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Food in Crete: The Ultimate Crete Food Guide

In this article, we will provide a handy guide on where to find the best food in Crete, so you can enjoy the local cuisine during your stay on the island.

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Food in Crete is a culinary delight and an experience you will never forget. From the abundance of fresh seafood to the delicious local dishes, you will be spoiled for choice when it comes to food in Crete!

In this article, we take a look at some of the best food experiences you can have in Crete. We also provide a handy guide on where to find the best food in Crete, so you can enjoy the local cuisine during your stay on the island.

So, without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the best food experiences you can enjoy in Crete!

Cretan tradition

Crete is endowed with specific regional cuisine and a naturally fertile and rich landscape. The Cretan cuisine is organic, wholly based on the seasons, and abundant in vegetables like wild greens, fruit, and olive oil. Simple dishes produced with regional ingredients are the norm in Cretan cuisine. Cretans have traditionally only consumed food that their land produced.

The Cretan recipes was mostly composed of wild greens, fruits, legumes, bread and barley rusks, little protein, and lots of olive oil. One of the Mediterranean diets is the Cretan diet. Additionally, the Cretan diet is distinguished by two key elements.

Basics of the Cretan Diet

Greece has great cuisine! Moussaka – GYRO / Pastitsio. However, Greek cuisine is lesser known and equally good – maybe better. They’re everywhere in Creta! The Cretan Diet, which some consider even more healthful than Mediterranean Diet contains only a small percentage of olive oils. On the island, local cooking mainly uses local products which are dating back to Ancient times. Minoan people knew how to use olive oil as Cretans did in ancient times.

food in crete

Which are the dishes you should try?

Fresh seafood: One of the best things about Food in Crete is the abundance of fresh seafood. The Mediterranean Sea surrounds the island, and as such, there is no shortage of fresh seafood to be enjoyed.

Some of the best seafood dishes you can try in Crete include grilled fish, squid ink risotto, and octopus salad. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even try some of the more unusual seafood dishes on offer, such as sea urchin roe or fried spider crab!

Local dishes: Besides the fresh seafood, there are many delicious local dishes to be enjoyed in Crete. Some of the most popular local dishes include kleftiko (slow-cooked lamb), dolmades (stuffed vine leaves), and Souvlaki (grilled meats).

For something a little different, you can also try some of the less well-known local dishes, such as kaltsounia (cheese pies) or apaki (smoked pork).

The top Food in Crete you must try.

Most restaurants offer a relatively diverse menu. You can tell from the menus whether the costs align with your budget, which is especially important if you want to eat fish or meat, both of which are more expensive. Every restaurant has a unique charge, typically for the bread brought out to start the meal.

Nevertheless, it doesn’t go over €1 per person. Try the dákos (salted barley biscuits) or paximádia (dry Cretan bread), which are typically served with the well-known salad known as koukouvága in the Réthymno region.

Fried Snails – Popular Cretan Delicacy

fried snails - cretan dish
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Chochlyion boumpouristo snail, choclios, a variety of snail species of Crete, are very well known. This food is eaten frozen during the summer months only when inactive. Chochlisa is made in countless ways (there are about 40): bath in warm water, boil in potatoes and pumpkin, sautéed in oil roasted garlic and roasted tomato or grilled in a dish topped with potatoes and thymes.

Cretan Cheeses

The majority of the cheese produced in the islands are produced from goat or pig milk, often using a mixture of two kinds. Most well-known cheese is feta, which appears in most Greek salads. Graviéra and kefalotry are harder cheeses with heightened taste and there are several varieties of soft cheese, like Manori and thótyr. SKAKKA is the thickest cream produced from goats’milk. Mizithra is produced using the wheys of other cheeses.


Savor Cretan Food with Food Tours in Crete

When it comes to experiencing the culinary delights of Greece, Crete stands out as a true gem. The island is not only known for its breathtaking landscapes and rich history but also for its mouthwatering Cretan cuisine. To truly immerse yourself in this region’s vibrant flavors and traditional dishes, embarking on food tours in Crete is an absolute must.

