Do you want to know what to eat in Greece? Then check out this list of must-try Greek foods we have put together just for you! You’ll get access to detailed descriptions of the top 30 finest traditional Greek foods.
Greek food has an ancient tradition and has been heavily impacted by both Eastern and Western civilizations. Nevertheless, its influence can be felt throughout Europe and beyond. The flavors of Greek food differ depending on the season and area.
However, fresh vegetables, fish, and shellfish play an important role in the meals, owing to the country’s long coastline, while meat is considered less popular, with the exception of lamb.
Top 30 Greek Foods
Below are some of the top Greek foods you should not miss when visiting Greece.
As expected, Greece’s national dish, Moussaka, is the most well-known Greek cuisine in the country.
The famous dish exudes Greek taste. Layers of seasoned ground pork, fried eggplant, potatoes, and spiced tomato sauce are sandwiched together and topped with a creamy béchamel sauce.
Moussaka is one of the most popular traditional Greek meals, and it can be found not just in most taverns and restaurants in Greece, but also on Greek food menus all over the world. It’s so well known that it doesn’t even have a translation!
Amygdalota, a gluten-free almond biscuit, is popular in Greece and it blends perfectly well with a hot cup of Greek coffee. Amygdalota depicts the imagery of pleasant times and friendly interactions, whether it is a family or friends gathering.
This dish varies slightly depending on where you are in Greece, although almonds are a common element.
3. Papoutsakia (Stuffed Eggplants)
Papoutsakia is stuffed eggplants that are baked until soft, filled with a tomato-based meat sauce, and then covered with cheese and bechamel sauce, and baked until golden!
Because of its shape, the dish is known as papoutsakia (little shoes). The meal tastes a lot like Moussaka because to its ingredients.
Baklava is the ultimate Greek eating experience. This cuisine is primarily composed of nuts, butter, and sugar. After baking, sweet syrup is poured over it so the crispy layers of phyllo can absorb the syrup.
It is most likely the most popular of all Greek desserts. Its superb flavor and flaky crust create a celebratory atmosphere in the dining area.
5. Tzatziki Sauce
Tzatziki, pronounced tah-zee-kee, may sound threatening the first time you hear it, but there’s nothing scary about it.
The classic recipe includes lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, cucumbers, salt, and pepper as well as Greek yogurt as the major component. Isn’t that sweet?
The end result is a refreshing, delicious dip or sauce—you can use it as either. Tzatziki, as a sauce, enhances the flavor of excellent Greek dishes. It can also be served as a dip with pita or veggies as a meze (appetizer).
6. Gyro – Doner Kebab
This is a popular Greek dish that may also be found in many other countries! Gyros are a popular choice for any meal for several reasons: they’re delicious, inexpensive, and filling!
The term “Gyro” is derived from the ancient Greek word for “turn,” and refers to how the pressed cone-shaped meat (beef, chicken, lamb, pig, or a mixture) is roasted on a rotating vertical spit. The meat is chopped into thin strips to order off a big skewer.
Gyro can be served with rice or salad on a plate. However, it is most typically a wrap sandwich with toppings such as lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, and tzatziki sauce. In Greece, you may also expect french fries on the inside!
7. Courgette Balls (Kolokithokeftedes)
This vegetable beginning will quickly become one of your favorite recipes. This is a popular Cretan meze that can be found in most (if not all) Greek restaurants.
Its flavored texture, salty and savory feta cheese with a hint of fresh mint will captivate your taste senses. The authentic kolokythokeftedes must be crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside.
8. Dolmadakia (Stuffed Grape Leaves)
This demonstrates the adaptability of Greek cuisine. Dolmadakia is small dolmades made of filled grape leaves.
Inside the leaves, you’ll find ground lamb or beef (or both) and rice stuffing. This meal is traditionally served as an appetizer with lemon wedges.
Souvlaki is a beloved Greek street food consisting of skewered and grilled meat, often served with pita bread, tomatoes, onions, and a generous dollop of tzatziki sauce.
Whether it’s chicken, pork, or lamb, Souvlaki is a delicious and satisfying meal on the go.
