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50 Authentic Greek Foods You Need to Try

With the help of our culinary insiders, in this article, we’ll be taking you on a food-filled journey to uncover the very best Greek foods from across the land that you must try.

Digging into the food of a nation is the perfect way to understand it’s history, geography and culture. In Greece, there is plenty to discover, so with the help of our friends and insiders ; we’ve collated some of the very best Greek foods from the mainland and magical islands for you to try plus recipes so you can make your own. 

1. Dakos

dakos

Dakos is a classic Cretan meze dish consisting of soaked dry bread or barley rusk base, with a tasty topping of chopped tomatoes, crumbled feta or mizithra cheese, olives, peppers, spices, and a variety of herbs such as oregano.

Make Your Own: Recipe 1 | Recipe 2


2. Tzatziki (Yoghurt & Cucumber Dip)

Tzatziki

Tzatziki is a traditional Greek dip consisting of yoghurt, cucumber, garlic, herbs and spices. It’s a staple on the dining tables at an epic Greek feast. You can eat it as a starter with some rustic bread, but it’s a creamy texture, and refreshing flavour makes it a perfect pairing for meat-based greek foods like souvlaki and gyros. 

Make Your Own: Recipe 1 | Recipe 2


3. Fakes (Lentil Soup)

fakes-greek-lentil-soup

Fakes is flavourful and dense greek lentil soup people eat all year round, but most traditionally during the winter. Green and brown lentils are the main ingredients for this nourishing vegan-friendly soup. With garlic, onions, tomatoes and drizzle of olive oil added to the mix and a few slices of bread for a fulfilling and hearty meal.

Make Your Own: Recipe 1 | Recipe 2 


4. Fasolakia Ladera (Greek-Style Green Beans) 

fasolakia

Fasolakia is a vegetarian staple dish you’ll find on the menu as part of a traditional Greek summer spread. Incredibly delicious and tasty, this classic consists of a variety of seasonal vegetables such as green beans and potatoes, topped with olive oil, herbs and feta cheese. Fasolakia is excellent on its own, but eat it with some bread for a more filling meal.

Make Your Own: Recipe 1 | Recipe 2 


5. Prasorizo (Leeks with Rice)

 

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Prasorizo is one of those Greek foods that embody the age-old wisdom of simplicity being the ultimate sophistication. The main ingredients for this vegan-friendly dish include sauteed leeks and rice, but you can add other vegetables. It is delicious in its own, but pairing with a side of feta cheese adds an extra dimension of flavours to the dish. 

Make Your Own: Recipe 1 | Recipe 2


6. Revithosoupa (Chick Pea Soup)

 

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Revithosoupa is a super healthy and nutritious chickpea stew that’s native to the Greek island of Sifnos. It traditionally has a thick consistency, but this varies depending on whos making it. With lemon juice and olive oil typically added to give it a bit of a zing, it’s entirely vegetarian and fresh soup, that makes a good starter or main course with some bread.

Make Your Own: Recipe 1 | Recipe 2 | Recipe 3


7. Gyros (Shredded Meat)

gyros-pitta

Gyros is a staple greek street food made by marinating chicken or pork meat, before cooking on a rotating vertical spit and shredding the meat off at regular intervals. Pitta bread, chips, tzatziki and salad, are popular pairings for Gyros. It’s the ultimate feel-good food and perfect for lunch, dinner or some post-rave munch.

Make Your Own: Recipe 1 | Recipe 2 


8. Souvlaki (Grilled Meat)

souvlaki

Souvlaki is another greek street food staple that’s been around since ancient times. It traditionally consists of marinated chunks of lamb, chicken, or pork skewered and grilled to perfection over a bed of scorching coal. Like Gyros, people usually eat souvlaki with chips, rice, pitta, tzatziki and salad.

Make Your Own: Recipe 1 | Recipe 2 


9. Spanakopita (Greek Spinach Pie)

Spanikopita-Greek-dish

Spanakopita is an uber traditional greek phyllo pastry pie that has flaky exterior and a lightly seasoned spinach and feta cheese filling. Although now a staple and served in most restaurants, it was once the food of the farming class. Providing them with fuel for a long days shift under the sun. You can eat it as a snack on its own, but it also goes well with some creamy commonly tzatziki sauce.

