Food & Recipes

Top Greek Island Foods You Simply Must Try

One of the best parts of traveling is getting to try all the new foods you’ve never tasted. If you’re traveling to Greece, there’s no shortage of fantastic cuisine. Besides the mainland, Greece consists of over 200 islands and many have their own specialties. Whichever islands you’ve decided to travel to, be sure to take your appetite.

Best Greek Foods To Try In Greece

Greek Island Foods

Here are some of the top Greek island foods you simply must try.

Moussaka and Spanakopita

One of the most visited Greek islands is Santorini. Whether you travel there as a side trip from the mainland or aboard one of the many luxurious Greek island cruises, you’ll instantly recognize Santorini’s iconic white buildings and blue rooftops. While you’re there, don’t miss one of Greece’s most well-known foods, moussaka.

Moussaka is baked eggplant layered with ground beef or lamb, tomato sauce and topped with rich bechamel sauce.

Another favorite you’ll find on the Greek islands is spanakopita. Spanakopita, or Greek spinach pie, is made from flaky layers of phyllo dough filled with spinach and feta cheese, the ultimate comfort food!

Souvlaki and Gyros

Served throughout Greece and on the islands, you must not miss souvlaki. Souvlaki is what is known as a Greek kabob and is pork, chicken, beef or lamb on a skewer. Traditionally it’s served with roast potatoes on the side and a dollop of creamy tzatziki.

Similar to souvlaki, and the center of many debates, is the gyro. You’ve probably heard of gyros and some people think they’re the same as souvlaki. While they consist of similar ingredients, gyros are made from shaved meat similar to shawarma and served in a warm pita with vegetables and tzatziki.

Stifado and Dolmades

For a truly hearty Greek dish, try stifado if you have the chance. This thick and savory stew is made from beef or rabbit and is slowly cooked with red wine, herbs and vegetables.

Dolmades, the plural of dolma, are stuffed grape leaves. These blissful little bites are made from gently boiled grapevine leaves and are stuffed with rice and sometimes ground meat. They vary from one Greek island to the next, but they are authentic food that must be savored.

Cheesy Goodness

Wherever you travel in Greece, there’s no lack of delicious cheesy goodness. Besides all the delicious feta cheese you’ll eat in Greek salad, cheese is found in many island specialties.

For example in Mykonos, look for kopanisti. Kopanisti is a spicy cheese dip made from feta cheese, roasted red pepper and hot pepper flakes. It’s the perfect accompaniment to pita and fresh vegetables.

If you’re traveling to Santorini, don’t miss a local favorite called saganaki. Saganaki is a slab of fried Greek kefalotyri cheese that’s served as an appetizer. It’s crispy and golden on the outside and creamy on the inside.

Decadent Desserts

When visiting the Greek islands, be sure to bring your sweet tooth for the most decadent desserts you’ve ever tried. You’re probably already familiar with baklava, a pastry made from crispy phyllo dough and filled with walnuts or pistachios and honey.

If you’re in Crete, don’t miss loukoumades which are deep-fried dough balls topped with cinnamon and Greek honey. On the island of Sifnos, you must try melopita, a cheesecake made from anthotyro or ricotta cheese topped with honey.

Along with your dessert, you can’t leave Greece without trying authentic Greek coffee or a frappe. Greek coffee is similar to Turkish coffee which is boiled in a special pot called an ibrik. It’s served with the grounds and sipped slowly to let them settle.

Greek frappe, on the other hand, is an iced beverage crafted from instant coffee, sugar, milk and water. It’s shaken until foamy and is an extremely popular summertime drink that can’t be missed.

If you’ve decided to travel to Greece, you’ve made a fantastic decision. Not only will this country captivate your heart, but the splendid cuisine you discover will have you coming back again and again.

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About the author

Ashley Judd

My name is Ashley Judd, I’m 27 years old, I’m currently studying MA Accounting and Finance (yes I love numbers) at university in Nottingham. I write down all my thoughts and perceptions and to ramble on about anything and everything.