What makes us an expert on Greek food? Well, we’ve certainly eaten our fair share of Greek dishes over the years! Greece is one of our favorite countries in the world and a destination can’t get enough of. One of the biggest reasons that keeps us coming back is the delicious food in Greece. This is a place where you can start your day with an ice-cold Freddo espresso, eating blocks of feta cheese is the norm, and you’ll find endless traditional Greek foods to enjoy. Here are all our recommendations for the best food in Greece and fun photos of the meals we’ve eaten ourselves!
What’s the Most Famous Food in Greece?
When first thinking about Greek food there are probably already a handful of traditional dishes you may already know. Internationally, the most famous Greek dishes are Gyros, greek salads, tzatziki, olives, and octopus to name a few.
Of course, you can’t talk about the most famous food without mentioning Moussaka! This also happens to be the national dish of Greece. While there may be plenty of dishes you know of, there’s countless specialties you will never have tried until you actually visit.
The food in Greece is a combination of local fresh vegetables, high-quality meat, and an abundance of cheeses and regional spices. You’ll also see a ton of extra virgin olive oil, oregano, and lemon juice used throughout the different Greek dishes.
Where Can You Find the Best Food in Greece?
This is an interesting question! You will find classic Greek meals no matter where you’re traveling in the country. From the big cities like Athens and Thessaloniki to the more remote islands of Astypalea and Karpathos, the food in Greece is sure to surprise you.
In our opinion, it’s very difficult to get a bad meal in Greece. Out of the many meals we’ve tried, we truly can remember very few we didn’t like.
Traditional Greek food is made with love and often cooked with old family recipes at the local tavernas. Technically, northern Greece is known for having the best food in Greece. However, if that’s not on your itinerary don’t worry.
Each region of Greece has both the traditional staples you know and unique Greek dishes that are specific to the region. This can range from different cooking techniques to lovable pastas and local bakery treats.
What Greek Food is Vegetarian or Vegan?
Are you a vegetarian or vegan and heading to Greece and wondering what you’ll find? It’s true that the most popular Greek dishes are made with meat. Yet, the food in Greece can certainly accommodate any eating style.
Our favorite vegetarian plates are the meze appetizers which are made with plenty of healthy items. You’ll also find great traditional specialties such as stuffed peppers with rice, fava beans, spinach pastries, and artichoke hearts.
Is Greece Food Expensive?
Getting excited about your own trip to Greece? Well, you’re probably wondering how much all these delicious dishes cost.
Know that this will highly depend on where in Greece you’re traveling to. Are you visiting the fancy islands of Mykonos or Santorini or some of the lesser known islets of the Dodecanese? How about exploring the vast areas of Mainland Greece? The price of food can dramatically change with you’re visiting.
Our key to finding the most affordable Greek food is eating at the family-run tavernas. These restaurants always make their dishes fresh from the kitchen with scrumptious local ingredients. It’s easy to look up the best places in each town you’ll be visiting. Just make sure you leave some time to explore on your own and discover the hidden gems for yourself.
Price of Greek Foods
For appetizers, you can expect to pay around 3 to 5 Euros. When it comes to the main course, traditional greek dishes will be between 7 to 12 Euros. However, the high-end seafood and meat plates may cost a bit more.
Good news though! Ordering wine at a local taverna won’t cost you an arm and a leg. The local tavernas may only have simple red and white options. Yet, a glass will be equal to the price of a coffee and you can get a half or full liter for just a few euros.
Each year we’ve been back to Greece we have seen a slight increase on the menus. These prices will fluctuate with the local economy and something the average traveler probably won’t notice. Just know that if you eat at the tavernas and stick to popular greek street food, you’ll surely be able to find something in your budget.
Best Greek Food: Appetizers
As we mentioned, Meze is a great way to enjoy drinks and different appetizers at once before you start your main course.
Meze is a time to be enjoyed with friends and family and definitely not rushed. Here’s a few of our favorite appetizers in Greece to try on your next trip.