Make Your Own: Recipe 1 | Recipe 2 


10. Garides saganaki (Shrimp Saganaki)

Prawn-saganaki

Garides saganaki is a rich and hearty dish consisting of juicy shrimp in a creamy tomato sauce topped off with some feta cheese. It’s a simple but popular meze dish you’ll find on the menu in most authentic Greek restaurants, usually served in the skillet and accompanied with some pitta bread. 

Make Your Own: Recipe 1 | Recipe 2 


11. Tiropita (Greek Cheese Pie)

 

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Tiropita is a famous savoury Greek pastry made with phyllo dough sheets filled with a mouth-watering feta cheese and egg mixture. You can eat it at all times, but if you fancy keeping it traditional, then enjoy a few after breakfast and before lunch.

Make Your Own: Recipe 1 | Recipe 2 


12. Mydia Saganaki (Mussels Saganaki)

 

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Mydia Saganaki is one of those greek foods that you’ll most definitely find on the menu in traditional fish taverns (psarotavernas). This authentic appetiser consists of steamed mussels, cooked in red wine with a variety of herbs. Great on its own and even alongside some vegetables and bread.

Make Your Own: Recipe 1| Recipe 2


13. Horta (Wild Greens)

Horta-wild-greens

Horta is a vegan-friendly Greek dish made by steaming a variety of greens such as nettles, wild spinach and dandelions. Before finishing it off with a splash of some lemon juice and olive oil. It’s effortless to make, refreshing and delicious on its own, but also goes perfectly with some meat.

Make Your Own: Recipe 1 | Recipe 2


14. Keftedes (Greek Meatballs)

keftedes

Keftedes is a mouth-watering traditional meze or main course dish that consists of fried Greek meatballs made with a mixture that contains beef and pork mince, breadcrumbs and variety of herbs such as oregano and dill. It’s one of the ultimate feel-good greek foods for those looking to satisfy their carnivorous cravings.

Make Your Own:  Recipe 1 | Recipe 2


15. Moussaka

moussaka

Moussaka is one of the most famous Greek foods in the world. The traditional version consists of alternating layers of ground lamb and eggplant, finished off a with a coating of bechamel sauce, cooked in the oven until golden brown. Although it’s origins are supposedly from the Arab world, Moussaka is a firm fixture at most greek family dinners and festive feasts.

Make Your Own: Recipe 1 | Recipe 2 


16. Pastitsio

 

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Pastitsio is a lasagne like Greek dish made with layers of mouth-watering pasta covered in a rich tomato sauce that has minced lamb meat, topped off with creamy bechamel sauce and kefalotyri cheese. Although now a staple, pastitsio is traditionally eaten on the Sunday of Apokries, which is the last meat-eating day for those observing Lent.

Make Your Own: Recipe 1 | Recipe 2 


17. Kouneli Stifado (Greek Rabbit Stew)

Kouneli-Stifado

Kouneli stifado is a super aromatic and tasty greek rabbit stew made by first browning some rabbit meat, before cooking it with a mixture of onions, tomatoes, garlic, red wine, stock and olive oil. With the addition of spices such as cinnamon, oregano, salt and pepper give the dish some flavour and its iconic pungent aroma. To keep it traditional, eat it with some bread and a glass of Greek retsina wine.

Make Your Own: Recipe 1 | Recipe 2 


18. Yiouvarlakia

Yiouvarlakia

Yiouvarlakia is a nourishing greek soup consisting of melt in your mouth beef meatballs and an intensely flavourful broth, that has a creamy texture and hints of zestiness. The broths creaminess is achieved by adding some classic egg-lemon avgolemono sauce. Although now famous all year round, Yiouvarlakia is a traditional main course dish you’ll find on a winter spread, accompanied by some bread. 

Make Your Own: Recipe 1 | Recipe 2


19. Karkaletso

Karkaletso

Karkaletso is the tasty and nutritious sauerkraut, rice and chicken dish that hails from Kastoria region of Northern Greece. More specifically, the Argos Orestiko, a quaint town that’s part of Greece’s western Macedonian region. Due to its location, the dish has a heavy Balkan influence, highlighted by the addition of sauerkraut, an ingredient that’s uncommon in Greek cuisine.

