Food is such a large part of Greek culture and good food is easy to find. The diverse cuisine has influences from around the world and uses fresh local ingredients. Although simple, dishes are packed with flavor from the combination of herbs and spices.
We have created a list of classic Greek dishes that you must not leave without trying...
One of the most traditional and filling dishes in Greece, Moussaka is served in almost every tavern throughout the country. Although there are some variations on the dish, the traditional moussaka includes layers of sweet eggplant, potato and beef mince within a tomato sauce topped with béchamel and a variety of cheeses.
Horiatiki (Greek Salad)
Horiatiki or more commonly known as a Greek Salad is made up of tomato, cucumber, green pepper, red onion and olives with a large slab of feta on top. The salad is then typically seasoned with salt and oregano and dressed with olive oil. For the Greeks this is usually classed as a side dish however most tourists order this as a main meal alongside some crusty bread.
Souvlaki is the Greeks answer to fast food and stands for 'meat on a skewer'. This dish combines seasoned meat of either pork, chicken, beef or lamb and is flavored with tzatziki sauce. Souvlaki is often paired with pita breads or rice and can also be served wrapped in a pita bread filled with vegetables, more commonly known as a Gyro.
A staple in Greek cuisine, Tzatziki is made from Greek yogurt, cucumber, garlic, salt, olive oil, herbs and lemon. This simple and healthy dip is traditionally served as an appetizer with pita breads or zucchini chips however is also paired with grilled meats and vegetables and is the perfect accompaniment to almost anything.
Fish and Seafood
A trip to Greece is not complete without trying the fresh fish and seafood. In comparison to its size Greece has an extensive coast line, therefore has access to an abundance of fish and seafood. Popular varieties include sardines, swordfish, mackerel, anchovies, sea bass, bogue and smelt. As well as this squid, octopus, shrimp and lobster are readily available.
Dolmades are steamed vine leaves stuffed with ground meat, herbs and rice, traditionally served as an appetizer or an accompaniment to a main meal. These can be served warm or cold and usually in either a egg and lemon, garlic and yogurt or tahini sauce. Vegetarian dolmades are also popular and are a perfect example of how East meets West in Greek cuisine.
A sticky and sweet treat, Loukoumades are essentially bite sized Greek donuts. The donuts are usually served warm drizzled with honey and sprinkled with cinnamon and walnuts. Crispy on the outside and fluffy in the middle these donuts are designed for sharing often coming on large plates or in packs of more than 10.
Keftedes (Greek Meatballs)
The best Greek delicacy for meat lovers are Keftedes, usually made from ground beef or lamb rolled with herbs and spices and fried in olive oil. Commonly part of a Greek Meze platter, greek meatballs are usually paired with tzatziki sauce and pita breads and are best washed down with a glass of Greek Ouzo.
Also known as Greek spinach pie, Spanakopita can be enjoyed at any moment in the day. The pie consists of layers of spinach, filo pastry and feta cheese which is then baked until golden and crispy. The Greek people love their pies and Spanakopita, along with other popular pie variations, can be found at one of the many bakeries throughout Greece.
Bougasta is a very popular Greek breakfast pastry and dessert consisting of semolina custard or cheese between filo pastry. Bougatsa is served warm and is sprinkled with cinnamon as well as powdered sugar. This sweet treat can be found nearly everywhere in Greece and goes perfectly with a warm cup of Greek coffee.