Top 15 Classic Greek Dishes That You Should Try
Feb 17, 2020
While staying in Greece, you should aim to try as many traditional Greek meals as you can. A popular tourist destination, Greece offers a wide range of famous Greek dishes that are made of fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as delicious seafood and fish. Meat is less popular, but lamb has a special place in the Greek tradition.
Greek cuisine is an interesting mixture of Eastern and Western cultures which makes it extremely tasty and appealing. Although dishes vary with geography, each Greek dish is worth trying, so make sure not to miss some of the following dishes when in Greece.
Classic Greek Dishes to Try
Depending on where you find yourself in Greece, you will have a bunch of traditional Greek meals and drinks to choose from. There’s no better way of learning about a particular culture than tasting their food and exploring its origins. Here are just 15 of the many famous Greek dishes everyone should try.
1. For Avid Meat Lovers – Traditional Greek Gyros
Those who really love meat will enjoy this famous, yet economical meal option. Gyros is made with roasted meat, either pork or chicken, and a bunch of other ingredients including pita, various sauces, vegetables, and french fries.
Gyros is specific because the meat is roasted vertically on a spit known as the Gyro. Once it’s ready, small pieces are cut and made into a Gyros. Everyone gets to choose what to put into their Gyros which is great for picky eaters as well.
2. Essential Food Experience Captured With Baklava
If you really want to have a piece of traditional Greek food experience, trying their Baklava is the way to go. Baklava is a popular Greek dessert made of nuts, butter, and sugar. After baking them, the Greek pour sweet syrup over them so that the crispy phyllo layers can absorb it.
The Greek love to make Baklava for festivities and traditional celebrations, so if you come across an event like this, be sure not to miss it! You’ll be in for a special Greek treat.
3. Tasting Greek Street-Side Cuisine With Souvlaki
Souvlaki is one of many popular Greek dishes that can be bought and found in their many street-side restaurants. This meal is based on pork or chicken that is flavored with Greek tzatziki sauce, and vegetables or french fries on the side. Just like Gyros, Souvlaki is a great option for meat lovers so make sure to try it once you’re in Greece.
4. Roadside Dessert Delight – Bougatsa
Another interesting Greek dessert is definitely Bougatsa. Although not as sweet as other Greek desserts, Bougatsa is made of phyllo pastry and semolina custard. This dessert is great at any time of the day and it can be bought at a roadside food court. You’ll even get some powdered sugar and cinnamon on top to complete your sweet experience. Make sure to read more about other traditional Greek desserts here.
5. Ellinikos (Greek Coffee) for Coffee Lovers
Coffee lovers won’t be left short of their unique Greek experience with traditional Greek coffee – Ellinikos. This type of coffee is served in brikis or long-handled coffee copper pots. You can opt for one of the three different tastes of Ellinikos – Vari Glyko (strong and honey-sweet), Sketos (no sugar) or Metrios (medium sweet).
6. The One and Only – Greek Salad
Greek cuisine wouldn’t be Greek cuisine without Greek salad, right? No matter what main course you choose, the Greek salad is a great side dish for anything and everything. It’s made of olives, tomatoes, cucumbers, and feta cheese. You can choose your dressing on the spot, like vinegar, salt, pepper, and olive oil. If you love lighter meals, a Greek salad is a great choice.
7. Feta Me Meli – Your Favorite Dessert and Entree
Feta Me Meli is a Greek dish that can be eaten as an entree or a dessert, depending on what you prefer. For this dish, feta is wrapped in pastry before it’s baked and drizzled with honey afterward. The dish represents a beautiful balance between salty and sweet, and it creates a unique food experience.
8. Delectable Moussaka for Unique Greek Experience
Visiting one of the many Greek tavernas is a great place to taste traditional Greek dishes such as Moussaka. This meal is usually made by Greek homemakers and it’s very creamy and juicy. For this, they cook minced beef in tomato sauce and later layer it between sweet eggplant and cover it with béchamel sauce.
You won’t be needing anything with this as this mixture represents a unique Greek cuisine experience. If you want to try to make your own Moussaka, try out some of our traditional Moussaka recipes.
9. Halva – a Mesmerizing Sweet Dessert
If you’re avoiding dairy, eggs, and butter, but still crave a nice dessert, halva is the way to go. Halva is made of four simple ingredients that include oil, sugar, semolina, and water, but once combined they create a mesmerizing sweet experience. You can choose from a variety of options and tastes and find the one that you like best!
10. Greek Meatballs or Keftethes
Among the most popular Greek dishes are most certainly crispy and juicy Greek meatballs, also known as Keftethes. They are considered an appetizer and are mostly served with sauces and pita bread. Depending on how much you can eat, it can be your main meal together with a salad as a side dish. You can read some of our recipes for traditional Greek Keftethes here and even try to make your own at home.
11. Retsina Wine to Complete Your Day
Trying some of the traditional Greek drinks should be on your must-do list while in Greece. You should opt for Greek Retsina wine, made by sealing wine with Pine resin. This process makes sure that no air enters the bottle while it’s infused with the resin aroma. Dishes made with mint, dill, or rosemary go perfectly with this type of wine.
12. Revani Dessert for a Taste of Nuts and Lemon
Revani is a popular Greek dessert that has a lemony taste. Its nutty and grainy texture is an interesting mixture to try, but it’s not particularly sweet which is great for those who don’t like overly sweet treats. This moist cake is made sweet with orange zest flavored syrup and it can be quite refreshing indeed.
13. The Inescapable Tzatziki Sauce
If you start reading through famous Greek food recipes, you’ll notice that Tzatziki appears in many, if not all of them. This traditional Greek sauce is a great option for almost every meal. It’s made of thick yogurt, olive oil, garlic, and fresh dill. Despite its varied ingredients, it’s easy to make and can be combined with meat dishes, vegetables, or salads.
14. Greek Spinach Pie or Spanakopita
The Greek spinach pie or Spanakopita is a delicious dish to try. You can eat it for dinner or breakfast, depending on what you love. It’s made of feta cheese, spinach, olive oil, and butter. It’s crispy, delicious, and simply marvelous.
15. Loukoumades, Tiny Greek Donuts
Loukoumades or Greek donuts are little, one-bite golden puffs of fried dough sprinkled with sweet syrup, cinnamon, and walnuts. Crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside, they are perfect for those who love sweet treats.
If you want to try some authentic, traditional Greek food, but not sure if you can do it on your own, give Lemon and Vine a try. We use only the finest ingredients for all our traditional Greek recipes. If you’re interested, contact us for more information or check out our website.