Make Your Own: Recipe 1 | Recipe 1 (Video)


20. Tsiladia (Traditional Cod Fish Dish)

Tsiladia

Tsiladia is a delicious greek seafood dish that consists of lightly fried desalted cod doused in a sauce made with vinegar, olive oil, tomato, onion, and raisins. Although now enjoyed across Greece, tsiladia is originally from Messina in the Southern Peloponnese and traditionally eaten on the 25th March. An important date in the Roman Catholic calendar known as the Day of Annunciation. 

Make Your Own: Recipe 1 | Recipe 2


21. Yemista

Yemista

Yemista is one of the most straightforward yet satisfying summer greek foods. Making this staple involves stuffing tomatoes and peppers with a mixture of rice and vegetables, with the addition of ground meat also being popular. After they’re ready, you bake the stuffed veg in a hot oven before serving with some fresh yoghurt or feta cheese. 

Make Your Own: Recipe 1 | Recipe 2


22. Loukoumades (Greek Doughnuts)

Evyenias-Loukoumades

Few things will set the senses of a sweet tooth on fire like the sound of some syrup and honey-infused deep-fried dough balls. Known as Loukoumades, this decadent greek dessert has been a favourite since antiquity, even given as a prize to triumphant Olympians of Ancient Greece. Today, in every neighbourhood you’ll find a spot that sells these “honey tokens” in a variety of traditional and whacky toppings. 

Make Your Own: Recipe 1 | Recipe 2


23. Rizogalo (Greek-Style Rice Pudding)

Rizogalo

Rizogalo is the greek take on a global staple, the rice pudding. Made by cooking rice and milk to a thick and creamy consistency, this versatile dish is popular for lunch, breakfast and dessert. In Greece, vanilla essence or citrus zest is added to take the dimension of flavours to a different level. 

Make Your Own: Recipe 1 | Recipe 2


24. Amygdalotá (Greek Almond Cookies)

Amigdalota

Amygdalotá is a delicious greek almond cookie that’s a staple at family gatherings and most celebrations such as christenings and weddings. Additional flavourings like liqueurs and vanilla are often added to give the almond cookies a bit of a unique flavour and kick.

Make Your Own: Recipe 1 | Recipe 2


25. Akanes

 

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Although now available widely available, Akanés is a sweet treat that originally hails from the city of Serra and supposedly came about when Greece was under Ottoman Occupation. To make these sweet treats, you start by first strenuously stirring a boiling mixture of water, goat butter and cane sugar(or Molasses). Once the mixture thickens, it’s left to cool and then cut into small pieces and now ready to serve.

Make Your Own: See Full Recipe 


26. Kariokes ( Walnut-filled Chocolate Crescents)

Kariokes

Kariokesis greek sweet treat consisting of a chocolate-coated mixture of walnuts and chocolates. Traditional Kariokes come in a crescent shape and are soft, with a slight crunch from the walnuts in the mix. Although now eaten all year round, they are one of staple sweets you’ll find on the menu during a festive Greek feast.

Make Your Own: Recipe 1 | Recipe 2


27. Mastic Kaimaki Ice Cream

mastic ice cream

Mastic ice-cream has been famous for centuries, both on its own or with baklava and kataifi based sweet treats. What makes it unique is its stringy texture that comes from the addition of Salep. A powder that comes from the roots of the orchid plant, that’s used as a powerful thickening agent.

Make Your Own: Recipe 1 | Recipe 2


28. Galatopita (Greek Milk Pie)

Galatopita

Galatopita is a Greek sweet pie consisting of phyllo shortcrust pastry, topped with a creamy custard-like mixture made with semolina, milk, butter, sugar and eggs. Once ready, it’s baked until golden brown, with citrus zest added for a bit of extra zing. Eat it cold for the best experience.

Make Your Own: Recipe 1 | Recipe 2


29. Platseda

Platseda

Platseda is one of the lesser-known greek foods on the list. This sweet treat is made by lightly frying a phyllo dough in canola oil until it gets a crispy texture. Once removed, the flaky dough gets an orange blossom and honey-infused sugary glaze. With ground almonds added to the top add another layer of crunch.

Make Your Own: See Full Recipe 


30. Ravani (Semolina Cake)

Rizo-Rovani

Revani is a super-sweet traditional Greek dessert, and although many recipe variations exist, its main ingredients include semolina, sugar and flour. You’ll find it on the table at most celebrations, usually dusted with some ground pistachios, almonds and coconut flakes.

