Crete Restaurants and Dining

(Crete, Greece)

Picture of waterfront eateriesThe cuisine of Crete has much in common with mainland Greece and the food generally eaten around the Mediterranean basin. Restaurants and eateries scattered all around the island of Crete, with dining venues being especially clustered in the main towns and beach resorts, such as Hania, Iraklio, Kissamos, Rethymno and Selino, amongst other locations.

Dishes served at Crete's many restaurants tend to be simple and not overly fussy, with an emphasis on healthy cuisine and fresh produce. If you see local Cretans dining at a restaurant or cafes, then it is a indication that the food is of a good quality. Also worth bearing in mind, the restaurants located away from the more northerly tourists resorts tend to be the best.

Chania view

What to Eat

When dining out on Crete, restaurant staff usually automatically put bread on the table. Food which is 'ready prepared' is often served chilled and this is known as 'mayirefta', while dishes cooked to order as referred to as 'tis oras'.

Apart from classic Greek salads with locally produced Cretan cheeses, such as Anthotiros, Graviera or Myzitra, seafood is a regular occurrence of menus, along with ham, sausages, mountain goat and chicken.

Photograph showing outdoor eateriesMany grilled dishes are cooked on skewers and accompanied with various dips and sauces. Most restaurants around Crete prepare their own dips, such as taramasalata (made with caviar) and tzatziki (a mixture of Greek yoghurt, olive oil and garlic).

Where to Eat

Iraklio is home to an especially large selection of restaurants, with range from traditional fish tavernas to more international dining venues, although most do close on Sunday. The capital of Crete, Iraklio features a number of fast-food restaurants around its Morosini Fountain, while for waterfront dining with superb views, head to one of the eateries along the El Venizelou in Rethymno, or to the quayside tavernas in Sitia, on Crete's Lasithi Plateau.