Greece is a food lover’s paradise! The cuisine of Greece is rich and diverse. With a focus on fresh and seasonal ingredients, bold flavors, and traditional cooking techniques. From savory gyros and succulent souvlaki to creamy tzatziki and sweet baklava. Greek food is sure to satisfy your cravings and leave you wanting more.
But what is the food like in Greece, you ask? Well, let’s just say that if you’re on a diet, you might want to leave your self-control at home. Greek food is hearty, delicious, and oh-so-tempting. Here are a few of the things you can expect to find on the menu:
The five most famous foods in Greece:
Mezes are a staple of Greek cuisine. They are something like starters, small plates of delicious dishes. Mezes are perfect for sharing, and they are a great way to sample the variety of food the country has to offer. Some popular meze dishes include:
- Dolma. Stuffed vine leaves with rice, herbs, and sometimes meat, depending on the region or even the cook.
- Tzatziki. A yogurt dip with cucumber and garlic.
- Spanakopita. Pie stuffed with spinach and feta.
- Greek salad or farmer’s salad. The famous salad with feta, olives, tomatoes, cucumber, onions, and olive oil.
Mezes are perfect for vegetarians and vegans traveling in Greece. Although many of the main dishes include either meat or fish, the starters are much more plant-based. Are you on a vegan diet? Check this guide on which mezes you can order in the many taverns around Greece.
Gyros is the ultimate Greek street food. It is made with thinly sliced meat (usually lamb, beef, or chicken) that has been marinated and cooked on a spit. This meat is wrapped in a pita with lettuce, tomato, onions, tzatziki, or any other sauce of your choice. Sometimes even potatoes are added. Gyros is cheap in Greece, while one pita can feel like you ate a whole meal. Trust us, you’ll want to try at least one (or ten) during your trip to Greece.
Souvlaki is made with marinated meat (usually pork or chicken) that has been grilled and served on a skewer. Similar to Gyros, it is often served in (or with) a pita, with vegetables and tzatziki. Above all, souvlaki is a popular snack or meal option in Greece, and you’ll find it at many street food vendors and taverns.
Moussaka is a classic Greek casserole. It is made with layers of eggplant, minced meat, and a creamy béchamel sauce. It’s hearty, comforting, and oh-so-delicious. You’ll find it on the menu at many Greek restaurants, and it’s a must-try if you’re a fan of eggplant. However, the best moussaka experience is a homemade one. So if you are ever invited to try a home-made-moussaka, say yes!
Not into eggplant? A great alternative on Moussaka, is the less famous Pastitsio. This dish has a similar idea, but instead of using layers of eggplant, pasta is used.
No trip to Greece is complete without trying some baklava. This sweet and flaky pastry is made with layers of phyllo dough filled with nuts and honey. It’s the perfect end to any meal. You can find baklava at most bakeries and sweet shops in Greece.
Maybe you wonder why baklava is on the list of Greek foods, isn’t it Turkish? Although the Turkish are more famous for their baklava, the Greeks have their own delicious recipe. With more spices, different nuts, and a thicker dough, the Greek baklava is definitely worth a try!
So, what is the food like in Greece? It’s delicious, diverse, seasonal, and will have you coming back for seconds (or thirds). Make sure to bring your appetite and a sense of adventure, because Greek food is sure to surprise and amuse your taste buds. One last tip: don’t forget to add some local feta to everything you eat in Greece! Kali Orexi!
Note for people on a plant-based diet
Many of the most famous Greek recipes include meat. However, don’t let this scare you to visit Greece when you follow a plant-based diet. Traditionally, the Greeks are used to eating a lot of beans, lentils, and vegetables in general. Although this food is seen as food for home and often not served in most taverns and restaurants, the country does offer a great variety of vegan dishes. If you want to know more about traveling in Greece on a vegan diet, continue reading here.
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