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For thousands of years, Greek culinary history has been known for its variety of fresh seafood, olive oil, delectable pastries, and tantalizing sweets. Today, Greek food is famed and loved by many all over the world.
Greece has reopened its international travel borders. For a quick-and-easy way to keep updated on ever-changing travel restrictions due to COVID-19, check out our free guide before embarking on your Greek culinary adventure. Be safe and have fun!
We’ll be taking you through the day by diving into the wondrous world of Greek cuisine. Discover the best dishes that the Greeks usually eat at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We’ve even snuck a sneaky side of dessert in there – read on to find out!
The Greeks never fail to start their day off with a hearty mix! A typical Greek breakfast usually consists of a wide variety of bread, pastry, fruits, and Greek yogurt. These foods are high in nutritional value and a great source of energy — an excellent way to begin your Greek food adventures!
Eliopsomo, also known as Greek olive bread, is the ultimate comfort food. Enjoy a lovely warm slice to kickstart your morning by pairing this with feta cheese, caramelized onions, and sun-dried tomatoes. This handmade loaf is usually made with a blend of black olives, onions, and a hint of rosemary. Try your hand at making eliopsomo at home with this recipe here.
We recommend: Korbas Bakery for some of the best freshly baked eliopsomo, Greek pies, and delectable pastries.
If you are craving something a little sweet in the morning, we know just the thing for you! Pischies is a traditional Cypriot fried pastry filled with butter, cinnamon, and sugar. Complete this delicious treat with a drizzle of syrup, coat it with crushed almonds, and you are ready to go!
We recommend: Ariston, an old school Greek bakery for a superb selection of quality baked goods, including some freshly-made pischies.
For the best of both worlds, get your hands on a bougatsa for breakfast! This traditional Greek breakfast pastry is prepared from phyllo dough wrapped in a filling that can be sweet or savory. For a sweet treat, try your hands at a custard or cheese bougatsa. If you are craving something a little more savory, bougatsas can also be stuffed with a mix of minced beef and pork.
We recommend: Bougatsadiko Thessaloniki for some of the most authentic and delicious bougatsas and feta pies in Athens.
Greek lunches are traditionally a light meal that consists of a homemade vegetable stew or casserole. It is served with staple sides of cheese, bread, salad, and most importantly, wine. Hungry? Read on to find out about these great Greek lunches that are sure to fill your tummy.
Moussaka is a coveted Greek classic dish passed down from generation to generation, ensuring the recipe is perfected over the years. Authentic moussaka is made in a baking pan lined with layers of potatoes, eggplant, zucchini, and ground meat. It is topped with béchamel sauce, a rich concoction made with butter, nutmeg, parmesan, and egg yolks. Reminiscent of Italian lasagna, this hearty Greek dish is bound to be one of the best you’ve tasted.
We recommend: To Kati Allo for amazing hospitality and the best moussaka you can find in Athens.
Mesimeriano does not necessarily refer to a specific lunch dish but more to the experience of an authentic Greek lunch. Meaning “late lunch”, mesimeriano feasts feature little meze dishes, spit-roasted meats, grilled fish, and briny feta cheese. Top that all off with a Greek salad sprinkled with juicy black olives. This plethora of Greek food is as authentic as it gets, so don’t forget to try it when you are visiting Greece!
We recommend: Kouvelos for lovely alfresco dining and a traditional Greek lunch paired with a glass of refreshing wine or hazelnut liquor.
If you enjoy having shawarma or tacos al pastor, this one’s for you! Greek gyros are one of the most convenient and wholesome meals you can get on the go. Encased in a soft outer layer of pita bread or flatbread, gyros are stuffed to the brim with marinated Greek chicken, tzatziki, tomato-cucumber salad, and finally, topped off with a handful of freshly-fired crisp french fries. Best of all, gyros can be found almost anywhere along Greece’s bustling streets.
We recommend: O Kostas, a tiny roadside store in Athens that serves up one of the best made-to-order gyros that are filled with tender meats and fresh flavors.
Greek dinners are a time to kick back and unwind with families and friends. Seen as the main meal of the day, dinners are often a social extravaganza in Greece, with large sharing plates and plenty of conversation. Complete the meal with scrumptious Greek desserts!
For a lovely evening by the grill, try your hand at these tantalizing meal skewers. Similar to gyros, souvlaki is served with warm pita, perfectly grilled meat, and tzatziki sauce. The only difference is how the meat is prepared and cooked; souvlaki is made by grilling meat skewered on a stick, while gyros feature meat sliced from a spinning vertical rotisserie. Don’t forget to pair the souvlaki with quintessential feta cheese and a dash of olive oil!
We recommend: Souvlaki Leivadia is a hidden gem with great prices and a cozy ambiance that promises a sumptuous meal of souvlaki.
This Mediterranean dish is a must-try when visiting Greece. Spanakopita, meaning “spinach pie”, is a savory pastry stuffed with a healthy serving of spinach and feta cheese filling. This meatless delight packs a punch in the taste and texture department as its crispy phyllo dough makes the perfect pairing for its rich stuffing.
We recommend: Arcadia Restaurant for freshly made spanakopita served straight from the oven. Yum!
The Greeks take their desserts very seriously! Served hot or cold, the Greeks have a dessert for every occasion.
Honey and baklava
Baklava consists of layers upon layers of buttered phyllo dough stuffed with cinnamon-scented walnuts as its filling. After coming out of the oven, it is drenched with a citrus-flavored honey syrup that makes for a heavenly bite. If you’re looking for a gooey and delicious dessert to finish off your hearty meal, this is the one for you!
We recommend: Karakoy Gulluoglu for an astounding variety of fresh baklavas made distinctively with cow and sheep butter.
Oh honey! These tiny Greek honey cookies pack an incredible punch. Often served at Christmas, melomakarona is easy to make and pairs delightfully with a hot cup of coffee. Share these soft, crumbly, melt-in-your-mouth cookies with family and friends for a heartwarming treat at tea-time or after a meal.
We recommend: CookieLand, a young and hip bakery that takes a modern spin on traditional Greek cuisine.
Diples are a simple but ever-so-delectable Greek dessert. Fried dough is rolled into thin sheets, deep-fried, and served with a generous dollop of honey. Finely crushed nuts and cinnamon are then sprinkled over this pastry. Fun fact: you might be able to find different variations of this dessert across the world. In Tunisia, people also enjoy a similar treat called manicotti, while in Morocco they are called fazuelos or agriouez. In the Spanish region of Morocco, they are called hijuelas.
We recommend: Athanasiou, an adorable factory of sweets that serves artfully crafted sweet pastries including delectable diples.
We hope that you’ve enjoyed this Greek culinary adventure. If you’re planning to go elsewhere, remember to bookmark our handy resource, The Ultimate Guide to COVID-19 Travel Restrictions, to remain up-to-date with regulations across the globe!