Traditional Greek cuisine is based entirely on Mediterranean cuisine. That is to say, all dishes are prepared mainly with oil, salt, various aromatics, and pure products. Therefore, if you visit Greece, don’t hesitate to try some traditional dishes.
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The Top 15 Foods To Eat In Greece
Mediterranean cuisine is one of the best cuisines all over the world. Apart from Greece, a lot of countries follow this nutritional habit which has been inscribed as an intangible cultural heritage of UNESCO. For this reason, below you will find some traditional Greek dishes that you must taste when you travel to Greece.
15. Koulouri Thessalonikis
In other words, a round bread roll from Thessaloniki is an ideal choice for a light breakfast. It is a snack that you can find it everywhere in Greece. To clarify, you can buy a koulouri Thessalonikis either from bakeries or even from street vendors at Thessaloniki or anywhere else.
Moreover, nowadays, there are several types of koulouri. For example, apart from the classic koulouri that seems like a round bread, you can taste koulouri with raisins, koulouri with chocolate, or koulouri with cream cheese. Of course, you can accompany this breakfast with a cup of Greek coffee.
Where you can get Koulouri: Koulourades Agiou Markou
Another option for breakfast is bougatsa. It is usually accompanied by sweet semolina cream, powdered sugar, and cinnamon. Bougatsa is a dessert that refugees from Asia Minor brought to Greece. Since then it has certainly become the favorite dessert of children and adults.
To clarify, you can find bougatsa traditionally at Thessaloniki but also everywhere else in Greece at bakeries or at places that specialize in bougatsa. Have in mind that besides sweet cream, you can find bougatsa with other fillings as well. For example, you can try bougatsa with cheese or even with minced meat.
Where you can get Bougatsa: Bougatsa Bantis
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13. Greek Salad
It’s time for lunch and one of the dishes that you must try in Greece is the Greek salad. It is mainly a summer salad but you can also find it every season as well. It is our favorite salad. That is because it contains so many delicious and fresh vegetables such as tomato, cucumber, olives, and onion. Above all, the tasty feta cheese, with olive oil and capers will make your day.
Above all, every single tavern all over Greece offers this traditional Greek salad. Therefore, don’t forget to make the order starting from this dish. But remember that Greek salad is a dish for everyone at the table — not an individual dish.
Where you can get Greek salad: Lostre Kuzina
Above all, you will eat fava as a salad too. In other words, you are going to taste cold food. Fava is a legume that when cooked has the appearance of puree and is accompanied by olive oil and onions.
Fava is a traditional dish of Santorini island. That is to say if you plan to visit Santorini for your holidays, ask for some fava to accompany your meal. Also, remember to try a glass of local wine. In Santorini, you will find numerous restaurants in different places where you can enjoy Greek cuisine.
Where you can get it: Krinaki
All people around the world certainly know tzatziki. So, if you visit Greece, you can’t leave without tasting it. It is a side dish, an appetizer, and it is the ideal choice if your main meal consists of meat.
Tzatziki is made of yogurt, cucumber, garlic, and olive oil. Because of the garlic, you may need some extra water after lunch. So, be prepared.
Where you can get it: Paneri
10. Roasted Feta
If you want to try something different, have in mind that you might see on menus of several taverns, especially in northern Greece, roasted feta. Feta is a type of white cheese that is produced mainly in northern Greece. To clarify, it is made exclusively from sheep’s or goat’s milk.
Roasted feta is also a side dish and it is usually served with honey, sesame, and peanuts of Aegina. Once you try it, you will certainly adore it.
Where you can get it: To Steki Tis Pareas
9. Dolmadakia Gialanji
To clarify, this is one more traditional appetizer. One more dish that refugees from Asia Minor brought to Greece. Turkish call it Gialanji which means “false”, because they don’t contain minced meat in them.
However, we Greeks are used to making them with vine leaves filled with rice with olive oil and lemon on them. It is one of the most delicious choices, especially in the summer. You can combine this meze with a glass of ouzo. You will mainly find traditional dolmadakia gialanji in Thessaloniki.