1. Spinach Pie
Let’s start off with one of the most popular bakery items in all of Greece! Also known as a Spanakopita, this delectable spinach pie is popular throughout the country.
Layers of flaky filo dough are filled with cheese and spinach that every traveler will enjoy. We can’t even begin to imagine how many of these we’ve eaten in Greece. Keep an eye out for these sliced squares or rolled spirals at the local bakeries.
2. Cheese Pie
Similar to Spanakopita, traditional cheese pie is another popular food in Greece. It’s made with filo dough, but what makes it different is the filling. These pies have feta cheese mixed with egg which gives it a tasty texture.
3. Fava Beans
Fava is an extremely common appetizer to try at the Greek tavernas. You will find it’s either made from Santorini Fava beans or from yellow split peas.
The split peas give it a beautiful bright color that differ from your typical island flavor. The fava is puréed into a dip and you’ll want to have some fresh bread on the side best enjoy it.
Known worldwide as butter beans, Gigantes are known for their creamy and light taste. These are bigger than your normal fava beans and and often cooked in a salty tomato sauce.
5. Greek Meatballs
Meatballs are traditionally made from a mixture of pork and ground beef as well as spices. This is easily one of the most popular Greek foods you’ll find to start your meal!
Also, you can sometimes order it as a larger portion to have as your main. Look for Keftedes when scanning the menus in Greece. The homemade meatballs are such a great option before you dive into more delicious Greek foods.
Tzatziki is one of the most famous foods from Greece. If you’ve never tried this amazing dip before, it’s a mixture of yogurt, fresh cucumber, garlic, oregano, and other seasonings.
Tzatziki is extremely creamy and refreshing on a hot summer day! It can be eaten on its own with bread or served on the side of a main dish such as pork souvlaki.
This unique Greek food has an ingredient you might not expect. Taramosalata is a dip made with fish roe giving it its light pink hue.
Olive oil, lemon juice, and onions are added to the fish roe to create a burst of flavor. This is another appetizer in Greece that you’ll need bread to dip with on the side.
8. Traditional Greek Salad
There are very few days traveling in Greece where we didn’t enjoy a Greek salad. It’s the ultimate starter and the first thing we order when sitting down for a meal.
One of the best things about a Greek salad is the massive block of feta cheese that sits on top. Yes, that’s right! An entire block of feta comes on each Greek salad.
Other additions include tomatoes, onions, olives, and peppers. It’s then topped with a healthy dose of fresh olive oil, vinegar, and oregano.
9. Greek Olives
Did you know Greece has some of the best olives in the world? It won’t be hard to see that from the thousands of olive trees planted everywhere you look.
One of our best memories from Greece was stopping at a local olive farm in Crete and grabbing a huge bag for just 2 Euros. We then spent the rest of our Crete road trip enjoying olives as we took in the scenery.
The crazy amount of olives has made Greece one of the top olive oil producers in the world. You can find a bottle of it on almost every table at Greek restaurants.
10. Tomato Fritters
Heading to the popular island of Santorini? Then be sure to keep a lookout for tomato fritters.
The fritters are made with a combo of tomatoes, dill, feta, and fried until perfectly crunchy. They are served with a side of creamy yogurt or Tzatziki sauce for dipping.
11. Fried Zucchini
By now you can tell some of the best Greek foods are fried! Similar to the tomato fritter, fried zucchini is a very common appetizer to order on your visit.
We’ve also found that this food from Greece is prepared in several different ways. Sometimes zucchini is sliced into small french fry-like sizes, while at other places it’s served in round pieces. You might even come across zucchini fritters on your travels.
12. Stewed Artichoke Hearts
Artichokes are found throughout Greece after the harvest season, and we’ve even seen them being sold off the back of trucks on the mainland. Stewed in a tomato sauce, the artichoke hearts are soft and delicious.
One of the best meals we’ve ever had was at a small restaurant in Olympos on Karpathos island. Here they brought our saucy artichoke hearts with a view of the scenic coastline.
Best Greek Foods: Extra Cheesy Appetizers
So what can make the cheese in Greece any better? How about frying it up!
