25 Best Restaurants in Crete, Greece


$$ Fodor's choice

In an herb-filled multitiered courtyard that leads to a barrel-vaulted dining room, some of the finest food for miles is skillfully prepared. Refined, distinguished dishes are its calling card; sophisticated but true to their traditional roots. Stuffed zucchini flowers are dressed with edible leaves and blooms from the garden, rabbit is paired with sweet tomato and tiny onions, and tender goat, straight from the hillside, is served with honey and herbs. The foams, flicks, and smears that so often blight this level of dining are refreshingly absent. The focus is on the ingredients, the majority of them local and organic, artfully transformed into a cooking of rare sophistication. Resevations are essential in season.

Xanthoudidou 22, Rethymnon, Crete, 74100, Greece
Known For
  • attentive, yet never overbearing service
  • tasting menus with matched local wines
  • located within a boutique hotel in a former Venetian villa
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Credit cards accepted


$ Fodor's choice
On a mountain perch above Chania is one of the most singular restaurants in the whole of Crete. A holistic approach is taken---this is farm-to-table eating but ramped up to the nth degree. Your meal is cooked in traditional clay pots that sit over the wood fire, as they have no electricity in the kitchen. Ingredients come from the family farm and they produce everything in-house, organically, of course---only the salt comes from the coast 20 km away. There is no menu, merely what is in season that day, but all tastes are catered for by the friendly staff. It's not fancy, nor is it fast, but it is honest and truly memorable.
Drakona, Chania, Crete, Greece
Known For
  • drive up through the Therissos Gorge is spectacular
  • old recipes, old methods, new flavors
  • booking recommended

Hiona Seafood Restaurant

$$ Fodor's choice
A finger of rock stretches into the sea on the edge of Chiona Beach with a handful of blue-check-clothed wooden tables. It's a magical location with kids diving into the clearest water nearby, and fishermen tying up to the jetty to unload a fresh catch. Those fish are grilled with olive oil and a squeeze of lemon for you, along with a menu of traditional Cretan dishes. It's a simple proposition but one that few get as right as here. Choose a local Sitia wine from their list and snooze off the afternoon at the nearby beach.
Chiona Beach, Crete, Greece
Known For
  • kakavia (fish soup) made to order
  • reservations needed for those waterside tables
  • friendly Cretan service

Recommended Fodor's Video

Meli Melo

$ Fodor's choice
Tucked away behind the Rimondi fountain on a pretty pedestrian street, this little gem makes the best loukoumades---light and fresh doughnuts. Take one of the streetside tables, order a portion with honey and cinnamon, and ask for one of their homemade lemonades. If you want a coffee, be prepared for some theater; it is made by plunging a small pan into boiling hot sand to retain the delicate aromas.
38 Paleologou Konstadinou, Rethymnon, Crete, Greece
Known For
  • perfect people-watching spot
  • great ice cream
  • super-fresh smoothies and juices

Pasteleria de Dana

$ Fodor's choice
On a tiny pedestrian street a block back from the harbor, sweet alchemy takes place. Extraordinary creations are offered; mini-tarts, macaroons, and eclairs that would grace the finest Parisian patisserie. The pastries are beautifully presented and look like they belong on a Michelin-starred dessert menu. Tea and coffee is served in fine china; choose the charming interior or the alleyway tables but be prepared for serious cake envy from passers-by.
Isodion Str, Chania, Crete, Greece
Known For
  • amazing patisserie art
  • elegant furniture and settings
  • pomegranate soda is a wow


$ Fodor's choice
In a restored sea captain's mansion, stone walls and arches provide the backdrop to some of the best food in Crete: traditional cuisine brought to life with modern techniques and presentation. A 60-acre farm in Harasso is dedicated to supplying the restaurant with seasonal local produce, much of it organic, and the flavors really shine through. Stand-out bread arrives in a wooden drawer, salads are creative, and there is pure theater when Syglino, smoked pork chop, is bought to the table in a paper bag with smouldering thyme and sage leaves. Sensational cheeses, plentiful vegan and vegetarian options, and a brilliant wine list make this a must-go destination. Reservations are needed in high season as it gets very busy.

