favourite food of Greece [Travel]

2011 Aug 30
Finally going to Greece woohoo!

I'm not looking for favourite places to go, but would like to know of favourite dishes and what's in them. Even what they are called in Greece would be helpful.

I know dishes change in different regions we are at Mykonos, Santorini, Crete, Delphi, but don't feel you need to exclude a dish because it is not from that locale.

Thanks

2011 Aug 30
I found that getting a decent Greek meal was pretty easy, but the stuff you get is remarkably similar to what you get at a Greek restaurant here. Almost spookily so. Sometimes the ingredients were really great, and that made a difference. Other times it tasted just like Greektown, which is to say, OK. I didn't notice a lot of regional variation in the tourist places, at least.

If you are really into food, I would recommend doing some research and hunting out some noteworthy places to go.

2011 Aug 30
My daughter did a school trip to Greece last year. We got one email from her: "There are a lot of stray dogs around the Acropolis . . . " :-)

Apparently wifi internet was not as common there as here, and it was very pricey, never free. Same with the food. 20 euro for a sandwich? Admittedly there was tourist gouging going on, but it was really a bit too much.

Oh and their of vegetarian was some lettuce (same problem on her school tour of Italy last year). Finally all the girls on the tour who were vegetarian simply went and bought all kinds of fruits and made themselves a great vegetarian meal.

2011 Aug 31
There will be good food where ever you go. Use the normal tourist rule of thumb - if the place looks packed its probably good. In Greece you normally go to the kitchen before ordering. They will show you what they have that day and you can make your choice (at least this is the way it used to be). If the restaurant isn't like that walk away (unless its some super fancy place that you've been directed to). A lot of dishes are made ahead and rewarmed such as moussaka - don't let that scare you off. Many dishes are changed regionally too (moussaka for example is sometimes made with sliced potatoes, sometimes mashed, sometimes no potatoes). If you are any where near the coast get fresh fish. It will be likely served whole and grilled and be very tasty.

Good luck and enjoy!

2011 Sep 1
The best pasta I've ever had was in Greece. Spaghetti meat sauce is practically the national meal. Pastitsio (broad noodles, meat sauce, bechamel) is another favourite.

There are some tourist traps as in any country, but I would say a $20 sandwich is a very, very rare exception. Anyway, ask questions. And don't pay if somebody is trying to rip you off.

Typically, my last trip there two years ago, I enjoyed great, fresh meals with local ingredients at very, very reasonable prices. Appetizers, bread, cheese, main, dessert, wine, digestif, grand total 30-35 Euro taxes inc (which at the time was 19% VAT plus a small municipal tax depending) and tip inc (typically 12%), although I usually gave 2-3 Euro above and beyond since I loved the service, usually aloof and not in your face and rushed like many places here.

Lots of good veggie options, rice, wild greens (horta and vlita), stuffed peppers, tomatoes, eggplants, squashes, fennel, you name it. Garlic and olive oil in everything, what's not to love.

Very good and fresh seafood. To add to what sourdough said, you're never more than 80km from the sea, so seafood abounds even in the most interior village. Meat is usually in reasonable portions, more often the side to the greens or starches. Delicious grilled pork or veal chops, roast chicken, lamb, everything local and marinated to perfection.

Cinnamon and nutmeg are common spices. Oregano and basil the most used herbs.

All the Greek food that I barely eat in North America, I lick my plate clean in Greece. It is that much better there! The myzithra cheese they use here is bitter, in Greece sooooo sweet. They use a ricotta type version of this same cheese in my favourite pastry dessert, bougatsa. The desserts are my favourite of any cuisine. Lots of honey, nuts, phyllo pastry.

2011 Sep 1
I find food in Greece is pretty repetitive, but it is quite good. Our theory is that they developed 25 dishes 2000 years ago, and that was that.

First of all, a good Pita Gyros is a revelation. Sitting on a balcony overlooking the Agean with a pita Gyros and a 500 ml bottle of Mythos is heaven.

Salads - that is where the Greeks shine in my opinion. Aubergine salad (Melitzanasalata) is great, as is Black-eyed pea salad (with dill and red pepper and lemon and olive oil). Farmer's salad (regular greek salad) is nice, of course.

When ordering seafood, often the chef will take you back into the restaurant and pull out the refrigerated drawers to show you the fish that they have that day.

One note of caution is that usually the non-seafood mains (Pastitsio, moussaka, keftedes (love keftedes) etc.) will all be made in the morning and then just reheated for the guests, so they will arrive lukewarm. Oh well, they will still usually taste good.

2011 Sep 1
I want to add a general tip - when going to Delphi, if you have a car, stay in the much much much lovelier Galaxidi just down the hill

2011 Sep 1
If I were to sum up good Greek cuisine with one word, it would be this: simplicity. For me, nobody does grilled meats like the Greeks. I agree with Chris that the regional culinary differences are not as marked as, say, in a country like France.

Chris, I'm surprised anybody wouldn't make keftedes on the spot. But good to know they are still delicious. Pastitsio and moussaka I get it, after all I don't expect any restaurant here to bake a decent lasagna for instance on the spot, otherwise I'd be waiting for an hour.

I, personally, hate dill, and am glad it isn't really a staple in most regions I've been to in Greece.