Saganaki is hard yellow cheese that’s fried in a pan. It’s cooked so the outside is crispy and the inside soft and gooey.
Get ready to eat this Greece food as soon as it hits your table. Also, it can be nice to squeeze a fresh lemon on top.
This is one food from Greece that you won’t find at every single place around the country. Nevertheless, when you do see it on a menu make sure to order it immediately.
The best way we can describe this dish is as the Greek food version of fondue. We had it for the first time at local taverna in Meteora, and it was hands-down one of the cheesiest dishes we’ve ever had.
Made from a mix of yellow cheese, feta, and peppers, the clay pot came out piping hot. Once it cooled, we got our dipping bread ready and were instantly in Greek food heaven!
15. Baked Feta With Honey
Need one more popular appetizer from Greece? Feta me Meli is great if you’re the type of person who likes to mix salty with sweet.
A large block of feta cheese is wrapped in Filo dough and cooked until it’s crispy. Before being served, it’s drizzled with a generous amount of honey and sprinkled with sesame seeds. What a delicious combo!
Whether served warm or cold, Dolmades is one of the tastiest foods in Greece! A combination of rice and minced meat is wrapped in grape leaves to create the fun Greek snack.
Popular Veggie Based Greek Dishes
This is an incredible dish that combines soft baked eggplant with feta cheese and tomato. The soft ingredients mix together and explode with flavor.
Gemista is a great Greek food plate consisting of stuffed vegetables. The tomatoes or peppers are crammed full of rice and herbs, then baked alongside potatoes in the oven.
Best Greek Food: Pork, Chicken & Lamb
Now that you’ve seen best foods in Greece to start, we’re onto the good stuff! When diving into the more filling options in Greek cuisine know that it doesn’t always have to be an elaborate dinner spread.
Some of the best Greek foods are found at the street food stands and small local restaurants. Here’s some of our favorite meals to try when you get hungry later in the day.
Obviously, we had to begin with one of the most famous foods in Greece! The Gyro is something that is found far and wide around the world. Yet, the original was created in the Hellenic Republic.
While strolling around any of the main towns and cities you will see large pieces of meat spinning in the windows. The stacked meat is cooked on a vertical rotisserie, put into a pita, and filled with lettuce, tomatoes, and tzatziki sauce.
It’s also one of the cheapest foods in Greece to eat out. Even on an expensive island like Mykonos, we’ve found gyros for as little as as 3 euros. If you’re really hungry you can even opt for the Gyro plate with french fries instead of getting it in a pita.
Most likely you’ll have chicken or pork as your two options. However, if you ever see lamb at a gyro place don’t hesitate to order it.
Gyros may be one of the most popular foods in Greece, but souvlaki is a close second. Most of the time you can find them served at Greek restaurants which also feature gyros.
Chicken or pork is cut up into chunks and placed onto long sticks. They are then thrown onto the grill until hot and ready to serve.
Souvlaki can go great together with a Greek salad or made into a sandwich with pita bread. Also, if you order the chicken it will be served with an amazing lemon sauce called Ladolemono.
As we mentioned, Moussaka is the national dish of Greece and one of our personal favorites. This famous casserole is traditionally made with eggplant, potatoes, and either beef or lamb sauce. It can be baked in a variety of different ways with eggplant as the main ingredient.
As soon as you cut into your Moussaka you’ll see why it’s eaten all over the country! The mouth-watering combination of flavors is one of the first things to try on your Greece food adventures.
22. Lamb Kleftiko
Lamb dishes are some of our favorite to eat in Greece, and one of the very best is Kleftiko! The name comes from the mountain thieves who would steal lamb or goats and cook the meat in underground ovens to avoid being discovered.
Slow roasted meat is cooked with potatoes and vegetables to unlock the flavor of this classic Greek dish. It can be especially tasty on a brisk day on the mainland.
23. Grilled Lamb
There are several popular ways to prepare lamb in Greece. One of the best meals at the Greek tavernas is grilled lamb chops.