Raki Ba Raki1600

$ Fodor's choice
Opposite Avli, and part of the same stable, on one of Rethmynon's myriad pretty walkways, this is a modern reinvention of the classic Greek rakadiko—a place to eat small plates and drink raki. Don't assume the food is an afterthought to drinking, though, this is top-quality mezedes. Plates come thick and fast; it's food to be shared. Think imaginative Cretan tapas—sutzuki (spicy beef sausage), askolymbri (marinated hand-picked mountain greens), pastourma (crispy spiced pork cigar rolls), and hot feta with caramelized figs. It's relaxed dining, in a stylish setting reminiscent of an old grocery store, and perfect for a group of friends.
Arampatzoglou 17–19, Rethymnon, Crete, 74100, Greece
Known For
  • best mezedes in town
  • creative Cretan flavors you won't find elsewhere
  • raki!—not just plain, but flavored with fruits and herbs



On the quieter end of the harbor next to the Venetian arsenals and removed from the tourist joints that surround the port, this lively taverna caters to locals and discerning tourists alike. Fresh fish and seafood are the standouts here, but also consider the stuffed aubergines, stifado, kleftiko (lamb), or the meats from the charcoal grill. The views from the waterside tables across the bobbing boats to the lighthouse are serene, the raki and sweets offered as a gift at the end of the meal most welcome.

Akti Enoseos 10, Chania, Crete, 73132, Greece
Known For
  • the place the locals go to for the freshest fish
  • excellent, friendly staff
  • great people-watching spot right on the harbor front
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Credit cards accepted


Handily placed for mid-shopping treats, Crumb serves not only great coffee but also the best healthy options in Heraklion. The shaded outside tables are an ideal place to reflect and recharge before returning to the fray.
Kallergon square 11, Heraklion, Crete, Greece
Known For
  • healthy cooking---great for vegans and vegetarians
  • lactose-free, gluten-free, sugar-free all available
  • South American coffee is some of the best in town


Airy blue-on-blue sofas and chairs look over the lake here, with a menu dreamt up by sweet-lovers. Waffles, pancakes, and toasts are offered but it is really all about the ice cream---up to 45 flavors are offered.
Konsatantinou Palaiologou 14, Agios Nikolaos, Crete, 72100, Greece
Known For
  • lactose-free, sugar-free, and low-fat ice cream available
  • lakeside location perfect for an afternoon treat
  • family feel and welcome



One of Heraklion's most traditional restaurants, just by Kazantzaki park, serves authentic local fare, mainly to a local crowd, far removed from the tourist havens in the center. Mouthwatering bite-sized sfakianopita (pies), filled with cheese and honey, are a classic true taste of Crete, and the lamb and goat are always popular, as are tremendous keftedes (meatballs). The dining room is cozy, especially in colder seasons when the fireplace is lit, and the generous welcome is equally as warming.

G. Georgiadou 5, Heraklion, Crete, 71202, Greece
Known For
  • traditional Cretan cuisine
  • outdoor terrace for summer evenings
  • hospitable staff
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Credit cards accepted



In a modern wood-and-glass conservatory overlooking the Koules, this Heraklion institution serves some of the best fish in town, with the waves only a stone's throw away. Ask a local for a recommendation and they will invariably mention Ippokambos. Family-run with an unflustered spirit, the dishes are simple and well executed, the house white perfectly acceptable, and the portions generous. It takes skill and confidence in your raw materials to present food so honestly.

Sofokli Venizelou 3, Heraklion, Crete, 71302, Greece
Known For
  • the freshest local fish and seafood
  • generous portions
  • seafront setting


In an impossibly picturesque position next to the sunken ancient city of Olous, and the later canal from where it takes its name, Kanali serves elegant updates of Greek staples. Wooden furniture and an old stone building dressed with bold prints and lanterns lend it a shabby-chic air that could grace the seasides of Mykonos or Santorini. Fish is the main event, often simply grilled and always impeccably sourced. It may be little more than a beach shack dressed up in Gucci but the kitchen really delivers—a humble lunch here of salad, sardines, and a glass of wine can be a sublime experience, a world away from the nearby resort offerings.
Elounda, Crete, 72053, Greece
Known For
  • fish baked in a salt crust theatrically opened at your table
  • beautifully presented modern Greek cuisine
  • romantic, stylish setting
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Nov.–Mar.


