Greek Islands with the Best Food

A trip to Greece would be incomplete without a taste of the country’s diverse and delicious cuisine. Wheat, olive oil, and wine are in abundance in Greece, as well as in many other Mediterranean countries. Fresh meat, fish and vegetables come, of course, to complete a meal.

The Mediterranean diet is not only tasty and wholesome, but is also considered one of the healthiest in the world, and has been recognised by UNESCO as an intangible cultural heritage of humanity.

When visiting Greece and trying little picturesque taverns, you will feel at home tasting those delicious and refreshing appetizers like dolmades, followed by wonderful main dishes like moussaka and topped by delicious desserts like baklava.

This post will take you to 10 of the top Greek islands in terms of culinary delight. By the time you finish reading, your mouth will be watering, if not already!

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#1 Crete

Crete, as the country’s largest island, has its own distinct Greek island food. It has a vast gastronomy, and there are various courses you should taste, when there. There are many Cretan pies to choose from, including chaniotiko boureki, a zucchini and potato pie from Chania area; sarikopitakia, phyllo pastries stuffed with sheep cheese and cooked in local olive oil; and sfakianes pites (Sfakia pies), cheese-stuffed pancakes made with raki and olive oil dough. You can’t go wrong with a menu like this!

Traditional Cretan dakos salad is the winner, when looking for something lighter than a pie. Fresh tomatoes and creamy cheese layered on top of barley rusks, similar to the Italian bruschetta, but seasoned and drizzled with olive oil. Whatever dish you choose, there will always be a fantastic wine to pair it!

Cretan olive oil, pies, dakos (salad), snails gamopilafo, apaki, wine, and raki are some of the best food and drinks to taste in Crete.

#2 Sifnos

The Cycladic Gastronomy Festival is held in Sifnos, and its high-end restaurants are famous to attract many Hollywood stars! This is also the place where the well-known chef Nikolaos Tselementes wrote one of the first and most thorough books on Greek cuisine.

Tasting, however, Sifnos’ greatest delicacies will not cost you much. Sweet delights like amigdalota, soft almond biscuits coated in sugar, and halvadopita, nougat wafers covered in honey and almonds, can be found in local bakeries.

You want to try something tasty? Then go to Hersonissos, where its various taverns serve great fish. We could claim that Sifnos is the greatest Greek island for foodies.

Amigdalota, halvadopita, mastelo, and revithada are some of the best dishes to try when in Sifnos.

#3 Naxos

Naxos is the largest of the Cyclades islands. Due to its hilly mainland, you can find here many healthy and delicious dishes prepared with slow cooked meats and potatoes.

There are always visitors who take local cheese with them when leaving Naxos — the most popular are arseniko, graviera, xynotiro, and xynomyzithra, but good luck pronouncing the last two!

The citron fruit can also be found in abundance around the island. This citrus fruit with its thick skin resembles a giant lemon. It is used to make a liquor called kitron, a shot of which will most certainly be a warm welcome into any Naxian home.

Cheese and kitron are two of the best food and drinks to taste in Naxos.

#4 Santorini

Santorini, one of the most popular tourist places in the country, is a fantastic destination to taste real Greek island food. The island features some of Greece’s top restaurants, and while you can choose from a variety of foreign dishes here, such as sushi and pizza, we recommend going for the local cuisine for an unforgettable experience.

Vegetarians will enjoy Santorini’s street cuisine, which includes fava (similar to hummus), ntomatokeftedes (tomato fritters), and white aubergines, which are pureed and served as a side dish.

 Meat lovers will appreciate the variety of meat and seafood courses, frequently served paired with superb wines from the island’s renowned vineyards.

Fava, ntomatokeftedes, and good wines are among the best food and drinks to enjoy in Santorini.

#5 Syros

Don’t you feel full with Cycladic cuisine already?

Syros, capital of the Cyclades, gives Cycladic food a new dimension. Water in Syros is considered ideal to prepare some of the best loukoumia (also known as Turkish delight) besides Turkey! Halvadopita, a nougat pie different from its counterpart in Sifnos, is another famous delicacy.