The lamb meet is perfectly moist, soft, and has a slight char to give it a crispy taste. Just make sure you’re hungry when you sit down for a full plate of lamb!
24. Lamb Cooked in a Lemon Sauce
Yes, there is another lamb fixture we highly recommend you try! Lamb is cooked in a lemon egg sauce which gives the meat a tart lemon cream taste. This is one of those Greek dishes that we dream about, and always order as soon as we arrive in the country.
Ready to try Greek beef stew? Stifado is enjoyed by travelers from the mainland to the beautiful Greek Islands. Stewed meat is cooked with a copious amount of onions and served over a plate of orzo pasta, potatoes, or french fries.
While it’s most typically made with beef, you can also get this traditional Greek food with pork or rabbit.
26. Village Sausage
The sausage in Greece is lean and filled with tasty seasonings. We found this Greek dish mostly while visiting the smaller towns on the mainland.
27. Greek Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
This Greece food fixture is a mixture of minced pork or beef with rice. Cabbage leaves are used to wrap the fillings which are then baked in a lemon sauce. This hearty Greek food is definitely one of our all-time favorites!
28. Roasted Chicken and Rice
Have you ever seen a giant wall of chickens being slow roasted? This can be a very common sight when walking into a traditional Greek restaurant. Once cooked, the chicken is served with potatoes roasted in the oven and yellow rice.
29. Grilled Pork Chop
We mentioned grilled lamb chops already. Still, know that the pork version shouldn’t missed either! This is something that goes great as a main course after some drinks and meze plates.
Best Foods From Greece: Pasta Time
Pasta lovers rejoice! Greece is not famous for its pasta like Italy. However, there are so many great dishes to experience. Pastitsio is the closest thing you can get to a lasagna and something to put at the top of your Greek foods list.
The pasta has a meat sauce with creamy cheese on top. It’s usually baked in the morning and placed behind the glass at local restaurants.
You will find other popular Greek dishes displayed like this where it’s then heated up and ready to eat.
Giouvetsi is another one of the best pasta plates to try in Greece. We tasted this incredible Greek food in Rhodes Old Town and immediately hooked. What’s not to love about beef stew with orzo under a delicious melted cheese??
It’s something you won’t always see on a menu, but don’t be afraid to ask for it. We’ve found that they almost always knew it and the skilled Greek chefs are more than happy to prepare it for you.
Fresh pasta is rolled into small pieces then smothered in garlic, butter, onions, garlic, and butter. The final addition is a delicious local goat or sheep cheese sprinkled on top.
Best Greek Foods: Seafood Specialties
33. Grilled Octopus
There are so many great foods in Greece to try from the sea, and the most famous would have to be octopus. Look out for this special Greek dish in the islands or coastal areas of the mainland.
Grilled octopus and served with a squeeze of lemon, olive oil, and black pepper. Of course, you’ll want to have some bread on the side and plenty of olives to enjoy with it.
34. Feta Stuffed Squid
Are you a big fan of octopus? Then squid stuffed with feta cheese is sure to blow your mind!
Now you won’t find this Greek specialty everywhere, so when you see it make sure to order it right away! There’s nothing like having fresh seafood full of traditional cheese.
35. Jumbo Prawns
Prawns are a great appetizer and go well with other Greek meze dishes. They are often big and juicy on the islands and perfect with an ice-cold Mythos Beer.
36. Whole Fish
One of the most delicious things you can order at the local taverna is a whole fresh fish. Two of the most popular fish options are sea bream and sea bass. The seafood is baked or grilled then seasoned with herbs, olive oil, and lemon juice.
37. Fried Calamari
This is a seafood treat to look out for in the coastal towns of Greece. The fried squids come with a lemon on the side and is an appetizer seafood fans will enjoy.
38. Mixed Seafood
Can’t get enough seafood in Greece? Then we recommend going for a mixed plate! This can be a great way to combine the prawns, sardines, and calamari so you can have a taste of everything.
Best Greek Food: Sweets & Dessert Treats
It’s time to get into the many sweet treats of Greek cuisine! Baklava is definitely the most popular dessert in Greece, but also has origins in Turkey.