Spanakopita is a delectable Greek pastry filled with a mixture of spinach, feta cheese, onions, and herbs, all enveloped in layers of flaky phyllo dough.
This savory spinach pie is a popular appetizer or snack, perfect for any time of day.
11. Feta Cheese
Feta cheese is a classic Greek cheese made from sheep’s milk or a combination of sheep’s and goat’s milk. It has a crumbly texture and a tangy flavor that pairs perfectly with salads, pastries, and various Greek dishes.
12. Greek Salad (Horiatiki)
Greek Salad, or Horiatiki, is a refreshing and colorful dish made with tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, Kalamata olives, and Feta cheese.
Drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with oregano, this salad is a fresh and delightful accompaniment to any meal.
13. Tiropita – Greek Cheese Pie
All you needed to know about cheese pies to love them is that they are delicious. But if you require more, here it is.
Tiropita is a typical Greek meal prepared with layers of phyllo dough (also known as “filo” pastry). The phyllo dough sheets are filled with a feta cheese and egg mixture, twisted into triangles, brushed with butter, and baked until golden brown.
14. Kreatopita – Greek Meat Pie
Kreatopita is another traditional Greek phyllo pie. It’s a meat pie packed with minced lamb or ground beef (or both), onions, and various herbs and spices, in this example.
This savory pastry is popular in Greece as part of an afternoon or evening meal snack. Kreatopita is frequently served with a salad and a serving of yogurt, which cuts through the richness and adds creaminess.
Kreatopita is a popular dish in Greece, particularly in Kefallonia.
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15. Pastitsio (Greek lasagna)
Pastitsio is another typical Greek meal made of tomato sauce, baked layers of pasta, juicy minced beef, bechamel, and melted cheese on top. The minced beef is cooked in a tomato sauce with seasonings.
This traditional Greek recipe is also known as “Greek lasagna” since the beef sauce tastes similar to the Italian bolognese sauce.
16. Soutzoukakia – Greek Meatballs
If there are meatballs involved, it is a popular dish in any culture! What distinguishes the Greek version? The shape, as well as the Mediterranean spices!
Ground beef, eggs, onion, garlic, and spices such as cinnamon, oregano, cumin, and parsley are used to make soutzoukakia. After that, the mixture is molded into little oval-shaped balls that are cooked in a thick tomato sauce.
The term is derived from the Greek word “souzou,” which means “chain”—a reference to how the cooked meatballs form a row when cooked!
17. Ellinikos (Greek Coffee)
Ellinikos is still the most popular coffee style in Greece. The coffee is served in a classic long-handled copper coffee pot called briki in Greek.
Ellinikos comes in three flavors: Vari Glyko, which means “strong and almost honey sweet,” Metrios, which means “medium sweetness,” and Sketos, which means “without sugar.”
18. Stifado (Greek Beef Stew)
Stifado is a classic Greek beef stew made with onions, cinnamon, tomatoes, vinegar, red wine, and a variety of spices and herbs.
This Greek meal is traditionally served with chip potatoes, hilopittes (egg pasta), rice, or orzo/kritharaki pasta. Serve it with mashed potatoes on cold winter days for a hearty and warming dish.
With meals like these widely accessible, it’s no surprise that Greece is rated as one of the finest holiday locations.
Loukoumades are small, golden-brown dough balls similar to donuts, served with a drizzle of honey and sprinkled with cinnamon or powdered sugar.
These delightful and indulgent treats are a favorite at Greek festivals and celebrations.
Yemista, also known as Stuffed Vegetables, is a traditional Greek dish featuring vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, or eggplants, hollowed out and stuffed with a flavorful mixture of rice, herbs, and minced meat.
Baked until tender, Yemista is a wholesome and delicious meal.
While some of you may have had seafood meals from other countries, if you haven’t yet had Greek seafood, you will immediately realize that it is genuinely exceptional.
You must taste octopus, jumbo shrimp, snapper pie, oysters, squid, and barbouni (striped red mullet) at least once in your life!
