Crete Travel Guide

Greece  #2 in Best Greek Islands
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Courtesy of Mustang_79/Getty Images/iStockphoto

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

  • #1
    Vegera
    #1 of 9 Places to Eat in Zaros
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 677 reviewsTripAdvisor (677)
    $ | Mediterranean, Greek
    Rethimnou - Zarou, Zaros, Crete 700 02 Greece
    Read More »
  • #2
    Sinantisi
    #2 of 9 Places to Eat in Zaros
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 259 reviewsTripAdvisor (259)
    $ | Mediterranean, Greek, Healthy
    Main Street, Zaros, Crete 700 02 Greece
    Read More »
  • #3
    Eleonas Restaurant
    #3 of 9 Places to Eat in Zaros
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 125 reviewsTripAdvisor (125)
    $ - $$ | Mediterranean, Greek
    Zaros, Crete 70002 Greece
    Read More »
  • #4
    Votomos Taverna Idi Hotel
    #4 of 9 Places to Eat in Zaros
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4 based on 65 reviewsTripAdvisor (65)
    $ - $$ | Mediterranean, Greek
    Idi Hotel Zaros Lake, Zaros, Crete 70002 Greece
    Read More »
  • #5
    Votomos Taverna Fish Farm
    #5 of 9 Places to Eat in Zaros
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4 based on 77 reviewsTripAdvisor (77)
    $ - $$ | Seafood, Greek, Mediterranean
    Rethimnou - Zarou, Zaros, Crete 700 02 Greece
    Read More »
  • #6
    Markos
    #6 of 9 Places to Eat in Zaros
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 7 reviewsTripAdvisor (7)
    $ | Greek
    Zaros, Crete 700 02 Greece
    Read More »
  • #7
    Oasis Tavern
    #7 of 9 Places to Eat in Zaros
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 3.5 based on 16 reviewsTripAdvisor (16)
    $ | Mediterranean, Greek
    Zaros, Crete Greece
    Read More »
  • Lavender
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 6 reviewsTripAdvisor (6)
    $ |
    Center of Town Rethimnou - Zarou, Zaros, Crete 700 02 Greece
    Read More »
  • Tavern Limni
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 59 reviewsTripAdvisor (59)
    $ - $$ | Greek
    Lake of Zaros Zaros, Zaros, Crete 700 02 Greece
    Read More »

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