Now depending on which country you’re traveling in you’re sure to get different answers on who makes it best. Just know the baklava in Greece is absolutely amazing!
Flaky filo dough is key to this traditional pastry. Nuts fill the dessert and then it’s drenched in honey or sweet syrup. Be sure sure to check out our article below if you’d like to see what to eat on a trip to Turkey.
Greek donuts are a fun dessert to try after your meal or as an evening snack. The fluffy dough balls are deep fried and covered with honey, cinnamon, or sugar.
The first time we tried this Greek dish was on a Santorini food tour. Since then, we’ve always been on the lookout for these baked donuts!
This honey and sesame infusion is a delightful snack to take with you on a hike or beach day. They come in packaged bars which are easy to pack.
Our introduction to this was during our road trip through the Peloponnese region of Southern Greece. We visited a place in the town of Gytheio that had been making pasteli for over 100 years with a secret family recipe.
42. Milk Pie
Greek custard pie is plentiful at the bakeries and local tavernas. It’s layered with golden brown filo and filled with different flavors of creamy custard.
43. Greek Yogurt
The world-renowned Greek yogurt is something you can pick up at your local grocery store. We love it as a healthy breakfast option, especially with fresh fruits mixed in.
Don’t be surprised when it comes as a dessert after your Greek dishes! You’ll also get a large helping of local honey served on top.
Best Drinks to Have With Greek Food
44. Greek Coffee
Now that you’ve learned about some of the best foods in Greece, how about some drinks to go with it? We’re not kidding when we say traditional Greek coffee is an acquired taste. Yes, this even goes for the biggest coffee enthusiasts!
The bold flavor comes from the fine grind coffee beans. The grounds are then left in the bottom after being boiled. Sip Greek coffee slowly and make sure not to drink it to the last drop. Otherwise, you may end up with a bad taste in your mouth!
45. Freddo Espresso & Cappuccino
Our personal favorite way to drink Greek coffee is with an ice cold freddo espresso. Espresso shots are blended with a creamy froth which makes for a unique and refreshing taste.
Cappuccino style is also available if you prefer. We especially enjoy these drinks on a warm summer day at the beach.
46. Beer in Greece
Greece has a wide selection of alcohol to enjoy, and that of course includes beer! You can find everything from your classic light lager to flavorful craft breweries around the country.
One thing you’ll find almost everywhere on draft is Mythos. This smooth lager is the national beer of Greece and is our go-to option for a beach day.
Other beers we love in Greece include Mamos, Fix, and Alpha. Be sure to stop by the Donkey Brewing Company if you’re on Santorini!
47. Greek Wine
Wine is popular in Greece and acceptable to drink at any time of the day. At most local tavernas you will have the simple option of white or red. You can order it in half or full litre crafts instead of by the glass.
There are many great wineries around the country, and especially on the islands of Crete and Santorini. Greece is not known for its wine like other countries in Europe. However, the industry continues to grow and improve with each passing year.
48. Ouzo, Suma & Raki
Last but not least, we have the strongest alcohols of them all. Greek spirits are distilled from grapes with ouzo having an unmistakable smokey gray color. If you’re partaking in some ouzo, we recommend not having many plans for the rest of your day.
Ouzo is drank in different ways depending on what island or region of Greece you’re visiting. It will be served as a shot after your meal, or you can order it on ice and water to sip on.
Have any questions about Greece food or want to share your own favorite Greek dishes? Leave us a comment below!
Brigitte & Jake
Where in the world are we? Follow our daily adventures on Instagram @nothingfamiliar!
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Greece Travel Planning
For island hopping use FerriesinGreece to compare different routes, prices, and companies. The fast ferries like Sea Jets will cost more but often takes half the time of slower ferries like Blue Star.
Rental Car: You can book a rental car for as little as $20 a day in Greece! We use Discover Cars to explore the larger islands with a vehicle.
Travel Insurance: Never travel abroad without insurance. We’ve been using SafetyWing for the last few years on the road and they are there when we need them.
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