070 and technology has moved on heaps and bounds, I’m sure that if you visit a tiny Greek village in the mountains called Siana, the men will still be sat around a table drinking Ouzo or Souma and playing backgammon. Not to mention the crystal blue waters and beautiful coast lines have, in my experience, been enough to make even the most far flung of travellers fall in love with Rhodes and the lifestyle.

Thankfully for me, the freshly prepared meat, fish and vegetable dishes that are typical of Greek cuisine has meant that I have never had much of a problem when eating out in any area of Greece. However, I do have a few favourite restaurants that I have gone back to time again when staying in Rhodes and also a few newly discovered ones that I would like to recommend as they are real winners for anyone who adores food as much as me.

Hellas Restaurant, Pefkos

Hellas restaurant is located at the bottom of the Pefkos strip and offers traditional Greek dishes with a traditional, more courdon bleu spin. Sadly for me, I only got around to dining at Hellas on the last night of my holiday, but boy was I glad that I hadn’t missed out on this little gem of a restaurant.

The thing that stood out for me on the menu was the fact that they offered gluten free. In all my years of visiting the Greek islands I have never actually come across a restaurant that advertised this. As it happens, the menu only specified that they could do gluten free pasta, but after a conversation with the very helpful waiter, a few minutes later the chef came out and asked me what I would really like off the menu, to which I said ‘calamari.’ As you can imagine, although I absolutely love calamari the fact that it is cooked in breadcrumbs or wheat flour means that it is always off-limits for me, so you can imagine my joy when a big plate of gluten free battered squid arrived at my table.

The lamb dish was just as delicious and although I was absolutely stuffed to the brim, I was so impressed by the quality of the food that I finished every single mouthful. To sum it all up, if you’re ever in Pefkos you have to check this place out, if only for the gluten free calamari that can be cooked on special request.



Artemis Garden, Pefkos

Artemis is set in a beautiful garden restaurant in the middle of Pefkos village and it’s a lovely little place to settle in for the night with its colourful tree lanterns that glisten as the night sets in. The menu here was extensive, so much so, that I really couldn’t decide on what to order. In the end I opted for Gigantes Plaki (giant butterbeans in a tomato sauce) and a fillet of seabass.

The Gigantes Plaki was wholesome and tasted much like the traditional dish that I have had at many a tavern, although the seabass was the complete opposite and came out looking like it had gone through a laboratory before being served, as it was accompanied by a lemon foam with two very colourful sauces on the side. If you’re looking to take yourself away from traditional Greek cooking for a night and to try something a little more modern and experimental then I would definitely recommend Artemis.



Village House, Lindos

When in Lindos it can be difficult to find a nice restaurant that is affordable but still has great views over the acropolis. In the past I had frequented the same rooftop restaurant with my family, but over the years it had gone downhill while still being overpriced for what you get, so I was really pleased when I discovered the Village House whilst mooching around the cobbled streets.

A great sign when sitting at the table was that everyone that was coming through the door knew the waiters. For me I know that a restaurant must serve great food when people come back so many times that they know the staff well. The menu is very traditional and they change their specials menu each day – I opted for the octopus which was really tender and the daily special of pork with courgettes and carrots with roasted potatoes and cooked in a delicious apple sauce. Washed down with a nice glass of red, I had a fantastic night gazing out at the white washed Lindian houses under the stars.



Valentina’s, Lardos

This must have been my third or fourth time back to Valentina’s in the village of Lardos. We were told years ago to go to this restaurant as it is a favourite with the locals and even the taxi driver that ferried me around for some of my holiday told me that he often ate there with his family. You know you’re on to a good place when the locals quote it as being a personal favourite. The great thing about Lardos is that every couple of weeks during the summer they host festivals whereby Greek dancers and musicians celebrate late into the night. It’s definitely worth a visit if only to immerse yourself in a bit of Greek culture.

Valentina’s again prides itself on serving up local cuisine that looks and tastes like it has just been pulled straight from the oven without much fuss. I opted for mussels with crispy bacon for starters followed by a delicious pork dish served with potatoes, veg and a lovely, delicate gravy which soaked up the meat well. I really like Valentina’s because they don’t go overboard with the presentation like some restaurants do, they just serve great, home cooked food that will satisfy your tastebuds.



Flyer’s Café, Pefkos

Why have I gone back to Pefkos I hear you ask? Simply because I saved the best until last. Flyer’s Café is owned by my good friend Nikos who we actually met on our first visit to the island back in the early noughties. His hospitality and generosity means that most people who visit his café leave as friends and if you mention his name in and around Pefkos and Lindos, most people know him due to the fact that he flies a bright orange plane and his mother lives in the oldest house in Lindos, which happens to be a major tourist attraction. Over the years Nikos has taken us out for meals to sample local dishes and even hosted my cousin’s wedding reception in 2013 – Nikos’ mom made the best slow cooked lamb dish that I have ever tasted in my life!

Flyer’s has a wonderful selection of traditional Greek dishes such as stuffed vine leaves, moussaka, and souvlaki, as well as more traditional village specialities such as locally caught octopus and a Lindos salad which incorporates walnuts and figs with honey on a bed of salad. If you check out both the website and the menu then you will see a beautiful photo that my Dad took of Nikos’ plane taking off at sunset. I have been up in the plane a couple of times which was an amazing experience and he does offer rides up over Lindos and Pefkos if the weather is okay. Sitting at Flyer’s with a cold beverage in hand and a little Mezze overlooking the glittering ocean, I can most certainly say that you will feel like you’ve actually entered paradise.



