Greek Food Guide – What To Eat In Greece

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Greek Food Guide – What To Eat In Greece

It’s a fact Greek food is loved all over the world, and the food in Greece is always well-remembered once a holiday is over.

Who doesn’t go back home after a trip to Greece feeling nostalgic about that excellent homemade moussaka, that fantastic grilled octopus by the sea or those delicious gyro wraps that taste like nowhere else in the world? Who doesn’t love authentic Greek food?

Any mealtime in Greece is a big event, that’s the magic of it, and that’s why I believe it tastes like nowhere else.

Sitting at a table is a ritual that revolves pretty much around sharing and enjoying company, friends, and family, as well as one of the simplest pleasures in life, but one of the most fulfilling ones: food.

Moreover, enjoying Greek cuisine comes with a lesson; you will learn that the simplest ingredients are the best ones and that you need nothing more than freshness and simplicity to have a feast at the table.

Mediterranean vegetables, only seasonal ones but also lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, the catch of the day, goat, lamb, chicken, grains and fantastic varieties of bread, creative pies, and unique fresh salads are some of the several things that you’ll experience.

Good quality honey, thick, rich yogurt, and good local wine are among the staples of Greek cuisine that you should try.

And if you still haven’t been to the country and still have to experience what all the fuss about Greek food is about, then you’ve landed in the perfect place.

In this guide, we have listed all of the popular Greek food options; we will guide you through the best and tastiest Greek dishes you must try when you visit Greece; take a look:

 

Greece Travel Blog_What To Eat In Greece

 

Let us show you now, what food to eat in Greece; 

Greek Appetizers & Greek Snacks

Not that hungry, or want a table with more than one option? Then try out some of these traditional greek food choices:

Saganaki

Greek Food - Saganaki is a Greek delicacy of fried cheese

If you’re a cheese lover, this is the one for you! It’s deep-fried cheese, usually a variety called kefalotyri.

Tirokroketes

Sometimes known as sfougata, these are another cheesy delight, but this time it’s fried balls of cheese. Tikokroketes is usually a mixture of different cheeses, and sfougata is a local type of cheese.

Feta Me Meli

More cheese! Feta me meli is feta cheese rolled up in filo pastry, and over the top, there is a huge dollop of honey. It sounds strange, but it’s a delight! 

Tiropites

Similar to feta me meli but without the honey, these are triangles of filo pastry filled with different types of local cheeses. 

Fava

Food In Greece - Traditional Greek Fava, yellow split pea puree with olive oi

In the mood for more appetizers? Fava is another great dish to have before starting your meal.

Contrary to its name, fava beans have nothing to do here. Fava is a yellow split pea puree with a topping of fresh onions, parsley, and (again) a good drizzle of olive oil. Fava is fantastic when spread over a freshly baked slice of pita bread but also together with an octopus salad and a glass of ouzo.

Fava is one of Santorini’s most famous dishes, but it’s so much loved by the Greeks that you can enjoy it in every region of Greece, especially on the islands.

Dolmades

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Another staple of Greek cuisine, dolmades, can be made with vine leaves and cabbage leaves, especially on the mainland. Any version is full of flavor.

Dolmades can be filled with a mix of rice, lemon juice, and tomato but should always include a unique selection of fresh herbs, including mint, thyme, oregano, and dill. Cooked with very little water and a lot of olive oil, after you’ve let them cool, they are perfect as a meze (the Greek word for appetizer).

These are an important piece of the Easter festivities in Greece.

Koulouri

Greek Food - Greek koulouri bagels at street vendor in athens

This fantastic bread ring covered with sesame seed can be seen almost in every corner of the capital, Athens, but are popular and consumed everywhere in Greece, especially in Thessaloniki, the city that claims to have given its origin to the koulouri.

Koulouri has very ancient origins; it’s, in fact, popular since the Byzantine times. Today, though, it has become one of the country’s favorite foods to eat on the go, usually holding a cup of cold coffee in your other hand.

Those looking to experiment will be happy to know that a koulouri can be simple and plain with sesame seeds. Still, it can also have olives, cheese, chocolate, honey, raisins…and whatever the baker’s imagination can think of!

Tzatziki

Food In Greece - Yoghurt sauce tzatziki with herbs, cucumber and garlic

You’ve no doubt heard of this food in Greece!  Tzatziki is a dip made with yogurt, garlic, and cucumber. It is often served with kebabs as a meze, and many people enjoy it as it is!

Taramosalata

Taramosalata - Food In Greece

Taramosalata is a dip, and it’s not for everyone, but you should definitely try it! This is a combination of white or pink fish eggs, known commonly as fish roe, mixed with seasonings and olive oil. It doesn’t sound very good but give it a try because you’re in for a tasty surprise!

Greek Meat & Fish Dishes

Let’s get to the all-time famous Greek food type – meat and fish.

Moussaka

Bulgarian moussaka - Traditional Bulgarian Food

Probably Greece’s best-known dish, moussaka, is very similar to an Italian lasagna, only lacking the pasta, which is replaced instead by layers of crispy fried aubergine and potatoes, and in some places, they usually add layers of friend courgette too.

Between those layers, a fantastic tomato sauce made with meat and a good dose of cinnamon gives moussaka a distinctive and unique taste.

The dish is topped with béchamel sauce, which is still made from extra virgin olive oil instead of butter in traditional villages. The moussaka is then ready to go into the oven for the béchamel to get a very tempting golden brown color.

If you’re vegetarian, it’s also possible to find moussaka made equally delicious and appealing without meat.

