Greek Cuisine: 9 Must-Try Dishes in Greece

Greek Food - More than just salads!

Based on fresh and local ingredients, similar to the Israeli cuisine, Greek cuisine is an inseparable part of Greek culture and tradition. Greeks take immense pride and joy in their cuisine (and so do we). Their love for indulging in delicious food is only surpassed by their passion for sharing it with others. If there’s one place where you’re guaranteed never to go hungry, it’s Greece. The Greek cuisine thrives on fresh, local ingredients, such as vegetables, olive oil, lemon juice, cheeses, various fish, and meats. As you venture away from the touristy areas towards the authentic taverns, you’ll discover a rich and diverse menu that goes far beyond the familiar Greek salad we all know. After such an introduction, it’s time to acquaint ourselves with the top Greek dishes:

1. Dolomades

Dolmades are a classic Greek delicacy. They are made from vine leaves filled with a mix of herbs, lemony rice, and neatly folded into small parcels before being steamed. You can find them filled with meat or, as a vegetarian option, with rice only.”

2. Moussaka

Moussaka, one of the most renowned Greek dishes, is a delicious medley of fried eggplant layers, meat, and potatoes, crowned with béchamel sauce and baked until it achieves a golden hue. For those who prefer a vegetarian option, many Greek restaurants also offer an equally enjoyable version.

Moussaka

3. Gyros

A little like kebab, Gyros is a typical Greek wrap. It consists of slices of meat (usually chicken, pork, lamb, or beef) cooked on a vertical rotisserie and wrapped in flatbread or pita together with salad, onions, and a variety of sauces. Vegetarian versions can include dreamy grilled halloumi cheese or feta cheese instead of meat. A beloved street food, particularly among travelers.

4. Souvlaki

Grilled Sizzling Meat Skewers (usually pork, but not always), typically served with tzatziki (a yogurt-based sauce with cucumber and mint), pita bread, salad, or rice.

סובלקי יוון

5. Koulouri

The Local Bagel Delight. In each of the magnificent Greek cities, such as Athens or Thessaloniki, you can witness locals savoring Koulouri on their way to work. Similar to the Jerusalem bagel, Greeks also have large, soft rings of bread covered in sesame seeds. Koulouri are often sold from yellow street carts and enjoyed on the go, accompanied by a cup of coffee.

6. Spanakopita

Greeks adore their pies, and you can find a wide variety of types, ranging from those made with rich dough to those made with crispy filo dough, and filled with an array of ingredients, including meat, vegetables or cheeses. The most classic one is Spanakopita – a pie made with layers of filo dough, filled with feta cheese, spinach, and dill.

A close contender is Tiropita – a crispy filo pastry wrapped around a savory filling of salted cheese.

7. Galaktoboureko

Sweet layers of flaky filo dough, generously filled with melted butter and sprinkled with cinnamon, reminiscent of a delightful Greek adventure all on their own. For the ultimate experience, enjoy them warm, straight from the oven.

8. Pastitsio

This is the epitome of Greek comfort food, similar to the Italian lasagna, but made with small macaroni instead of pasta sheets. Greek cuisine has been notably influenced by the Italian, especially in the region of Cephalonia. Pastitsio is crafted by layering minced beef or lamb with a macaroni sauce and béchamel, often seasoned with cinnamon, nutmeg, and Greek herbal seasonings. Occasionally, it is adorned with a luscious blanket of melted cheese before being baked to perfection in the oven.

9. Loukoumades

A beloved Greek delight for kids and adults alike, Loukoumades are small, fluffy deep-fried dough balls, drizzled with honey syrup, and sprinkled with various toppings such as cinnamon or crushed walnuts. People usually order a large platter of these delectable treats to share with friends and family. This Greek dessert is simply irresistible and a must-have on any occasion.