Food Lover's Guide to Crete

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With fertile soils, fresh ingredients, and traditional recipes passed down from generation to generation, Greece is a food lover’s dream destination. Here are a few popular dishes for foodies to look out for on the sun-soaked island of Crete—Greece’s largest island.


Must-Try Dishes

Traditional dishes including moussaka, layers of lamb and eggplant flavored with bechamel sauce, and souvlaki, skewered meat or fish kebabs, feature on menus across Crete and stand high on the must-try list. Spinach pie is a popular vegetarian treat wrapped in filo pastry, and dolma is a Greek speciality with vine leaves stuffed with onions, peppers, rice, and zucchini or eggplant. Koulouri, donut-shaped bread encrusted with sweetened sesame seeds, is the perfect accompaniment to local cheeses or fresh olives. And sweet treats like halvah—made with cinnamon, semolina flour, raisins, and nuts—have been keeping hunger at bay on Crete for centuries.

Must-Do Experiences

  • Master the basics of Mediterranean Greek cuisine in a cooking class, then sit down to enjoy your food with a couple of glasses of Cretan wine.
  • Follow a guide on a food tour through the Old Town in Chania, Heraklion, or Rethymnon, and sample the diverse culinary treats on offer.
  • Delve into the Cretan countryside and sample regional cheeses, olive oils, and wine with a local family.
  • Explore the olive grove and wine orchards for which Crete is famous, go wine tasting, and learn about Greek food’s role in Cretan history and culture.
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