Kebab

You probably think of Turkey when you hear the word ‘kebab,’ but Greece has them too. These are shaped like sausage and are usually a mixture of beef and lamb with cumin and garlic thrown in. Kebabs in Greece have a slightly oriental taste to them, but it’s definitely mouth-watering in all the right ways. 

The meat is usually served in pita bread, or sometimes you’ll find it just on a plate.

Gyro

Food in Greece - greek gyros with tzatziki sauce and fries on parchment

Gyro is another equally famous and popular dish across the country, as beloved as souvlaki or even more!

When it comes to gyro, the meat (again also, chicken, pork, beef, or lamb) is not on skewers but cooked and sliced and wrapped inside a pita that has been previously heated or kept warm.

Here, of course, traditions and personal taste define the gyro. Some Greeks would never dream of adding to their gyro another than the traditional tomatoes, onions, and yogurt.

For others, a gyro wrap is not complete without putting lettuce and fried potatoes in it.

Other people would never eat a gyro without tzatziki sauce inside it… there’s a gyro for every taste in Greece. Just choose the one you fancy or try them all!

Souvlaki

What To Eat In Turkey - Turkish Food - Tavuk Shish

Another Greek dish that has become famous all over the world is souvlaki.

Greeks love their meat, and they love it even more, when it comes in the form of a skewer. Souvlaki is grilled meat (it can be pork and chicken, although, in some hidden places, you can still be lucky enough to find lamb).

These skewers are usually served with plain yogurt or with tzatziki sauce (yogurt with cucumber, olive oil, and sometimes herbs, too, such as mint or dill, and of course, a good dose of garlic).

Pita bread, fried potatoes, salad, and even rice are a few of the side ingredients that can come with souvlaki. And if you’re lucky… you can even get them all!

Kleftiko

Food In Greece - Plate kleftiko with juicy lamb.

One of the favorite dishes in Greece is this slow-cooked meat (usually lamb or even goat) wrapped inside a layer of baking paper and cooked for hours, if possible, inside a wooden oven to produce a very tender dish.

This dish is typically very flavourful and heavily seasoned with onions, fresh oregano, thyme, and garlic. Inside the same pan, many people like to add potatoes or other vegetables that cook together and then are all served together.

The meat is usually marinated overnight before cooking, so the meat will be easy to tear apart even without needing a knife, and it will eventually melt in your mouth.

Although not as well known as other dishes in this list, Kleftiko is one of Greece’s most delicious things you should taste during your next trip to Greece!

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Vegetarian Greek Dishes

Revithokeftedes

This dish is chickpeas and spices are rolled into a ball and fried. It’s much like falafel and has the same spiced taste. It’s often served with fresh bread and salad.

Greek Salad

Greek Food - Greek Salad

Salads in the Mediterranean area are pretty special, but the Greeks certainly do it well! A traditional Greek salad is often served with all meals, combining tomatoes, red onion, cucumber, olives, and feta cheese. Vinegar, lemon juice, and olive oil are drizzled over the top, and as with many of the foods in Greece, this will be served with fresh bread.

Traditional Greek Food – Pies

We could not make a list of the best Greek food without covering at least one Greek pie type. 

Spanakopita & Other Pies

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Greece is the home of the pie, and of all of the Greek foods on this list, you have to eat this at least once while in Greece.  It doesn’t matter the shape or the filling, not even if they were baked or fried. Every Greece region has its own type of Greek pie which you should try.

Cheese pies, meat pies, sweet pies made with phyllo pastry, or even kadaifi are incredibly thin threads of phyllo pastry that can wrap anything inside.

When it comes to pies in Greece, there’s always one to fit anyone’s taste. However, the queen of Greek pies is spanakopita. It usually comes with spinach and feta cheese, although it’s also common to find spanakopita featuring the traditional cheese in the region where you’re tasting it.

On Crete, for instance, it’s common for feta to be replaced with local myzithra, a fantastic goat and sheep cheese, ideal both for sweet and savory dishes for its delicate balance.

Greek Desserts

Hmm, maybe the best Greek foods are the ones of the sweet kind…

Loukoumades

What to Eat In Greece - Greek Food - Loukoumades

Another amazing Greek dish, this time for those who prefer sweets over savory, are loukoumades.

A fantastic delicacy made with the well-known donut dough, these small balls of pastry are fried and served hot, sprinkled with loads of honey, sometimes cinnamon, or crushed almonds or nuts. A typical food of Greece easily found in Greek resorts during summer; loukoumades can be served with whipped cream and even ice cream that melts when placed over the steaming hot sweet pastry.

Nothing is more delicious than a dish of just-fried loukoumades. They can be the perfect afternoon treat and a fantastic dessert right by the beach!

Baklava

Albanian Food - Baklava

Middle Eastern flavors have made their way into Greece during the several foreign occupations of the country and the islands. They have now become part of the national Greek food, with many Greeks claiming to be nothing but local dishes.

The oriental style sweet, known as baklava, is one of them.

Baklava is a little pastry extremely sweet and drenched in syrup, usually made from honey and covered with different nuts according to the region.

While the north of Greece and some of the island prefer crushed pistachios, Baklava is commonly sprinkled with walnuts or almonds in Athens and certain areas of central Greece.

You now have a list of the best food in Greece, so all that is left to decide which of these traditional greek dishes you will try first.

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  1. Thank you for these wonderful Greece cuisines and seems gives very unique taste of sweet and savoury dishes and could you share a picture of cuisine fava.

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