What to Eat in Greece: 10 Typical Greek Dishes

Traditional Greek food, Htapodi Xidato


Greece is among the high culinary locations on this planet. In case you are questioning what to eat in Greece, these are ten typical dishes price attempting.

Greece, as a result of its lengthy historical past and its geographical place between the West and the East, has a definite culinary custom. Recipes from historic Greece and Byzantium are mixed with influences from the Balkans and the Center East. On the similar time, throughout the twentieth century, western influences primarily from Italian and French delicacies have been integrated into the Greek weight loss plan.

Every area of Greece has its personal distinct dishes which might be formed in a different way based on traditions and the accessible uncooked supplies. After all, there are additionally dishes and methods of cooking which might be discovered everywhere in the nation, and thus we are able to speak about a Greek Mediterranean delicacies and weight loss plan.

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A typical restaurant in Greece

What to eat in Greece: 10 typical Greek dishes

When planning out your want checklist of meals to eat in Greece, be sure to incorporate as lots of the beneath dishes.


Maybe one of many most well-known Greek dishes worldwide is mousaka. Though it’s a conventional meals of the broader area of the Balkans and the Center East, it turned identified by way of the Greek variation. This model was created by the Greek chef and author Nikolaos Tselementes. It’s a meals that’s baked within the oven and consists of three layers. The primary layer consists of baked or fried greens, often eggplants (but in addition zucchini or potatoes). The second layer consists of minced meat cooked with tomato sauce. And eventually, the final layer is a milk-based sauce thickened with egg or flour.

Mousaka was once a favourite specialty of many eating places, however in recent times, as a result of complexity of its preparation, there have been fewer eating places that make it. However it’s actually price searching for and attempting this distinctive dish that may fill you with the flavors and aromas of the Mediterranean.

What to eat in Greece - Mousaka


Pastisio is one other well-known Greek dish, considerably much like mousaka, that’s an invention of Tselementes. Though it began as a chef’s recipe, it turned so beloved by the Greeks that it turned a favourite meals in lots of houses.

It’s a meals that’s made within the oven and consists of three layers: boiled pasta, minced meat with tomato sauce, and béchamel. In lots of instances, the pasta and minced meat are combined in a single layer. Over time, pastitsio turned one of many dishes that housewives ready on Sundays and holidays, whereas on the similar time, it turned probably the most common dishes in Greek taverns.

Pastisio Greek dish


Some of the consultant dishes of the Greek summer season is kalamarakia, which truly are fried squids. The squids are lower into slices and dipped in batter, earlier than they’re fried in oil. The standard of the squid (whether or not it’s exhausting or mushy) varies, however the style is superb. You will see kalamarakia in all fish eating places, and it may be eaten as an appetizer or major dish. It goes completely with a chilly beer by the ocean.

Kalamarakia in Greece

Htapodi Xidato

One other glorious and attribute dish of the Greek summer season is htapodi xidato (octopus marinated with vinegar). It’s a conventional Greek dish stuffed with Mediterranean aromas that’s an integral a part of a seafood meal. The octopus is boiled for a number of hours after which marinated in vinegar, olive oil, and different herbs.

Served with olive oil and oregano, it’s the preferred appetiser to accompany ouzo. In taverns on islands or in fishing villages on mainland Greece, you’ll style the tastiest octopus as a result of, many of the instances, it’s freshly caught.

Traditional Greek food, Htapodi Xidato
Htapodi Xidato (Octopus marinated with vinegar)


Ntolmades or Ntolmadakia is among the most common Greek dishes. Though some students consider that they’ve an historic origin, what is for certain is that they’re a meals from the Center East and the Balkans (the place they’re discovered as sarmas). In Greece, they turned identified primarily by the refugees from Asia Minor.

Ntolmadakia are tender vine leaves stuffed both solely with rice and spices (also referred to as yalaji) or with rice and minced meat. It’s thought-about a dish of spring, as that’s when the leaves are extra tender. It’s usually served with yoghurt and is a singular style expertise.

