Best food to try in crete

Located in the Mediterranean Sea, Crete showcases stunning beaches, awe-inspiring landscapes, and renowned delightful cuisine. A wide array of delectable dishes is available on the island, promising to allure your palate and leave a lingering desire for more.
The island’s culinary scene, rich with dishes that showcase local ingredients and traditional Greek delicacies, is a true gem. It boasts an array of tantalizing seafood options, from freshly caught fish to succulent shellfish prepared in various delectable ways. Additionally, the vibrant scene celebrates the artistry of meat dishes, where locally sourced cuts are masterfully cooked, embracing the essence of Cretan flavors and culinary heritage. Both locals and visitors alike cherish the traditional Greek dishes found on the island, savoring them with delight.
Among these beloved dishes is “Stifado,” prepared by slow-cooking beef or rabbit with onions, tomatoes, red wine, and a blend of spices such as cinnamon and cloves. Salads and fresh seafood dishes offer a lighter option, often prepared using olive oil and fresh herbs, ensuring both healthfulness and flavor. The local cuisine of Crete is imbued with a fusion of Greek and Mediterranean flavors, forming a distinctive culinary experience.
Check below the best food that you should try during your stay in the island.


Dakos is a traditional Cretan dish made with paximadi (a type of bread rusk) soaked in water and then topped with chopped tomato, feta or mizithra cheese, olives, oregano, and olive oil. It is usually served as an appetizer or light meal.


Staka is a traditional Cretan dish made from sheep or goat milk. It is a creamy custard-like dish made from lamb or goat milk, thickened with flour and then slowly cooked in a pot. The dish is often served on top of fried eggs and fried potatoes.


Apaki is a smoky Cretan dish from pork that has been marinated in vinegar, garlic, oregano, and other spices, then smoked over a wood fire. It is served with potatoes, tomatoes, and feta cheese.


A traditional Cretan dish made with beef, onions, garlic, tomatoes, and a variety of spices, including cinnamon, cloves, allspice and bay leaves. The beef is slowly cooked in a rich tomato-based sauce until it is tender and full of flavour. Stifado is often served with rice, potatoes, and other vegetables.

Sfakiani Pita

Sfakiani Pita is a traditional Cretan dish made with fresh, thin phyllo pastry. It is filled with a mixture of lightly-sweetened cheese, usually a combination of mizithra and anthotyro, and then baked in the pan until golden and crispy. The cheese filling is usually seasoned with a combination of orange zest, cinnamon, and nutmeg. It is often served as a dessert with honey on top, but can also be enjoyed as a savoury snack.


A young lamb (or a goat, on rare occasions) is cut into four pieces (called goulidia), salted, then placed on big wooden skewers that are arranged around the fire in a circular formation, taking into consideration the direction of the wind, the intensity of the fire, and the distance between the fire and the meat.


Snails mpoumpouristoi is a traditional Cretan dish that typically consists of snails cooked in the pan with onion, garlic, oregano, and Greek olive oil.  


This complex Cretan dish couples rice and various types of meat such as goat, lamb,chicken. The meat is cooked separately, while the broth is later used to cook the rice, which is additionally flavoured with lemon juice and generous amounts of butter. Gamopilafo is also known as wedding rice, referring to the fact that the dish was only prepared and enjoyed on special occasions.


Boureki is a traditional Cretan dish made with layered potatoes, zucchini and/or pumpkin and a mix of cretan cheeses, baked in the oven with egg, milk and butter.


Kalitsounia is  traditional Cretan small pies with different fillings (mixture of Cretan cheeses like mizithra, anthotyro and/or various herbs from the Cretan land). This is a unique delicacy served on the entire island. It can be found throughout popular restaurants as well as in small mountainous villages. Kalitsounia can be either baked or fried depending on whether they are made with dough or phyllo.

Other useful links

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