Cretan Recipes

A home-cooked meal includes a variety of foods: Greek salad with olive oil filled with fresh tomato, cucumber, oregano, onions, olives, green peppers and the famous feta cheese, fish fried in olive oil or cooked in the oven marinated with olive oil and lemon, stuffed vegetables with rice, eggplant and green peppers, fasolada (bean soup), lamp chops, loukanika (spicy sausage), dolmades (stuffed grape or cabbage leaves) or keftedes (meatballs), accompanied by varieties of distingtive full-bodied wine, fruits like a grape, water melon or grape liquor called raki.

These are few of the several different flavours and recipes, that visitors in crete can taste as most of traditional taverns and restaurants include a variety of them on their meal's calalogues. The list below includes some of the most interesting and traditional recipes and tastes:


  • Xoriatiki or greek salad (fresh tomato, cucumber, oregano, onions, olives, green peppers and the famous feta cheese)
  • Patzaria (red beetroots)
  • Lahanosalata (filled with cabbage, carrotts and lemon juice)


  • Fakkes (lentil soup in a tomato base)
  • Fasolada (bean soup in a tomato base)
  • Kotosoupa (chicken based soup with a creamy lemon sauce)
  • Giouvarlakia (meat balls in a creamy lemon sauce filled with boild rise)


  • Tzatziki (mostly cucumber and garlic dip)
  • Staka (fried cheese) 
  • Taramosalata (greek style caviar)
  • Kalamarakia (deep fried squids in roll pieces)
  • Gigantes (Lima beans in fresh tomato sause)
  • Dolmades (grape leave roll ups stuffed with rice)
  • Saganaki (pan fried cheese with a little lemon)
  • Spanakopita (greek spinach pie filled or not with feta cheese)
  • Tirokafteri (spicy cheese spread)
  • Dakos. This is made with hand-stone-ground wheat and/or barley flour (occasionally oat, rye or chick-pea flour). It's twice-baked for a long shelf-life then reconstituted with water and/or olive oil at the dinner table.  Sometimes dakos is topped with oregano, grated tomatoes and mizithra (fresh sheep’s milk cheese) or dropped into sauces and soups.

Main Dishes

  • Gemista (rice stuffed tomatoes, peppers and vegetable marrows)
  • Stifado (tasty tomato sauce filled with orions and served mainly with pork meat and potatoes)
  • Garides (shrimps) 
  • Frikase (lamp and lettuse boild in a creamy and tasty lemon sauce)


  • Baklavas (crushed nuts in a foil covered with syrup)
  • Melomakarona (honey dipped cookies)
  • Galaktoboureko (custard filled foil with a light syrup)
  • Loukoumades (greek style doughnuts covered with honey)
  • Kaltsounia (sweet tarts)