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Food in Greece

I heard from a traveler to Greece that the food was not good. Any other opinions?

Posted by
2053 posts

I found the food to be terrific-freshly and creatively prepared and beautifully presented.

Posted by
38 posts

I loved the food in Greece. I haven't tasted fetta cheese like that anyplace else. My trip was in 2009.

Posted by
5265 posts

I can't imagine who this traveler was who told you "the food was not good." Perhaps he/she had a bad experience somewhere. We loved the food we had in numerous tavernas on the mainland and Crete. Lots of fish, olive oil, great salads, goat cheese, etc. Many choices on menus so you can avoid things you don't care for, and you can try some things you haven't eaten before or had prepared the same way.

Posted by
8850 posts

Hard to imagine anyone making such a comment.

Any other opinions?

Yes, The food is fabulous!

Posted by
3714 posts

I love Greek food.

This should give you some hints about it. If you are in the right place at the right time, you might even run into some bamies (okra) to make you feel right at home, found on this page of Greek side dishes.

Posted by
2540 posts

Greek food is great, though the "traveller" you met may have been used to KFC and McD's..................... it is nothing like that.

Posted by
15053 posts

Best food in Europe - okay, I admit that depends on personal likes and dislikes, so maybe not the best in Europe for everyone. I am mostly vegetarian (will eat some fish, no seafood) and in 2-1/2 weeks in Greece last year, I had one meal I considered substandard - in Sparta. Other than that, all the meals were very good to outstanding. So were the snacks. It's a typical Mediterranean diet, similar in ingredients to Spain and Italy, lots of fresh vegetables, fresh fruit, olive oil, fresh herbs.

Just thinking about Greek food is making me want to book a flight . . .

Posted by
396 posts

Consider how many bad meals you could have if you simply pick restaurants randomly in the U.S. We had a couple of memorably bad meals in Spain but they were in very touristy areas and we just chose the restaurants at the spur of the moment because they were convenient. That's not an indictment of Spanish food but our lack of care.

Posted by
2898 posts

When I read "I heard from a traveler" it usually heralds major misinformation, -- i.e., "I heard from a traveler that I shouldn't miss the wonderful white sand beaches on Santorini". If so, Melva, congrats; you have achieved your wish. So, I will give YOU a chance to protest my opinion of average N. Carolina cooking... based not on what "I heard from a traveler" but on my own frequent experience.

My son lives in N Carolina, and we must pick and choose when eating out, When I visit, we often end up eating at home. I've found that, except for high-end restaurants, when you go to ordinary places there, there is far too much deep-fried food, and the iced tea is so sweet it makes your teeth ache. Also, it's hard to get good seafood except right at the shore (and then it's deep-fried, see above), and vegetables seem to be defrosted. The best Southern food can be absolutely delicious but the fast-food influence has driven out much of the good home-cooked tradition... convenience and frozen above all.

Greek food is not gourmet, it's not "haute cuisine" as in France or parts of Italy ... but even at ordinary small tavernas, the consistent characteristics are freshness, simplicity and flavor. Due to the climate, there are at least 3 crops per year... so tomatoes, squash, other veggies are right out of the fields, not the "bouncy tennis-ball" tomatoes, full of seeds, you may find in US. You won't find fancy, heavy sauces. The best dishes aren't the expensive grilled cuts of meat, but things that are oven-baked "low and slow", chicken, lamb or pork baked with onions & veggies and full of flavor. Buy fruits from small markets, nothing like fully-ripe apricots or cherries, not sprayed with poisons, sweet as candy. If you don't like these things, you can always find a burger & fries ... and the fries will be fresh-cut, from Naxian potatoes, irresistible.

Posted by
3469 posts

We were in Greece last September and can't stop thinking about all the wonderful meals we had. We primarily eat a Mediterranean Diet at home, but it was so much better there. We still have fond memories of restaurants like Manh Manh (Athens) Stani (Santorini) and Nostiman Hellas (Naxos).

Posted by
11450 posts

melva. this is another post from you where you seem overly nervous and seem to have bad information.. first I read you are concerned about the immigrants and now you are concerned about the food.

The food is great.. we love a nice salad with a slab of the best greek feta on it.. and the roasted meats and veggies are so good. I had one dish that was particularily memorable.. it was vegetables and lamb wrapped in a pouch of parchment paper and cooked.. the meat was so tender.. the veggies flavourful

Greece is wonderful.. I would stop listening to negative people and go and see for yourself.

