Explore Cretan Cusine on Greece’s Largest Island
A visit to Crete is like going back in time, the largest of the Greek Islands has a spectacular history and a Cretan cuisine built on heritage and tradition that is still seen today. I visited this Mediterranean paradise at the peak of summer and stayed in the seaside town of Rethymnon. Rethymnon is one of the bigger towns on the island, however, it is not at all like the grotesque tourist trap of nearby Malia.Cretan cuisine, and Greek cuisine in general, is not known for fine dining, but this culture does excel at “street” and comfort food and has a reputation for quality locally sourced ingredients. This is especially true on Crete where many restaurants and cafes use local produce, including ripe, rich vegetables, cheese, yogurt and local Cretan honey.
Because of the use of fresh local ingredients, even “junk” food like street side Gyros is not your usual late night kebab: spiced meat fills fresh pita with rich tomato, tzatziki sauce and sometimes fries. Greek iced coffee is also a must try, frappes and fredos are nothing like a Starbucks order! We racked up a hefty poolside bill made up of Greek coffees at our hotel Petradi Beach Lounge and it was worth it for coffee heaven on a sun lounger.
Seafood Is A Must Eat When In Crete
But as we were at the seaside seafood was our main objective, squid and octopus is abundant at many restaurants, and we got a look at the traditional drying process outside Baja Beach Club. But the best seafood we had was at a small family run restaurant by the port called Zefros. We ate several times at the port but Zefros was the best, and the waiters do not tout for your business like other establishments. The view is lovely, looking over at a lighthouse, with fish jumping from the water in front of your eyes.
I’ve always loved Greece and Crete is charming and rustic, with a feel from a different time compared to the rest of the world, with children playing backgammon by the beach instead of taking selfies on their iPhones and octopus strung out to dry outside bars.
5 Foods to Try In Crete
- Cold Greek Coffees
- Greek Salad
- Greek Yoghurt with Honey