The Best Restaurants in Crete: Our Top 10 Picks

By

Imagine you’ve entered an enchanted land filled with charm and historical significance, a magical atmosphere with some of the world’s most friendly people and the tastiest of foods. A place you feel safe to indulge in fun activities or relax in luxury without breaking the bank. You no longer have to use your imagination… Welcome to Crete, Greece, and our guide to the best restaurants in Crete.

Crete, a truly underrated destination, is the largest of the Greek islands and a perfect place to go to experience the variety Greece has to offer. The climate is moderate and without drastic weather conditions or large temperature swings, making it ideal for visiting throughout most of the year.

Even during the peak tourist season, it is reported to not feel overcrowded as so many summer vacation spots are expected to be. The affordability of accommodations and car rental make moving about the island easy for participating in exciting nightlife happenings or basking in the sun at one of the several natural parks and breathtaking beaches.

Many of the picturesque coastal towns are unexpectedly colorful, further representing the welcoming culture you’ll be submerged in. Crime rate is lower than most of Europe, providing a inviting and safe atmosphere.  Locals are welcoming and you will find them to be contagiously relaxed and happy. It is far from a challenge to enjoy a stay in Crete.

High Expectations With Crete Travel

Along with fascinating historical significance and visually stunning scenes, Greece is known for  amazing food – famous for being simple, delicious, and created with honor from the freshest of precious mediterranean ingredients.

You will want to set high expectations and settle only for the best when it comes to restaurants in Crete, but the competition is immense. Aside from the obvious desire for delicious authentic food, a restaurant should provide you with a fully impressive experience. It is hard to go wrong, but discussed here are some important considerations to help ensure you get the most from your edible encounters in Crete.

  • Food: Authentic Cretan food is never over-complicated and you should expect the freshest of ingredients in your mediterranean dish. Meat (especially lamb), olive oil, and cheeses are common staples in Greek cuisine and the sourcing of top quality ingredients can make a big difference in the end result of some popularly sought after menu items.
  • Location: Not all restaurants are as easy to access as others. Consider your lentgth of stay in Crete and determine how much time you want to dedicate to seeking out a specific restaurant or finding one conveniently placed near other desired destinations for the day. The setting can also make or break your experience so consider choosing somewhere in a pleasing setting that is comfortable with good views – which are not lacking in Crete.
  • Service: You may want to learn about the culture through your dining endeavors or just quietly trust in the authenticity of the meal. In either case, extraordinary service should not be compromised in a place known for proud and friendly natives.

Best Restaurants in Crete: Our Top 10 Picks

Avili

location | phone | website | menu | FB | IG | email

Greek for “The Garden”. The 16th century Venetian mansion is the perfect setting for one of the best restaurants in Crete. The romantic scene is enhanced when continuing to the courtyard of flowering trees and exotic plants. Aside from style, the service and food are beyond what you expect, even for Cretan gourmet.

Traditional and modern Greek dishes are created from local products and served with a selection on local wines.

Chrysostomos

location | phone | website | menu | FB | IG | email

Priding themselves on traditional Cretan Cuisine made with local Sfakia-authentic ingredients, Chrysotomos earns a top spot for best restaurants in Crete. Their award-winning original dishes and fresh baked bread are cooked in a wood oven.

The hospitable service and traditional decoration style reinforce the warm and welcoming atmosphere. Located in the old port of Chania, Chrysotomos is easiest to access by boat, allowing you to observe some of the influincing land of Sfakia for a truly captivating experience.

Elia

location | phone | website | menu | FB | IG | email

This beach-side restaurant in Malia offers exceptional modern Cretian food and stunning views. Their name, meaning the fruit of the Olive Tree, represents both the peaceful serene atmosphere as well as the Greek-essential ingredient of olive oil. Only the best of local virgin olive oil is used in the extensive menu of contemporary creations.

Apostolis

location | phone | website | menu | FB | IG | email

Give color to your dinner when sitting along the old harbor at sunset. The owners proudly consider Apostolis to be more than just a restaurant and encourage you to embace submerging into the fishing town culture. The views are tough to beat, but the elegant and kind staff and classic fresh seafood will impress you further.

Ferryman Taverna

location | phone | website | menu | FB | IG | email

This family-owned family-style restaurant is highly recommended for its alluring ambiance, attentive staff, and superior fresh food. Home grown ingredients, daily fresh baked bread, and a famous Greek chef make this a traditional Greek menu you must sample from.

First opened in 1974, the taverna is a trip down memory lane for anyone remembering the TV series Who Pays the Ferryman? as much of the show was filmed here.

Herb’s Garden

location | phone | website | menu | FB | IG | email

Herb’s Garden is a boutique hotel roof top restaurant with a scenic setting appropriate for a quiet romantic dinner or for hosting large events. Their menu is inspired by native herbs and the fresh fragrances and flavors they spill into the air and food.

Enjoy traditional meals or refreshing cold juices, home made ice-creams, uniqe desserts while the astounding panoramic views compete for your attention.

Pelagos

location | phone |  | menu | FB | IG | email

This beach-side seafood restaurant serves some of the freshest fish in town. Home-made dishes and daily baked bread are prepared with home-grown produce including the virgin olive oil! A welcoming environment and authentic traditional food ensures you’ll have a perfect dose of Cretan culture.

Tamam

location | phone | website | menu | FB | IG | email

This Turkish-inspired Mediterranean restaurant lives up to its name  that translates as “alright”. It is housed in an ancient Venetian building that once served as a Turkish bath, providing a unique setting for a memorable dining experience. The family owners source quality ingredients for their carefully created food and wine from local farms.

Alekos

location | phone | website | menu | FB | IG | email

The outside appearance is deceiving and the menu concept here may seem intimidating, but this top restaurant in Crete is one you will not want to miss. Rather than selecting from a menu, you are presented with a variety of plates determined by the chef, who handpicks his own ingredients, including the snails he finds under local mountain rocks.  Sample several traditional tastes with a quality that matches the hospitality they are served with.

Dounias

location | phone | website | menu | FB | IG | email

Get your authentic Cretan food fix in this hidden eatery at the foot of the White Mountains.

The property doubles as an educational farm. Aiming to embrace the health-providing aspect of the Cretan diet, the owner of Dounias cooks local and home-farmed produce in a wood stove, maintaining his slow and simple technique for encapsulating fresh flavor.

Combine satisfying savors with their ambiance, views, and friendly service for perfect traditional dining for lunch or dinner.

Our Final Thoughts on the Best Restaurants in Crete

Crete is a perfect getaway destination whether you are looking for a relaxing escape with heavenly views or an active adventure exploring charming towns.  Experiencing the best of authentic cuisine is a must to fully enhance your stay.

Beyond eating, you will not want to miss out on the setting and service a top restaurant in Crete can offer. When it comes to impressive dining experiences, Crete will not leave you disappointed, only disappointed to be leaving.

Leave a Comment