I’ve been itching so badly to write this post. My boyfriend and I both love Greek food! And we both agree there’s something really special about it. Because although it’s not exotic like Thai food or pretentious like a Michelin restaurant menu, it’s just as amazing. It’s simple and fresh and oh so tasty. And Crete hasn’t disappointed in this area either. We had some of the best food on the island. And now I am going to tell you where, but most important what to eat when in Crete.
1. Agarathos – Kalivani
I think one of the best Greek meals I’ve ever had was at this restaurant, coming back from the Balos lagoon. Set up in a rural looking space, you feel at home the moment you step in. And, as it’s typical in Greece, no one will fuss around you.
It took us some time to decide from al the dishes, that’s why we continued a tradition started in Thassos. We ordered one main course for each of us and several smaller to share. The smaller ones were not small at all, but everything was fantastic!
We started by sharing zucchini flowers stuffed with rice and something that I can’t remember well but I think they were zucchini fritters. Both delicious! However, the best part were the roasted lamb served with fries and souvlaki also served with fries. The lamb was so soft and flavourful and all the vegetables so fresh. We wrapped up with a semolina desert, on the house, as it’s customary in Greece.
2. Almyriki – Stavros Beach
This one is for sure my boyfriend’s favourite restaurant in Crete. There are a few restaurants and tavernas near Stavros beach so there’s plenty to choose from. We were looking at menus at the more traditional looking ones, thinking they might be cheaper too. And we were reluctant to go for Almyriki since it looked quite fancy. However no other restaurant convinced me so I said let’s give Almyriki a try, how expensive could it be?
To our surprise it wasn’t all that expensive at all. We had an amazing lunch by the sea and I can’t remember how much we payed but it must have been around 30 Euros for the both of us.
Our favourite dish by far were the balsamic vinegar glazed meatballs. They were so flavourful and the combination so unexpected. The tomato, onion and cheese salad was another hit. Although so simple, it packed a lot of flavour and it inspired me to replicate the recipe at home. We also shared some spinach pastries that were just as good. And wrapped this meal with free watermelon and raki.
3. Filoxenia – Elos
Another pleasant surprise was the Filoxenia restaurant in the small village Elos. We were coming back from Kedrodasos beach and mid way home hunger stroke. I Googled best restaurants nearby and this was the first recommendation so we took it.
And we were not sorry! I had the most delicious baked potato and zucchini with cheese and my boyfriend had an equally tasty souvlaki. You might have noticed that one of us played it safe all the trip with his souvlakis and gyros, lol. So if you’re ever in the area and you want a great place to have some comfort food, this one is a good spot.
4. Rock on the Wave – Ravdoucha Beach
My go to meal when I am in Greece is fried calamari. They’re always perfect: crunchy on the outside, soft and a little chewy on the inside. You can’t go wrong with it. However I did get some very chewy ones at another restaurant, so I really wanted some good ones.
Rock on the Wave doesn’t look like much, but the food is exactly how it should be. I asked if the calamari were good and as promised by our waiter, they were amazing. We shared those with a salad, fries and some extra cheese and it was the perfect meal on a sunny day by the sea.
5. Mavros Molos Beach Restaurant – Kissamos
We discovered this restaurant /beach bar by accident and we loved that it was conveniently positioned and the food was pretty good.
On our very first day in Crete we stayed on the beach until sunset and then had a delicious dinner by the sea. We shared a Greek salad, amazing tzatziki with grilled bread. With that we also had some cheese filled pita with honey and courgette fritters. And they were all delicious!
We came back to this place for some chewy grilled calamari and Cretan salad and grilled cheese and we were pleased again. I really had hoped for better calamari but I got my fix at Rock on the Wave.
6. The Cellar Tavern – Kissamos
We only had breakfast at The Cellar – because it was included in our accommodation. But we loved it! Although advertised as a buffet, it was actually something different each day, but you didn’t have a choice. Luckily, we didn’t need one as we loved each and every breakfast we had there. Plus, the view was amazing!
Every day we got eggs, something sweet, greek yogurt, bread, jam and either pies, dakos (Cretan specialty of bread, tomato sauce and mizitra cheese). With that we also got orange juice, coffee and tea.
7. Maria Beach Bar – Kissamos
Our last dinner in Crete was at Maria Beach Bar in Kissamos. We were soaked after our last swim for the summer and it was kind of chilly, but it was so worth it. I had baked eggplant, with tomato sauce and cheese and my boyfriend had a meatball served with chips – it was so good! The best part was the desert – flan on the house.
8. Aeras Cafe – Kissamos
This was probably one of the least inspired dinners we had. Not that it wasn’t good – it was. But we were so tired and just wanted to grab something quick. My boyfriend had a good pizza there and I had a really good dakos and tzatziki. It wasn’t memorable it did the trick for the evening. And the free flan was the perfect ending for our quick bite.
9. Stelios Taverna – Chania
When we gave up on Seitan Limani and strolled through Chania we also had a nice lunch in the old Venetian Port. The prices are higher than in other places as it’s a tourist attraction. So we chose Stelios because I think it might have had reasonable prices.
We shared a Cretan salad and a gyros that were pretty good. We got pies and watermelon on the house and paid probably too much for everything. But the view and the feel was nice so it was worth it.
10. Mark Wiens Video and a Delish Bougatsa
I can’t find any photos of the amazing bougatsa we had in Chania, but if you’re in town you cannot miss it. We were inspired by this video by Mark Wiens. Just like we did in our trip to New York, we followed his recommendations and didn’t regret it.
We arrived at Bougatsa Chania just as they were closing. But luckily they were kind enough to let us have the last piece. With extra cinnamon and some sugar – it was a dream!
And with that we come to an end with our culinary exploration of Crete. Crete was such a beautiful surprise and the food was a big part of it. We loved everything we had there, I couldn’t recommend it more and can’t wait to go back!