Greek Food

Find out all you need to know about the best Greek food and drinks before your trip.

Greek cuisine is Mediterranean to the bone, featuring the most iconic ingredients as the building blocks of its classical dishes. Based heavily on vegetables, olive oil, and the finest seafood in the world. Balkan and Anatolian influences color up the gastronomic scene even more. The extremely rich variety may overwhelm you at first, but you will be well prepared to venture into the world of Greek cuisine once you read our guide for food in Greece. Before you arrive, keep in mind these Greek food tips:

  • Known for their sleepy siestas and laid-back living, Greeks don’t dine before 9pm.
  • If you wish to eat like a local in Greece, take your time with every course, and cherish the wide variety of appetizers with an after-drink. Wine and ouzo are perfect before you head out to explore the nightlife.
  • The best food in Greece is often found in the family-owned traditional restaurants and eateries. Go beyond the touristy places and explore the small businesses like tavernas.

Must-Try Greek Foods

Here are the top dishes of the Greek food scene that will help you eat like a local:

Moussaka

With meat or vegetarian, moussaka is the star dish of Greek cuisine. Although its roots remain a mystery, moussaka is common across the Balkans and the Middle East as a satisfying main course. It consists of fried and layered eggplant topped with a cheesy and creamy bechamel sauce. You can also come across Turkish varieties in which the eggplant comes with a tomato-based sauce. Moussaka is not hard to find in the ambient tavernas of Greece.

Souvlaki

Souvlaki is literally meat on a skewer, a favorite Greek street food and main dish. It is generally pieces of pork or chicken grilled and served on the stick or wrapped in pida. The delicious tzatziki sauce accompanies it on the side. Try it at one of the street food stalls on the Greek islands and eat it straight off the skewer steaming hot.

Spanakopita

A variety of the Balkan burek at heart, spanakopita is filo dough with a spinach and feta cheese filling. It goes perfectly at any time of day as an appetizer. What makes it so tasty is the seasoning made of butter and olive oil. Locals cook it in an oven until it is dazzlingly golden. Give it a try when you take a break from exploring the islands of Greece.

Greek food
Kalamarakia Tiganita

Fried calamaris is an irreplaceable side dish for beer and wine. It brings out the best of Greece’s marine food scene with fresh calamaris available at any time of the day. It is also a street food staple, especially on the islands from Mykonos to Santorini. Dip it into sauces prepared with fresh spices to highlight the taste of the squid.

Greek food
Tzatziki

You should know by now that Greece is famous for its traditional dips that go with everything from ouzo to main dishes. Tzatziki is one of them, coming from a family of the famous Turkish meze. It is served cold and made of Greek yogurt, garlic, and cucumber. Note that uncooked garlic will leave its strong odour for at least a day. Spread some on your freshly-bakes crusty bread as you sip your drink, or enjoy it with the grilled meat dishes of Greece or any other Greek food.

Loukoumades

The story of Loukoumades on the Greek land dates back to Ancient Greece. It was called honey tokens back then, and it is the earliest known pastry recorded in Ancient Greek literature. They are bite-sized yeast doughs deep-fried and dipped into honey syrup. If you find yourself tantalized by a delicious smell as you wander on the streets in Athens, follow it to a welcoming street vendor and try the legendary loukoumades for yourself.

Must-Try Greek Drinks

Ouzo

By far the most iconic drink in Greece, ouzo has a special place in the hearts of locals and travelers alike with its distinctive flavor and long-standing tradition. It is an anise liqueur and very similar in taste to Turkish raki. Locals widely consume it with water, which makes it turn a cloudy white color. It goes well with any Greek food. Drinking ouzo is a ritual in itself, served with a rich variety of mezes. You can also consume it dry and as a shot.

Greek food
Local Beer

The Greek prize their beer from Athens to Santorini with countless local breweries. If you are looking to have a break from ouzo or raki, there are a few beers you must try. Mythos is a local favorite, and the varieties of Corfu beer are great for spicing up your nights.

Greek food
Greek Coffee

There is a long-standing controversy regarding the true origin of Turkish or Greek coffee. It is now well-established that it came to Greece from Anatolian lands of Turkey. Nevertheless, you will smell the bitter odor of this strong coffee almost everywhere in Greece. It is very finely ground coffee brewed by boiling and served without filtering. Don’t leave Greece without trying it after your breakfast.

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