Loved not just in Greece but around the world, Greek cuisine is celebrated for its nutritious and delicious array of dishes. As with other cuisine throughout the Mediterranean, Greek fare makes use of olive oil, vegetables, grains, fish and various meats, including pork, lamb, beef, veal, rabbit and goat.
Most products in Greece are bio so you can taste the difference in meat, vegetables and French fries.
Check out our mini guide below for a rundown of must-try Greek dishes and beverages.
Mezes, salads and starters
When it comes to whetting the appetite, you’re spoilt for choice in Greece. Pita bread and tzatziki dip (yogurt, strained cucumber, garlic, olive oil and sea salt) always goes down well while you’re mulling your options. A classic that you’ll find all over Greece is Greek salad – cucumbers, onion, tomatoes, Kalamata olives, oregano, feta cheese and olive oil – which can be a start, side, or even main course.
Other small dishes to look out for include deep fried squid and taramosalata (fish roe in bread crumbs, olive oil and lemon juice).
Mains and street food
If you somehow still have room after your appetizers, turn your attention to the mains on offer. Much Greek food consists of grilled meat and fish in various forms. For something filling to have on the go, look out for gyros – roasted pork or chicken, salad, fries and tzatziki in pita.
For more sit down-type-stuff, you can’t miss moussaka – an absolute classic which is made from fried eggplant, potato and spiced minced meat. In a similar vein to gyros, souvlaki is also worth a try – it refers to pretty much anything grilled on a skewer (lamb, chicken, pork, even seafood) that’s marinated in olive oil, oregano, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
Sweets and desserts
Something sweet to finish? No problem. Probably the most famous Greek dessert is baklava – a layered filo pastry dish scattered with diced nuts and glued together with honey. So don’t miss that. The other super popular dessert is loukoumades, which is basically just a Greek donut, but with lots of honey. Also look out for karidopita, a kind of walnut cake covered in syrup and typically made with spiced rum, cloves and orange zest.
Wine and spirits
Okay, time to start washing all this down. No visit to Greece is complete without sipping an ice cold ouzo, the national drink and flavored with anise. When it comes to wines, you’re in luck – Greece is one of the oldest wine-producing regions in the world, so they know a thing or two about vineyards.
There are far too many types of Greek wine to list here, but as a brief pointer… If it’s red you’re after, look out for Agiorgitiko, which is mostly grown in the Peloponnese and is soft and fruity, and Liatiko, which is native to Crete and fruity and spicy. If white is on the cards, try out Robola, which is mainly grown in the mountains of Kefalonia, and Savatiano, which is known for its floral and fruity aromas.