“The Garden of Arkoudena (Ο κήπος της αρκουδαίνας) is not just a tavern or a restaurant, but a vibrant and unique place that proudly boasts staying open 24 hours. I’m not entirely sure how to categorize it, but I do know that it is one of the best eateries I visited during Season Two of Savor Greece.
When my good friends Anna-Maria and Manoli took me there, I was completely unprepared for the extraordinary experience that awaited me. Regrettably, I had left my video recorder behind and couldn’t capture the essence of the place adequately.
Owned by a gentleman named George Vranas, The Garden of Arkoudena is located in the suburb of Episkopi, situated 20 kilometers before Rethymno when traveling from Chania. The moment you arrive, you can sense there’s something special about this place. It is adorned with vibrant green bushes, trees, and beautiful flowers, creating an inviting atmosphere.
As you step inside, you’ll encounter peacocks roaming between the tables, cats, chickens, and even horses peering over the side wall of the restaurant. The chairs and tables come in various colors and are thoughtfully arranged beneath the shade of the trees.
George personally takes all the food orders, occasionally even making suggestions for you. The place is abuzz with activity, every table occupied, and people radiating happiness. Soon enough, the kitchen starts producing delicious food, served on plates as colorful as the surroundings. The flavors of the food are infused with love, and you can feel the warmth and affection permeating the air.
Although George was incredibly busy, I wished he had more time to talk to us. Nevertheless, it was evident that he runs the place with tremendous love and care, as The Garden of Arkoudena has already been in operation for 18 years.
I highly recommend making a note to visit “The Garden of Arkoudena” the next time you find yourself in Episkopi. Don’t forget to pass on greetings from The Greek Chef! You can also check out the list of all episodes from
Season One here,
and Season Two here.”