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Greek Food: The 23 Best Food To Eat In Greece

Not going to lie Turkish food is my new favorite cuisine, but Greek food is not far behind it. Possibly because it is very similar, although there are just as many different and delicious types of food to eat in Greece.

What was it exactly that made me fall in love with Greek food? First I owe you a massive apology because this Greek food guide is going to make your mouth water and your tastebuds tingle.

Greek Food: Top 20 Food To Eat In Greece - Girl on greek island

What are popular foods in Greece?

This list of 22 foods to eat in Greece is probably the most popular list you are likely to find. Gyros, Tzatziki, olives, dolmades, moussaka. Keep reading!

What is the most famous food in Greece?

Moussaka is probably considered the most famous of Greek dish, but I beg to differ. For me it’s the Gyro.

What is a typical Greek meal?

At a traditional Greek meal, you will most likely be served up a big family Moussaka where tomato sauce is used to cook minced beef and then layered between eggplants and béchamel sauce. Served with olives, tzatziki and pitta, and a crisp Greek salad.

What is Greek street food?

Probably everyone knows the most popular Souvlaki and Gyros. But Loukomades is also becoming quite a popular Greek street food around the world.

What is the most popular dessert in Greece?

Much like Israel and Turkey the Greeks love Baklava. Just don’t ask where it originated from. We loved a Greek custard pie known as Galaktoboureko and the spoon sweets. Also, Halva is very popular.

How do you pronounce Greek food?

There are many foods in Greek cuisine that have strange names that I found hard to pronounce but considering they were so delicious I have made a point to try and remember them all, just for you.

What do Greeks eat for breakfast?

It might not be a Turkish breakfast, but your typical Greek breakfast is usually consists of bread, pastry, fruits, and Greek yogurt.

How can I try all this food?

I would recommend a Greek food tour in Athens or a cooking class in Crete. I’ve done both and both were highlights of my time in Greece.

What is the best food in Greece?

On your next visit to Greece, keep this list handy. Or attempt to visit traditional Greek food restaurants in your town. At the very least promise me if you can’t visit ancient Greece or find a Greek restaurant please order a Greek gastronomy cookbook and get cooking!

Καλή όρεξη! Kalí óreksi! (Bon Appetit)

food to eat in Greece - lunch time on Greek island

1. Gyro

In Israel, they have shawarma, in Turkey, they have a kebab, and in Greece, they have Gyros, Souvlaki, and Kebab. Isn’t that all the same? I had to ask my guide to explain the difference.

A very popular Greek food, the Gyro is a Greek dish where the meat is roasted vertically, turning on the spit. Slices of it are then placed in a pita with typical accessories – sauce (tzatziki), tomatoes, onions, lettuce, and often french fries/chips.

They are cheap and so yummy! But very messy for kids, try the alternative. This is otherwise known as shawarma in the Middle East, tacos al pastor in Mexico, and all originally evolved from the doner kebab in Turkey.

Food to eat in Greece - gyro

2. Souvlaki

On the other hand, souvlaki means skewer and is often termed shish kebab. It is prepared in the form of grilled meat cubes and served on a skewer.

These are great for the kids (and adults too).

Sometimes these can be served in a similar style to a gyro, wrapped in pita bread with sauce and garnish. Other times just the meat on a stick. I like mine with tzatziki and a serving of Greek salad. My kids like it served like Greek meatballs with tomato sauce.

Food to eat in Greece - souvalaki

3. Kebab

In Greek food, the term kebab refers specifically to a more oriental dish. Sausage-shaped patties of minced meat (traditionally a mix of lamb and beef) are flavored with garlic, cumin, and other Middle Eastern spices.

The kebab is wrapped in pita bread or served on a plate. Almost like a kofte. It’s usually elongated. These are great for the kids. A good kebab will pack a lot more flavor than you might expect.

Food to eat in Greece - kebab

4. Saganaki

Deep-fried cheese. Need I say more? Ok, I will. Don’t miss it.

This Greek dish is legendary. The best food. The standard cheese is kefalotyri. You may also get kegalograviera, graviera or kasseri.

Food to eat in Greece - saganaki

5. Tirokroketes/Sfougata

Golden melt-in-your-mouth fried cheese balls. As above there’s not much more to say about this Greek cuisine. There is a slight difference in that Sfougata is made with local cheese, while Tirokroketes usually has mixed cheese.

Food to eat in Greece - sfougata

6. Revithokeftedes

Similar to a Middle Eastern falafel, this is a fried chickpea ball packed with a spice blend unique to Greek food.

Food to eat in Greece - revithokeftedes

7. Feta Me Meli

And you thought cheese couldn’t get any better! This Greek dish is feta cheese wrapped in filo pastry (phyllo pastry) oven-baked and then drizzled with honey.

The delicate balance between salty feta and sweet honey makes for an unforgettable party in your mouth. A Greek dessert or an entrée, who knows?

Food to eat in Greece - feta me meli

8. Moussaka

Best described as a pasta-free lasagne. This Italian dish has been turned into delectable Greek food. Sautéed eggplant, minced meat, tomato, onion, garlic, potato, béchamel sauce, and grilled cheese, layered and usually covered with cheese.

