Greece is a really delicious country. Steeped in history and lapped by the Mediterranean sea, Greece is home to some of the finest ingredients in the world, which offer an abundant traditional cuisine.
Each region in Greece has its gastronomic variations and propositions. But you cannot leave Greece without tasting:
This legendary Greek meal is based on layers of sautéed aubergine, minced lamb, fried puréed tomato, onion, garlic and spices like cinnamon and allspice, a bit of potato, then a final fluffy topping of béchamel sauce and cheese.
Grilled meat – Souvlaki
Souvlaki is Greece’s favourite fast food. Greeks are masters of charcoal-grilled and spit-roasted meats. Souvlaki, chunks of skewered pork, served on chopped tomatoes and onions in pitta bread with lashings of tzatziki. Gyros, too, is popular served in the same way. At the taverna, local free-range lamb and pork dominate, though kid goat is also a favorite.
Courgette balls (kolokythokeftedes)
Sometimes a patty, sometimes a lightly fried ball, be sure to try these starters any chance you get. The fritter is usually made from grated or puréed courgette blended with dill, mint, or other top-secret spice combinations. Paired with tzatziki, for its cooling freshness, you just can’t lose.
Lobster spaghetti (astakomakaronada)
The main element in this exquisite Greek dish is lobster meat that is coupled with a flavorful tomato-based sauce and served over pasta. The dish is typically prepared with spaghetti, while the sauce is usually enriched with wine and various herbs and spices.
Lamb with potatoes
This Greek classic consists of an oven-roasted combination of potatoes and a leg of lamb, which can be marinated or seasoned with olive oil and fresh herbs. The dish is mainly prepared for special occasions or family gatherings, and it is typically served with a drizzle of lemon juice.
This classic Greek dish consists of sautéed shrimps that are traditionally deglazed with the anise-flavored ouzo, then doused in a rich tomato sauce, and finally topped with crumbled feta cheese. The dish was named after sagani, a small, two-handled pan traditionally used for preparing one-pot dishes.
This classic Greek dip typically combines grilled eggplant, garlic, and olive oil into a creamy and flavorful dish that is mainly enjoyed as a part of meze — traditional meal service comprised of a selection of small dishes. Although simple, it is incredibly versatile and is often elevated with additional ingredients such as groundnuts, cheese, different vegetables, and a variety of fresh herbs and spices.
Fasolada is a simple and traditional Greek soup made from dried white beans that are drizzled with olive oil and eaten with various vegetables and herbs such as onions, barley, celery, and tomatoes. The dish is nutritious and reminiscent of antiquity, as barley, olives, and beans were the three crops that sustained the armies of Alexander the Great.
Honey & baklava
Greeks love their sweets, which are often based on olive oil and honey combinations encased in flaky filo pastry. The classic baklava involves honey, filo and ground nuts. Or try galaktoboureko, a sinful custard-filled pastry. A more simple sweet is local thyme honey drizzled over fresh, thick Greek yogurt.
Greek-style rice pudding is a popular dish that is usually enjoyed as a sweet breakfast, a light afternoon snack, or a comforting dessert. In its basic form, it consists of rice and milk that are slowly cooked and vigorously stirred until they transform into a thick, almost custard-like treat.
Food in Greece is not complete without a drink or two. Greeks love to drink. After all it is awesome to relax with a glass of alcohol or beverage. Here are some of the most popular drinks in Greece.
Ouzo is the king of Greek drinks. Ouzo is a type of brandy made of anise flavor and has a wonderful, strong taste. It is usually drunk with added ice and water and it goes well with seafood and salty dishes, and it tastes much better by the beach.
Raki / tsipouro / tsikoudia
Raki, also known as tsipouro or tsikoudia, is a strong drink widely produced and consumed all around Greece. It is a type of brandy made with grapes. It is transparent and very mild. Raki accompanies meze – food in a small side dish and it revolves around Greece’s strongest alcoholic drinks.
Rakomelo is a strong alcoholic drink, native to Greece, which is perfect in cold weather. It is made of hot raki, honey, cinnamon or cardamom and cloves. It is sweet and strong. The drink is widely consumed because it is high in flavonoids and it’s an excellent salve for ailments such as sore throats and cough.
Metaxa is a sweet tasting brandy drink that is mild and classy. Its color resembles to the French cognac. It is carefully produced to satisfy the taste buds of those who try it.
Mastiha is a unique sweet liqueur, flavored with the resin gathered from the mastic tree, a small tree that only grows in Chios island. Mastiha’s flavor is unique and exquisite. It is a quite strong and addictive drink.
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of wineries around Greece, and every area has its own distinctive types of grapes. Crete, Santorini, Samos, Nemea and Macedonia in the North, produce their own varieties of red or white wine. One of the most popular Greek wines is retsina – a white wine typical of Thessaloniki. The famous sweet wine (vin doux) of Samos is also a nice choice for the wine lovers who visit Greece.