Falling in love with Cretan beaches is easy. Falling in love with Cretan cuisine is inevitable. There are dozens of places to delight on the local specialties. Peskesi, Athali, and Erganos are among the most prominent location to taste the traditional dishes.
The place is dedicated precisely to the Cretan cuisine. According to the people who run Peskesi, all the food is of local origin. They have their own farm for eggs and vegetables, the meat and dairy products come from farmers located nearby. Herbs used for cooking are so typical for the island. The location of the tavern is excellent. Set in the heart of Heraklion, the restaurant is open in the morning (not so typical for Greece) and works until late in the evening.
Located in a small alley across the St. Minas Cathedral, Athali will give you the best representation of Greek and specially Cretan cuisine. They have all traditional dishes such as dolmakia, Horiatiki salad, roast lamb, and many others. The food is cooked by the ways it was made centuries ago using stone ovens and old-school barbecues. The spacious atmosphere adds to the overall experience. This pick is far from the top of budget options anyway.
A bit away from the mainstream tourist zone, this tavern worth to alter the usual walking routes. The emphasis is on traditional dishes being prepared and cooked like you are welcomed at someone’s home, not a restaurant. Except for the excellent meals visitors can hear the stories about how the food is made to be so delicious.