Best Greek (and Cretan) Cookbooks to Prepare Authentic Dishes at Home


I’ve often praised the Cretan cuisine and I’ve even crafted a Gastronomic tour of Chania that has been putting me in contact with tourists daily. I know for a fact that everyone loves Cretan food as well as Greek cuisine. So, here, I’ve put together a list of the best Greek cookbooks that have helped me learn and enjoy the Greek table.

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Best cookbooks for Greek food.

Essentials for your Adventures in Greece!

Getting to Greece: Nothing like sailing from one island to the other. Check Ferryhopper to book your ferry tickets in advance.

Spending the night: It’s always wise to compare, check both and for the best accommodation deals.

Top-rated tours in Greece: If you visit Athens don’t miss this Acropolis Guided Tour. When in Crete, check the amazing Balos Beach with this Boat Cruise to Balos. And if you love wine, then splurge in this Santorini Winery Tour. To save time and money, get a convenient Combo Ticket Pass Athens.

Show me the money! No, really, need cash? Wise is the best online money transfer service with a debit card accepted all over Greece.

See Greece at your own pace with a rental car: Personally, I use Discover Cars to reach places where my old jalopy won’t take me. Wanna have more fun? Check prices for bikes and quad rental here.

Where to Stay in Crete

If you’re coming to Crete to enjoy your summer holidays, discover the beaches, the museums, and all the thrilling things to do on the island, the first thing to do is to start with accommodation. Head here to check all the places to stay in Crete. In this section, instead, I discuss home rentals.

Instead, if you don’t have time to read all the guides, and want to check my favorite places to stay, take a look at this quick selection. Small budget ranges between €20 for a bed in a shared room in a hostel to €45 for a small flat. Mid-range hotels go from €50 to €80 per night. Better places can be booked for more than €100 a night.

Small budget: You can spend the night in Crete without breaking the bank. When the budget is tight, I recommend either So Young Hostel (Heraklion), Cocoon City Hostel (Chania), Matthias Hotel Apartments (Rethymnon), and Villa Galini (Agios Nikolaos).

Mid-range accommodation: Spend a little more and enjoy a stay in Capsis Astoria Heraklion (Heraklion), Porto Antico (Chania), Archipelagos Hotel (Rethymnon), or Hotel Port 7 (Agios Nikolaos).

Boutique places: For a more luxurious stay, check Galaxy Iraklio Hotel (Heraklion), Hotel OFF (Chania), Avli Lounge (Rethymnon), or Minos Beach Art Hotel (Agios Nikolaos).

Greek & Cretan Cookbooks

One of the best ways to experience the local culture of any place we visit is not only by trying their staple dishes but also by replicating them once we’re back home… It’s a great way for aromas and memories to remind us of our holidays. Here are my favorite cookbooks for Cretan and Greek recipes. This way, you’ll be able to bring some Greece home when you cannot travel there.

The Best Books About the Cretan Diet

The following are some of the best cook books about the food and the culinary traditions of the Greek island of Crete.

They include general information about the local ingredients and cooking methods, as well as a variety of authentic recipes that have been prepared and served on the island of Crete for generations.

Best Cretan Cookbooks

In no particular order…

The Cretan Diet

120 Authentic Recipes For Long, Healthy And Happy Living

(Aura Tatu and Mitch Fatouros, 2018)

The Cretan diet, considered one of the healthiest diets in the world, is genuinely reflected in the recipes and photos contained in this book: Wild greens, fruits, pulses, bread, rusks, little protein and plenty of olive oil.

This book puts emphasis on the main philosophy of the Cretan cuisine: seasonal ingredients, better if local, plenty of vegetables, generous amounts of olive oil!

Foods of Crete

Traditional Recipes From the Healthiest People in the World

(Koula Barydakis and Bill Bradley, 2006)

Traditional but also super easy to cook recipes with simple steps and ingredients which are even out of Crete.

This book proves that you can cook Cretan anywhere in the world. One of the best books out there to cook authentic dishes from the island, with very simple steps to replicate at home those flavors that you love from Crete.

Cooking With Cretans

Greek and Mediterranean Cuisine Done Right!

