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Must-eat Greek food: A guide to breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert!

From baklava to gyro, we have put together the best selection of mouth-watering Greek food to try when you visit Greece!

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.

A greek food guide to breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert
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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!

Breakfast

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

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.

Pischies

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.

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Warning‼️Pites (Pischies) are a highly addictive Cypriot pastry shallow fried and covered with honey, crushed pistachios, almonds or walnuts (@thehellenicodyssey) 😍🍯 I am sharing my family’s recipe, as part of the #merimonthofmay initiative organised by @kalioreximelbourne, which celebrates regional dishes! 🇬🇷🇨🇾 . . We make pites whenever we have leftover dough or the day after a wedding! ❤️ In Yiayia's village in #cyprus (Ayia Marina to Xylatiou) it is tradition to make these beauties the day after a wedding, when the family would gather together again to celebrate & eat more food 😉😋This is something we continue to do as a family in Australia. Other regions of Cyprus add different flavours to their pites. My dad's village in Kythrea, would enjoy them with sugar & #cinnamon . . To create the dough: add 1 kg of flour, 1/4 cup of your choice of oil (either corn, vegetable, or sunflower oil) & 1 tablespoon of lemon (or vinegar). Knead dough & gradually add 3 cups of water. The dough should be smooth & shiny. Cover & allow it to rest for 10-15 mins before rolling out the dough & cutting it into circle shapes (using a small plate) or a rolling pin (old school like yiayia). Fry pites in oil for 2 mins on each side or until golden brown. Dress pites with nuts & honey, roll up to eat & enjoy! 🤗 . . #cyprus #greece #greekfood #greekculture #cypriotculture #sbsfood #f52grams #f52community #yiayia #inmykitchen #cypriotrecipes #cypriotfood #pites #Pischies #honey #homemadepastry #walnuts #pistachios #almonds #familytraditions #dessertsofinstagram #homebaking #isobaking #igbakers #pastrylovers #thetraditionalplate #dessertporn #easydesserts

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Bougatsa

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.

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K A L I M É R A 🧡 . The breakfast pastry you wish you could devour every morning, especially on this rainy Monday morning in Melbourne. Bougátsa! Buttery, flaky fillo pastry wrapped around a sweet semolina orange custard filling and dusted with cinnamon sugar. Καλή σας μέρα και καλή εβδομάδα 🧡🧡🧡 . INGREDIENTS: • 4 + 1/4 cups milk • Peel of 1/2 orange • 3/4 cup fine semolina • 4 eggs • 1 cup sugar • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract • 1 packet fillo pastry @antonioufillopastry • 3/4 cup melted butter or light olive oil . METHOD: 1. Warm the milk and orange peel in a saucepan. Stir in semolina with a wooden spoon until incorporated and slightly thickened. . 2. In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla until light and add to the milk mixture stirring over medium low heat until a thick custard forms. Remove from heat and take out the orange peel. . 3. Lightly brush a baking pan with oil/butter. Neatly line the bottom of the pan with 8 sheets of filo, brushing each layer lightly with oil/butter. Add the custard and fold over any overlapping filo. Top with another 6 filo sheets, brushing each layer with the remaining oil. Score the top layers with a sharp knife to your desired sized portions. . 4. Bake at 180oC until golden, around 30-40 min and sprinkle with icing sugar and cinnamon while hot. Cut and serve. . #καλημέρα #kalimera #goodmorning #καληεβδομαδα #goodweek #warmbreakfastpastry #bougatsa #custardpastry #greekclassic #nothingbetter #yumyum #homemadeisbest #familyfavourite #morningsdontgetbetterthanthis

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Lunch

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

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.

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MOUSSAKA 🍆. ➡️pour voir les autres photos 📸. Hello mes gourmands 🙋🏽‍♀️. Aujourd’hui, je reviens avec la recette de la moussaka que l’on fait dans notre famille. J’avais publié cette recette il y a quelques mois , mais la photo n’était pas du tout représentative de ce plat emblématique et que j’adore ! Il fait parti de mon top 3 des plats préférés 💕. J’espère que cette fois-ci la photo est à la hauteur 😅. J’ai également mis la recette en story permanente (en pas à pas ). ‼️N’hésitez pas à regarder mes story chaque jour ☺️. Pour faire ce plat, il vous faut du temps , de la patience et du courage 😂mais à la fin vous serez ravis du résultat ! A accompagner d’une bonne salade grecque, de tzatziki ,.. . ⏱1h-1h30 de préparation(fritures , béchamel,viande haché , ..) + 30 minutes de cuisson. . 🌟Pour un plat à gratin, ça vous donnera facilement 6 bonnes portions. . ✳️Ingrédients⤵️: ✔️700 gr d’haché de votre choix(agneau , porc,bœuf ,..). ✔️4 aubergines 🍆 bio. ✔️3 grosses pommes de terres 🥔 bio. ✔️1 gros oignon 🧅 blanc bio. ✔️3 gousses d’ail bio. ✔️350-400gr de sauce tomate 🥫 bio. ✔️sel 🧂 ,poivre, et origan 🌿. ✔️de l’huile d’olive. ✔️huile de friture. . ❇️Pour la béchamel ✔️700 ml de lait 🥛 bio. ✔️5 cuillères à soupe de farine de blé 🌾 bio. ✔️75 gr de beurre 🧈 bio. ✔️du sel 🧂. ✔️1 oeuf 🥚 bio. ✳️Préparation⤵️: ◼️Pour commencer,nettoyez les aubergines et coupez les extrémités des aubergines . ◼️Coupez-les dans le sens de la longueur en tranches d’1 cm. ◼️Dans un grand récipient, mettez vos aubergines ,salez-les (2 cuillères à soupe de sel)et laissez-les dégorger durant une vingtaine de minutes( mettez un récipient , sur vos aubergines pour faire pression dessus afin qu’elles soient bien immergées dans l’eau). ◼️Les sortir du grand récipient, les rincer à l’eau claire et les essuyer avec de l’essui tout pour enlever l’excédent d’eau. ◼️Ensuite, les frire (pas totalement) dans une poêle avec de l’huile (un bon 3-4cm )et les égoutter. ◼️Epluchez et lavez les pommes de terre. ⚠️ suite de la recette en commentaires.

