The early morning light was enough to bathe the alleys in a soft glow the color of a seashell’s inner hollow, found on the shores nearby. Tucked away amongst Nafplio’s Old Town stands a small cafe bursting with big flavor: Kalimera. The English word for “good morning,” Kalimera serves traditional breakfast with mouthwatering, local products as the perfect start to your day. The menu boasts fresh omelettes, local meats and cheeses, handmade jam, and Greek coffee.
Although breakfast in Greece varies depending on geography and region, Greek coffee is a standard! Ellinikos Kafes (Greek coffee), originating in Turkey during the Ottoman Empire, is a jolt of life straight to one’s soul. I ordered my coffee metrio, dancing in the middle of sweet and bitter, and it arrived in a Briki—a small, steal coffee pot with a long handle. These little pots are the loving staple to every Greek household, whether native, or generations removed. They clutter my home in Boston, my father’s childhood home outside the city of Karpenisi, and my relatives’ houses stretching from various parts of the U.S., to quaint apartments in the streets of Athens.
The dark, purple sweetness of the Vissino Glyko, cherry preserves, was the perfect companion to my strong coffee, as my eyes hungrily scanned the menu until I saw one of my favorites: Kayiannas. Kayiannas are traditional scrambled eggs from Peloponnese, and a childhood favorite. They are also called Strapatsada. Using ripe tomatoes, garlic, mint or oregano, and feta cheese, the beauty is in the simplicity of the ingredients—fresh and light, bursting with the flavors of the earth. The tomatoes are grated until only the pulp remains and then simmered in virgin olive oil, where the eggs are then folded into the sweetness of the tomato. My eggs arrived topped with fragrant oregano leaves and olives, and a slice of crusty, fresh bread.
I took a blissful bite and sat in the peaceful, early morning silence. Kalimera’s quaint tables covered in produce from Greek soil and prepared with care, beckon the day to come.
Kalimera Cafe: Greek Traditional Breakfast
Plapouta 1, Nafplio
+30 2752 029061