Best Foods To Try In Greece (+ where to try it)

If you’re anything like me, one of the most exciting parts of exploring a new country is trying local foods and drinks. And when it comes to Greece, you have a lot to try! In this blog post, we’ll explore the best foods to try in Greece that capture the essence of Greek cuisine, including my personal favorites, and where you can try some of them.

Best foods to try in Greece - Greek salad
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Best Foods To Try In Greece

Greek food is all about simplicity and quality ingredients. It’s the kind of cuisine that brings people together, whether it’s for a casual meal with friends or a family gathering. In this blog post, we’ll take a journey through the flavors of Greece, highlighting the best foods to try in Greece you simply can’t miss while visiting this beautiful Mediterranean country.

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best foods to try in greece

From tasteful gyros to sweet, sticky baklava, and the anise-flavored ouzo, Greece offers a variety of flavors like no other. So, let’s start exploring the best foods to try in Greece that make this country a food lover’s paradise.

Fried Feta Cheese With Honey And Sesame Seeds

best foods to try in greece - grilled feta cheese

Among all the foods on this list, grilled feta cheese with honey and sesame is my personal favorite! I absolutely love cheese, and I had never tried it combined with honey and sesame before. I must say, the taste is absolutely perfect. We tried this appetizer in many Greek tavernas, but our favorite was at Taverna Zambakos in Sykia, located just next to famous 5 Steps In The Sand taverna.

To make grilled feta with honey and sesame, a block of feta cheese is typically cut into thick slices. These slices are then lightly coated in sesame seeds and gently grilled until they develop a beautiful golden crust. Once the cheese is perfectly grilled, honey is poured over it, creating a perfect blend of salty and sweet flavors. The taste of it is a delightful combination of the creamy feta cheese with the sweetness of honey and the nutty crunch of sesame seeds. The cheese becomes wonderfully warm and gooey, while the honey adds a touch of sweetness.

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Dolmadakia (Stuffed Grape Leaves)

best foods to try in greece - dolmadakia

Dolmadakia, a stuffed grape leaves, are a big part of Greek cuisine, and their roots trace back centuries. It is believed to have originated in the Middle East and North Africa, gradually making their way to Greece and the Mediterranean. Today, they are a beloved dish enjoyed by locals and tourists.

For this dish to be made grape leaves are carefully handpicked, blanched, and then stuffed with rice, onions, fresh herbs like dill and mint, and sometimes ground meat. They are then rolled, and simmered in a broth until the rice is tender and the flavors meld together. You can try this dish in many Greek tavernas, and you can also try making it at home.

Sun-dried Octopus

best foods to try in greece - sun-dried octopus

When it comes to traditional Greek dishes, there’s one that stands out among others: sun-dried octopus. This unique delicacy origins from the coastal villages of Greece, where the sun’s rays play a main role in its preparation. Preparing this dish begins with fresh octopus caught from the sea. The octopus is then carefully cleaned and then left to bask in the sun. It’s a slow, patient process that’s been perfected over generations. As for the taste, sun-dried octopus is slightly chewy, and mildly sweet with an oceanic undertone. It’s a must-try for any foods adventurer exploring the Greek shores. The best sun-dried octopus we tried was at Restaurant Megas Alexandros in Sarti.

Gyros

best foods to try in greece - gyros

It goes without saying but gyros is something you really can’t miss, and it is simply the best foods to try in Greece. Eating gyros is like a piece of Greek culture wrapped in a pita bread. It is believed that this famous street food emerged in Greece during the 1920s when immigrants brought the concept of “doner kebab” with them from the Middle East. It quickly captured the hearts of Greeks, becoming a traditional Greek street food.

To make gyros, seasoned meat, often a mix of beef and lamb or chicken, is stacked on a vertical rotisserie and slow-cooked until crispy. As it turns, thin slices are cut off and served in a warm pita with a fresh veggies like tomatoes, onions, and lettuce, often accompanied by a mustard, ketchup and tzatziki sauce. The best gyros we tried in Greece was at Olympus Grill located in Nikiti, located just next to the pier.

