Here in Crete, the culinary experience is something else. It's almost like a dream, one that you won't want to wake up from if you can have your way. Who wouldn't want to delight in local delicacies that you won't find anywhere else? And enjoy them in a peaceful atmosphere that helps you concentrate more on your meal? Don't forget the stunning views you get to see as well. These are all part of the Cretan way of fine dining and it's all thanks to some of these notable places to eat on the island.
By the humble harbor of Elounda stands a quaint little tavern that's been a popular hotspot since it first opened in 1974. Its name? Ferryman Taverna. The seaside restaurant offers the best in coastline Greek delicacies, ranging from traditional seafood to seasonal salads. It also helps that they bake their bread every single day, ensuring that there's a fresh loaf on every table. As for the ambiance, the Mediterranean feel lets you imagine the more relaxed lifestyle of yore—as if it was the former hangout of local ferrymen in the area (hence the name!). And the views? You get to marvel at the mysterious island, Spinalonga, the former leper colony that’s now uninhabited. How's that for a culinary experience?
Source: Ferryman Taverna Facebook Page
Another tavern worth trying out is Taverna Alekos in the Armenoi village in Rethymnon, one of the main cities of Crete. With its elegant ambiance, it's fine dining at its finest, a world away from the other more humble, streetwise taverns on the island. As for their menu, Taverna Alekos offers up Cretan delicacies
made fresh from their own kitchen. In fact, instead of letting you choose your order from a standard menu, they'll let you go into the kitchen yourself and the chefs will recommend your dish for you! Are you willing to play this culinary Russian roulette for your meal?
Source: Taverna Alekos Facebook Page
At the southernmost part of Crete, nestled in the mountainous whitewashed village of Myrthios, Taverna Dionyssos stands as the ultimate foodie hotspot in the area. It may seem like a strenuous hike just to get here but the food and the views at this place are second to none! The former is all about the fine seafood dishes that make up most of the local Greek cuisine. You can also expect a delightfully vegetarian menu featuring rice, zucchini, and all sorts of herbs. As for the latter, the views of the Libyan sea from the restaurant's terrace area are nothing short of breathtaking!
Source: Taverna Dionyssos
In the southern village of Sellia, the beautiful Elia hotel stands as a haven for rest and relaxation. It's a little slice of luxurious comfort amidst this rural area. But whether you book a room here or not, you really ought to try their in-house restaurant. In this popular foodie hotspot, virgin olive oil reigns supreme. The chefs make use of it in all their delicious specialties, ranging from Greek souvlaki skewers, aubergines, hummus, and more. Just one mouthful will already feel as if you took on the flavors of the island all at once.
Source: Elia Hotels Crete
One way to get to Crete
is to either take a plane or a ferry to Chania, a central city on the island. And once you get here, you'll probably grow hungry from the trip. Not to worry! There are loads of excellent places to eat in Chania. But one that you absolutely must try is Chrisostomos! Situated by the city's old port, this hotspot is all about experimenting with traditional Sfakian dishes. Think fried lamb's liver marinated with red wine sauce and rosemary. Or creamy Staka cooked in a pan. They'd all go well with their homemade bottles of raki too!
Source: Chrisostomos Restaurant Facebook Page
If you're in Chania and you're craving a hearty feast, look no further than Evgonia! For more than a decade, this charming bistro has been serving seasonal dishes with the freshest fish, the juiciest meats, lots of vegetables, all seasoned to perfection. The owner, Nectarios Xanakatebakhe, says that its name means 'good corner,' intending to make it a local hangout where customers can eat their fill and indulge in local cuisine to their hearts' content. And it's safe to say that, in all the years it's been open, the restaurant served as just that!
Another foodie hotspot right by the old port of Chania is Salis. Now, this coastal restaurant is all about pairing the most delectable Cretan delicacies with their fine selection of wine. Imagine the light yet tangy tinges of delight when you pair their Cretan cheeses with their white wine! Or how rich it'd taste when you drink their finely aged reds with hearty servings of Hirina Apakia
(smoked pork). And if you're up for some sweets afterward, some Kalitsounia with dessert wine will definitely hit the spot! Did that make you hungry enough to want to have dinner here?
Source: Salis Chania Facebook Page
What is there to do in Crete other than relax on a beach or lazy it up in a beautiful villa? Go eat out, of course! The island offers a handful of notable places to eat, many of which are popular foodie hotspots that you shouldn't miss while you're here!
Moreover, if you're a good enough cook yourself, you can make your own dishes for yourself in your own luxury home
that are just as delicious as those in these foodie hotspots!