Food and Drink in Heraklion | Traveler by Unique


Restaurants and bars in Heraklion

Heraklion hosts many excellent dining options that can satisfy even the high end expectations. From fine restaurants to traditional tavernas, Heraklion impresses its visitors by the vast variety of options. As the culinary tradition of Crete is a vital feature, the restaurants are spread all over the region. Depending on each and everyone’s individual taste, there are vibrant deluxe restaurants and authentic charming restaurants in narrow streets. The great percentage of restaurants can be found in the tourist places of Gouves, Matala, Hersonissos and Ammoudara. However, there also many great option around the region in order visitors to immerse themselves into the amazing Cretan culinary tradition. In almost every type of restaurant, there are some standard recipes or ingredients that visitors will taste. As in every other region of Crete, Heraklion offers an exceptional experience made with fresh ingredients and traditional recipes.

As the capital city of Crete, Heraklion offers a truly spectacular variety of bars where visitors can enjoy a refreshing cocktail or a glass of the infamous Cretan wines. Bars can be found in the historical centre of the city, in narrow streets, in squares and close to the beach. In any case, whether is about food or drinking, Heraklion offers some must-try entries in the menus. Exceptionally made recipes with fresh ingredients are perfectly paired with local spirits and offer to the visitors a memorable and pleasurable culinary experience.


Olive oil

olive oil Heraklion, Crete

There is no possible option that a visitor will not try olive oil when in Heraklion. This liquid gold as it is commonly known in Greece, is one the Islands most important and famous products. Visitors of Heraklion can taste olive oil in almost every singly recipe. Its rich flavour makes every recipe phenomenal and no other ingredient is needed in order to transform a single dish into an extravagant flavour. In has to be noted also that olive oil is a great healthy choice as it is associated with a number of positive effects. Instead of the restaurants, visitors can also find olive oil in every type of shop, as olive oil is perceived as a great souvenir as well.



dakos Heraklion, Crete

Among the must try options of food in Heraklion, visitors can also taste the famous Dakos. This light, elegant and tasty recipe includes a mixture of chopped tomato, fresh cheese, herbs and olive oil which is placed on a rusk or paksimadi as it is known in the Greek language. Dakos is a common option for starters and can be perfectly paired with a glass of fine white wine. Crunchy and soft, intense and delegate, this amazing recipe is an excellent example of the simplicity of the Cretan cuisine.



cheese Heraklion, Crete

Visitors of Heraklion can taste the rich variety of Cretan cheeses and admire the traditional techniques of cheese production. Cheese is one of the most common ingredients of the Cretan culinary tradition, and there is no possible way that a visitor will not taste cheese, either salty or sweet. Cretan cheese that one can find in Heraklion has a rich flavour and the intensity of the taste varies from smooth to intense. Among the most notable cheeses that one can taste in Heraklion are the Mizithra, the Kefalotiri, the Anthotiro and the Graviera.



kalitsounia Heraklion, Crete

In what regards pastries, Heraklion has a vast variety of local and handmade desserts. The most notable among them are the Kaltsounia. These small pastries are traditionally made during the Easter time. However, due to their mouth-watering flavour, visitors are able to taste them throughout the year as an exceptional traditional dessert. In fact, kaltsounia has the form of small cups and inside them there is sweet cheese. The taste is absolutely irresistible as the crunchy outside dough meets the softness of the cheese and the combination is truly amazing.



gamopilafo Crete

Visitors of Heraklion can also taste a traditional wedding recipe, called Gamopilafo. The name means rice of the wedding however, visitors can find it in restaurants as well. This recipe includes boiled meat accompanied by rice that was boiled with butter and lemon. This traditional recipe is among the most popular options as it also features a cultural element as it is a special recipe for local weddings.



raki Heraklion, Crete

Raki is a traditional Cretan alcoholic beverage which most of the times is served after a meal. Raki is really famous among the locals who are proud of their impressive and high quality production. In fact, Raki is made by the skins and twigs of the grapes that are not used in the wine making process and it takes up to six weeks to get distilled. Raki has an intense flavour and is considered as one of the most intense alcoholic spirits in Greece. In Heraklion visitors can taste and purchase raki almost everywhere as Raki is very common in Crete and is often perceived as an excellent souvenir.