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Mesimeriano

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.

Gyros

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.

Dinner

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!

Souvlaki

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.

Spanakopita

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!

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Salmon Spanakopita These delicious phyllo pockets take a while to prep, but they're definitely worth it! They bake super fast when the hunger strikes and they're munched up even faster. • • • Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 425°F. 2. Season a big container of spinach (312g) with salt and pepper and sauté until wilted. Remove spinach to paper towel-lined plate. Squeeze out all excess moisture & set aside. 3. Fry up 1 chopped onion for a few minutes until translucent and fragrant. Then add 3-4 chopped green onions and continue to cook for another minute or two. 4. In a medium mixing bowl, combine: spinach, onion mixture, 1.5 cups feta, parsley, oregano, 2 tablespoons herbed cream cheese, chopped sundried tomatoes, lemon zest and pepper. 5. Cut phyllo pastry sheets in half. Cover and refreeze one half. Cover the other half in a damp cloth until ready to use. 6. Lay one sheet of phyllo on large work surface and brush with olive oil. Place second sheet of phyllo over first, and brush with oil. Add a 3rd layer and brush with oil again. 7. Season room temperature salmon fillets with salt and pepper. 8. Place salmon on phyllo sheet and top with a generous dollop of spinach mixture. 9. Roll and fold like a burrito and place seam side down on baking sheet. 10. Brush with additional oil and sprinkle with sesame seeds. 11. Bake for 25 minutes or until the phyllo is golden brown. • • • #salmonspanakopitas #spanakopita #salmonpockets #phyllo #salmon #homecooked #homecooking #healthydinner #healthyfamilymeals #homemadefood #salmondinner #bcsalmon #wildsalmon #cohosalmon #portalbernisalmon #bccoho #eatlocal #instafoodie

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Dessert

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.

Melomakarona

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.

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Nuts about walnuts? I know I am. Nuts feature quite heavily in a the Greek cuisine and form part of the Mediterranean diet. I will be celebrating the humble walnut by showcasing a full week of walnut recipes starting from today. You can find all these Greek walnut recipes on my blog and below so you can make them for yourself. I will also be sharing your favourite walnut recipes on my stories so please make sure you tag @thehellenicodyssey and use hashtag #greekwalnutweek so we can share them with fellow nut lovers. Melomakarona Recipe for Greek honey biscuits. Melomakarona are traditional classic Greek biscuits typically served at Christmas time. They are made with flavours of orange, cinnamon and walnut making them very aromatic and full of flavour. The biscuits are cooked and then submerged in a honey syrup, making them extremely soft, delicate and crumbly. There are a very popular dessert option served with coffee. One biscuit is more than enough. However, it is often difficult to stop at just one. You can also find these biscuits dipped in chocolate, but most people prefer the classic version. RECIPE Ingredients Biscuit 3 cups of plain flour, plus extra if needed 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 cup grapeseed oil 3/4 cup caster sugar 1/2 cup orange juice 50mls brandy 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves Syrup 1 cup honey , 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water 2 whole cloves & 1 cinnamon stick Topping 1/2 cup @lucky.nuts walnuts, crushed 1 tsp cinnamon sugar Method on the blog https://www.thehellenicodyssey.com/melomakarona-greek-honey-walnut-syrup-cookies/ – – – #greekfood #greekcuisine #mediterraneanfood #mediterraneandiet #greekrecipe #melomakarona #foodblogs #foodblogeats #foodblogging #greekbiscuits #biscuits #crete #cretanfood #chania #eatwell #foodtours #greekrecipes #cooking #foodielife #foodideas #foodinspiration #lovecooking #cookingtime #homecooked #slowliving #foodiechats #foodblogfeed #foodexperience #honeybiscuits

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Diples

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!

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Cheryl can usually be found by the beach, at the gym, or bouldering up a wall. She enjoys going to music festivals and checking out the latest music. Let her in on what you’re currently listening to!

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