Sausages flavored with garlic and fennel, as well as spicy San Michali cheese, are among the savory dishes. But where to try this famous Syros cuisine? Plakostroto in Ano Syros is one of the island’s most popular tavernas, with its own garden of vegetables and herbs.
San Michali cheese, loukanika (sausage), and loukoumia (Turkish delight) are some of the best food to taste in Syros.

#6 Corfu

Corfu has been conquered by many throughout its history, and this is reflected in its cuisine. Despite the fact that Corfu has been ruled by the French and the British, the Venetians were the ones who left the most visible impression. There are even today a number of Italian-named dishes!

Sofrito (fried beef in sauce with potatoes on the side), stifado (beef stew), and pastitsada (the island’s signature dish) are among the most popular courses. Meat is slow-cooked in a blend of herbs and wine and then served with pasta and grated cheese. Exquisite!

Pastitsada, sofrito, Pastrokio aubergines, Gialetia (corn pancakes) are some of the best food to try in Corfu.

#7 Lemnos

There are many Greek islands that serve “tourist menus”, but this is not the case here. Lemnos, in the northeast Aegean, has been loyal to its local cuisine mostly due to lack of major tourism waves. The island is famous for its salty, rich olives that produce excellent oil.

The flomaria pasta, made with wheat, sheep’s milk, and fresh eggs, is a unique dish to try here. You will not be able to find it anywhere else! It’s usually served with melted butter and grated cheese, but it’s also used in soups and paired with meat and vegetable dishes.

Kalathaki limnou and melichoro are two local cheeses, while ancient grains and cereals are also popular in Lemnos cuisine. When in Lemnos, Moscato Alexandria wines are great to accompany your meals.

Flomaria pasta, local cheese, trahana, and wine are some of the best food and drinks to try in Lemnos.

#8 Milos Milos has been experiencing a surge in tourism, and along with that came a flourishing restaurant scene. When compared to its Cycladic neighbors like Santorini and Sifnos, it is more restrained and humble, but there are a few things you’d want to try! Bouyiourdi is a tomato-feta-spicy-pepper stew, whereas katsikaki is a young goat roasted in parchment paper. Despite the fact that the meals are robust and comforting, the majority of family tavernas in this area are quite reasonable in terms of price. Milos is a favourite destination for Athenian foodies, which may surprise you. If it’s good enough for them, it should be good enough for you! Bouyiourdi, katsikaki, pitarakia, and koufeto spoon dessert are some of the best foods to taste in Milos.
#9 Lesvos Lesvos is Greece’s third largest island, yet it produces more than half of the country’s ouzo, which is astonishing. If you’ve never tried ouzo, it’s a liqueur made of winemaking leftovers and flavored with aniseed. It’s rather powerful, and a couple of glasses may leave you with a hangover the next day! Lesvos is also known for its olive oil, and there are a number of agritourism spots on the island where you may try top-notch olive oil and wines. Due to its proximity to Turkey, it has incorporated Byzantine (and further eastern) influences into its cuisine. Foodies should visit the island in July when the Lesvos culinary festival takes place and where they can enjoy a variety of local delicacies. Sardines, ouzo, and pumpkin blossoms with feta cheese are some of the best food and drinks to try in Lesvos.

#10 Chios

Chios is a Greek island in the northeast Aegean Sea known as “the fragrant island”. It is Greece’s 5th largest island! The mastic trees that thrive here are arguably the most well-known feature of Chios. These trees produce a teardrop-shaped resin (known as the tears of Chios) that has been utilized in medicine and cookery since medieval times (and maybe even before that).

Mastic has anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and healing properties, and can help with gastrointestinal problems. It can also be found in the form of alcoholic beverages as well as chewing gum. It is not only for consumption but can also be used in cosmetics and personal hygiene items.

Mastic sweets and beverages are the best food and drink to try in Chios.

Greek Luxurist offers a range of Greek island tours of various durations. If you want to explore more about greek gastronomy and tastes, we offer a variety of extended tours.

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