Make Your Own: Recipe 1 | Recipe 2


31. Vasilopita

vasilopita

Vasilopita is a slightly sweetened cake that plays a crucial role in Greek new year celebrations. The authentic version of this cake encloses a coin inside it. One elderly member of the family usually cuts the cake and whoever gets the coin in their slice will supposedly receive many blessings in the year ahead.

Make Your Own: Recipe 1 | Recipe 2


32. Kourabiedes (Greek Butter Cookies)

Freshly-baked-Kourabiethes-served-with-tea

Kourabiedes are traditional shortbread cookies you’ll usually find on the table for dessert in most Greek households. The dough used to make them is hearty, with vanilla essence, butter and ground almonds added, giving these crescent-shaped cookies that iconic deliciously buttery taste. Now popular all year round, Greeks will remember them from childhood Christmas dinners.

Make Your Own: Recipe 1 | Recipe 2


33. Tsoureki (Greek Easter Bread)

 

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Tsoureki is an authentic braided sweet bread that has a signature soft and chewy texture. It’s traditionally baked with red food colouring, giving it a slightly red tinge, which represents the blood of Jesus Christ. Greeks usually eat and exchange tsoureki on Easter Sunday, to signify unity and benevolence amongst all.

Make Your Own: Recipe 1 | Recipe 2


34. Bakaliaros (Fried Cod Fritter)

You can’t talk about feel-good Greek foods and not mention the traditional fish fritters known as Bakaliaros. With their crispy golden batter and flakey codfish centre etching a place in the hearts and palates of people from Greece and afar. Although now famous all year round, it first appeared on the menu for the 25th March celebrations, commemorating the War of Independence.

Make Your Own: Recipe 1 | Recipe 2


35. Saganaki (Pan-seared greek cheese)

 

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Saganaki is a staple Greek starter consisting of pan-seared cheese, on its own, or wrapped around meats, veg and seafood. The cheeses used in this dish have a firm profile, with the ability to keep some structure when heated, whilst still oozing softness and gooeyness inside. These include Kasserikefalotyri, graviera and other regional variations. 

Make Your Own: Recipe 1Recipe 2 | Recipe 3


36. Koulouri Thessalonikis (Greek Sesame Bread)

Koulouri-Thessalonikis

 

Koulouri Thessalonikis is a classic Greek bread made by shaping some wheat dough into a ring, before baking and covering in sesame seeds. This bread is a real staple, sold by street vendors, shops and bakeries across the country. Although traditionally plain, many different varieties exist today, with chocolate and cheese-filled versions being trendy. 

Make Your Own: Recipe 1Recipe 2 


37. Savoro (Ithacan Fish Dish)

ithican-savoro

Savoro is a delicious sweet and sour greek fish dish originally from the Island of Ithaca, where you’ll find it on the menu in most tavernas. To make Savoro, you start by coating the fish, usually silver whiting, in flour before lightly frying in a hot pan. Once the fish is ready, its lathered in a malt vinegar infused blackcurrant sauce. Pretty simple to make, but packed full of flavours. 

Make Your Own: Full Recipe


38. Chtapodi sti schara (Grilled Octopus)

 

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Chtapodi sti schara is a staple greek seafood meze dish that’s popular throughout the country, but especially in the coastal regions where the octopus comes from sea to table. Making this dish involves first boiling the octopus, then grilling it over hot charcoal, before finishing off with some olive oil, lemon juice and oregano seasoning before serving. 

Make Your Own: Recipe 1Recipe 2 


39. Glyko (Spoon Sweet dessert)

 

 

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Spoon Sweets are customary welcome treats traditionally given to guests at most Greek households. Known in Greek as Glyko, these sweets consist of whole or pureed fruits preserved in syrups. Many variations exist, with each region having its speciality, however, the most common fruits used include grapes, figs, cherry, lemon and orange. Low in fat and relatively healthy, spoon sweets are also famous for dessert, on their own or over some ice-cream.

Make Your Own: See Multiple Recipes


40. Taramosalata

Pams-Taramosalata-Landscape-Hero-Final-LR-PS

Taramasalata is a classic Greek dish made with a mixture of mash potatoes, lemon juice, fish roe and olive oil. It’s eaten all year round as an appetiser and meze dish, usually accompanied with some cucumbers and tomatoes. Although enjoyed throughout the year, it’s one of the greek foods traditionally eaten on the first day of lent.