Greek inspired lamb breast in a red wine sauce with rosemary and garlic potatoes


Without question, the Greeks know how to cook a good lamb dish. For my cousins wedding on the island of Rhodes in 2013, my good friend Nikos’ mamma cooked us up what must have been the best part of a whole lamb to celebrate the occasion. It had been slow cooked (even by Greek estimations it was slooow) for three whole days before being carefully transported to Flyers beach bar for all the guests to devour. Wow, the meat simply slid off the bone and without a doubt, I think I would rate it as the best food I have ever tasted in my whole entire life – and for a food lover such as myself that is quite a statement.

The thing that was so amazing about mamma’s dish, is that there were so few ingredients incorporated. Of course, I cannot tell you the recipe as I know full well that they don’t go outside of the family and I would have to be killed if I ever got hold of it. However, I do know that slow cooking makes even the cheapest cuts of meat taste divine, and that I would put my bets on the fact that mamma may have sneaked a little dribble of the old red wine in the casserole dish – which it has to mentioned was also cooked in the stone oven in the oldest house in the whole of Lindos.

This dish was made in my, shall we say, fairly newer electric oven, and slow cooked for nearly three and a half hours on a very low heat to soak up all of the juices and flavours of the Mediterranean. I served the meat alongside roasted garlic and rosemary potatoes, drizzled in the delicious Greek olive oil that I only ever get out for special dishes, as well as minted rice as I found this to be a very popular side dish in many tavernas.

Best part of all is, the olive oil and oregano had travelled all the way from Siana in the Rhodian mountains where Nikos’ Uncle George lives. George of course speaks not a word of English, but can remember my name as being Sophia and is generally in hysterics at everything going on as we try to communicate. If you ever visit Siana, George will no doubt be sat outside the little café playing backgammon and sipping on the lethal souma – whatever you do don’t tackle the mountainous roads back home after being persuaded to down a few with the Greeks. Yammas!


  • Lamb breast
  • 1 red pepper
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp garlic granules
  • 1 gluten free chicken stock cube
  • 300 ml red wine
  • Salt and pepper
  • New potatoes
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Rosemary
  • Fresh mint chopped
  • Rice (optional) sprinkled with mint and drizzled with olive oil from potato tray.
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius.
  2. Heat some sunflower oil in a large frying pan and brown the lamb joint. Transfer to a casserole dish.
  3. Chop the red pepper and onion into chunks and transfer to a mixing bowl. Sprinkle over the dried oregano, garlic granules and the crumbled stock cube.
  4. Pour over the red wine, chopped tomatoes and season with salt and pepper before pouring over the lamb breast
  5. Cut the lemons in half and add them to the lamb and cook in the oven for around 3 and half hours until tender.
  6. Cut the new potatoes in half and bring to the boil for a couple of minutes.
  7. Drain the water and add the grated garlic clove, sprinkle with rosemary and drizzle with olive oil before giving them a good shake.
  8. Transfer the potatoes to the oven to cook for around half an hour until golden and crispy.
  9. If making rice, add some chopped, fresh mint at the end and drizzle the olive oil from the potato tray over the top to produce a succulent and refreshing side dish.

It’s all Greek to me

Without a doubt, one of the best meals I have ever been served was in Rhodes. I have been holidaying with my family on the Greek island for years and in 2013, my cousin and her husband renewed their vows at Dimitrios Chapel in Lindos – a picturesque medieval village sitting below an Acropolis.

The wedding reception was hosted by a good friend of ours called Nikos, who runs a beach café named Flyers in the nearby village of Pefkos. His Mama had offered to cook a local speciality for us, a lamb dish which had been slow cooking for a whole 24 hours before finally being served to the hungry wedding guests. As you can imagine, Greek mamas sure know how to cook and the lamb was out of this world.

Unlike Britain, lamb is one of the most used dishes in Greek cooking due to its affordability and I ate a large amount of it whilst out there. But the thing that has really impressed me over the years is how easy it is to safely eat in Greece without having to worry about the various, unnecessary ingredients which have been sneaked into a meal.

Greek cooking is simplicity at its best. They use few ingredients but cook with passion and care, never over-complicating a dish when they don’t need to. I didn’t fear finding wheat or milk based products on my plate when the menu stated what was in the dish and I have never been allowed so much choice off a menu – I truly felt like a ‘normal eater’ again. My good friend Nikos even went as far as to buy me Goats milk to keep at his café so I could indulge in a milkshake when I stopped by – you cannot fault the Greeks for their hospitality.

One thing that Greek cuisine has taught me, is that we can all eat well on healthy, nutritious produce without having to spend a fortune, and without having to take a master class cookery course. I believe that the hospitality industry could learn a great deal from Mediterranean countries when it comes to catering for coeliacs and allergy sufferers – the fact that in many Greek restaurants I didn’t have to even ask what was in a dish before ordering was a real treat, knowing that the chefs wouldn’t slip in an ‘evil’ ingredient that really didn’t need to be there in the first place.

Honey from the village of Siana in the Greek mountains
Honey from the village of Siana in the Greek mountains