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Posted by
1602 posts

Mmmm. The two Greek lads I know quite well drink Guinness, and in large quantities.

Posted by
1172 posts

When I am in Greece I noticed my alcohol consumption increases dramatically, but I never get to the point of staggering, slurring words or falling down. Most Greeks consume alcohol with meals which counters the affects of alcohol.

Greece has a wonderful selection of wines, many of them locally produced and any time I go to a market or a taverna I get the "house wine" which is very inexpensive and very good. I'm not a wine connoisseur so can't say what's good or not but I know decent wine when I sip it and for the most part have never been disappointed by local wine.

Wine, as we know, is good in moderation and in fact can help with lowering cholesterol and blood pressure if you are a responsible drinker.

Greeks have been drinking wine for centuries and with their Mediterranean diet and life style outlive many other Western countries. Check out the island of Ikaria, the island where many residents live well into their 90s because of diet, lifestyle and drinking wine. Through in some Ouzo, Raki and other Greek liqueurs and you can see why Greeks live for life and exemplify the Lust for Life that other countries can only dream about.

Posted by
3614 posts

Virtually every restaurant we ate at on our recent trip to Greece brought complimentary raki at the end of the meal, served in or with tiny glasses. The locals claimed it aids digestion. I don't know if it was the raki or the Greek yogurt I ate every day for breakfast, or both; but I had no stomach issues on this trip. On past trips, to several different countries, I had at least one day when I was so sick I had to stay in bed. And, yes, the local wine was good, especially on Santorini.

Posted by
1172 posts

Rosalyn: We have been to Greece every October since 2010 and have found Greek food/alochol safe, delicious and filling, with some of the best prices anywhere, regardless of Europe or the US.

We have eaten at places all over Athens, the Peloponesse and the Greek Islands and have never had any problems with food poisoning, sickness, wooziness, not being able to fall asleep, or anything else.

We have been to small, out of the way eateries on non-touristy islands and had some of the best food anywhere we have traveled. We have eaten in Athens numerous times, Nafplio, and a number of islands, touristy and non-touristy and all the meals we have had have been good, some better than others but always good. Great local wines, excellent pre- and after-dinner liquers to "Help" with digestion and not once have we had any issues with quality or any lingering after affects.

However, we did have a major issue in Sorento, Italy with bad salad that caused my wife to be bed-ridden for 24 hours with food poisoning.

One would think Italy would be a step above Greece in quality and safety but found out the hard way that Greece, with all its issues with the economy and resulting social concerns still provided us and continues to provide us with a safe, quality-filled and fun atmosphere with very good food, alcohol and Old-World charm

Posted by
45 posts

In regards to complimentary snacks or desserts, as I've heard is sometimes customary especially with family run, non touristy restaurants and tavernas: how do you politely make sure it is complimentary?

In Italy, we sometimes got a surprise at the end of our bill for bread that we thought was free, in addition to the gratuity/service charge. Or in Barcelona some restaurants will set down tapas without being ordered and you pay if you partake.

That is interesting that there isn't really a word for hangover in Greek. That would not be a fun way to spend half a day of vacation so that is motivation enough to practice moderation.

Posted by
3614 posts

As I'm remembering it, every time the dessert was offered, the server said that it was complimentary, or words to that effect.
Also, I'll echo tommyk in saying that you would not know from the demeanor of the people that Greece is a country that has been under severe economic distress for almost a decade. The people were amazingly welcoming, helpful, and kind. I felt that it was not just for the tourists. They were polite and friendly to each other, too.

Posted by
91 posts

Melissa&Brad, You will be charged for bread, there is a small standard bread & cover charge, happens everywhere - usually 50c or so. You will not be charged for the small dessert &/or raki (called Tsikoudia in Crete). Ever. I have never seen or heard of that happening.

The only time people can very occasionally feel 'ripped off' is if they have eaten at the most touristic place, in the most perfect location, on the prettiest harbour... & only if they have ordered large fish without getting it weighed first. Fish is expensive in Europe everywhere, especially the more uncommon, special varieties. stick with sardines, calamari, 'small fishes' (whitebait & similar) & they will not give you any surprise! If you want a sea bass, bream etc, then you go with the waiter into the kitchen to choose your fish & they will weigh it & tell you the price.