Where you can get it: Rouga
If you love eating lamb, then antikristo is the best choice for you who are going to visit Crete. In other words, antikristo is a traditional Cretan recipe. Antikristo means “opposite”. To clarify, the way that Cretans cook antikristo is tο make a pit in the soil to light a fire and place small lambs in a circle on the spit and facing each other.
This way of cooking comes from ancient times. Ancient Cretans were following this recipe when they wanted to make sacrifices to the gods. That is to say, antikristo lamb was their first and foremost choice concerning food. Also, you can try a glass of wine or raki which is the Cretan drink.
Where you can get it: Petousis Restaurant
Pastitsada is a traditional dish served in Corfu. Its basic ingredients are meat and thick spaghetti. Moreover, a lot of women from Corfu villages prefer to add some more cinnamon while cooking.
You can find dishes based on meat in every place in Greece. However, pastitsada is a bit different. To clarify, chefs add a spice mixture with cinnamon, grated clove, allspice, nutmeg, and cumin. They also use red wine and vinegar for sauce. Finally, the meat is not cooked in oil but in Corfu butter. After your meal, you can also enjoy a glass of local liqueur.
Where you can get it: Aegli Restaurant
6. Traditional Pies
If you have the chance to pass through Epirus, then you have to taste some traditional pies. Locals in Epirus cook many types of pies, for example, Kasiopita, Kothropita, Kimadopita, Pepeki, Kasata, and Blatsaria. Above all, especially if you visit Tzoumerka or Zagorochoria tasting some pies are a must.
The locals in Epirus have kept and still use the recipes for traditional pies. So don’t hesitate to ask their opinion on which pie to try and they will suggest the right pie according to your tastes.
Where you can get it: Fyssa Roufa
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Another great option for a traditional dish is spetsofai. You can find this dish at Pelion (Volos). Spetsofai is cooked with sausages, Florina’s peppers, eggplants, zucchini, onions, and tomatoes. You can accompany it either with rice or fried potatoes.
Greece has strong livestock and therefore, the sausages used by local cooks come from Greek meat. You can also drink a glass of wine or ouzo while tasting this incredible dish.
Where you can get it: Kritsa Restaurant
4. Spaghetti With Shrimps
Spaghetti with shrimps is such a popular dish not only in Greece but in many countries in the world. However, if you are going to travel to Rhodes, this choice is an ideal one. That is to say, fishermen in Rhodes produce fresh shrimps every day, while several restaurants make their homemade pasta.
For this reason, this dish of spaghetti with shrimps is unique. Moreover, in the traditional recipe, apart from other ingredients, chefs also add some ouzo. In this way, they offer a unique flavor to the food.
Where you can get it: Orexi Rustic Cuisine
3. Loukoumades With Honey
After your lunch, in the afternoon, you can taste some loukoumades with honey. Loukoumades are a light dessert made with sugar, lemon, honey, flour, and cornflour. They are like donuts but they aren’t filled with anything.
Some people like adding also cinnamon and sesame while others prefer to accompany them with some chocolate. So, it’s up to you to decide what you prefer out of these two options. Above all, you can taste traditional loukoumades in Thessaloniki.
Where you can get it: Lukumades
2. Künefe Peyniri
Künefe peyniri is a sweet that refugees from Istanbul brought to Greece. Like all these sweets, its characteristic is that it is a syrupy sweet. Most important, you can accompany it with your favorite ice cream flavor especially in the summer. Above all, a great option for ice cream flavor is the Kaimaki ice cream.
So, all these sweets belong to the Greeks’ cultural heritage of Asia Minor, and we continue to keep the tradition. Therefore, if you have the opportunity, remember to try some künefe peyniri.
Where you can get it: Zoubourlou
Above all, I couldn’t miss out on the most popular Greek food, souvlaki. You can taste souvlaki in every single place in Greece. Most important, according to dieticians, souvlaki is a full meal.
So, if you are a bit hungry at night, you can choose to eat souvlaki. You can buy it quickly and you are going to eat it easily by hand like a sandwich. You can choose among pork, chicken, or kebab, accompanied with a can of Greek beer.
Where you can get it: Hoocut