Ouzo

best foods to try in greece - ouzo

Ouzo is Greece’s iconic anise-flavored drink and it is widely popular among locals and tourists. The modern version of ouzo, as we know it today, took shape in the 19th century in Greece. Making ouzo starts with a base of pure alcohol, usually distilled from grapes or grains. To get the anise flavor, the alcohol is combined with anise seeds and various aromatic herbs and spices, such as coriander, fennel, and cloves. Ouzo is typically enjoyed as an aperitif, served cold and diluted with water, which gives it a milky-white appearance known as the “ouzo effect.” It’s a perfect drink to drink in a good company. It comes great paired with salted anchovy fillets in olive oil.

Grilled Shrimps

best foods to try in greece - grilled shrimps

Even though this is not a traditional Greek dish, it deserves a place on this list. Greece, being a Mediterranean country, has an abundance of fresh seafood, and grilled shrimps are my personal favorite. What I love most about grilled shrimps is their pure, natural flavor. They have a slightly sweet taste that pairs perfectly with a hint of smokiness from the grill. The freshest and most delicious grilled shrimps I have ever eaten (not only in Greece) were definitely at the famous 5 Steps In The Sand tavern. This taverna offers an amazing view, and it was one of the best restaurant experiences we’ve ever had in Greece.

→ RELATED: 5 Steps In The Sand Review

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Greek Coffee

best foods to try in greece - greek coffee

Greek coffee is a traditional beverage with a rich history dating back centuries. It’s made from finely ground coffee beans. This mixture is then boiled in a small pot called a “briki” until it forms a foam on top. Unlike other types of coffee, Greek coffee is unfiltered, which means the grounds settle at the bottom of the cup, creating a unique taste. After a few sips of Greek coffee, the foam eventually disappears from the top and the coffee looks just like an Americano. When it comes to the taste of Greek coffee, it has a strong taste with a hint of bitterness, and you can really taste the coffee beans. While it may appear similar to Turkish coffee, Greek coffee has its own distinct character. You can try Greek coffee in any café or beach bar, or make it by yourself.

Greek Salad

best foods to try in greece - greek salad

Greek salad, also known as “Horiatiki,” is a classic and refreshing dish from Greece. To make a traditional Greek salad, you’ll need ripe tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, Kalamata olives, and feta cheese. The key is to season them with extra virgin olive oil, oregano, and a dash of salt and pepper. The juicy tomatoes provide a sweetness, while the cucumbers add a refreshing crunch. The salty Kalamata olives and creamy feta cheese adds to the flavor of this salad. The dressing, made from extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of oregano, beautifully ties everything together. This salad is both simple and satisfying and it’s ideal to enjoy as a light meal on a beach, or as a side dish to complement your favorite Greek meal. You can find this salad in any of the local tavernas, and it is very simple to make it at home.

Moussaka

best foods to try in greece - moussaka

Moussaka is one of the most popular Greek dishes and one of the best foods to try in Greece. To make this comforting dish, layers of thinly sliced eggplant, minced meat (usually lamb or beef), and a tomato-based sauce are arranged. These layers are bound together with a creamy béchamel sauce on top and baked. Moussaka is often enjoyed at family gatherings and local tavernas.

One of the distinctive features of moussaka is the creamy béchamel sauce. This sauce, made from butter, flour, milk, and eggs, adds a nice texture to this dish and ties it together. The eggplant slices, in particular, absorb the flavors of the sauce, becoming tender. Moussaka is a delicious homemade Greek meal and is a must-try for anyone looking to explore the authentic flavors of Greek cuisine.

Baklava

best foods to try in greece - baklava

Greek baklava is a delightful dessert that’s both sweet and nutty. Its roots can be traced back to ancient times when it was enjoyed by the Greeks, Persians, and Ottomans. To make this delicious dessert, thin layers of pastry are stacked with a mix of nuts, like walnuts or pistachios. After baking until it’s golden, sweet syrup is pored over it, making each layer sweet and sticky. Baklava is a beloved treat in Greek culture and a great experience for those fortunate enough to taste it. Even though I’m not a big fan of sweets, I really liked this dessert.

A conclusion on best foods to try in Greece

While there are so many other things to try in Greece, this list is the best foods to try in Greece in my opinion. Greek cuisine has lots of tasty dishes and interesting drinks, so it’s tough to pick only ten. I hope you enjoyed this blog post, and make sure not to miss the chance to try these delicious dishes when you visit this beautiful country.

Have you ever tried any of the foods from this list, and which are your favorites? Let me know in the comments.

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