21 of the Best Restaurants in Rethymnon for a Great Dining Experience in Crete

best restaurants in Rethymnon.

Rethymnon is famous not only for its stunning beaches but also for some of the finest restaurants on the island. And part of them is famous all across Crete!

So here is the best of the best Rethymnon restaurants where you can get great food, excellent service, and a wish to return.

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If you’re spending your vacation in Rethymnon, you’ve probably sorted out where you’re staying.

And if you’re here now, reading this, it’s probably dinner time, and you’re looking for a great restaurant in Rethymnon to end your day in town.

This list includes restaurants in the old town and the nearby villages. You’ll find restaurants for any budget and a link to authentic reviews! Pick one and bon appetit!

Best Restaurants in the Old Town of Rethymnon

signpost, hotel Rethymnon, Crete
Avli is, hands down, my favorite restaurant in the old town…

In no particular order (well, kind of…!), these are among my most beloved restaurants in Rethymnon, and definitely, the ones I’d suggest you visit when spending some time in Crete…


  • Location: Xanthoudidou 22.
best restaurants in Rethymnon
(Courtesy: Avli).

I urge you to book a table at Avli, probably the most enchanting garden in town, home to fabulous cuisine and authentic Cretan hospitality.

Their impressive menu features fresh local products made with creativity and impeccable touches of taste… in every meaning. Are you looking for unique flavors? Try their slow-cooked wild goat with honey, thyme, and petimezi (grape molasses).

Avli is also one of the finest boutique hotels on the island, and they also offer a wonderful a-là-carte breakfast for guests and those not staying with them.

Their breakfast menu will allow you to experience an authentic Cretan breakfast once eaten on the island. This is definitely one of those places you should experience at least once.

You can also check my review of this restaurant here.

7 Thalasses

  • Location: Stamathioudaki 89.
best restaurants in Rethymnon
(Courtesy 7 Thalasses).

Check out this unique dining place to experience delicious, fresh seafood right by the sea!

Part of the Thalassa Boutique Hotel, the restaurant features stunning fish platters and local specialties (including the delicious dakos from the picture!), everything with a clear Mediterranean influence.

If you’re in the hint for freshness and utter quality combined with unique sea views and paired with a top wine list, then this place won’t disappoint.


  • Location: Eth. Antistaseos 100.
best restaurants in Rethymnon
Queens Room.

The name of this place, Lemonokipos translates from Greek as Lemon Tree Garden. And no wonder! This restaurant featured a lovely garden overlooking the main Mikrasiaton Square in the Old Town.

Have a seat at the wooden table under the foliage of lemon and pomegranate trees!

You can come here just for a coffee (in this case, order their symbolic Lemon Tart) or for a full meal, their choice of seafood is outstanding!

The menu offers Cretan and Mediterranean-inspired dishes featuring fresh local ingredients. If you’re a wine lover, check out their extensive collection of carefully selected Cretan and Greek wines.

Lemonokipos is one of the finest restaurants in Rethymnon!

Looking for a great bar to enjoy after dinner? Check the best bars, pubs, and beach bars in Rethymnon.


  • Location: Emmanouil Vernardou 13.
best restaurants in Rethymnon
(Courtesy: Asikiko).

This restaurant in traditional Cretan style should definitely be among the first ones on your list. I adore their grill mix meat plate on a wooden board and a carafe of their signature Rakomelo.

Situated in the center of Old Town in a narrow side alley, it has dining areas inside and outside. I definitely recommend sitting outside, directly under the shadow of the historic Neratze Mosque.

The evenings here are amazing, featuring traditional Cretan music and the magical lights from the colorful old-fashioned lamps.

This place is always busy in the evening, so if you decide to have dinner here, it is better to make a reservation.

CAVO Rethymnon Restaurant

  • Location: Akrotiriou 13.
best restaurants in Rethymnon
(Courtesy Cavo Rethymnon Restaurant).

Situated directly on the sea rocks, this elegant restaurant in Rethymnon is a perfect place for a romantic dinner.

Enjoy your meal with the sound of the sea splashing nearby and observe the magnificent view over Rethymnon Bay and the fortress.

Their menu offers some of the greatest Cretan dishes, with only Cretan organic ingredients.

Their Graviera cheese and the grilled fish of the day should definitely be on your list. Complement your meal with their carefully selected premium wines, or go for a signature cocktail.