Right on Lake Voulismeni, Karnagio is a riot of multi-colored tables, shouted orders, and running waiters. Proudly Cretan and proud of their local products, the grill is the center of attention here with a wide selection of meat and fish. Salads and a meze selection top up the offerings and the outdoor square is a fun, lively place to spend a couple of hours.
Konstantin Paleologou 24, Agios Nikolaos, Crete, 72100, Greece
Known For
  • the best service in town
  • portions fit for a king
  • always busy but waiting customers are offered wine

KirKor 1922


Stop into this venerable old bougatsa shop for an envelope of flaky pastry that's either filled with a sweet, creamy filling and dusted with cinnamon and sugar, or stuffed with soft white cheese. A portion of each, served warm with Greek coffee, is a nice treat. Thick Cretan yogurt and ice cream are other indulgences on offer. KirKor is the classic place to hang out after getting off the night boat from Piraeus and the museums and businesses are yet to open.

Platia Liontarion, Heraklion, Crete, 71202, Greece
Known For
  • Greek pastries
  • Cretan-style yogurt
  • open early



The promise of a meal in this cozy, family-run establishment is alone worth the trip up to the plateau. The taverna is in its fifth decade and still offering delicious pies as well as casseroles and lamb dishes, accompanied by fresh-baked bread and followed up with homemade desserts. The charming proprietors, Vassilis and Christine, encourage you to linger over your wine or raki, and are a mine of knowledge about the Lasithi Plateau.

The family has a small apartment complex, Maison Kronio, a couple of miles down the road with a pool and glorious views of the Dikti Mountains.

Tzermiado, Crete, 72052, Greece
Known For
  • authentic Cretan home-cooked dishes served with lots of personality
  • house wine is very palatable
  • can get busy with tour parties
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Nov.–Mar.

Kyria Maria


On a blink-and-you'll-miss-it small alley behind the Rimondi Fountain, under an arbor of vines, with caged birds chirping away, this homey little taverna serves some accomplished traditional dishes in an atmospheric setting. Lamb in lemon sauce, stuffed calamari, moussaka, yemista (stuffed vegetables)—the menu is a roll call of all the comfort food you can think of, prepared as Grandma would have made it all those years ago.

Moschovitou 20, Rethymnon, Crete, 74100, Greece
Known For
  • village-style dishes
  • neighborhood setting on a back alley, steps from the center
  • friendly service, friendly prices
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Nov.–Apr., Credit cards accepted



The choice among the many restaurants that cling to the harbor, this is an Elounda classic, having offered traditional Greek food for 40 years. The large rear garden decked with grapevines and the seafront-facing tables are charming places to sample the house mezedes, many with a Cypriot origin, or try some of the excellent grill dishes. Fish soup is rich and unctuous, sole comes with prawn and lemon butter, and Shieftalia, Cyprus-style skinless sausages are a revelation. This is casual Greek dining at its best—uncomplicated, honest, and unforced.

Harborside, main square, Elounda, Crete, 72053, Greece
Known For
  • long-serving unflustered staff
  • dramatic table-side flambé dishes
  • Cypriot twists on Greek classics
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Oct.--Mar., Credit cards accepted



Clinging to the cliff above the lake, this restaurant offers some of the best views in town. Food is on a par, too: Mediterranean-inspired dishes accompany Greek classics, and the steaks are rightly famous. It's set in a building from the 1890s, and a piano player complements the atmosphere with a repertoire of classics. It's more expensive than some, but the appealing dining room and quality of food compensates. A more informal café next door, under the same ownership, is a great place to unwind.

Nikou Plastira 20, Agios Nikolaos, Crete, 72100, Greece
Known For
  • dramatic and very romantic cliff-top setting
  • well presented dishes with an Italian flavor
  • good international wine list
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Nov.–Mar., Credit cards accepted, Reservations essential



An enchanting courtyard garden and the high-ceilinged parlors of an elegant neoclassical mansion are the setting for what many consider to be the best fish tavern in Ayios Nikolaos. Simple is the keyword here: fresh catches from the fleet bobbing in the harbor just beyond are plainly grilled and accompanied by local vegetables and Cretan wines. Salads are a winner, often with unusual combinations, and the pasta is well presented, too, but really you are here for the daily seafood specials, handsomely displayed on ice in an old wooden boat at the front of house.

