Greek food has got it all, right? Aside from the locally produced olives, which form the basis of most Mediterranean flavours, there’s also the fruit and vegetables so fresh you can virtually taste the sunshine in them, unusual local cheeses you’ll find cubed, spread or fried, and deliciously fragrant herbs. So, if you’re planning a villa holiday in Greece, what you’ll eat is probably on your mind! That’s why we’ve put together a list of the best Greek foods to try on your next visit.
Every dairy lover’s dream, saganaki is essentially fried cheese. Intended to be served as one of several meze small plates, it’s typically made with hard Greek cheeses like graviera or kefalotyri, which boast an intense, salty flavour that stands up to the frying process. Whichever one is used, the result is crispy on the outside but ooey-gooey soft in the middle – delightfully decadent!
Chicken soup thickened with eggs and spiked with lemon may not sound instantly appealing on paper, but stick with us! This classic Greek dish is often served as a starter or smaller dinner – ideal if you’ve already indulged at lunch and are on the hunt for something light. Silky smooth and always made with minimal ingredients, it’s typically served with lahanodolmades (cabbage rolls) or dolmades (stuffed grape leaves).
Stuffed grape leaves, we hear you say? Yes! Making the most of every part of their vineyards, Greeks fill these leafy parcels with with rice, herbs and spices, meat or cheese. The extremely versatile appetizer can be also served hot or cold, and we’re sure that once you try them, you’ll be keen to recreate your own at home – they’re a little fiddly at first, but practice makes perfect!
This crowd-pleasing classic sees crisp filo parcel pastry filled with an unbeatable cheese and spinach combination. Whether it’s served warm or cold, for breakfast, lunch or dinner, or even as an on-the-go snack, one thing’s for sure: you’ll be wanting more than just a single slice of this pie!
This almost lasagne-like comfort food is made by layering aubergines with béchamel sauce and lamb – though vegetarian versions are widely available too. The warming spices of nutmeg and cinnamon come through with every mouthful, resulting in a hearty dish that’s best enjoyed at the end of a long day spent exploring.
The ultimate grab-and-go food, these juicy Greek kebabs come in many forms – all of them delicious, but our favourite is in wrap form. Whether you choose to have your pita filled with lamb, chicken, or perhaps pork, the lunchtime staple is only complete when you add in a generous dollop of hummus, drizzle of tzatziki and sprinkling of salad Want to really fuel up? Try yours stuffed with crisp fries.
You’ve likely tried the kind that’s sold in supermarkets, but just you wait until you’ve tried the real thing! Made using Greek yoghurt, cucumber, garlic, lemon juice and mint, tzatiki is the perfect accompaniment to most meals in Greece. It typically arrives with the meze plates, but will then stay on the table to enjoy with roasted veggies and other main meats.
Light, zingy and as fresh as they come, this fuss-free mix of cucumber, olives, tomatoes and feta will be a permanent feature on your plate in Greece. It’s kept purposefully simple to let the ingredients do all the talking, making the most of locally grown produce. For this reason, it’s typically enjoyed from early spring into the autumn season.
Of course, you’ve got to top off any fantastic day of eating in Greece with something sweet. That’s where baklava comes in: a layered, filo pastry dessert oozing with honey, spices, walnuts, pistachios, and scented with rose. It’s served in bite-sized pieces, so you may just find yourself reaching for one after the other…
Now that you’ve read about some of the best Greek foods to try, your stomach may be betraying your desire for a trip to this Mediterranean foodie capital! We’ve got a full collection of villas in Greece to help you find your ideal holiday home, and if you need a little extra help, our concierge team are always on hand to help answer your questions.