An In-Depth List of the 13 Must-Eat Foods & Meals You Have to Try Before Leaving Greece and Where to Find Them!
So, if you’ve have decided to spend your vacation on the magnificent islands of Greece this year, then it’s the best decision you have made as Greece is one of the few holiday destinations that still remains pure and untouched and retains its tranquility in some of its most exquisite islands, despite the millions of visitors it gets every year.
Filled with the lush landscapes, majestic monuments, beautiful clear blue seas, heavenly sandy beaches of myriad hues, Greece is a paradise for those who want to escape from the monotony of their lives and create unforgettable memories. But gorgeous Greece isn’t just popular for its beaches and rich, awe-inspiring greenery, it also happens to be very well known for its mouth-watering Mediterranean-slanted cuisine – the authentic Greek cuisine that is – from tantalizingly spicy gyros to delectable, flaky Greek pastries – the foods here are just as exquisite as the scenery.
It is a true foodie haven.
Here are some of the best dishes that you should, without fail, try before you even think of setting foot outside of Greece.
Read on, salivate and then gorge on them for a true Greek experience.
It may sound confusing, but it is pronounced like it is written. People who enjoy eating eggplants/aubergines along with meat will absolutely love this baked dish, with its cheesy meat layers and filling – yum!
The moussaka is basically a casserole made by layering eggplant slices and a spiced meat filling topped with a béchamel sauce, which is a creamy and delicious sauce made up of butter, all-purpose flour, milk, salt and a tiny sprinkle of nutmeg.
This layered deliciousness is then baked in the oven till the top turns a golden brown and served with the beverage of your choice.
If you are a vegetarian, then you can always ask for the meatless version of the dish as well.
Trust us – you’re still not missing out on anything.
Where to eat: Athens serves the best moussaka there is to have, and that too at Aleka’s taverna, to the north side of the Acropolis, is the best among the restaurants of Athens.
Or for the best moussaka ever try God’s restaurant in Athens, Greece.
Kids will love the God’s salad there.
Kolokythoanthoi or stuffed Zucchini Flowers
This is another delicious savory delicacy of the Greeks. The zucchini flower is stuffed with the stuffing of your choice which ranges from herbs and cheese to meat and rice, and then dipped in a light batter and fried till it achieves a brilliantly golden color.
When you bite into it, the crispiness of the batter combined with the softness of the flower inside, will floor you completely – a must-try!
Where to eat: The best stuffed zucchini flowers that you will get will be on the beautifu island of Lesvos. Every restaurant there has this fried delight on their menu, and each eatery adds its own unique touch to this classic recipe.
This is a staple in any Greek household, and it’s basically a simple white bean soup, but don’t mistake its easy technique for lack of flavors because it packs a punch alright with a freshness of herbs.
Made with white beans, olive oil, the vegetables of your choice and some delicious herbs, this soup is not only tasty but is high on nutrition as well.
If you want to have healthy foods in Greece, you cannot go wrong with this tasty soup. It is also known as the national food of the Greeks.
Where to eat: If you know someone in Greece, then the ideal place to eat this soup would be at their house, the authenticity of a Greek household’s flavor will seldom be present in a restaurant dish, but then if you are all alone in Greece, almost all the restaurants there do serve this delicacy.
Vegetables like tangy tomatoes and colored peppers are stuffed with a mixture of rice and herbs and topped off with some cheese, and baked till the vegetables go soft and the cheese melts – that’s one scrumptious dish called ‘Yemista’.
It makes for a light and refreshing meal, and yet leaves you feeling full and utterly satisfied!
Where to eat: The Santorini island is the best place to go and enjoy a mouthful of this dish at any of its local tavernas popular restaurants.
Probably Popeye’s favorite dish, this yummy recipe combines a delicious mixture of spinach, olive oil, and vegetables of your choice, with cheese on top, and a layer of Filo pastry. It is then baked till golden brown in the oven and served drooling-ly hot!
Where to eat: The Boras Bakery of Karteradhos serves the best Spanakopita you can ever sample – do give it a try.
Just a simple combination of Greek yogurt, grated cucumbers and garlic work taste magic and produce a gorgeous meal, which is best accompanied with peta bread.
Where to eat: Another staple of the country, you can find it in any of the popular restaurants of Greece – you will not go wrong here.
Not really a very elaborate dish but superb in taste (aren’t the best ones always are simple but exquisite?), it basically includes a leafy green vegetable of your choice, which is boiled and then drizzled with olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, pepper and salt.
Simple and healthy is what best describes this dish.
Where to eat: Any taverna or restaurant of Greece can whip up this delicacy in no time at all.
Grape leaves which are stuffed with rice, pine nuts and various herbs are what constitute this delicious Greek dish. The leaves are then boiled in water and served after being drained.
Where to eat: Anywhere in Greece will do, especially Athens.
Green beans constitute the main part of the dish along with various other veggies like onions, baby carrots and potatoes; and not to forget olive oil.
Where to eat: Try the tavernas of the Paros to enjoy this dish to the fullest.
A marvelously cheesy stuffed filo pastry appetizer, it is the definition of finger food. Enjoy it with a cup of the best Greek tea available to experience its full flavors.
Where to eat: Cafes of Athens serve the best tiropites there are to be had!
For dessert enthusiasts, try these delicious honey walnut cookies, which literally melt in your mouth and leave a lovely aftertaste.
Just pure cookie deliciousness!
Where to eat: Any bakery or café will have this delicacy freshly baked cookies ready for you – straight out of the oven.
This custard based filo pie is to die for!
Rich and creamy pastry, this will make you go for second and third helpings – without doubts.
Where to eat: Local Greek bakeries are your best bet when it comes to this delicious desert.
Another filo based salivating-ly delicious dish, it consists of nuts, like almonds and walnuts, and a generous sprinkling of cinnamon layered on sheets of delicate filo pastry, and brushed with sugar syrup.
Baked to perfection, it is bathed in sweet syrup when hot and served with a dollop of whipped cream.
Sounds beyond delectable, doesn’t it?
Where to eat: Anywhere really, you can never go wrong with baklava!
The Greek cuisine is very diverse, intensely full of flavors, high on nutrition – in a majority of its authentic meals – and although there are many common characteristics among the dishes from different regions, there are also many differences. Some of the most interesting, original Greek fare dishes can be gorged on in the scenic islands of Crete and Corfu.
If you want to know where the Greek locals are going, you should look at what the locals are reading – try picking up their local newspapers and magazines for a true Greek food experience.
So, that was the list of the top 13 dishes we think you MUST try before leaving the heavenly Greece islands.
Go ahead – indulge your senses and tempt your taste buds with classic Greek fare.