The Culinary Pleasures of the Greek Islands

The Culinary Pleasures of the Greek Islands by North Carolina Lifestyle Blogger Adventures of Frugal Mom

The Greek Islands are an enjoyable retreat. Well, who doesn’t know that? Else, why would an island-hopping trip in the Greek archipelago be on almost every other travelers’ wish list? The bluer than blue skies, the pristine beaches, the hidden coves, the white-washed houses, and the numerous trails are what dream vacations are made of. Hopping on to a ferry using a Greek Island Hopping Ferry Pass makes it all the more easy to explore the hidden gems of each unique island. And, when there and you are soaking in the sights, a trip cannot just go without a sampling of Greek food and wine. Immerse yourself in the gourmet experiences, visit one of the numerous wineries, and explore the wonderful Greek flavors that will leave you with memories of a lifetime.

Traditional dishes at Santorini

The sun-drenched shores of the Santorini pull millions of visitors to the islands. Amidst the beaches and the blue-domed churches, there are perhaps a million more vistas to explore. The cultural side of Santorini is enigmatic as is its food. Did you know that the island has its own varieties of grapes, locally known as the Aidani, Assyrtiko, and Athiri and that they use these for their homemade wine? On the southern parts of the island, visit a local farm to see their unique ways of cultivating white eggplants, yellow fava beans, Santorinian tomatoes, and katsouni. Some of the farms warmly accept visitors, and you get to share their famous salads, tomato fritters, the tzatziki and some of the best moussakas you would have tasted in Greece. The best local food in Greece is always had at its many tavernas. Some of the ones that have been widely acknowledged by tourists are the lovely and homely Tzanakis Taverna at Megalochori and The Good Heart.  Tuck into their favorites like the tomato balls made with feta and red onions and locally known as the tomatokeftedes. Do not leave the islands without tasting the local Assrytico and Vinsanto wines.


Part of the famous Cyclades group of islands, Mykonos is the largest inhabited town in these parts. The narrow streets in the city have some amazing markets, and the Paradise Beach is where all the partying happens. Tucked in between are some excellent food joints that serve you locally sourced and authentic cuisine. Most of them have a personal touch and are family run, so much so that you might get to talk to three generations in the family as you tuck into your succulent, grilled meats. One such small taverna that sits atop a hill, overlooking the Ayios Sostis beach is the Kiki’s, and their meats, fish, and salads are one of the best on the island. If you are on the North-East side of the beach, head to the Fokos Taverna. Family run, the environment is casual, and you could spend hours on end at their terrace restaurant enjoying the breeze and freshly grilled fish. The town center has a lot of food joints, and the Taverna Apostolis serves excellent local food. The place tends to get crowded after 2 pm and beyond 8 pm. Make sure you are there before the crowd arrives.


Crete, the wild and the mountainous and the fifth largest Greek island is considered to be the cradle of Greek cooking. You traverse the length and breadth of the island, and you would be surprised to find that each region of the island has its own unique blend of food. Talking about food in Create, one can go on forever, such as the wide spectrum of dishes that they prepare, and most of them are seasonal. The ingredients are simple, but the way they combine it with the greens, the cheese, the fish, and their olive oil is spellbinding. In fact, if you are a foodie and on a culinary trip, the best advice would be to hop-on to a rented car, move away from the bustling port and cities into the countryside and you would discover authentic Greek cuisine at many of the small tavernas that line the villages. Be they zucchini blossoms, the green omelet sfouggato, runner beans, their mezzes or salads, the fried snails, lamb that is sautéed in hot olive oil and oregano and accompanied with the stamnagathi green, or their divinely Sfakia pies, each time you arrive in Crete, and you are sure to discover something new. Some of the well-known tavernas are the Petralantonis’ taverna in Akrotyri, Katina Kotsaki in the village of Prases, Yiorgia’s in Tarmaros, the Stenakis mezethopoleion in Hersonissos, the Taverna Milia in Vlatos, Kissasmos and many more.

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