Ten Delicious Greek Foods You Must Absolutely Try or click on blue titles for our exclusive recipes.
Probably the most popular of Greek dishes, moussaka consists of layers of fried aubergine, minced meat and potatoes, topped with a creamy béchamel sauce and then baked until golden brown. Some Greek restaurants will also serve an equally enjoyable vegetarian version.
Another of Greece’s national dishes, although not so well known internationally, is this classic white bean soup. It’s a simple, yet hearty affair consisting of beans, crushed tomatoes, and vegetables such as onions, carrots and celery. It’s often flavoured with thyme, parsley and bay leaves.
Walk around any of the big Greek cities such as Athens or Thessaloniki in the mornings and you’ll often see locals on their way to work munching on koulouri – large soft bread rings covered in sesame seeds. They’re often sold from yellow street carts and eaten on the go with a cup of coffee. If you'd prefer to dine with a sea view, why not read up on the 20 best beaches in Greece?
A Greek delicacy loved by children and adults alike, loukoumades are small fried doughnut-like balls drenched in honey syrup and sprinkled with various toppings such as cinnamon or crushed walnuts. People usually order a large plate of them to share with friends or family. This is Greek dining at its very best.
Perennially popular all over the world, these grilled meat (usual pork) skewers are often served with tzatziki (a sauce made from yoghurt, cucumber and mint), pita bread, salad or rice.
Dolmades are a typical greek side dish. They are made of vine or grape leaves stuffed with herby, lemony rice and folded over to create a small parcel, which is then steamed. You can also find them filled with meat or vegetarian with rice only.
The Greeks love their pies and you can find many varieties, from those made with enriched dough to those made from flaky phyllo (also filo) pastry and filled with anything from aubergines or meat to greens or cheese. The most classic is the spanakopita – phyllo pastry layered with feta cheese and spinach and flavoured with dill. Another favourite is tyropita – a crunchy phyllo pastry wrapped around a savoury cheese filling.
A gyro is a typical Greek lunch. It consists of pieces of meat (usually chicken, pork, lamb or beef) cooked on a rotisserie and wrapped in a flatbread or pita along with salad, onions and a variety of sauces. Vegetarian versions can include grilled halloumi (a salty Cypriot cheese made from a mix of sheep’s and goat’s milk) or feta cheese instead of the meat.
These sweet custard slices, made with layers of flaky phyllo pastry and sprinkled with cinnamon, are worth a visit to Greece alone, even if you don’t do anything else. They’re best eaten warm, straight from the oven.
Similar to Italian lasagne, but made with small macaroni instead of pasta sheets, this is Greek comfort food at its best. Greek cuisine has long been influenced by Italy, particularly in the Kefalonia area. Pastitsio is made by layering ground beef or lamb with macaroni and béchamel sauce and is often flavoured with cinnamon, nutmeg and Greek herbs. Sometimes it’s also topped with grated cheese before being baked in the oven.