Taverna Eleven, Stavromenos
A firm family favourite is a taverna outside Stavromenos. It is a little hard to find, but worth the effort. Established in 1987, Taverna Eleven is a family run restaurant by Maria and Costas and their son Giorgios. Their hospitality is always warm and welcoming.
The taverna provides delicious, warm, comforting traditional food cooked on the premises by Maria. The menu varies from moussaka, kleftiko (lamb cooked slowly in a tomato sauce), yemista (stuffed tomatoes with lamb mince) gigantes plaki (beans cooked slowly in tomato sauce) and of course calamari (squid) and chips – something my children could not live without.
The beach by the taverna is absolutely perfect. The tables and chairs sit on a veranda overlooking a calm and peaceful area where the children can play safely. The beach gently slopes and turns from sand to pebbles and sometimes wonderful and interesting objects are washed up by the tide. My boys spend hours combing the beach for different coloured pebbles and shells, some still containing the local wildlife! Beach shoes are recommended because there are fish and sea anemones amoungst the pebbles under the water, but slap on a pair od goggles and the entertainment lasts for hours, giving you the perfect opportunity to watch them from the veranda, sipping ouzo or the local retsina.
Taverna can be found by driving down the old Rethymon-Heraklion road (which runs parallel to the new road). It is outside Stavromenos, with the coast on your left.