Interested about food culture, and visiting again soon I would like some inspiration.!
Moussaka was delicious and the greek yogurt with honey.
First part easy but I have two favorites-traditional Greek salad that is served un-tossed and with a block of feta (rather than "crumbles") and truly fresh tomatoes and olives. You probably will be served salad presented like this nearly everywhere you order it. The idea is to crumble the cheese just before tossing and serving. The second is grilled octopus-I know not traditional but my first time to taste the treat. Loved both. Second part harder. The first salad I had in Greece was in (I think?) Athens-a restaurant called God's House, and I believe I first had the octopus in Kardamyli. These were both on a Rick Steves tour. The food in Greece was, in my opinion, the best I've had anywhere during my European travels.
Where in Greece are you planning to go?
I have had quite a few holidays in Greece and have always loved the food. Unfortunately I can't name specific restaurants but in no paricular order:
Souvlaki, both pork and chicken. Always delicious. Bizarrely it is often served with the worst kind of tinned veg but it can always leave those.
Saganaki - it's usually fried cheese but I once had the most amazing mussel saganaki. Mussels fried in the lightest batter
Squid and octopus
Kleftiko - braised lamb and potato. Often pretty dull but on Rhodes we were recommended this tiny restaurant basically in a woman's house that only sold kleftiko. It was amazing! Simply lamb and veg cooked long and slow in a sealed paper parcel.
Nuts in honey served with yoghurt
Paprika Lays with the first glass of wine of the day.
I know it's not Greece but some of the best food I had was in Cyprus.
Halloumi with everything but especially for breakfast. It is amazing with bacon.
In Cyprus we made friends with the hotel barman ( cheap drink! :-)) and he took us on a trip into the Troodos mountains where his aunt cooked for us. It was unbelievable. Nearly 20 years later I still remember the roast chicken she cooked, also a really simple dish of courgettes cooked in masses of olive oil and lightly fried egg. The meal finished with preserved wet walnuts served in iced water.
I really must get back to Greece!
On Santorini in Fira, at a restaurant recommended by RS. Lamb shanks baked in parchment paper with potatoes. It was their special. Always order the special
Oh heck, everything we ate while in Greece!
Can't remember specific places but loved all of the souvlaki I had - beef, chicken, pork, and lamb (although I don't normally like lamb, it was very good). Also loved the Greek yogurt with honey and nuts served just about anywhere including most hotel breakfast buffets. Oh and the moussaka too - what I called Greek lasagna. I loved it with eggplant. In fact I never knew I liked eggplant until I went to Greece and then to Italy. I never had it at home because my mom never served it. Now I know how much I like it done many different ways.
I was in Athens in 2013 and had many fabulous dinners at ManiMani Restaurant nr the acropolis. Lamb shank, pork etc all cooked sous vide style. Amazing and well priced if u go to Athens ck them out. The desserts were fabulous also. I will be going back this spring for another great vacation in Greece and more fab meals at ManiMani ck their website out.
We were in Athens last week and had a couple of great meals at the Mavros Gatos (Black Cat) in Pangrati.
One night the special was wild boar and another a souvla, a bigger version of souvlaki with really nice pork. The food there is all good and the people are friendly.
We've written up a previous visit which gives a bit more detail.
We're in Greece a lot and have rarely had a bad meal: the combination of fresh ingredients and fairly simple cuisine works even in quite basic places. If you're not sure from the menu what you want it is quite common to go into the kitchen and have them show you what's available. A good bet if you want to find out the day's specials and don't speak Greek.
These are the food that i really do remember and have written down.
Dolmadakia (Stuffed Grape Leaves)
Feta Me Meli
we have been to Diaulos or something like that and Klimataria one year ago. They are both traditional tavernas.
We had some of the best Greek Food on two lovely and less touristy islands: Astypalea and Amorgos. The tavernas in Astypalea just before entering Chora were traditional tavernas. The food was as good as it can get, fresh, local and prepared just right. The Greek bread was hot out of the oven and the garlic/butter spread was to die for! Great seafood at reasonable prices.
The Corner Tavernas in Katopola in Amorgos served some of the best food I've ever eaten in Greece. The grilled Calamari was huge, the whole squid, sweet and tender, served on a bed of fried potatoes with a green salad.
We also had one of the best fish dinners anywhere in Greece. It was a local fish topped with a tomato sauce with herbs. It was so good I almost cried.
Greece's offers some of the best food in the world but is never mentioned in the same breath as Italian or French food which are both good, but Greek food is just as good, maybe better and the prices in Greece are so much lower!
For a quick lunch the Gyros, especially in Athens can't be beat. 2 euros!
You might find this article interesting on Greek food overall.
Best feta ever.. ( served as Andi said..a slab on your greek salad) so much better than what we get here..I had a greek salad almost every day for lunch on the beach .
Stuffed peppers and stuffed tomatoes. yum
Potatoes.. roasted.. Naxos grow potatoes and is famous for them and I can see why.
The yogurt.. so creamy and thick.. with fruit sometimes.. but usually just honey.. so good.
Some sort of breakfast pie our hotel made.. it was feta, potatoes, eggs.. spinach.. almost like a frittata.
We found the food on Naxos was better and cheaper than our experiences in Mykonos.
Well, it has been a while, but a few things still stand out. Keep in mind that most of my time in Greece I was in college when fast and cheap were high priorities.
Kolokithokefthedes are zucchini fritters. Try them if you see them.
Lemon roasted potatoes.
Manestra is a small pasta in soup which I had in Delphi.
The yoghurt with honey is always amazing.
Octopus anyway they are making it, even if the little suckers are still showing.
There was a great gyros window on Mitropoleous near the cathedral (the Metropolis) where i would get a gyro kotopoulo (chicken), oxi kremidia (no onions), parakalo. Then we would go sit in front of the church in the fairly big square. It was usually pretty quiet, for Athens.
Everest is a grilled sandwich shop. There is one in Syntagma Square now (which, believe it or not, used to be a Kenny Rogers Roasters). This is where all the young Athenians went around midnight after dinner and a movie and before clubbing. The sandwiches are yummy and transport me back to those lovely days. You get to pick what you want inside, so it's great for picky eaters. Always get French fries in the sandwich! Yes, IN! Fries are great in gyros, too!
We used to take empty water bottles to the taverna, where they would fill it with the house wine for next to nothing.
Retsina with dinner. No matter what you think of it, retsina pairs perfectly with Greek food, especially at a noisy taverna on a warm Athenian night!
So many memories! I miss Greece!
I have dreamt about going back to the street cafe in old town for more calimare and octopus. It melted in my mouth. I do not remember the name but I know I can find it again and hope it is still the same restaurant.
Thank you so much for sharing your lovely memories. !
I did not retain restaurant names in most cases but ordered the fresh fish, grilled octopus, Greek salads to share, lamb(usually offered braised). Looked for waterfront tavernas. The fish is so fresh and they prepare it grilled with olive oil and lemon juice.
Two names I remeber are in Chania, Crete- Tamen and Well of fhe Turk.
What I love to do is find a traditional, family restaurant where they cook big pans of food early in the day. At dinnertime, if you ask about the day's specials, they often invite you to the kitchen (or an adjoining counter) where all this food is on display. If they don't invite, and I have spied some pans of food on my way in, I will ask to see it. They explain what everything is. And then, because it is usually so hard to decide, I ask if we can have a mixed platter with small portions of several dishes.
We order some tzatziki and bread, and a pitcher of wine. They bring a platter of assorted yummy food, and we have a feast. It's a fun way to sample new foods.
One night as my husband and I were eating from our platter, an elderly man walked by and said, "You are eating like Greeks!"