TOP 12 THINGS YOU NEED TO EAT WHEN IN GREECE
Greece Travel Guide: Our Favourite Things To Eat When In Greece
Published: 21 June 2020 by Debbie
Are you planning a trip to Greece but not sure what to eat? Or have you been many times and looking for something new to try?
In today's post, we're sharing with you some of our favourite things to eat when in Greece. These eats are among Greece's most popular dishes and can be found in restaurants, tavernas, bakeries, hotel buffets and food stalls across mainland Greece and it's islands.
Disclosure: Some of the links on this site are affiliate links, meaning we may make a small commission (at no extra cost to you) if you click through and make a purchase.
01. Revani (Syrup-Soaked Cake)
We're starting this list with something the Greeks aren't typically known for - desserts. Greek desserts weren't something we had thought of trying, until we were served a complimentary portion of Revani when eating in the beautiful mountain village of Zia, Kos.
Revani, simply put, is a yellow sponge cake soaked with a sweet syrup. The cake has a slightly crumbly and light texture and is delicious. Revani is often served as a complimentary dessert after a meal and so far, we've not been able to turn it down. If it's nearing the end of your Greek adventure and you haven't been offered a slice of this delicious dessert, make sure to scout some out before you leave.
One of Lee's absolute favourite things to eat in Greece is baklava, a very sticky and nutty dessert, combining crisp layers of filo pastry and a mixture chopped nuts, all held together with either honey or syrup. Just one piece of this delicious sweet treat is enough as the syrup makes this an incredibly sweet and rich dessert.
03. Greek Salad
With the hot weather you'll likely experience on your trip to Greece, you'll probably be on the hunt for a light meal come lunchtime. Our favourite choice for a lighter lunch is a Greek salad.
A traditional Greek salad is typically made up of tomatoes, peppers, cucumber, olives and red onion, topped with a big piece of feta, sprinkled with oregano and drizzled with olive oil. Each element of this dish tastes better than what you can get your hands on in the UK. So if you haven't tried a real Greek salad yet, make sure to put it at the top of your list.
04. Fresh Fish
Fish is a staple dish in the traditional Greek diet. It's easily accessible, especially on the islands, so most restaurants and tavernas will have a number of different fish dishes on their menus including octopus, sea bass, lobster, sardines and calamari. If you're ordering fish in Greece for the first time, be aware that the fish will most likely be served whole, complete with head and tail.
We've yet to try fish anywhere else that rivals that of Greece, so grab a table at a seaside taverna and order some fresh fish on your next trip.
05. Stuffed Vine Leaves (Dolmades)
If you've ever tried a Greek hotel buffet before, chances are you've seen (and hopefully tasted) stuffed vine leaves. This bite-sized appetiser can also found as part of a mezze board in restaurants and tavernas.
The vine leaves are filled with rice, finely chopped garlic and onions, along with tasty herbs, then boiled or steamed to make them perfectly tender. They are usually served as an appetiser, alongside tzatziki, but some restaurants make them larger with minced meat, serving them as a main dish. Both ways are worth tasting, so make sure to add them to your food list.
This Greek pitta sandwich is basically Greece's (amazing) answer to a kebab. Thinly sliced meat is cut from a vertical rotating spit, wrapped inside a warm, soft pitta along with salad, tzatziki, feta and sometimes chips. This popular budget friendly lunch is a must eat for me when in Greece and something we always go in search of when sightseeing. Each bite of a gyros offers different layers of textures and flavours and I cant recommend this "dish" enough.
Lamb is one of the most popular meats used in Greek cooking and once you've tried it, you'll understand why. Order a lamb dish and you'll be served tender meat that falls off the bone, is full of flavour and melts in the mouth. Lamb is often served as a "sunday roast" style dinner, with vegetables, potatoes and gravy or as a kleftico. Kleftico is slow roasted lamb, cooked on the bone, marinated in lemon, garlic and herbs. Both dishes are full of flavour and worth trying on your next trip.
08. Bread and Olive Oil
Another dish that's complimentary in a number of restaurants we've visited is bread and olive oil. Freshly baked bread, still warm from the oven and a little bowl of Greek olive oil is a simple but beautiful pairing to look forward to during your time in Greece.
Possibly the first dish you think of when someone says "Greek food", moussaka is one of Greece's most popular and delicious dishes. Combining layers of minced meat, aubergines, potatoes and a creamy bechamel sauce, moussaka is a warm, comforting, traditional dish that all visitors should try at least once.
10. Filo Wrapped Feta With Honey
For this dish, feta is simply wrapped in filo pastry before being baked and drizzled with honey. The balance of salty and sweet makes this an incredible appetiser that you need to taste when in Greece. If you love cheese, we cannot recommend this dish enough.
Filo wrapped feta isn't as common as a lot of the other entries on this list, so if you spot it on a menu, make sure to order it.
11. Spanakopita (Spinach Pie)
Spanakopita is a traditional Greek pie, made with crisp, buttery filo pastry and filled with a delicious mixture of spinach and feta. This pie makes a perfect lunch on the go and can be found in many bakeries across Greece and it's islands.
12. Saganaki (Fried Cheese)
Saganaki is another dish for cheese lovers. This common, traditional starter is a hard cheese that's pan fried, giving it a crunchy outer layer with a melted warm cheesy middle. The only accompaniment to this dish is a squeeze of lemon - it tastes as good as it sounds.