Prima Plora – The Food Experience

  • Location: Akrotiriou 4.
best restaurants in Rethymnon
(Courtesy Prima Plora).

One more stunning place for a romantic dinner by the sea and, hands down, one of my favorite restaurants in Crete… Prima Plora is set in a wonderful location and remains one of the top places to dine in Rethymnon.

The restaurant’s menu offers a fantastic selection of fresh seafood, from sushi to more traditional choices, with a touch of fine cuisine attached to every dish.

Romantic, elegant, and delicious, this is definitely another must in Rethymnon when it comes to great food.

La Boheme

  • Location: Eleftherios Venizelos 52.
best restaurants in Rethymnon
Courtesy La Boheme.

If you’re looking for an inspiring place to enjoy a memorable dinner, head to La Boheme restaurant, in the Old Town of Rethymnon.

It’s a fabulous place, with fresh and creative Cretan delicacies served by a super courteous staff.

Baked vegetables, great meat, and a magnificent selection of wines taste better in the fantastic outdoor setting of La Boheme. Mediterranean cuisine at its best.

Bankery, Tasty Flirts

  • Location: Dimitrakaki 2.
best restaurants in Rethymnon
(Courtesy Bankery).

You can’t miss this bustling place in the center. A trendy café-restaurant that can offer whatever choice you’re in the mood for.

Crispy pastry, hearty breakfasts, a stunning all-day menu, and fast-food choices freshly cooked daily.
As a plus, they have a great bar with professional bartenders making premium quality coffee and exceptional drinks.

I love this place for a fulfilling dish of pasta (like the one in the picture), a brunch with a Burger with salmon, or a refreshing salad with shrimp and oranges.

The restaurant has a wonderful interior design that changes according to the season.


  • Location: Kefalogiannidon 33.
best restaurants in Rethymnon
Courtesy Thalassographia, Rethymnon.

If you want to dine surrounded by a remarkable atmosphere and the spectacular landscape of Rethymnon’s Fortezza, visit Thalassographia.

When in Rethymnon, it’s a good idea to check out this bar and restaurant in a quiet area of town.
You will enjoy delicious seafood and splurge on the fantastic sea view.

Pair some crispy fried fish with an ice-cold beer to start a magnificent dinner by the sea.

Raki BaRaki

  • Location: Arabatzoglou 17.
best restaurants in Rethymnon
Courtesy Raki Baraki.

Another of my favorite places in town, don’t miss Raki BaRaki if you’re looking for a more relaxed, informal atmosphere, authentic Cretan mezes, and a couple of shots of tsikoudia.

The most stunning selection of Cretan dishes, from mussels to sausages, from Cretan kalitsounia pastries to snails or rabbit stew, and much more!

Enjoy the beautiful atmosphere of one of the best places to eat in town.

La Casa di Hari’s 

  • Location: Mesologgiou 20.
best restaurants in Rethymnon
(Courtesy La Casa di Hari’s).

The pizzeria has a pleasant interior design with interesting details, like a big painting of the ancient Greeks cooking pizza.

Yet, the flavors are definitely Cretan. Try their Cretan pizza with smoked pork and chicken apaki (a locally curated meat) topped with Kefalotyri and dry Anthotyro cheese.

If you want something sweet, head to Hari’s Creperie (Location: Mesologgiou 8-10).

If you’re in the mood for some authentic Italian flavors, check out La Casa di Hari’s.

As a matter of fact, people come from all over Crete to eat here! They have amazing homemade pizzas and pasta dishes.

And it’s possible to watch all the cooking processes from your table. They use fresh local ingredients that add a fantastic taste to each dish. 

best restaurants in Rethymnon
(Courtesy Tripadvisor).

Pancakes and waffles are a piece of art! All with different toppings, fruits, syrups, chocolates, and cookies. The menu is full of choices.

They also serve savory waffles and pancakes with salami, cheese, bacon, and other ingredients.

If you’re up to it, go for my favorite: Hari’s Special, a waffle with all the possible toppings, including but not limited to ice cream, fresh strawberries, and bananas. But also chocolate cookies, white and dark chocolate, and even caramelized popcorn!

Both places are always busy, so it can take a long time to get your order, but it is 100% worth it!

