What to Eat in Crete
Don't expect any Caesar salads here — Cretan cuisine bears very little resemblance to Olive Garden. In fact, food on Crete often doesn't even resemble food on mainland Greece. Feta, a Greek staple cheese, isn't produced or popular on Crete. Instead, look for graviera, a hard cheese (similar to Swiss gruyere) aged in caves in the White Mountains. The soft, ricotta-like mizithra is also a Cretan mainstay.
It's hard to go wrong with a meal at a local taverna. Because of its proximity to the sea, Crete's most traditional dishes contain snails; they may look alien, but eating them will gain you some serious Cretan cred. However, if griddled gastropods don't make your mouth water, don't worry: You will find some less adventurous dishes like souvlaki and rice pilaf. Another quintessentially Cretan dish is dakos, a twice-baked hard bread sprinkled with tomato, cheese, oregano and olive oil. If you're feeling lost when it comes to finding a truly authentic taverna, just ask a resident; Cretans are known for being friendly and helpful to tourists. Travelers suggest the Ferryman Taverna and Lotus Eaters, both located in the northeast town of Elounda, for an excellent dinner experience.
One final note: You're in Crete. Don't even try to avoid the olive oil. Home to more than 1.5 million olive trees, Crete is famous for producing olive oil and it's a staple ingredient in most dishes. Even desserts contain olive oil: loukoumades, similar to doughnut holes, are deep-fried in the stuff. Wash 'em down with some raki, an alcoholic beverage distilled from leftover wine grapes.
Find the Best Restaurants in Crete
- #1Vegera#1 of 9 Places to Eat in ZarosTripAdvisor (710)$ | Greek, MediterraneanRethimnou - Zarou, Zaros, Crete 700 02 GreeceRead More »
- #2Sinantisi#2 of 9 Places to Eat in ZarosTripAdvisor (262)$ - $$ | Mediterranean, Greek, HealthyMain Street, Zaros, Crete 700 02 GreeceRead More »
- #3Eleonas Restaurant#3 of 9 Places to Eat in ZarosTripAdvisor (130)$ - $$ | Mediterranean, GreekZaros, Crete 70002 GreeceRead More »
- #4Votomos Taverna Idi Hotel#4 of 9 Places to Eat in ZarosTripAdvisor (70)$ - $$ | Greek, MediterraneanIdi Hotel Zaros Lake, Zaros, Crete 70002 GreeceRead More »
- #5Votomos Taverna Fish Farm#5 of 9 Places to Eat in ZarosTripAdvisor (86)$ - $$ | Seafood, GreekRethimnou - Zarou, Zaros, Crete 700 02 GreeceRead More »
- #6Markos#6 of 9 Places to Eat in ZarosTripAdvisor (7)$ | GreekZaros, Crete 700 02 GreeceRead More »
- #7Oasis Tavern#7 of 9 Places to Eat in ZarosTripAdvisor (18)$ | Greek, MediterraneanZaros, Crete GreeceRead More »
- LavenderTripAdvisor (6)$ |Center of Town Rethimnou - Zarou, Zaros, Crete 700 02 GreeceRead More »
- Tavern LimniTripAdvisor (60)$ - $$ | GreekLake of Zaros Zaros, Zaros, Crete 700 02 GreeceRead More »
Explore More of Crete
If you make a purchase from our site, we may earn a commission. This does not affect the quality or independence of our editorial content.
Gwen PratesiNovember 12, 2019
Christine SmithNovember 12, 2019
Nicola WoodNovember 12, 2019
Lyn MettlerOctober 28, 2019
Gwen PratesiOctober 15, 2019
Holly JohnsonOctober 10, 2019
Marisa MéndezOctober 3, 2019
John RodwanOctober 1, 2019
Lyn MettlerSeptember 30, 2019