Food Tours in Heraklion

  • Heraklion Market Food Tour: Heraklion Market Food Tour is the perfect way to learn about the city’s rich history and cultural influences while sampling some of the best local foods.Join now!
  • Heraklion Food Tour: The Heraklion food tour is the best way to enjoy some of the best local cuisine while learning about Crete’s culture.Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity!
  • Cooking Lessons in Heraklio: Looking for a one-of-a-kind & tasteful activity to do while on vacation in Greece? Then check out the best cooking lessons in Heraklion! Book your spot today!
  • Cretan Breakfast in Heraklion: Would you ever want to wake up on a Greek island and taste unique flavors? This is your chance to book our Cretan breakfast in Heraklion!

These guided tours offer an extraordinary opportunity to explore the local food scene, discover hidden gems, and indulge in authentic Cretan delicacies. From bustling markets and charming tavernas to family-owned farms and olive groves, these food tours in Greece’s largest island will take you on a gastronomic adventure. Get ready to sample delectable cheeses, succulent grilled meats, freshly caught seafood, and heavenly desserts while learning about the fascinating culinary heritage that has shaped Cretan cuisine over the centuries.

Food tours in chania

  • Chania Walking Food Tour: Indulge your taste buds on a delightful Chania walking food tour in Crete. Stroll through charming streets, sample local delicacies, and uncover the hidden gastronomic treasures of Chania starting from 92€/ person!!
  • Chania Cooking Class: Discover the secrets of Cretan cuisine during this Chania cooking class and learn about Creatan culture and history! Book your seat now!
  • Chania Wine Tour: Experience the best of Chania’s wine culture with our exclusive Chania Wine Tour. Explore the renowned vineyards, savor exquisite wines, and immerse yourself in the rich wine-making traditions of this enchanting Greek destination.

Whether you are a dedicated foodie or simply looking to enhance your travel experience, joining a food tour in Crete will undoubtedly leave you with unforgettable memories and a deep appreciation for the exceptional flavors of this enchanting island.

Where to Find the Best Food in Crete

Best restaurants in Chania | GreeceFoodies

Now that we’ve whetted your appetite for some of the best traditional food in Crete, let’s take a look at where you can find the best food on the island.

One of the best places to start your culinary journey is in the capital city of Heraklion. This is where you will find some of the best restaurants in Crete, serving up both local and international cuisine.

Top 5 Restaurants in Chania, Crete: Discover the Best Culinary Experiences in the Heart of Greece

If you want to experience more of the local food scene, then you should head to one of the smaller towns or villages, such as Chania or Rethymnon. Here, you will find traditional tavernas serving up delicious home-cooked food.

No matter where you go in Crete, you are sure to find some amazing food to enjoy! The Cretan hospitality will make your experience even more significant!

Eating in Crete: Some Traditions to Keep in Mind

Cretan food is late, at least until midnight, although some people sit down to eat later. It’s the same with the luncheon when most people do not sit around until noon. No worries, the dining establishments know the opposite and they’ll have their dining tables at 6pm or 7pm. You’ll not be surprised by the coffee that people put in your lap. That’s a Cretan! Some Cretons have only the basic meal at noon. At night the majority prefer light meals, either in a choice of Mezede dishes or with what remained of a typical meal.

Vegetarian Cretan Food Specialties

Vegetables are one of our most basic ingredients and are commonly used during Cretan cooking. Food on Crete primarily comes from the land that offers the best food for a holiday. Cretans therefore provide ample variety in fruits, vegetables, greens and legumes. The Greek Orthodox religious system also demands fasting nearly 300 days a year. During such a period there is no consumption of animal products. There are several different kinds of vegetarian and vegan recipes. Our favorite vegetable dish was Artichoke, zucchini flowers, gigants, tomatoes, green bean stew etc. Below is a selection of authentic Cretan food recipes that will be missed in your kitchen.

Is Cretan cuisine going to be the next food destination on your list?

FAQs about Food in Crete

Is Crete expensive for food and drink?

Eating at a place in Crete can not be cheap. If you go to local places or visit tourist attractions, they are much cheaper. But eating at the finest restaurants in famous cities could require more money to pay off.

How much is an average meal in Crete?

Average daily expenses During the winter months meal costs in Crete could differ, but the average daily food costs are €34 per day. According to previous travelers spending habits a typical Greek dinner would be around 14€. The cost of lunch is generally cheaper.

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