Hello! I’m Jessica from The Northern Nomads, writing to share my food guide for the current buzzy travel destination that is Greece. I’ve written my suggestions based on certain dishes that you will find at many restaurants – from casual to upscale. Here is a beginner’s guide to eating in Greece!
What I really loved about visiting Greece for the first time (outside of the pristine blue waters and white washed architecture) was the food. Fresh vegetables, grilled meats, delicious desserts. Every meal was memorable.
Starting my trip in Santorini, my hotel offered breakfast on my terrace every morning. Options were simple Greek yogurt with honey and walnuts, soft boiled eggs, croissants and fresh fruits. What did stand out to me was something called Bougatsa – a pastry stuffed with chicken. I’m usually not big on chicken when I wake up, but this was delicious!
For lunch, stick to a grab-and- go souvlaki place. A pita with grilled meats, vegetables and fries was only 7-8 euro! Other options include kabobs and platters. Delicious, fresh, and affordable.
A few of my favorite dinner dishes organized by course were –
- Fava: yellow, split pea dip
- Tzatziki: a must have starter to eat with grilled bread, made from strained yogurt with cucumbers, garlic and olive oil
- Melitzanosalata: roasted eggplant spread with garlic, oil, lemon juice – served chilled
- Baked feta cheese: need I say more? Great with bread, great on salad, great with meat, great with
- Greek salad: I was surprised that this salad didn’t have any lettuce in it! Sliced peppers, cucumber,
tomatoes and olives topped with a huge block of feta cheese. The best salads are topped with lots of
cheese in my opinion.
- Kolokithokeftedes: fried Greek zucchini fritters – these have onion, mint, and cheese and are delicious
- Souvlaki: classic Greek favorite – kabobs with peppers and onions
- Lamb Kleftiko: slow cooked lamb with vegetables and herbs, my personal favorite
- Pan fried pork: simple and great with fresh lemon
*I should caveat that while I don’t eat seafood, fish is a must try. The Greeks have been fishing for 11,000 years. Everything is extremely fresh & from the sea you are looking over!
- Baklava: a classic Greek dessert choice – made with layers of filo and filled with nuts and honey
- Greek yogurt: another popular dessert choice with honey
- Gelato: essential for cooling off, I visited Red Parrot in Mykonos Town
- Wine: the Island of Santorini is mostly famous for its white grape varieties – specifically Assyrtiko! The influence of the land’s volcanic soil makes it a popular grape and is a dry white wine (my favorite). There are several wineries you can visit on the island and try all sorts of varieties.
- Raki: an anise flavored drink popular in several Mediterranean countries. Served with chilled water and/or ice cubes and turns a mily white color. Personally, not for me but a must try while visiting Greece.
- Ouzo: very similar to Raki in flavor, as it is also anise-flavored. Both are highly rectified ethanol. Ouzo is more strongly tied to Greek origins.
Pro tip: avoid the touristy places and explore long standing restaurants with notable good service. A good meal with multiple courses and a bottle of wine never cost me more than 25-30 euro per person.
These suggestions were based on my time in Santorini and Mykonos. I am by no means an expert on Greek cuisine, but hope this guide will help you find some key dishes while visiting Greece! Options vary island to island – I can’t wait to go back!