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The best of the best dishes on the Greek islands

Greek Islands ● 01 August 2018

The Greek cuisine is part of the world known Mediterranean cuisine. Healthy and delicious, it is based on vegetables, olive oil, fresh fish, seafood and only some meat. Your vacation on the Greek islands can really be a top gastronomic experience you will never forget. A culinary heaven is waiting for you with local dishes in authentic recipes you have never eaten before! More stops on the Greek islands mean more local food to taste. This is why Greek Island Hopping is the best way to explore the culinary landscape of the Greek tradition.

We gathered for you the best of the best dishes you will taste on the Greek islands, appetisers or main dishes, with fish, seafood, meat or vegetables. Some of them are worldwide famous, while some other are impressive small surprises with weird names. Some of them can be found on all Greek islands, while some other are local dishes of specific islands. One thing is for sure: on every island you get, you will discover a whole new world of tastes and aromas that combines the West with the East. Enjoy!


Moussaka, one of the most famous dishes of the Greek cuisine, is based on layering: grilled or fried aubergine, potato and zucchini and between the layers minced meat. On the top, onion, garlic and béchamel sauce create the best food with meat, vegetables and a creamy sauce. A tasty dish you can eat on every traditional Greek tavern.



Tzatziki is a sauce served as dip, appetiser or together with grilled meat and souvlaki. It is made of strained yoghourt, mixed with cucumbers, garlic, salt and olive oil. It is always served cold and as an appetiser. Its taste is unique and different from everything you have tasted.



Tsimetia is a traditional dish in the Cycladic island Ios. This dish is composed of zucchini's flowers filled with rice and then baked or fried. They are the ultimate vegan dish and offered as an appetiser. You may find it weird to eat courgette blossoms, but the truth is that they are delicious!


Sefoukloti is a sweet-savoury pie with chards or wild greens, parsley, fennel, onion, mint and rice. You can taste this yummy pie in every traditional tavern in Naxos, which is considered as one of the best destinations for foodies in Greece. Sefoukloti is a perfect possibility to get familiar with the Greek cuisine of the islands as it combines two elements of it: the pies, which belong to the most creative dishes in every Greek family and the combination of sweet with savoury, which can give the recipe an unexpected advantage. The other dish that makes this combination (feta with honey) is also in this list with the best Greek local dishes.

Fried snails (chochlioi bourbouristoi)

This dish with the weird Greek name is a dish that you can find not only in French but also in the cuisine of Crete. Fried with flour and hot olive oil, doused with wine and sprinkled with wild rosemary, chochlioi is a special delicacy you should not miss. If you thing that this kind of ingredients is unusual, we can reassure you that snails are very tasty and nutritious, full of proteins.


Karavoles is a special dish also with snails, the alternative to chochlioi bourbouristoi in Paros. Snails are boiled in tomato sauce creating a unique and healthy dish.

Cheese pies (kaltsounia)

Pies are very popular in the Greek cuisine. Especially in Crete, small cheese pies are filled with Cretan cheese, sprinkled with rosewater and topped with honey. Nowadays, you can find kaltsounia not only in Crete but also in every bakery around Greece.


The most famous local dish from meat in Amorgos is patatato, which is slowly baked goat with potatoes, tomatoes, onion, spices, garlic, onion, olive oil and wine in the pot. So, the thing is that on the Greek islands, such as in the Cyclades, in addition to seafood, you can also eat delicious and creative meat.


Gamopilafo literally means the rice of weddings, and it is traditionally served in weddings in Crete. It is a deluxe risotto with meat, lemon juice and butter from goat's milk, which gives it its special taste and aroma. The combination of the ingredients has as a result an alternative dish, which is the Cretan version of risotto.


Extra tasty, velvety in texture, nutritious and sweet, fava of Santorini has awarded PDO status (Protected Designation of Origin). It is puree of yellow split peas and served as a dip, sprinkled with lemon juice, olive oil and onions. However, there are many alternative recipes with fava, such as with meat, small tomatoes, capers and octopus, or it can also be served as a soup.



A dish, which is considered to be very aphrodisiac, is the oysters and generally the shellfishes, which you can find at amazing prices on every Greek island. Oysters are served in their shell, and their inside is boiled in wine or a sauce with garlic, wine and lemon. They are an amazing kickshaw with a taste literally coming from the sea. Oysters are also combined with risotto or pasta in the Greek version of spaghetti vongole.


Feta cheese with honey

The most famous Greek cheese is wrapped in filo pastry and then, is baked or fried, before honey is put on the top. The combination of salty feta and sweet honey create an amazing taste. In this appetiser, you taste two of the best ingredients of the Greek cuisine: feta and honey.

Tomato fritters (tomatokeftedes)

Tomato fritters, also known in Greek as tomatokeftedes, are a signature dish of Santorini, but you can taste them also on other islands, especially in the Cyclades. Tomato fritters are dried tomatoes fried with flour and are the perfect veggie appetiser.

Tomato fritters


Taramosalata is a sauce created from avgotaraho, lemon and olive oil. Avgotaraho from Mesologgi, is one of the most eclectic deli Greek products. The Greek caviar is made from the eggs of the flathead grey mullet, and it is certified with a PDO status. Taramosalata is the perfect appetiser for a seafood meal together with ouzo.

