10 Best Greek Food In Heraklion You Must Try

Discovering the Best Greek Food In Heraklion: A Culinary Journey

When it comes to Greek food, it’s hard to resist the aroma of freshly cooked moussaka, the savory taste of tzatziki, or the sweetness of baklava. And for those who are eager to explore the culinary delights of Greece, Heraklion is definitely a destination worth considering.

Why Heraklion?

Located on the north coast of the island of Crete, Heraklion boasts a rich history, stunning landscapes, and, of course, delicious cuisine. As the largest city on the island, it offers a wide range of options for food lovers, from traditional tavernas to upscale restaurants and trendy cafes.

🍽️ Tavernas: Where to Find Authentic Greek Cuisine

For a truly authentic Greek dining experience, head to one of the many tavernas scattered across the city. These family-run establishments serve homemade dishes made from fresh local ingredients, often accompanied by live music and friendly conversation.

1. Kritamon

Located in the heart of Heraklion’s old town, Kritamon is a popular choice among locals and tourists alike. The menu is full of traditional Cretan dishes, such as dakos (a salad made with barley rusk, tomatoes, and feta cheese) and lamb with stamnagathi (a type of wild green). The cozy atmosphere and friendly staff make it a great place to unwind after a day of sightseeing.

2. To Kastro

This family-run taverna has been serving up delicious Greek food for over 30 years. Located near the Venetian Walls, it offers stunning views of the city and the sea. The menu features a variety of dishes, from grilled octopus and squid to vegetarian moussaka and stuffed tomatoes. Don’t forget to try their homemade wine!

🍸 Cafes: Where to Savor Greek Coffee and Desserts

Greek coffee and desserts are a match made in heaven. Whether you’re looking for a quick afternoon snack or a cozy spot to spend a lazy morning, Heraklion has plenty of cafes to choose from.

1. Daedalos

With its bohemian decor and laid-back vibe, Daedalos is a popular hangout for locals and travelers. The menu features a variety of coffee drinks, from classic Greek frappes to espresso-based specialties. The highlight, however, is their dessert selection, which includes homemade baklava, galaktoboureko (a custard-filled pastry), and koulourakia (traditional sesame cookies).

2. En Plo

Located on the seafront promenade, En Plo is a stylish cafe with a nautical theme. The menu offers a variety of dishes, from hearty breakfasts to gourmet sandwiches and salads. But the real star of the show is their selection of sweets, including loukoumades (Greek donuts), chocolate cake, and fruit tarts.

🍴 Upscale Restaurants: Where to Splurge on Fine Dining

If you’re in the mood for something more upscale, Heraklion has plenty of options to satisfy your taste buds. From Michelin-starred restaurants to trendy rooftop bars, here are some of the best places to indulge in gourmet Greek cuisine.

1. Peskesi

Located in a restored 19th-century building, Peskesi is a popular choice among foodies looking for a modern twist on traditional Greek dishes. The menu features organic produce and meat from local farms, as well as homemade cheeses and breads. Don’t miss the smoked eggplant dip and the lamb chops with honey and thyme.

2. Galazia Hytra

Perched on the 6th floor of a modern building, Galazia Hytra offers panoramic views of the city and the sea. The menu, crafted by Michelin-starred chef Georgianna Hiliadaki, features innovative dishes that showcase the best of Greek cuisine. Highlights include the sea bass ceviche with grapefruit and the beef fillet with black garlic.

What Makes Greek Food in Heraklion Special?

While Greek cuisine is no stranger to international acclaim, the food in Heraklion has a distinct character that reflects the island’s history and culture. Here are some of the elements that make it unique:

🌿 Local Ingredients

Thanks to its mild climate and fertile soil, Crete is blessed with a wide variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs. From juicy tomatoes and sweet figs to aromatic oregano and thyme, the island’s produce is a key element in many Greek dishes.

🍷 Traditional Winemaking

Wine has been an integral part of Greek culture for thousands of years, and Crete is no exception. Many local wineries use traditional methods to produce high-quality wines from indigenous grape varieties such as Vidiano and Kotsifali.

🧀 Rich Dairy Products

From tangy feta cheese to creamy yogurt and soft myzithra, dairy products are a staple of Greek cuisine. In Heraklion, you can sample some of the best cheeses and yogurts in the country, made from fresh milk sourced from local farms.

FAQs About the Best Greek Food in Heraklion

1. What are some of the must-try dishes in Heraklion?

Some of the most popular dishes include moussaka (layers of eggplant, potato, and ground meat topped with bechamel sauce), souvlaki (grilled meat on a skewer), dakos (a salad made with barley rusk, tomatoes, and feta cheese), and kalitsounia (small cheese or herb pies).

2. Are there any vegetarian or vegan options?

Yes, many restaurants and tavernas offer vegetarian and vegan dishes, such as stuffed vegetables, lentil soup, and grilled mushrooms. Some places also offer vegan versions of traditional dishes, such as moussaka made with lentils instead of meat.

3. What is the best time to visit Heraklion for foodies?

The best time to visit is from May to October, when the weather is warm and many restaurants offer outdoor seating. However, some places may be closed during the winter months, so it’s a good idea to check ahead.

4. Is it safe to eat street food in Heraklion?

Yes, street food is generally safe to eat in Heraklion. However, it’s important to use common sense and choose vendors that look clean and hygienic. Avoid eating raw or undercooked food, and make sure your food is served hot.

5. What is the typical cost of a meal in Heraklion?

The cost of a meal varies depending on the type of restaurant and the dish you choose. A meal at a taverna or cafe may cost around €10-15 per person, while a fine dining experience can range from €50-100 per person.

6. Is it customary to tip in Heraklion?

Yes, it is customary to leave a tip of around 10% in restaurants and cafes. However, it’s not mandatory, and you can adjust the amount based on the quality of service.

7. Can I visit local wineries in Heraklion?

Yes, there are many wineries in the region that offer tours and tastings. Some popular ones include Lyrarakis Winery, Douloufakis Winery, and Domaine Paterianakis. It’s best to book ahead and check their opening hours.

Conclusion: Bon Appetit!

Whether you’re a seasoned foodie or a curious traveler, Heraklion offers a world of culinary delights waiting to be discovered. From traditional tavernas to upscale restaurants and trendy cafes, there’s something for every palate and budget. So, why not embark on a culinary journey and savor the flavors of Greece? Bon appetit!



While we strive to provide accurate information, this article is intended for general guidance only and does not constitute professional advice. We do not endorse any particular restaurant or vendor, and we recommend that you use your own judgment and discretion when trying new foods or visiting new places. Always follow appropriate safety and health guidelines, and consult a qualified professional if you have any concerns.