Traditional Food In Greece

Customs And Culture In Greece - Dinner Table

One of the main cultures is the traditional food in Greece. The Greeks love to eat, and to experience the cuisine during your visit to Rhodes is a must.

There are lots of places waiting to offer you the best in traditional Greek dining, and hey – you are on holiday, so why not eh?

Of course there are many dishes to try when it comes to dining out, so here I just wanted to tell you a few of the more popular ones so you know what to expect!

The Greek diet here is mainly the same as the Mediterranean diet, so seafood is extremely well-received as are meat dishes and vegetables, they come in many varieties too!

Popular Dishes

I am sure that most of the people that visit Greece are aching to try the Souvlaki.

This is skewered pork meat. It is generally served with Tzatziki, potatoes or with a

Moussaka - Traditional Food In Greece

A Delicious Moussaka

Greek Salad if you prefer. If you are really hungry, then why not have it all?

Also, there is the famous Moussaka, Gyros and Squid. Check out the most popular list further down.

Table Manners

One thing that is very traditional in Greek Culture is to share the food. Where traditionally you might be used to your own plate of food, the Greek system does not work like that!

Mainly the food is served on platters and they are placed in the middle of the table. This can be meat, fries, salads, side dishes and bread. From these different plates everybody takes what they want.

With this in mind it is good manners to keep your hands in view and refrain from putting your elbows on the dinner table.

When it comes to the bread, you will take the piece you want from the middle of the table. If it is too big, you break it with your hands, and put the piece back that you do not want.

It goes without saying that you do not take the bread, give it a big bite with your teeth and then put it back to the middle. You may laugh, but I have seen it done, and it was not well received or appreciated.

It is normal to sit and talk during meals too. It is also common to drink wine, Ouzo and water and generally pass the time. The old-fashioned saying of ‘do not talk at the table’ does not apply here. It is all about enjoying the good food and each other’s company!

So what are the most common dishes here in Greece?

  • Feta – Of course we are all aware of the famous Feta cheese (and Goats Cheese)
  • Stifado – This is a rabbit or hare made dish together with onions, oregano and garlic. A very tasty meal
  • Kalamarakia – This is fried squid. Very tasty and well worth giving it a try.
  • Choriatiki – This is a traditional Greek Salad. Tomatoes, Onions, Olives, Olive oil and more – I love this and recommend it to anyone.
Traditional Food In Greece - Pita Gyros

Pita Gyros – Courtesy Of Takeaway (Wikimedia Commons)

  • Souvlaki – Like I mentioned above – it is skewered pork served generally with potatoes and vegetables and/or a Greek Salad.
  • Moussaka – In Greek it is spelled Moysakas and this is a Casserole style meal made with Aubergines.
  • Gyros – One of the most famous foods here and regularly tried by the tourists too. It is pork or chicken meat served with Pita bread in the form of a kebab. Again this comes with a little salad and potatoes all wrapped up. Really delicious!

Well, that doesn’t sound too bad does it? I mean most people would give them a try and be quite happy I would think.

What about one more dish though?

It made me squirm a little I will confess, and to this day I have not tried it, and probably won’t either!

It makes my Greek friends laugh at me, but hey, we are not all the same.

Tell me what you think!

Lambs Brain!!!! – I do not think it needs a description. It is pretty clear in my opinion, as is the fact I will never eat it. 🙂 Would you?

Restaurants.

There are lots of restaurants on the island of Rhodes and I will be listing some of them as the site develops. There are of course traditional well priced restaurants where you can enjoy some fine Greek Cuisine and nice entertainment, and if you pay a little more you can get a better experience. There will be more coming on this soon!

What ever option you choose to try you will have a great time. The restaurant owners here are very friendly and will dedicate themselves to seeing you have the best time possible!

Greek Restaurant - Traditional Food In Greece

A Greek Sea View Dinner

Conclusion

Have you ever sampled the Greek food? What did you think? Personally I love the food in Greece and would love to hear your thoughts too! Just do not talk to me about lamb brain 🙂

Thanks for reading, and leave me a comment below if you have something to add or share.

Thanks!

Chris

Click Below And Learn More About Greek Customs And Culture.

Chris Towers
Hi there, I am Chris and I live on The Island Of Rhodes In Greece. I am more than happy to assist you in anyway possible if you are looking for information or help on this amazing Greek Island.

Feel free to leave me a message if you have any questions or need advice!

Hey, maybe you have visited this beautiful place yourself and you have something you want to share?

I look forward to hearing from all of you.

26 comments on “Traditional Food In Greece

  1. Hi Chris,

    I’ve never been to Rhodes but came across your page while searching for a Greek recipe for Gyros and Souvlaki. I’ve only ever been to Corfu and it was such a long time ago but I remember the food was awesome.