Shrimps saganaki

Saganaki is a special way of cooking in the Greek cuisine with cheese and other ingredients baked all together. Shrimps are usually grilled, but you can eat them in saganaki with tomato sauce and feta cheese. However, you should take into consideration that some people are allergic to the combination of seafood and cheese.

Sea urchin

Sea urchin is the ultimate gastronomic experience you can have in Greece at significantly lower prices than in other cuisines. The inside of the sea urchin is served in a shot glass making you feel like drinking the sea and its waves.


Dakos is the most popular dish in Crete, a combination of salad and appetiser, which is nowadays in almost every Greek tavern around Greece. Barley rusks, which are soaked in water or olive oil to get softened, are topped with fresh tomato and cheese, feta or myzithra. Salt, oregano, pepper and Cretan olive oil give dakos an excellent taste.



Trachanas is a kind of pasta cooked in the traditional Greek way. Especially in Lesvos, you can taste several dishes with trachanas, such as trachanas baked with a tomato and cheese stuffing or myzithrohalva, which is trachanas mixed with semolina and myzithra cheese.


Louza is a delicious meze of the Cyclades, a delectable appetiser made of the best cuts of pork and prepared differently on every Cycladic island. If you want to taste the amazing Greek cuisine, louza is a perfect sample of delicatessen local food, a product you can also buy and take back home. Andros has a unique version of louza. The smoked and spiced louza is hung together with sausages and clean chunks of pork on a mesh suspended on a rod to be cooked and smoked. The meat is seared in lard and put together with its fat and spices in clay jars, where it is preserved for a year.


Soutzoukakia is a famous dish from Smyrna that came in northern Greece, and then became part of the Greek cuisine. Meat balls with various spices, tomato sauce, souvlaki pita and yoghourt dip create the perfect nutritious plate. You can eat soutzoukakia everywhere, but on the islands of northern Greece, such as Thassos, this culinary experience is amazing.


Pastitsada is meat with spices and thick macaroni in Corfu. It contains meat cooked in butter in order to acquire its special flavour together with many different spices, mainly cinnamon that adds sweetness to the dish. The sauce is prepared with red wine and vinegar , hence its deep red colour. Pastitsada can be made with both beef and chicken, and it is served with pasta.

Meat in gastra

This dish is pure meat cooked in a surprising way! Gastra is a sealed clay pot or casserole. The gastra is put in a regular oven, a wood oven or in sand beneath a fire. It is designed to cook the meat slowly in a vessel that keeps flavours trapped inside. The meat is stuffed with ingredients, such as herbs, rice, fresh cheeses or eggs and accompanied by vegetables or potatoes.

Lamb with stamnagathi

Lamb with stamnagathi is a recipe from Crete that many awarded restaurants all over Greece serve. Stamnagathi is a wild green vegetable with extraordinary taste. The lamb is sautéed is hot olive oil and accompanied with stamnagathi and a sauce of fresh lemon.

Spit-roasted meat

Split-roasted meat is one of the greatest culinary things you will taste in Greece. It is served only on special occasions, such as Easter, and thus it is considered as a force that unites families, but of course you can find it in several traditional taverns all year round. The concept of ovelias, a whole animal, which is roasted on a spit, comes from the antiquity and can be found all over Greece. On the spit, are prepared also other local dishes, such as kontosouvli (chunks of pork and peppers) and kokoretsi (offal wrapped in intestines). This souvlaki-style of cooking is the characteristic of the Greek cuisine, which distinguishes it from other cuisines.

If you want to taste all these captivating local dishes at unbeatable prices in a Greek tavern by the sea with the company of ouzo, tsipouro or Greek wine, don't hesitate. Book now your ferry tickets and your accommodation in Greece, find super deals and live an unforgettable yet affordable gastronomic experience in one of the best culinary destinations worldwide, the Greek islands!

Where to Stay

Hotel in Chalkidiki, Greece Hotel Papagalos
Hotel Papagalos
Neos Marmaras, 63081 Chalkidiki, Greece

Hotel Papagalos is situated in a central location in the beautiful village of Neos Marmaras. Paradisos beach is a 15-minute walk away. Thessaloniki International Airport is 108 km away.

Boutique Hotel in Koufonisia, Greece Aegeon hotel
8.5 10
Aegeon hotel
Ano Koufonisi, 84300 Koufonisia, Greece

Situated right on the main beach in the village of Koufonisi, Aegeon hotel lies only 100 m from the port of Ano Koufonisi island. Surrounded by gardens, Aegeon hotel offers accommodation with the amazing view of the Aegean Sea in the centre of the small Koufonisi village.

Villa in Kavala, Greece Villa Nickolas
Villa Nickolas
44, Melinas Merkouri Str., Paleo Tsifliki, 65500 Kavala, Greece

Villa Nickolas is located in Palio Tsifliki, Kavala, just a minute's walk from the beautiful beach. The center and port of Kavala is a 15-minute drive away. The Airport of Kavala is a 40-minute drive away.