Mojo Burgers

  • Location: Damvergi 38.
best restaurants in Rethymnon
Try their Bob Marley burger with Edam cheese, tomato, and guacamole.

This is one of my favorite places since my first trip to Rethymnon, years ago!

And definitely, a place where you will not only taste their delicious burgers but also want to leave your signature on the wall!

Not far from the new port, in one of the small alleys of the old town, this is a fantastic place for an informal meal. Try their Μichael Jackson Burger, with Philadelphia cheese, bacon, tomato, and onions.

Check also their chicken nuggets and homemade onion rings.

Veneto Wine Restaurant

  • Location: Epimenidou 4.
best restaurants in Rethymnon
(Courtesy Tripadvisor).

Check out this great place in the heart of the old town, which enjoys stunning reviews… and for a good reason!

With a certified Cretan menu, the place offers stunning local dishes based on traditional local recipes, created using only fine quality certified ingredients, such as 100% organic vegetables from local producers and fish from the Cretan Sea.

Discover the spectacular atmosphere of the old building, dine in their cozy garden, and enjoy the friendly service that makes Veneto one of the best restaurants in Rethymnon.

If all that was not enough, peruse their centennial wine cellar, featuring over a hundred labels from the island, the rest of Greece, and the rest of the world.

Taverna tou Zisi

  • Location: Machis Kritis 63 (Misiria, Rethymno).
best restaurants in Rethymnon
(Courtesy Taverna tou Zisi).

Probably among the most popular places in the area, not exactly in the old town, but close to the center, Taverna tou Zisi is a staple place in the region for good Cretan food.

Once here, don’t be surprised to see that the place is also a local favorite. Choose among the over 30 dishes of meat, fish, or fresh vegetables prepared with fresh Cretan raw materials.

Taverna Zisis has been recognized as a brand of Greek cuisine.


  • Location: Eth. Antistaseos 8.
best restaurants in Rethymnon
Their Spkepasti sandwich is a must-try (Courtesy Derlicatessen).

I can honestly say that here you can have some of the best gyros in Rethymnon!

Derlicatessen (yes, you read it right!) is in the old town directly after passing the Guora Gate. The service is extremely fast. Everything is cooked right in front of you, which will make you even hungrier!

You can either order your food to take away or sit at a table outside, observing the lively main street of the Old Town.

Order a classic pita gyro (chicken or pork) or discover their grilled choices, like one whole chicken or lamb chops. All the portions here are huge, but the prices are not! Another advantage of this place is that they have a vegan-friendly menu.

You might also want to read about these unique things to do in Rethymnon at night.

Restaurants in the Villages Near Rethymnon Town

best restaurants in Rethymnon

You shouldn’t miss a great dinner in a seaside tavern. Maybe at sunset, enjoying the delicious local tastes, a good glass of wine, and pleasant company.

It is also a great idea to explore the villages surrounded by the Cretan mountains, soaking in the island’s natural landscapes.

Check these restaurants not far from the city and discover the magic of dining surrounded by the warm sea breeze of Cretan nights or the peaceful burble of the waterfalls.

Taverna Eleven by the Sea

  • Location: Stavromenos village, Rethymnon.
best restaurants in Rethymnon

Taverna Eleven is situated directly at the beach in the village of Stavromenos. It’s a great place for an early dinner to enjoy the views of the sun going down on the beach. Here, the sunsets are breathtaking and will definitely make your experience unforgettable!

The menu highlights traditional Greek cuisine with Cretan specialties. I love their fried calamari and grilled sardines!

The owner is a little bit of a grumbler but always treats you with his homemade lemon raki, his charming son is always ready to help you to choose the right dish.

The taverna has direct access to the beach and even offers a few sunbeds so you can enjoy your drink at the seafront too. 

Country Tavern Drymos

  • Location: Patsos village, next to the entrance of Agios Antonios Gorge.
best restaurants in Rethymnon
(Courtesy: Country Tavern Drymos).

If you decide to hike Agios Antonios Gorge (also known as Patsos Gorge), then you must stop at Drymos Country Tavern for a real Cretan meal.

Once you step into the huge open shed, you will travel back in time and experience the Cretan rustic life of the previous century.

Old wooden tables, chairs and sofas with ornamented covers, a big fire stove with meat cooking, and work tools hanging on the wooden pillars… a postcard of everyday life in any Cretan village.