    Do you have any recipes on your website?

    • Chris Towers Post author

      Hey Craig thanks for passing by.

      I have also been to Corfu but like you it was a very long time ago.

      The food in Greece is amazing yes and it is nice to see you take a preference to Gyros and Souvlaki 🙂

      I do not have recipes on the site at the moment. It is not something I have considered to be honest, but OK, you have given me an idea.

      On saying that I do have a lot of books here on Greek Foods and Ideas, so pop me a private message from my contact me form, and I will sort something out for you.

      Deal? 🙂

      Thanks

      Chris

  2. Wow, the food in Greece looks really enticing judging from the photos you have posted. I am especially interested in trying the Pita Gyros, as it looks kinda like a delicious burrito.

    Unfortunately, I do not know of a local Greek style restaurant where I can sample such foods. I may have to make a trip to the Island of Rhodes after all. Do these dishes generally cost a lot?

    Thanks for the informative article!

    • Chris Towers Post author

      Hey Farhan thanks for reading up on my page for the Greek food 🙂

      Some of the good is really delicious yes. I know there are a lot of places world wide that boast a Greek Restaurant or Taverna, and it is a shame you do not have one nearby to get an idea of what the food is like!

      Maybe that trip to Rhodes needs to be planned soon 🙂

      For the prices they are not too bad really. Of course the different restaurants can differ in price but not usually by that much, unless you choose a high class place.

      For example, a Pita Gyros may cost you around 2 Euros or 2.50 depending where you go, and you can sit down and have a full meal with salad, main course and desert for around 15 Euros.

      Me and my lady went out only last week and went to a place called Odysseia. It is a nice place in a local village, typical Greek style, and we could not finish the food (there was so much).

      It cost 25 Euros for both of us and that included drinks. So I hope that gives you an idea 🙂

      Thanks again Farhan, and if you want anymore information just let me know!

      Chris

  3. Hi.

    I loved learning about Greek dishes which all look amazing and delicious. Lambs brains is considered a delicacy to my culture too.

    I am from Aotearoa or New Zealand. Offal was traditional but not so much now especially as our younger ones are prefering fast-foods mostly, unfortunately.

    Is it like this in Greece too?

    I love fish brains myself, very delicious and whole heads are cooked simply either slow broil, steamed or baked.

    • Chris Towers Post author

      Hey there Rina, and thanks for sharing a little bit of your culture too.

      It seems you have a stronger stomach than me, as I do not think I could handle fish brains either.

      I was in New Zealand some years ago. I stayed in Christchurch and toured all of the south island. I must admit I did not come across these diverse foods at the time. Maybe I was protected from it as my friends know I freak out when I see something in my face like brains lol.

      The younger generation tend to like eating out yes. In Rhodes it is common for them you get together for a burger and hit some of the fast food restaurants.

      It is not something practiced by the older people so much though. But saying that, some of the younger people still like the traditional Greek foods and they will go out to eat Pita Gyros as opposed to eating at home.

      This does not always go well with the parents, but times have changed now. Sometimes we have to accept things are not the same as when we were young.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts Rina.. Much appreciated.

      Chris

  4. svenonroad

    Hey Chris,

    Thanks for your interesting article. Personally I love Greek food and dishes too.

    Every time I visit my grandmother, she invites me and all of my cousins who live near to her to a very nice Greek Restaurant.

    My favorite dish is Gyros with garlic potatoes, pita and Tzatziki.

    • Chris Towers Post author

      Hi Sven 🙂 I am happy I prepared your taste buds 🙂

      Where are you from? It is interesting for me to learn where Greek restaurants are located around the world, as I know there are a lot of districts and even countries that do not have them!

      Sounds like your Grandmother has the right idea too 🙂 Does she have a Greek background?

      The Gyros always goes down well with a lot of people and the Greek made vegetables are delicious too. I will admit that I do like the Tzatziki too, but only when I know I am not going to kiss anyone 🙂 A lot of garlic in there!

      Thanks Sven!

      Chris

  5. Hi Chris,

    Your article reminds me that it is a long time ago since I have been to a Greek restaurant here in Berlin. It was very delicious and I can remember that there were a lot of dishes with meat, but I chose a vegetarian version.

    I´ll keep it in mind the next time I´m meeting my friend. There is one about 200 meters from my house, but it is not recommended. I think in Berlin the quality of Greek restaurants is 50% good/ 50% bad.

    I went to Crete a long time ago. As I was a child back then, I cannot really remember how the food was.

    The gyros pita reminds me a bit of the kebab. Is there a connection?

    The lambs brain brings to my mind the Scottish haggis. Not really my first choice of something to eat.

