Where to Have the Best Breakfast in Heraklion

Breakfast in Heraklion

Are you having an early wake-up call in the capital of Crete and longing for a good cup of coffee to begin the day the right way? We’ve got you back!

In this article, you’ll find the best breakfast in Heraklion, including trendy cafés, seaside coffee shops, and some traditional local places you cannot afford to miss!

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Best Breakfast in Heraklion

breakfast in Heraklion

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They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but let’s get real for a minute: with the current rush in our lives, not all of us have enough time every morning to devote enough time to breakfast.

We might either run to the office or take the kids to school. The only moment of the year when we can afford the time to sit and truly enjoy a tasty breakfast is during our vacation. At least, this is valid for me.

LIONTARIA, LIONS, FOUNTAIN, HERAKLION
Liontaria Square, in the center of Heraklion, is a great breakfast place!

Personally, my holiday days are the only time in the year when I have time to sit, sip my coffee, and decide what to do (or not to do!) during the rest of the day. I’ve said it many times: I love breakfast time on vacation.

When visiting Crete, you might stay at a hotel that also offers breakfast, and that’s always a good idea. However, devote one or two mornings to discovering how locals enjoy breakfast, taste some of the authentic dishes, and soak in the views of the city of Heraklion.

About Breakfast in Crete

breakfast in Heraklion

I learned a lot about breakfast in Crete from working for several restaurants on the island. Especially when one of the best restaurants in Rethymnon taught me a lot about this unique meal on the island, a place that has been serving the type of Crete-style breakfast that was once common in small villages on the island…

I discuss their food here. You can check this restaurant’s breakfast menu on this link.

breakfast in Heraklion

For many years, breakfast was the main meal in Crete, as this was the only food men ate before heading to the fields for a long day’s work.

This was not an elaborate or special dish, but it would include eggs, olives and olive oil, meat, and fresh cheese, and in many, really many houses, breakfast would be a substantial meal, often made of a thick slice of bread, grated tomato, salt, and olive oil.

breakfast in Heraklion

Breakfast was often also the leftovers of the previous dinner, and having breakfast with a glass of wine was also the rule, especially in the mountains or the countryside.

Today, some very old taverns still serve stews, soup, bread, and even homemade wine for breakfast, but the trend has changed in the main cities to keep up with today’s faster pace of life.

breakfast in rethymnon
Breakfast by the sea in Loutro includes a Cretan omelet with feta cheese and a more international option with bacon.

A common joke says that the Greeks have a cold coffee, a koulouri (a bread ring), and a cigarette for breakfast.

This can be common during weekdays, but breakfast is an important meal during the weekend when Cretan families and friends enjoy a good, late breakfast by the sea or at a fancy coffee shop in town.

breakfast in Chania
A staple breakfast in Crete is bougatsa from Kirkor, in Heraklion (made of phyllo and filled with cheese or custard), and a cup of thick Greek coffee.

Top Places to Have Breakfast in Heraklion

Being the capital of Crete and one of the most visited places on the island, it’s logical to find dozens of good places for breakfast in Heraklion; the ones below are among the top-rated ones!

Kirkor

  • Location: Liontaria Square, Heraklion website.
breakfast in Heraklion
Courtesy of the venue.

One of the best-known places in town and the most traditional place in Heraklion for a bite, Kirkor is a coffee shop and pastry bakery that has been serving the most delicious bougatsa pastry in Crete for over a century!

Kirkor’s bougatsa is a delicious phyllo pastry pie that has been baked and filled with custard or local myzithra cheese, which has been slightly sweetened.

It is served with a touch of cinnamon on top, and Kirkor offers you the option of adding a generous drizzle of honey as well.

A must in Crete.

Frankly, My Dear

  • Location: 60, Karterou Street, Heraklion – website.
breakfast in Heraklion
Courtesy of the venue.

The modern location in Heraklion Frankly serves excellent breakfast and brunch and a good selection of Cretan street food.

Some breakfast specials include hot chocolate and churros, salmon toast with avocado, pancakes, and eggs cooked in many different ways.

Thirsty? No problem. The menu includes fresh juices, top-class cappuccino, freddo espresso, and matcha tea.

Mare Coffee Bar & Food

  • Location: Sof. Venizelou Avenue, Heraklion website.
breakfast in Heraklion
Courtesy of the venue.

A good place by the sea to kickstart the day soaking in the right views! The place offers delicious breakfast plates with savory bread, eggs, marmalade, fruit, and bacon.

It’s also a good option for a quick lunch, a snack, or brunch if you got up late (and hungry!).

Fresh juices and smoothies, good cappuccinos, sandwiches, and yogurt with nuts and honey are some of the traditional options for breakfast in Mare.

Central Park

  • Location: 19 Arkoleon Street, Heraklion – website.
breakfast in Heraklion
Courtesy of the venue.

With inspiring names such as Espresso Guatemala, Butter Croissant, and Central Breakfast for 2 on the menu, this is the place to go for a super first meal in Heraklion.

You will be surprised by the lively atmosphere and music, which is ideal to pair with a good cup of morning coffee.

Try their pancakes and cakes, but taste something savory, such as the sandwiches, the pies, and the cheese pastries.

