So, you’re on the hunt for the best breakfast Zakynthos has to offer? You’ve come to the right place. Whether you’ve had a long night on the tiles down in Laganas, the island’s party hub, or a big day’s exploration up the rugged west coast to Shipwreck Beach, this guide should have somewhere with a suitably filling morning meal.
It ranges from the resort strips of the south and southeast shorelines to the heart of charming Zante Town to the more remote reaches of the mountains and the fishing towns up north. The aim? To seek out the best breakfast Zakynthos can muster, be it a hearty full English fry up or a tasty bout of Greek coffee and pastry.
We’ve gone for nine picks in all. That means you’ll get a number of options near to the soft-sanded coast between Keri and Kalamaki (where most people go), but also more far-flung brunch establishments on the roads leading to the boat jetties of Porto Limnionas and Porto Schiza (great for the day trippers).
Elena’s Bakery & Cafe Zakynthos
No list of the top places to go in search of the best breakfast Zakynthos can offer could possibly miss out on Elena’s Bakery & Cafe Zakynthos. It’s a veritable staple of the morning routine in Zante Town. Locals buzz in and out to pick up their usual pastries and strong coffees, sweet cakes and biscuits. It’s long been a presence near the port, tucked into the corner of Voulgareos street just by where the ferries come in.
The produce is all homemade and follows traditional Greek recipes. Expect a medley of buttery dough packets filled with feta and spinach, along with melted cheese slices and rustic and Ionian breads. Those with a morning sweet tooth might prefer the array of donuts and scones. There are also filled baguettes if you’re looking for a take-away brunch before continuing your adventure into the Zakynthos backcountry just after hopping off the boat.
The prices at Elena’s are all very reasonable. You’re looking at €1,50 for an espresso and €1,80 for a cappuccino. Slices of pizza are also €2 a pop, and most of the pastries are less than that. Basically, it’s a budget spot with stacks of local character.
Madisons Kitchen Cafe Bar
Sat plum on the waterfront of Zakynthos Town, Madisons Kitchen Cafe Bar is an all-day eatery with a twist of real creativity to it. It opens at 8am to serve up the first breakfast plates. They run the gamut from sweet sponge cakes topped with strawberries and chocolate to savory eggs benedict on fluffy muffins with avocado and salad.
There’s excellent coffee to match. In fact, it’s up there with the best on the island. Hand-roasted beans of Arabica only ensure the quality and the bar tenders double as trained baristas to give a full-bodied espresso on demand.
You can pick between inside and terrace seating. The former is in a stylish dining room done out with bamboo and dangling plants, finished with a flurry of Art Deco courtesy of the low-hanging lights and Scandi-cool seats. When it comes to the al fresco space, it’s all open and breezy, with front-row views of the bobbing yachts in Zante harbor.
Relax Restaurant is one of the go-to dining spots in the resort of Alykes Beach. It’s about 18km north of the island’s main port, sat a stone’s throw back from where the turquoise Ionian Sea laps against the pebbles. With an opening time of 8am, you can easily drop in before or after that early-hours dip.
Most people turn up later for the famous Greek lamb shanks, the gyros, and the Zakynthian beef stew – the cooks are known for their hearty local cooking. However, the earlier menu lets you enjoy a range of milkshakes, pancakes, and strong coffees, and there are healthy salad options if you’re watching the calorie intake.
After dining at Relax Restaurant, be sure to explore the coastline as it bends north and south from the small town. That’s where you’ll find bays like Paralia Alikanas, with its steep sands and waves, and the even-more-stunning Xigia Sulfur Beach, a place to bathe in volcano-warmed waters filled with minerals below fluted cliffs.
When the hangover sets in post-Laganas party night and nothing will do but a proper full English fry up, Flocas Café comes to the rescue. You’ll find the joint a few steps over the road from the seafront of Argasi town on the southeastern side of Zante. It’s within striking distance of the main 18-30s resort – about 15 minutes in a taxi should do it.
Casual, friendly dining is the name of the game here. There’s no fancy interior. You don’t get OTT service or frilly menus. It’s more like a greasy spoon a la Old Blighty. A few crude tables spill out onto the sidewalks between a petrol station and buzzy bars. That’s where you’ll sit and fill up on sprawling platters of baked beans, crispy bacon, sausages, and fried eggs.
Flocas is much more than just a morning food stop, though. There’s an onsite tour office and a car rental service, while the whole place gets positively bumping towards the evening hours. Head down around sunset time to join the regulars clinking pints of Fix, a favorite Greek beer.