    • Chris Towers Post author

      Hey Tobias, greetings to you in Berlin 🙂

      I have been to Berlin many times, in fact it is one of my favorite places 🙂 I am a big music lover and often went there to see concerts – great times!

      I must admit I have heard a lot of people talk about Greek restaurants which appear around the world.

      Because they are not actually in Greece, sometimes the natural ingredients that you would normally find in a traditional Greek meal are absent. This happens due to cost and availability, so sometimes they improvise in order to get it as near as possible.

      I used to have a Greek restaurant down the road from my home when I was younger, and it was nice yes – but after coming to live in Greece you can really taste the difference.

      I think this is why you get mixed reviews.

      The Pita Gyros here is very traditional and popular and yes, it is very similar to the Kebabs that you may know. When I was in Germany the Kebab Restaurants were Turkish, is it still the same?

      Although similar, there is a massive difference in taste.

      And as for Haggis, you can keep that too, along with the Lambs Brain 🙂

      Thanks!

      Chris

  6. Hey, nice informative page! I assume that ouzo is a kind of Greek beer?

    Those kebabs (pita gyros right?) look mouth watering and appetizing.

    I assume all of these foods are made locally and with local ingredients? I wonder how much of Rhodes’ food is imported from elsewhere, is the island agricultural?

    I would love to know more!

    • Chris Towers Post author

      Ki, hi and thanks for your comment and questions.

      Ouzo is actually an aperitif which is mostly served with food. It is an anise flavored drink in the same manner as Sambuca or Raki. Very delicious and is a must when you eat 🙂 Perfect with the Pita Gyros you mention too!!

      There is a lot of agriculture that takes place on the island and a lot of the vegetables and cheeses are made locally yes. Of course there are foods that are imported like anywhere else in the world but a lot of the Greeks do prefer local produce.

      I have written some information on the working life and occupations In Rhodes and agriculture is part of it. If you want to read, please feel free!

      Of course if you have any more questions just let me know!

      Thanks Ki

      Chris

  7. Hi Chris

    The dishes in Greece looks very appetizing and like my kind of food. I love to visit Greek restaurants in my country and try what they have to offer, but I don’t think it is the same and certainly would like to try the food in Greece.

    For the lamb brains, I have eaten it a few times and it is not that bad:))) It has a distinctive taste. It tastes a bit like marrow and is very rich. I cannot eat a whole one!

    I am familiar with most the dishes you mention, but not the Stifado. We do not get any rabbit or hare dishes in my country. I would like to try it though.

    I love Choriatiki. If you order it here, you ask for a “Greek Salad”. It is freely available in nearly all restaurants.

    Thank you for a great post. I really enjoyed reading it.

    Regards

    Rika

    • Hey there Rika, really great to hear from you.

      It is wonderful that you have some experience when it comes to knowledge of some Greek dishes. But you are more brave than me I will confess. I do not think there is anything in the world that will get me to eat the lambs brain. No Way 🙂

      It is great that you have some choices there for Greek Food too. I also have visited Greek establishments outside of Greece, and you are right – although nice, they are not quite the same.

      If you ever manage a visit to Rhodes, just let me know. I know a great place for the best Greek food. It will be my treat 🙂

      Thanks Rika, I appreciate you getting in touch!

      Chris

  8. I love Greek food! So happy I came across your post! I love gyros and souvlaki! My favorite is the pita bread. The food on your page is making me hungry 🙂

    My mom is actually going to Greece in September. What restaurant would you say is the best for them to try authentic gyros and souvlaki?

    • Chris Towers Post author

      Hi Peter, nice to hear from you and thank you for passing by.

      When it comes to the Gyros and Souvlaki dishes there are a lot of great outlets.

      Although you can find a lot of them offering take-away food, I always find it better to sit and enjoy the food.

      These typical Greek dishes are served also in some of the more expensive restaurants, but most people tend to go for them as a quick stop. Where ever she decides to take one from, I am sure she will not be disappointed.

      Where in Greece will your Mom be visiting?

      Thanks Peter

      Chris

  9. Hi Chris,

    This post makes me want to back to Greece so badly! 

    I’ve only been to Athens and absolutely loved it there and tried the chicken gyros, which was delicious. I didn’t get to try all the dishes you talked about here, but definitely planning to do so next time. 

    Love that you included pictures and descriptions and brought the food to life. I can ALMOST taste it 🙂 And I would never try the lamb brains either haha. Way too exotic for me! 

    Look forward to exploring other pages on your site!

    • Chris Towers Post author

      Hey there, thanks for getting in touch.

      I will agree that the chick gyros is a very beautiful dish. I love it too 🙂 It is very tasty and moreish 🙂 

      There are of course lots of different dishes to try, and depending on how long you stay in Greece, it can be somewhat difficult to get through them all.