I’ve had the pleasure of making this and eating it and eating it is a highlight.

Food to eat in Greece - moussaka

9. Tiropites

Triangle pastries are made up of filo pastry (phyllo dough)and filled with a delicious mixture of Greek cheese.

This dish is so simple, yet so delicious. You may even find a similar thing in the freezer of your supermarket.

Food to eat in Greece - tiropites

10. Tzatziki

This has been my favorite dip since I can remember and the Greeks do it so well with their awesome Greek yogurt. This authentic Greek food is made with Greek yoghurt and cucumber seasoned with garlic.

Goes great with meat, vegetables, pita, or just by itself with a spoon. Also known as Cacik in Turkey. Make your own using this authentic Greek recipe.

Food to eat in Greece - tzatziki

11. Greek Salad

Famous all over the world, but the Greeks still do it better. If you haven’t had a Greek salad in your life I am not sure if you even eat salad.

Making up the perfect part of the Mediterranean diet this dish is made with crunchy cucumber, juicy ripe tomato, olives, red onion, and a giant slab of feta cheese on top. Dressed with olive oil, vinegar, and lemon juice. It’s a staple with every meal. And one I still make at home.

Food to eat in Greece - salad

12. Olives & Olive Oil

Greeks have been cultivating olives for millennia. Local Greek olives accompany most Greek food and most dishes are drizzled with olive oil. Nearly every restaurant on a Greek island makes their own oil from their own olives. And I am a fan!

Food to eat in Greece - olives

13. Dolmathakia

You saw these on the menu in Israel and Turkey – stuffed grape leaves. A Greek meal, there are usually stuffed with rice, pine nuts, and fresh herbs. I like them warm. But they can be served cold.

Food to eat in Greece - dolma

14. Taramosalata

This is often referred to as a salad but is a dip. One that, if I had known beforehand what it was, I wouldn’t have tried. But I loved it. Eat it without asking what it is because it’s a creamy blend of pink or white fish roe (fish eggs).

If you don’t like things that taste fishy, then fear not – this tastes so good, you’ll be licking the plate.

Food to eat in Greece - taramosalata

16. Spanakopita

We were offered this dish all over Greece. Filo pastry pies stuffed with spinach and feta cheese. Available in a variety of different shapes and sizes.

A Greek food favorite. And again something you might find of lesser quality in the frozen section of your supermarket. Kids might want tomato sauce with this one too.

Food to eat in Greece - spanakopita

17. Loukoumades

Since trying these I dream about them. Daily. Sweet tooth? Try these Greek food fried donut balls soaked in honey or syrup and sprinkled with cinnamon. Drool. Greek desserts are the best! Enjoy with a good Greek coffee.

Reminds me of Dutch food, Ollibollen.

food to eat in Greece Loukamaddes

food to eat in Greece - Loukamades and Greek coffee

18. Vanilla Submarine

The name describes this perfectly. It’s a spoonful of vanilla fondant submerged in a glass of water. You lick it like a lollipop and then drink the sweetened water that’s leftover. Way too much sweetness for me, but Mia had no trouble polishing hers off.

Tip: Not many folks in Greece have heard of this. I found the Vanilla Submarine in Chora on the island of Sifnos.

Food to eat in Greece - vanilla

19. Glyka Tou Koutaliou (spoon sweets)

Traditional Greek dish gives these sweet spoons as a complimentary Greek dessert. We often got Greek yogurt (or crème Fraiche) with fruit preserves. The strangest one I tasted was a carrot marmalade, which ended up being the sweetest and most delicious of them all.

Food to eat in Greece - spoon sweets

20. Halvasi

This Greek dish is a butter cake of semolina, raisins, and almonds, served alone or with vanilla ice cream and pomegranate syrup. Plus Greek coffee.

Food to eat in Greece - Halvasi

21. Pies of Kythnos

My favorite island had a Greek cuisine taste all their own. A cheese pie if you will. Delicious shortbread-type pastry filled with cheese and honey that almost tastes like a cheesecake combined with a quiche.

My description is not doing it justice. Look, all you need to know is it’s the best thing since sliced bread. A must-try that is unique to Kythnos.

Food to eat in Greece - Pies

22. Zucchini and Greek Cheese Pie

Speaking of pies. This Greek pie consisted of layers of potato, zucchini, Greek cheese, and mint. This was then placed in the oven for an hour and, quite honestly may have been my favourite dish that I ate during a cooking class on the Greek island of Crete. Simple and delicious.

 

23. Lemon Lamb

This Greek dish was my favorite, delicious lamb chops tossed and cooked in an egg-lemon sauce. This sauce added a lovely fresh zing to the lamb. It was then served on top of some greens, much like kale or lettuce, but slightly bitter.

food to eat in Greece Lemon lamb

Ok, if your keyboard hasn’t stopped working from all your drool then you’re in a better place than me. Can you see why I love Greek food now?

What did I miss? What do I need to try when I go back?

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