Posted by
2745 posts

I can certainly see someone having food that was "not good" once or twice on a two week trip. There are bad restaurants everywhere. But in general Greek food is quite good. Of course, if someone hates tomatoes, olives, feta cheese, fish, and meat then maybe it's bad to them. But if you like at least some of those things...Greece does them (and more) quite well!

Posted by
546 posts

Melva...Cover your ears when the Nattering Nabobs of Negativity start their siren call of doom and bad food. In my experience it's those people who despite calling themselves a traveler are no more than an armchair wannabe who cant stand for anyone else to have a good time.

Food can be great everywhere. And you may have a bad meal almost anywhere. But I agree with most of the above. Don't worry so much just go have fun and enjoy the experience. Make up your own mind.

Posted by
21314 posts

OK, in fairness to Melva's informant:

I visited Greece three times between 1978 and 1995 or 1996. When people asked about the food, my response was something along the lines of "No one goes to Greece for the food." I would then explain that what was available in non-fancy restaurants tended to lack variety, and that a lot of such places posted menus showing dozens of options but had only a handful available. The latter complaint found its way into at least one guidebook.

I am convinced that things have changed by both the positive comments in this thread and by a conversation I had last year in Oxford (England). I was chatting with the receptionist at my lodgings. She had just returned from a vacation in Crete. I made my usual (and by now grotesquely outdated) comment about the food, and she most vociferously disagreed. So perhaps Melva's acquaintance was basing the statement on experiences that are long past their pull-date (as I was until the Oxford encounter).

Posted by
51 posts

Thanks for most of the opinions. I love Mediterranean food and fresh veggies and fish, so know I'll be happy after your comments. We enjoyed the food on the coast of Croatia.
As to those knocking my tastes without knowing me, I lived in NY for 18 years, I agree with you that the fried food and sweet tea are awful in N. CAROLINA and don't eat like that. I like to be healthy. So,don't get your "knickers in a knot" and jump the gun. I was only asking after a got feedback from someone who had been there - not a Rick Steves traveler.

Posted by
186 posts

You will find the freshest, tastiest, organic produce you have ever tasted in Greece! Farm to table is all they do there. If you like tomatoes, you will realize why they are fruit not vegetables while there because they are so full of flavor. Grilled meat and seafood are mouth watering. Walking by outdoor grill restaurants, the aroma will entice you. My guess is the traveler you heard from made some bad choices.

Posted by
51 posts

Thanks to all for your input... to those of you who understood I was only looking for information.

Posted by
975 posts

I've been to Greece many times, more than some, less than others. I've eaten in Athens and other parts of the mainland and on many islands.

I would say all the food/meals I've had have been good, some better than others but always good.

Quick service at most tavernas, full meals rather than a la carte like in Rome, less expensive and very rarely will you find a plate presented to you that looks like a work of art. Instead you'll get good portions, arranged nicely but not a piece of museum artwork. Obviously higher-end restaurants may be more upscale but I avoid those and go for the smaller and more traditional, less touristy tavernas.

I find the prices much lower than back home in the US, you aren't constantly pestered by wait people about how is everything, what else can I get you, when are you leaving? You get seated quickly, ordered quickly, get your food in a short amount of time and enjoy wonderful Greek food in a more relaxing and friendly atmosphere.

Posted by
8293 posts

Sorry, Melva, if you found my post snarky. You said “a traveller” told you the food in Greece was not good with no further information. That was it. In what way was the food not good? Too greasy? Too spicey? Too heavy? Too much lamb? Too much eggplant? Is the traveller knowledgeable about different cuisines? A flat statement, the food was not good. My post was in reaction to that.

Posted by
2745 posts

In general, when receiving advice/input from other travelers, take that persons style and personality into account. Heavily into account in some cases! I have a relative who travels around US cities a lot and is used to the big name, upscale hotels. I would not really trust her advice on European hotels because she would expect things like turn-down service, porters, room service, and large rooms. Not my personal preference, so on this topic I'd find other places for advice. Ditto my father-in-law who only eats plain chicken and finds mild salsa exotic. His opinions on international cuisine would be questionable. But he's great on telling me about historical sights.

Posted by
1 posts

visited greece in 95, as a matter of fact as mentioned, and one of my lasting impressions of that visit was the food did not meet my expectations. going again this summer cant wait! and expect things will have improved. atleast my expectations might have mellowed some, am not so hard to please.