(Michael Tomadakis, Steven Tomadakis, et al., 2015)

This book collects a selection of Cretan and Mediterranean dishes that are easy to make with simple ingredients that you can find home.

Healthy and simply cooking for every occasion, from the common everyday table, to those special meals when you want to show off your skills as a cook. A great place from where to pitch ideas when you have no clue of what to prepare for dinner!

The Mediterranean Diet of Crete

Traditional Recipes from the Healthiest People in the World

(K. Baridakis, B. Bradley R.D., 2018)

Over a hundred traditional recipes from the island of Crete with emphasis in authentic flavors and simplicity.

Since the diet on Crete is largely based on vegetables and fruit, there’s also an incredible array of vegan and vegetarian dishes as well as detailed steps to cook some of the best dishes from the island.

Cretan Cuisine

Traditional Mediterranean Recipes For Eating Healthy and Living Well

(Aura Tatu, 2018)

Another book I enjoy using at home! It includes traditional recipes by a local mom and cook from Maleme, in the region of Chania.

There are countless everyday options and creative ideas made with fresh ingredients that have become a staple of the local diet. Moreover, the book explains the most distinctive traits of the local customs and the culinary history of Crete. Super enjoyable and practical.

Cretan Cooking

(My most favorite recipe book for the best Cretan dishes!)

(Maria and Nikos Psilakis, 2003)

I cannot recommend this book enough! I’ve even included it in my Best Books About Crete list. This book was given to me as a present by my Cretan partner and it has been since then a must-go-to book when we want to try something we’ve never cooked before.

Extremely educative, it clearly explains the popular cooking methods and use of herbs, grains, pulses, meat, and olive oil. A real must in any kitchen. I simply love this book and it lives on my kitchen counter!

Greek Food Recipe Books

This list includes my favorite books to cook the best Greek dishes even when you cannot find all the authentic ingredients, they usually suggest creative replacements for those cheeses, greens and herbs you can only find in Greece. Choose your favorite and give it a try!

Best Greek Cookbooks

In no particular order, these are some of the books I keep in my kitchen…

The Foods of the Greek Islands

Cooking and Culture at the Crossroads of the Mediterranean

(Aglaia Kremezi, 2018)

According to Newsweek, this is “a real working guide to preparing the traditional dishes found all over Greece”. And that description simply sold it to me!

If you love the tastes of Greece, this is a book to consider. It includes stories and the recipes that the author collected from local housewives, fishermen, bakers, and farmers. Dishes passed from generation to generation by word of mouth coming from islands such as Crete, Kithira, Santorini, Chios, Crete, Skopelos, Kos, and more!

The Olive and the Caper

Adventures in Greek Cooking

(Susanna Hoffman, 2004)

From the Back Cover: “The Olive and the Caper is all things Greek: fall-off-the-bone lamb shanks seasoned with garlic, thyme, cinnamon, and coriander (…) Inspired by the passionate cooks, bakers, fishermen, and housewives the author befriended over thirty years of extended stays in Greece, Susanna Hoffman presents more than 250 recipes based on the original and still best Mediterranean diet”.

A book that’s full of great ideas and fun, entertaining stories of Greek wanderlust! LOVE-IT!

(One of the Best Greek Cookbooks Ever Published!)

Lessons on Food, Life, and Longevity from the Greek Island Where People Forget to Die: A Cookbook

(Diane Kochilas, 2014)

Can’t write a Greek Recipe Book Guide and live Diane Kochilas out of it. Her books have inspired dozens of housewives and professional cooks alike, and have put a new label of freshness and creativity to Greek cuisine, boosting its revival all over the world.

With Ikaria, she combines recipes and travel stories introducing the food-as-life philosophy of this Greek island, known as the place where people forget to die.

The book includes stunning photos from the island and unique stories from the islanders.

The Complete Book of Greek Cooking

Explore The Classic Mediterranean Cuisine

(Rena Salaman, Jan Cutler, 2017)

The book features beautiful pictures and easy, delicious, step-by-step recipes from the most authentic tradition of Greek gastronomy.

