What and where to eat in Greece

Whether you’re eating seafood at a seaside restaurant or sampling

contemporary Greek cuisine under the floodlit Acropolis, dining out

in Greece is never just about what you eat, but rather a whole sensory

experience in itself. Greece’s relaxed and hospitable dining culture makes

it easy to get into the local spirit. Like many Europeans, the Greeks like

to dine late with some restaurants not opening for dinner until 7pm. You

will only need reservations in the most popular places and these can

usually be made a day in advance.

You can choose from the range of Greek eateries, the first of which is

the Taverna. Tavernas are informal and often specialize in seafood,

chargrilled meat or traditional home-style baked dishes. Perfect for

the laid-back tourist wanting to eat in style. Greek tavernas can be

disarmingly and refreshingly laid- back. Then there is the Estiatorio, a

more formal restaurant serving similar fare to tavernas or international

cuisine. A Mezedhopoleio serves Mezedhes, whereas an Ouzerie is similar

but serves a round of ouzo with a round of Mezedhes. If that sounds too

complicated, grab a traditional Greek coffee at any Kafeneio – one of

Greece’s oldest traditions. Besides restaurants, you can always take a

cue from the locals and go straight to the source! Go fishing at seaside

fishing hamlets or head to mountain villages for local meat. Be sure to

have some space in your day baggage for local treats, such as olives and

extra virgin olive oil, feta cheese, aromatic Greek thyme honey; dried

oregano, mountain tea and camomile flowers; or a jar of fruit preserves.

From feta cheese and olive oil to the raw ingredients on your plate, you

will find many local variations and specialties on your travels. Crete, for

instance, is a popular foodie destination with distinct culinary traditions

offering unique culinary treats. Be sure to ask about local dishes, cheese

and produce to stay in the loop about the freshest products. As a fact, the

essence of traditional Greek cuisine lies in seasonal homegrown produce.

Northern Greece is more influenced by eastern flavors, thus there’s more

butter, peppers and spices in its dishes. Peloponnese is known for its

herb-rich, one pot dishes and Ladhera (vegetarian, peasant-style dishes).

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