What to eat in Greece - Ntolmadakia
Ntolmadakia with yoghurt


A kind of dishes that you just don’t find out about except you go to Greece is fava. Additionally, though it’s a conventional meals, you don’t discover it in all eating places. It’s a meals originating in historic Greece. The identify fava seems within the textual content of a tragedy by Aeschylus within the sense of a lowly meals. Nevertheless, the primary point out of it as a meals in its present kind was made by the Greek Dioskouridis within the 2nd century AD.

The fava beans are ready from the peeled seeds of the legume lathuri. The seeds are boiled, floor, and served chilly or sizzling with olive oil and onions. Probably the most well-known fava beans in Greece are produced in Santorini. It’s a very tasty and funky vegan dish that it’s essential to strive.

A plate of Fava, traditional Greek dish
Fava with caramelised onions


A conventional dish primarily based on eggs is Kayianas. It’s discovered primarily within the Peloponnese but in addition within the Ionian Islands, the place they name it strapatsada. Its origin might be Turkey or Persia, the place you’ll find variants of the recipe. It’s a easy dish that appears like an omelette.

It’s made with scrambled eggs, tomatoes, feta cheese, and generally olives. The key to the recipe is nice elements. The tomatoes create a candy aftertaste that’s balanced by the feta cheese and the olives. It’s a dish that, in recent times, has been included in eating places with modern Greek delicacies and in locations that serve brunch.

A greek dish, Kayianas
Kayianas with feta


Pies are an integral a part of the Greek weight loss plan and delicacies. Recipes for pies might be discovered nearly throughout Greece. A pie that, nonetheless, has stood out and might be thought-about purely Greek is certainly spanakopita. It’s made both with conventional thick phyllo or with puff pastry in two variations. One model is simply made with spinach and different herbs and spices (it’s often made during times of fasting), and the opposite additionally has feta cheese.

It’s a dish that’s often eaten as a fast meal or as a primary course in a correct meal. A chunk of spanakopita is a bit of Greece and is a pleasant strategy to fulfill your starvation.

Spanakopita in Greece
Spanakopita (Photograph by kbmars from Pixabay)


Roast lamb (or goat) is a typical meal that’s often mixed with festive events (resembling Christmas and Easter). It’s a meals discovered everywhere in the Balkans and throughout Greece (even on the islands). Nevertheless, a dish that may be a particular delicacy and in actuality utilises all these components of the lamb that can’t be cooked along with the meat is kokoretsi.

It’s lamb or goat intestines wrapped round offal. They embody sweetbreads, hearts, lungs, and kidneys. The origin of the dish is Byzantine, however its identify is Albanian. It’s undoubtedly a meals for many who like heavy flavours and many spices, however it’s a very tasty meat dish that deserves to be tried.

Kokoretsi in Greece
Lamb kokoretsi


Probably the most well-known and common Greek avenue dish is souvlaki (also referred to as kalamaki). Though it might be obtained elsewhere, “souvlatzidika” are specialised eateries the place it’s primarily served. Historical Greece could have been the place the place souvlaki first appeared.

In his well-known work “Deipnosofistes,” the traditional writer Athinaios mentions a dish referred to as kandavlos, which consisted of grilled meat items served with bread, cheese, and dill herb. Small slices of meat and sometimes greens are roasted on a skewer to make a contemporary souvlaki. Though pork was used to make souvlaki at first, as we speak it is usually made with hen, beef, and lamb. It’s usually eaten with bread however may include fried potatoes, pita bread, and lemon.

What to eat in Greece - Souvlaki
Souvlaki with fried potatoes

These ten dishes are only a small introduction to the culinary treasures of Greece. It’s nearly unattainable to cowl every little thing in a single article.

Let your senses run free and uncover with out preconceptions the magic of Greek delicacies within the taverns and eating places that you will see in each a part of the nation, and at all times take note of the options of the locals.

  • Antonis Tsapepas

    Travelling is a strategy to escape, study, uncover unforgettable locations, meet attention-grabbing individuals, and take a look at distinctive gastronomy. After many journeys to Europe and Greece as a gaggle of pals, we determined with our web site Meals and Journey (byfoodandtravel.com) to share our journey and gastronomic experiences with others. We need to strategy common locations differently and uncover new unexplored locations.

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