Spoiler alert: Central Breakfast for 2 comes with homemade bread and croissants, traditional sausages (locally known as xoriatiki loukanika), eggs, fresh tomatoes with olive oil, and more.

Think Tank

  • Location: 7, Andreou Street, Heraklion – website.
Think Tank coffee and bar in Heraklion
Courtesy of the venue.

Although popular as a night venue and an excellent cocktail spot, early birds can savor a fantastic variety of coffees and breakfast dishes in this popular Heraklion coffee shop.

This fantastic espresso/wine bar is in a beautiful neoclassic building with a lovely terrace. Baristas make outstanding coffee, and their special espresso is a popular cuppa.

Kalimera ~ Good Morning Café, Snack & Food

  • Location: 6, Monofatsiou Street – Heraklion.
breakfast in Heraklion
Courtesy of the venue.

There is nothing fancy and all taste in this tranquil neighborhood coffee shop, not far from the very visited 1821 Street. This place serves traditional breakfast dishes such as thick Greek coffee and warm loukoumades (similar to Greek donuts) with plenty of honey and cinnamon.

Open from very early in the morning until a couple of hours past lunchtime, this place is perfect for those mornings when you wish for something sweet and rich.

Prices are below the usual average in Heraklion, which is a big plus when traveling on a budget!

Eiffel Café

  • Location: 11, Ionias Avenue, Heraklion – website.
breakfast in Heraklion
Courtesy of the venue.

Head here if you’ve got up in the mood for sweet and savory crepes, a selection of sweet pies, lavish cakes, and incredibly rich desserts.

The place specializes in sweet pastries and is far from the typical Cretan place for breakfast. Yet, it’s a must-visit coffee shop if you enjoy French decadent sweets.

Favorites here include the chocolate souffle, chocolate fondue, profiteroles, and waffles. Everything tastes even better thanks to the great music and super affordable prices of the Eiffel Tower.

Samaria Delizioso

  • Location: 17, Kantanoleontos Street, Heraklion – website.
breakfast in Heraklion
Courtesy of the venue.

I bet those croissants look irresistible, don’t they? Well, they are! Samaria Delizioso is great for a traditional European breakfast with French-style pastries and excellent coffee.

However, you won’t be disappointed if you’re looking for a Greek twist that includes koulouri, creamy Cretan bougatsakalitsounialychnarakia (Easter cheese pies), and other savory dishes (including spinach pie and cheese pie).

Phyllosophies

  • Location: 33, El. Venizelou Square, Heraklion – website.
breakfast in Heraklion
Courtesy of the venue.

One more traditional café in Plateia Eleftherios Venizelou, an important square in Heraklion, this place makes a great bougatsa, one of the most traditional pastries you can have for breakfast in Greece.

The place specializes in sweet-baked products made from fresh dough sheets (phyllo in Greek – hence their name).

The place carries the old bougatsa tradition that came to Crete from Smyrni in the former Ottoman Empire. In this case, a bougatsa master from Hamindiye (today, Mouradie) of Smyrna brought it to the island.

In addition to serving the most genuine Cretan bougatsa (for four generations), they also bake vegetable pies, cheese pies, and ancient sweets such as Byzantino, kadaifi, baklava, and delicious loukoumades. Some of their secrets are also online!

The Home Ethnic Bistro Bar

  • Location: 1 Perdikari Street, Heraklion website.
breakfast in Heraklion
Courtesy of the venue.

Right in the center of town, near the famous Archaeological Museum of Heraklion, Home is a cool place with colorful interiors and a warm atmosphere where you can enjoy breakfast, from a simple cup of coffee to more elaborate ethnic delicacies.

What kind of ethnic cuisine? From Mexican to Asian and Middle-East as well as Tex-Mex, and – of course – Greek!

The Home also serves lunch, brunch, dinner, drinks, and snacks. There are plenty of vegan and vegetarian dishes on the menu, including an out-of-this-world vegan chocolate cake!

I’ve also written about other great places to eat in Heraklion.
… So, which will be your first stop for breakfast in Heraklion? 

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More resources to enhance your Crete adventure

Start by checking out my ultimate guide to planning your trip to Crete, packed with helpful essential information. Explore the articles on prices in Crete, common mistakes to avoid, and insider secrets for an unforgettable experience.

Use this comprehensive Crete packing list to ensure you have everything you need. Explore the best places to visit on Crete Island, discover my tours and activities, be amazed at Crete’s incredible beaches, and check out the best times to experience its beauty.

If you are exploring specific areas like Heraklion or Rethymnon, I’ve got detailed guides to help you make the most of your time.

Suggested accommodation in Heraklion

No time to read all my accommodation guides? Check out these hotels in the city:

More useful travel resources

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  • To book adventures, tours, and cultural experiences, I recommend Get Your Guide.

Pin this Guide to Find the Best Spots for Breakfast in Heraklion, Crete!

Breakfast in Heraklion

About me:

Gabi Ancarola | The Tiny Book

Gabi Ancarola

I have lived in Chania, Crete, since 2016. As a local, I have an intimate knowledge of the Crete. I host culinary and concierge tours and experiences in Crete and write about the island for several travel media. During the last five years, I have helped many travelers plan the perfect holiday in Crete. I co-authored DK Eyewitness Top 10 Crete and had more glasses of frappe than any regular person could ever handle.

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