      Let’s hope you manage another visit so you can work your way through the menu 🙂

      Thanks for reading

      Chris

  10. Hey there Chris

    Loved reading your Traditional Food in Greece! You touched on a very Yummy subject! And, though you haven’t yet tasted it…Yes, Lamb Brains are a delicacy that is hard to say no too after you have tasted it! You just need to put the psychology aside…and don’t eat with your eyes! (that’s what I used to tell my kids when they were little!)

    Enjoyed reading your “about me” page, it helped me understand from what angle you come from when writing your posts! That’s great!

    Might pop in for an Ouzo one of these days…though right now I am in a very far away in another “holiday” town in Western Australia, living the same dream too…with dolphins 🙂

    Cheers, Orion

    • Chris Towers Post author

      Hey there Orion, great to hear from you from so far away. Modern technology eh 🙂

      Hmmm I don’t know. I understand what you are saying when it comes to eating without looking, but I am still sure I could not handle it haha. There is just something about it that – well, let’s just say it does nothing for me 🙂

      I am not afraid to try something new, I am not that kind of person, but I suppose I have my limits – and Lambs Brain is the limit for me!

      I am happy you found my story interesting on my about me page. I love it here in Greece and I am happy that comes across. Of course if you ever get the chance for that Ouzo – you will be most welcome.

      Thanks again Orion. Speak soon 🙂

      Chris

  11. I have never tried Greek food before. 

    I am not much of an adventurous type when it comes to trying new things. The way you describe some of the foods sounds really enticing though. 

    I would have never known that you were supposed to share your food with others at the table. Look forward to learning more….this place seems amazing.

    • Chris Towers Post author

      Hey there Andrew and thanks for reading.

      Yes, when I first landed in Greece this was also something I was not aware of. 

      All sharing from the same plates was something new to me too, and I was always worried that I would take something that someone else may have their eyes on 🙂

      After a little time though I came to understand that there is nothing to worry about. The food simply keeps coming, so if something is running low, there is always another plate on the way.

      It is a fun way to eat and I like this tradition. In a strange way it brings the people at the table closer together and builds more of a bond. Certainly this is the case in my opinion anyway.

      Thanks again Andrew

      Chris

  12. Michelle

    It’s interesting to see traditional Greek cuisine. I’ve never been to an authentic Greek restaurant, so I’m not sure if the items I’ve eaten in the past are authentic.

    Now though, I most likely wouldn’t as I’m vegan. Do you have any suggestions that doesn’t involve meat, dairy, eggs, or honey?

    Thanks,
    Michelle

    • Chris Towers Post author

      Hi Michelle and thanks for reading.

      I will admit that Greek cuisine has a unique taste. I have visited different restaurants and/or a Greek Taverna outside of Greece, and to me it is not the same. That is not to say they are not good though 🙂

      As a rule, Greeks are meat eaters, but naturally there are other choices for people that do not eat meat.

      Greeks are very fond of vegetable dishes too. Dishes such as Zucchini, Fasolia (Beans), vegetable casserole dishes, and Spinach  pies are plentiful and I am sure you would enjoy them.

      Whichever restaurant you decide to visit, you will always find something for vegetarians.

      Hope this helps you out Michelle, but if you need something more, you know where I am 🙂

      Thanks

      Chris

  13. Colin Thomson

    Hi Chris I have been to Rhodes but it was a long time ago and it is with great delight that I have come across your site. 

    The old and the new Rhodes add that historical charm to your visit and I loved the way you describe eating the local food. Share and share alike 🙂

    There is so much to do and see on Rhodes and reading your article has inspired me to put Rhodes back onto the radar and maybe one day I will return. 

    I did actually do some diving while I was there in crystal clear waters, although there wasn’t much marine life.

    Thanks for sharing your insights.

    • Chris Towers Post author

      Hey Colin, great to hear from you.

      That is one of the areas I was not familiar with when I first arrived in Rhodes. I am originally from the UK, and I always had the frame of mind that what was on my plate was mine, and that was all.

      I always remember one guy (who later became a great friend) inviting me to eat something with him and his family. I was waiting for the food and when it call came it went into the middle of the table and my personal plate was empty.

      He said to me ‘go on, enjoy’, and I asked, ‘well what is mine?’

      He laughed and said to me, ‘take what you want, if we need more we will get more’. It was the first time I had eaten like this. The sharing for me back then was strange, but I really love it now. It really brings you together as a family.

      Also, when I was young, I was always told ‘do not talk at the table’. This was the way I was brought up. The dinner table was for eating. Here in Greece though it is family time, and they do more talking than eating 🙂

      It was new, but I would not go back to my roots on this one 🙂

      Thanks Colin.

      I hope you make it here again some day!

      Chris

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