I could not imagine that someone visits Crete and leaving the island without to taste its outstanding cuisine.
Freshly ground coffee. Sweet cinnamon. Unmistakable oregano. The magical aromas of Greece are some of the strongest sunny memories you’ll collect.
Because in my opinion, it’s the food you eat that you remember in years to come: that Greek coffee you sipped in the square of a Cretan village, the tasty and juicy "gemista" you sampled at that family restaurant with the shaky chair, the softest and delicious Greek yogourt with the local thyme honey.
What do locals eat in restaurants in Crete, Greece?
The best restaurants in Crete, Greece only offer one type of cuisine, therefore avoid places with lengthymenus listing everything from Greek food to pizza, pasta, burgers, etc.
Some of the best dishes to try in order to eat like a local are:
- Simple, fresh Greek salad. Juicy tomatoes, cucumber, purple onions, feta cheese (look for Seliani Feta), oregano, and plenty of local black olives.
- A classic moussaka: an oven-baked combination of sliced aubergines and zucchini, minced meat, tomato and bechamel cheese.
- Stewed meat such as beef, chicken or lamb in tomato sauce (kokkinisto), or pork with celery in an egg-lemon sauce ... delicious.
- Taramasalata (creamy smoked fish roe blended with olive oil and lemon).
- Vegetables (such beans, zucchini etc.) cooked in olive oil and tomato and herbs (lathera).
- Tomatoes, potatoes, aubergines and peppers stuffed with rice (gemista).
- Anchovies or sardines (salted or marinated).
- Boiled greens (vlita horta and baby zucchini) with rich feta cheese.
For sweet-toothed travelers, there are some unmissable desserts to sample:
- Deep-fried doughnuts (loukoumades) are bite-sized delights served warm and drizzled with honey then dusted with cinnamon.
- Chewy, fluffy almond cookies that are crisp on the outside named amygdalota – like a cross between macaroon and amaretti.
- A classic baklava: mouthwatering filo and honey-based desserts.
- Bougatsa, a golden and creamy perfection. Bougatsa (Greek custard pie with phyllo) is a traditional Greek dessert made with the most creamy custard wrapped in golden brown crispy phyllo, sprinkled with melted butter and garnished with icing sugar and cinnamon. Simply amazing!
- Traditional walnut cake with aromas of cloves and cinnamon (karidopita).
Kali Orexi! Yiannis