Another go-to when it comes to preparing the tastiest ideas at the core of the local cuisine. The Complete Book of Greek Cooking also features interesting insights into the life and the culture of Greece.

My Big Fat Greek Cookbook

Classic Mediterranean Soul Food Recipes

(Christos Sourligas, Evdokia Antginas, 2019)

This small book collects the best-known star dishes of Greek cuisine. Basic preparations such as tzatziki, moussaka, rizogalo (rice pudding) avgolemono sauce, keftedes (meatballs), lentils, spanakopita (spinach pie), and many other staples that you should know how to cook if you are passionate about preparing Greek dishes at home.

Sixty-five pages of Greek recipes easy to cook anywhere in the world!

My Greek Table

Authentic Flavors and Modern Home Cooking from My Kitchen to Yours

(Diane Kochilas, 2018)

From the editor: “Celebrity chef and award-winning cookbook author Diane Kochilas presents a companion to her Public Television cooking-travel series with this lavishly photographed volume of classic and contemporary cuisine in My Greek Table: Authentic Flavors and Modern Home Cooking from My Kitchen to Yours“.

Recipes include a variety of appetizers, main courses, and desserts, all of them easy to prepare and with fool-proof instructions. 

The Food and Wine of Greece

More Than 300 Classic and Modern Dishes from the Mainland and Islands of Greece

(Diane Kochilas, Vassilis Stenos, 1990)

Easy instructions with ingredients available in any corner of the world, this is an incredible collection of traditional Greek recipes and countless ways to variate and give an extra twist to any dish.

Although it has no pictures, this is one of the best Greekcookbooks around, it’s another staple Greek food book by the well-known chef Diane Kochilas.

Discover everything about Cretan food…
>> Check these organized food tours in Chania <<

Have you tried cooking any Greek dish at home?
Let me know in the comments below!

Travel Plans for Crete?
More Resources to Organize Your Trip!

Start by heading right to my tips to plan a trip to Crete for in-depth details you need to know about Greece. You can also check my post to better know what to pack for a trip to the island or read this info to visit Crete with children!

Get in touch if you need extra help to plan your trip. If you want to tour West Crete, check my guide. Want more? Join my Private Facebook Group to connect with like-minded travelers who love Crete as much as you do!

Make Sure You’ve Got Everything For a Hassle-Free Vacation!

I never move around the islands without my Osprey backpack, a sturdy but light travel partner I just love. For short trips, I carry this little crossbody bag. If I drive, I pack my Nikon D7200 and a good travel guide: Lonely Planet’s Best of Greece & the Greek Islands.

When it comes to plane tickets, compare prices with a powerful search engine. However, nothing beats traveling by sea in Greece. With Ferry Hopper, you can book in advance at the lowest price.

For accommodation, I personally use Traveling to remote places is easier with Discover Cars. Other times, I join organized tours with GetYourGuide, which features anything from cooking lessons to airport transfer!

Are you coming to Crete any time soon?

Get in touch and let me know!

Read more:

Amazing things to do in Heraklion
The Most Amazing Beaches in Sifnos Island
Mouthwatering Street Food you Need to Taste in Chania, Crete
Gorgeous Villages in Crete You Should Visit
Where to Stay in Rethymnon: Great Accommodation Guide Unforgettable Day Trip to the Lasithi Plateau, Crete

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Pin This Guide to the Best Greek Cookbooks and Shine in the Kitchen!

Best cookbooks for Greek food.

About the author:

Gabi Ancarola | The Tiny Book

Gabi Ancarola

Gabi has been living in Crete for the last five years. Here, she juggles being a solo mom, hosting culinary tours in the summer, translating, and working as a tech advisor.
She’s written for Greek Reporter, published two travel guides about Greece, and drunk more glasses of frappe than any regular person would be able to handle.

You might also want to read:

One thought on “Best Greek (and Cretan) Cookbooks to Prepare Authentic Dishes at Home

  1. Nick says:

    Greek cooking is one of those cuisines that if you aren’t born into it, it can seem impossible to get the feel for it. That is, unless you have an excellent Greek cookbook by you side! These are some great choices!

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