Make Your Own: Recipe 1Recipe 2 


41. Melitzanosalata

Kos-Melitzanosalata

Melitzanosalata is another Greek meze dish that consists of grilled eggplant, olive oil and garlic ground up into a mouth-watering creamy mixture. Great on its own or when paired with some bread or whatever other greek foods tickle your fancy.

Make Your Own: Recipe 1Recipe 2 


42. Patzarosalata

Patzarosalata

Patzarosalata is a creamy Greek meze dish made with a mixture of finely chopped beetroot, onions, dill, parsley and a light seasoning of vinegar, salt and pepper. Great on its own and also perfect when paired with some meat-based Greek foods.

Make Your Own: Recipe 1Recipe 2 


43. Kolokithokeftedes (Zucchini Feta Fritters)

Kolokithokeftedes

Kolokithokeftedes are deliciously flavourful Cretan zucchini and feta fritters that are traditionally eaten as meze dish. A staple in the rustic tavernas in Crete and across Greece, these fritters are crispy on the outside, with a rich and creamy feta cheese filling. Great on their own or paired with some refreshing tzatziki sauce.

Make Your Own: Recipe 1Recipe 2 


44. Dolmadakia (Stuffed vine leaves)

Dolmadakia

Dolmadakia is an authentic Greek meze dish that consists of blanched vine leaves filled with a mixture of herby vegetable rice. Although traditionally vegetarian, there are a variety of recipes that include ground meat, an ideal addition if you’re looking to eat some dolmades for the main course.

Make Your Own: Recipe 1Recipe 2 


45. Bougatsa

 

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Bougatsa is an authentic Greek phyllo pastry pie that traditionally comes with a variety of sweet and savoury fillings, with the most popular being semolina custard and cheese. Although now widely available across Greece in specialist shops called bougatsopolia’s, the pastry supposedly originated in the city of Serres during the Byzantine era.

Make Your Own: Recipe 1Recipe 2 


46. Kotosoupa

 

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Kotosoupa is a cleansing chicken soup synonymous with authentic home-style Greek cooking. The main ingredients of this dish include diced pieces of chicken, root vegetable and either pasta or rice. All cooked together to produce a clear broth that’s packed full of flavour. With a traditional egg and lemon sauce known as avgolemono usually added to enhance the soups overall taste and creaminess.

Make Your Own: Recipe 1Recipe 2 


47. Kokoretsi

Kokoretsi

Kokoretsi is one of the classic Greek foods you’ll definately find on the menu at a traditional Easter feast or family gathering. It consists of skewered slices of seasoned lamb or goat offal encased within caul fat and cooked on a rotating spit over some smouldering charcoals. It’s traditionally eaten as a meze dish or appetiser, usually alongside some salad and flatbread.

Make Your Own: Recipe 1Recipe 2 


48. Kalitsounia (Cretan Cheese Pies)

kalistounia

Kalitsounia is a classic Cretan snack consisting of a flaky pastry exterior, with a variety of sweet and savoury fillings inside. The most traditional filling uses cows milk cheese known as mizithra. However, spinach is also a popular savoury filling, whilst sweet versions incorporate citrus zest, spices and sugar.  

Make Your Own: Recipe 1 | Recipe 2 


49. Yiaourti me meli (Yoghurt, Honey & Walnuts)

yellow plate filled with traditional greek yiaourti me meli

If you’re craving a something that’s both healthy and requires little effort to make, then Yiaourti me meli should do the trick. This classic combo of Greek yoghurt, walnuts and honey is a super refreshing treat that’s traditionally eaten as a breakfast, light snack or dessert.

Make Your Own: Recipe 1 | Recipe 2 


50. Boureki (Cretan Zucchini Pie)

boureki

Boureki is a traditional Cretan pie that contains the main ingredients of layers of potato and zucchini seasoned with a mixture of herbs, topped with some authentic cheeses such as mizithra, ricotta and feta. Cheap and easy to make, it’s one of the original Greek foods you’ll find to be very popular in the rural communities of Greece.

Make Your Own: Recipe 1 | Recipe 2 


If you fancy trying some more magnificent Greek cuisine, then be sure to check out Zorbabook and Kali Orexi. Two awesome platforms who provided the inspo for this article and contributed with both recipes and the images you see.

Zorbabook: Website | Facebook | Instagram

Kali Orexi: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Youtube 

The Hellenic Odyssey: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Youtube 

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