Greek Food: 5 Must-Try Dishes in Crete

24 Sep 2023

The cuisine of Crete, a jewel amongst the Greek islands, is renowned for its unique blend of flavours and its commitment to locally sourced ingredients. Staples of the Cretan diet include fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and a variety of cheeses, all generously drizzled with the region's famous extra virgin olive oil. Seafood, owing to Crete's prime location in the Mediterranean Sea, also features prominently in the culinary traditions of the island. The Cretan approach to cooking is simple yet flavourful, often involving herbs like rosemary and thyme that grow wild on the island's rugged hillsides. The result is a cuisine that is not only delicious but also aligns with the principles of the Mediterranean diet, considered one of the healthiest in the world.

Cretan Salad

The classic Cretan Salad is similar in many ways to the traditional Greek Salad (Horiathiki) - tomatoes, olives, cucumbers, oregano are included on the island as well as on mainland Greece. Feta or Paximadi cheese is used in the Cretan recipes as well as egg or potato. Another typical appetizer is Dakos – dried and baked bread, moistened in a bit of water, and topped with tomato, olive oil and oregano, sometimes the cheese is added too.
Greek Food: Cretan salad © Marco Verch, CC2.0 / Flickr


The wedding rice – the literal translation of the dish. It is served on weddings or traditional events but is definitely not a vegan option. The meat used for the Gamopilafo is goat or lamb. Cooked with local herbs this meal is one to order if you want to taste the ultimate Cretan cuisine.


There are various kinds of typical Cretan cheese. Usually made of sheep or goat milk, you can make a delicious choose among tongue twisters such as anthotiros, kefalotiri, mizithra, or katsikithia.
Greek Food: Fried Snails © Christos Tsoumplekas CC BY-NC 2.0

Fried Snails (Chochlioi Boubouristi)

That’s right, snails. Cretan people love snails. You won’t “yuck” if you have the chance to taste Chochlioi Boubouristi the way it is made on the island. The snails are fried with flour and olive oil. Some wine is added too. Another snail delicacy is Coclious me hondro – the fresh snails cooked with olive oil, onion, and red wine served in a cracked wheat stew.

Cuttlefish with Fennel and Olives

It’s an island – so it has to have some sea specialties. There are hundreds, but Cuttlefish with fennel and olives is undoubtedly one to taste. Ordering Kalamari at the tavern is a strong alternative. If you are more about the fish meals, then try the Cretan Baked Fish or Cod with okras.
Greek food: Roasted cuttlefish © Klearchos Kapoutsis, CC2.0


Sweet desserts will tempt you all the way while on Crete. Kaltsoúnia is one of the favourite choices of local people - a traditional recipe made of “myzíthra” cheese or greens and herbs and wrapped in pastry. If you like the sweeter taste, then go for the Loukoumades – type of donuts covered with honey syrup.


Connect via social media
google sign in button
Leave a comment using your email This e-mail address is not valid
Please enter your name*

Please share your location

Enter your message*
This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Find out more here. AGREE