22. Fasolada – Bean Soup
Fasolada, another of Greece’s national meals, is a meatless traditional dish. “Fasolada” simply means “bean soup.” It’s high in protein and fiber, making it a nutritious choice.
The ingredients vary by location, but the classic version includes white beans (known as “gigantes”), onions, tomatoes, and carrots all gently cooked in a generous amount of good quality extra-virgin olive oil.
Herbs like oregano and bay leaves are occasionally used to flavor it.
23. Greek Fava Dip (Yellow Split Pea Puree)
This delectable vegetable dish, prepared with yellow split peas, is not only popular on the Greek island of Santorini, but also popular across Greece.
It is creamy and delicious—an excellent appetizer for cold winter days. With a sprinkle of extra virgin olive oil, serve this Fava dish as an appetizer or dip.
24. Saganaki Cheese – Greek Fried Cheese
The term “Saganaki” is derived from the little frying pan in which it is prepared. In Greek restaurants in the United States, this meal is known as Flaming Saganaki because the cook sprinkles the cheese with liquor and sets the dish on fire table-side.
The origin of this well-known Greek dish is hotly debated. Some believe it is Turkish because the Turkish word for “pan” is similar. Others assert that it originated on the Greek islands. Some have even referred to it as a Chicago invention.
25. Tomatokeftedes (Tomato Fritters)
Tomatokeftedes, or tomato fritters, are an indigenous Santorini appetizer. These small bits of bliss, made with onions, mint, chopped tomatoes, and feta cheese, offer a unique blend of flavors.
The local tomatoes have a fantastic texture because of the volcanic nature of the island’s soil. This makes for the tastiest tomato fritters!
26. Garides Saganaki – Sautéed Greek Prawns
Now that you’ve heard of “saganaki,” you can probably predict that it’s another traditional Greek dish cooked in a frying pan. Correct!
Garides Saganaki is a traditional Greek seafood meal that consists of prawns sautéed with fresh garlic, onions, oregano, tomatoes, and parsley.
To add depth to the dish, a dash of white wine may be added. It can also be topped with feta cheese, as is customary with many Greek dishes.
It can be served as an appetizer with crusty bread, or as a main course with sides of potatoes and Greek salad.
Galaktoboureko is a luscious Greek dessert made with layers of phyllo pastry and a creamy semolina custard filling, all soaked in sweet syrup. It’s a delightful way to end a Greek meal on a sweet note.
28. Fava – Split Pea Dip
The island of Santorini, where they grow Santorini Fava, is the most famous region for Fava. Contrary to popular belief, fava are yellow split peas, not fava beans.
Fava is made in the same way that hummus is made: yellow split peas are boiled until mushy, then mashed together and seasoned with olive oil, garlic, onions, herbs, and spices. It can also be served with feta cheese, olives, tomatoes, capers, and cucumber as a complement.
Fava is a classic Greek meal that is typically served as an appetizer with traditional Greek bread such as pita or flatbread.
29. Grilled Fish
Grilled fish may not sound exciting, yet it is one of the most popular Greek main courses. Fresh fish is especially good on the islands and near the coast.
The simplest and most typical preparation for grilled fish in Greek cuisine is lemon, extra virgin olive oil, and garlic.
Chefs frequently use fresh herbs such as mint, oregano, and thyme to enhance the flavor, but the wonderful freshness of the fish is the most significant factor.
30. Glyka Tou Koutaliou – Spoon Sweets
Spoon Sweets are a traditional Greek delicacy that is typically served with a cup of coffee and a glass of cold water. They are typically jam-like in consistency and produced from fruit floating in thick syrup.
Spoon Sweets are most commonly made with quince, figs, prickly pears, cherries, and apricots, but any fruit can be used. They are called “spoon sweets” because they are served with a little spoon since they are too sticky to pick up with your fingers.
When guests arrive, the host would traditionally display their hospitality by providing a spoon sweet.
Greek cuisine is a delightful tapestry of flavors that celebrates the abundance of fresh ingredients and time-tested recipes.
Whether you want to savor classic dishes or explore regional specialties, Greek foods offer a delectable and authentic taste of Greece’s culinary heritage.