Stratigou Koraka 11, Agios Nikolaos, Crete, 72100, Greece
Known For
  • simply prepared dishes in a lovely setting
  • friendly service from English-speaking staff
  • being busy, be prepared to wait in summer
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Nov.–Mar., Credit cards accepted



Relocated from the somewhat cramped alley it occupied in the city center to a pretty harborside spot in Nea Chora, Portes continues to offer some of the best cooking in Chania. Irish-born Susanna has a flare for hospitality, and the dishes on offer are always assured and pretty as a picture. Make sure you read the specials board, but memorable regular plates include rabbit with prunes, roast lamb with yogurt, and chicken with figs. Fish, landed just feet from the restaurant and baked in paper, is a knockout, and if the chocolate cake with Guinness is offered, please indulge.

Akti Papanikoli 1, Nea Chora, Chania, Crete, 73100, Greece
Known For
  • diverse menu of Greek classics with a twist
  • super pies—octopus, fennel, artichoke, and asparagus are all stars
  • genial, generous atmosphere
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Credit cards accepted



Steps away from the busy harbor, Tamam feels like a giant leap back in time—it's an ancient Turkish bath that now houses one of the most atmospheric restaurants in Chania's Old Town. Tamam means "alright" in Turkish, but the plates presented are certainly more than okay. Under the former bath-house's cool arches, Politiki Kouzina, Turkish-tinged plates from the Greeks of Asia Minor predominate—Chiounkiar Begienti (spiced lamb with eggplant), Staka (a warm creamy fondue-like cheese), and glorious, nuanced kebab. More than 40 wines are carried, most from Crete, and many available by the carafe.

Zambeliou 49, Chania, Crete, 73100, Greece
Known For
  • atmospheric 600-year-old building
  • gently spiced dishes with a nod to Turkey
  • alleyway tables are a blessing on balmy evenings

Taverna Sigelakis


Residents from villages for miles around come to the town of Sivas to enjoy a meal of stifado (meat in a rich tomato sauce), artichokes with avgolemono (egg and lemon sauce), and other specialties, including delicious roasted lamb and chicken, all served on the front terrace in warm seasons or in the stone-wall, hearth-warmed dining room when the weather's cold. A meal comes with friendly service, a visit from proprietor Giorgios, and a free glass of raki and a sweet.

The owners also have some apartments and studios in a stone-walled complex nearby to rent.

Taverna Stavrakakis


Enhance the short trip out to Kritsa and Lato with a stop in the nearby village of Exo Lakonia to enjoy a meal at the homey kafenion of Manolis and Katerina Stavrakakis. Dishes are based on family recipes, and most are made from ingredients the couple grow themselves. Dolmades are made with zucchini flowers instead of vine leaves, wild mountain greens appear in salads dressed with local olive oil, pumpkin is served stifado style, and the local wine and raki are good. It's all served with charm under the shade of a magnificent bougainvillea or by a roaring fire on nippy winter nights.

Exo Lakonia, Crete, 72100, Greece
Known For
  • authentic Cretan cooking, not tourist taverna fare
  • great homemade pies
  • the friendliest welcome
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Credit cards accepted

Well of the Turk


In the old Ottoman district of Splantzia, opposite the underground church of Ayia Irene, this restaurant is somewhat difficult to find even with a map, but it is worth the endeavor. It serves a mixture of Greek and Turkish dishes with the odd trip to Northern Africa and the Middle East. With vaulted ceilings, terra-cotta floors and cobalt-blue walls set with jewel-like windows and the eponymous well, it's a memorable place to eat. Flatbreads, such as Fatayer bi Sabanikh, with spinach, mizithra, walnuts and raisins, and Lahmajun, with minced lamb and parsley, are particularly strong. Best to take a number of small plates and share in the traditional way.

Kalinikou Sarpaki 1–3, Chania, Crete, 73100, Greece
Known For
  • fabulous food away from the crowds
  • adjoining flower-scented terrace, a nice option in summer
  • vegetarian moussaka—a revelation
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: No credit cards