Buca Beach Lounge Bar
Buca Beach Lounge Bar marks itself out with taupe-tinted signs and whitewashed tables. Look for them on the beach of charming Alykes, a sand-fringed resort town on the north-east coast of the island. It’s all pretty hard to miss – the seating spills out of the dining area and right down to the shore, where thatched umbrellas and sunbeds take over (don’t worry, you can shift to those once breakfast is done and dusted!).
The menu at this sleek joint is snack heavy. Brunches and breakfasts usually consist of waffles with ice cream toppings, small pastries, or salads finished with halloumi and olives. There’s also a wide array of fruit smoothies that make use of the citrus orchards and bounty of Zakynthos Island itself.
Buca Beach Lounge Bar doesn’t open until 10am. However, it’s just off the main coast road leading northwards from Zakynthos Town. That means it’s a potential breakfast option for those making for the strange volcanic springs of Xigia Sulfur Beach and the wild north-eastern coastline that lies beyond.
JP’s Bar and Food
JP’s Bar and Food is precisely the sort of all-welcome, international eatery that you’d expect of Zakynthos’s most buzzy resort town. It sits right on Laganas’s Main Road, which is also known, simply, as The Strip for its abundance of thumping clubs and cocktail bars. Don’t worry, though, they don’t get going until much later. For now, it’s breakfast only…
For that morning meal, JP’s offers an array of hangover-curing British fry ups, along with cornflakes, cereals, Greek salads, panini breads, and sweet cakes. There’s also an all-new vegan option menu for 2021.
The setting is casual and easy going. A sun-bathed terrace awaits out front with a couple of tables. Inside, there’s a long bar and some nook seating. Come back at evening time and you’ll usually find JP’s swinging with pre-drinkers on a mission down the Laganas Strip. They also show football and rugby when it’s on.
Grill My Day Vithoulka
With an opening time of 7am, Grill My Day Vithoulka is arguably the best breakfast Zakynthos can offer to the early risers. It’s also perfect for those heading westwards to the iconic sights of Shipwreck Bay before the crowds go, as it sits in the village of Kiliomenos, on the main road leading to Porto Limnionas and the viewpoints.
The menu is riddled with both Greek and general European options. Start with an espresso or cappuccino backed up by a fresh fruit juice and then move on to the grub. That runs the gamut from light omelets to meatballs and chips, and even includes some very tasty Ionian cucumber salads topped with local feta cheese.
Grill My Day Vithoulka has a charming location on the street in the heart of the village. There’s a very big outdoor area with two halves to it. One is perfect for people watching. The other, on a second-floor terrace, gazes across the rolling hills in the middle of Zakynthos Island, with red-tiled roofs and mountain peaks for a backdrop.
Kanela Traditional Greek Products & Café
As the name implies, Kanela Traditional Greek Products & Café is all about sampling the culinary delights of this southerly corner of Europe. It’s another of the breakfast options on the main road running through Alykes town. Set within earshot of the waves, the front entrance opens onto the sidewalks about 50 meters from the very center of the resort. AKA – it’s easy to get to on foot if you’re staying here.
Forget the huge fry ups you get elsewhere, this one’s all about showcasing local flavors. That means a medley of feta-topped rye breads, mezze picking boards, green salads, and grilled white cheeses. That all comes backed up by what we’d say is arguably the finest coffee on the whole of Zante. You can have it espresso, as a French press, or expertly poured by the in-house baristas (check that latte art!).
Kanela also excels on the design front. Rattan and weave are the order of the day, while the painted tabletops lend a certain boho-chic feel to the whole place. When it’s raining, there are board games on standby. When it’s not, consider sticking around to sample one of the fantastic cocktails on the open terrace.
Botega Café Museum
You’ll have to venture up into the herb-scented hills in the heart of Zakynthos to find Botega Café Museum. It’s in the small village of Orthonies, surrounded by a land of green pine woods that roll down chiseled ridges to ancient olive farms. It’s arguably the best breakfast Zakynthos has for travelers who crave a diversion off the beaten path.
The food is all hand-cooked on the premises. It’s simple stuff, but hearty and filling and oozes traditional charm. You’ll get slices of sweet Greek cake, gritty Greek coffees with a real caffeine punch, and lemon tarts that get their zest from fruits picked nearby. Oh – try the orange juice. Former patrons say it’s the best on the island.
Botega is much more than just a café, though. There’s also an on-site museum that chronicles the local history of this Ionian Island. You’ll get to see old farming tools and Zakynthian costume, and even learn the past of the family that own the joint.