On one side of the taverna, you’ll see the mountain river with small waterfalls and ducks swimming around. You can also find a mini-zoo and a children’s playground, so it’s a perfect place for families too. 

The menu varies according to daily produce. Their pork kontosouvli (meat on the skewer cooked on the open fire) is worth dying for!

At the end of the meal, expect a treat made of fresh fruit or warm loukoumades (small donuts dipped in syrup). 

Ligo Vouno, Ligo Thalassa (Λίγο Βουνό Λίγο Θάλασσα)

  • Location: Evita Bay, Bali.
best restaurants in Rethymnon
(Courtesy: Λίγο Βουνό Λίγο Θάλασσα).

The name of this taverna means A little bit of mountain, a little bit of sea, which is the exact description of this amazing place.

In the furthest bay of the village of Bali, this Cretan taverna offers breathtaking views of the sea, surrounded by mountains.

I come here at least once a year for the excellent food and the friendly staff.

Their rabbit stifado melts in your mouth, and their homemade red wine is a great choice for any meal.

A little secret: If you ask them, they can sell you a small bottle of wine to take with you. Right in front of the taverna, there is a small but wonderful beach to make the rest of your day just lovely.

They always treat their guests with homemade sweets, like an orange pie, and (as is the custom in Crete) a small carafe of raki.


  • Location: Village of Meronas.
best restaurants in Rethymnon
(Courtesy Moschovolies).

In the heart of the Valley of Amari, a land of unique gastronomic traditions, this gorgeous, small family taverna proudly serves homemade food cooked the old Cretan way: plenty of local herbs, wood fire, and their own products.

This place also opens in winter and you’ll be happy to visit again and again. Don’t miss their fantastic stuffed zucchini flowers, one of the many delicacies from their kitchen.

Akrogiali Bali Fish Tavern

best restaurants in Rethymnon

If you’re spending some time in the beautiful seaside village of Bali, Akrogiali is another lovely taverna you can try.

It’s located directly at the entrance of the center port, and you’ll easily spot their blue terrace.

All their tables are set in this fantastic open space with fantastic views over the beach and the port.

The staff here is very friendly, always ready to suggest what to try and share the latest news about the whole island…

I love this place for its great seafood menu. Saganaki mussels are a must (mussels cooked in a tomato sauce with feta cheese), and the fried calamari are always fresh and crispy.

Quite traditional music creates a pleasant holiday atmosphere.

Goules Taverna

  • Location: Goulediana Villages, Rethymnon.
best restaurants in Rethymnon
(Courtesy Tripadvisor).

One of the top-rated restaurants in the Rethymnon region, Goules Taverna, lives up to its impeccable reputation.

The tavern presents a selection of old-time recipes with traditional Cretan traits, including plenty of herbs and tasty spices from the surrounding countryside.

A menu that features the local motto of a little bit of all, including plenty of fragrant Cretan olive oil and strictly fresh products.

Their salads to die for and add to the experience of a wonderful road trip ride through the local landscape.

This is just a selection of the places I enjoy and where I usually meet with friends when having a night out in Rethymnon.

Rethymnon features so many restaurants, tavernas, and places to try delicious local food that you wouldn’t know which one to pick. Hopefully, this guide has given you an idea about the best restaurants in Rethymnon… and where you’ll have your next Cretan meal!
What restaurant in Rethymnon will you visit?

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More resources to enhance your Crete adventure

Start by checking this guide to plan a trip to Crete. Remember to explore the articles on prices in Crete, common mistakes to avoid, and helpful insider secrets. This comprehensive Crete packing list ensures you have everything you need.

When it’s time to plan, explore the best places to visit on Crete Island, discover my tours and activities, and be amazed at Crete’s incredible beaches. If you are exploring specific areas like Rethymnon or Chania, I’ve got detailed guides to help you make the most of your time.

Suggested accommodation in Rethymnon

More useful travel resources

  • Check out all the digital travel guides I’ve specifically written about Crete. They are affordable and practical to check from your mobile.
  • Welcome Pickups offers a convenient pre-paid airport transfer service.
  • To book adventures, tours, and cultural experiences, I always recommend Get Your Guide.

Pin it Now and Read it Later: Pin This Awesome Guide to the Best Restaurants in Rethymnon for Your Next Trip to Crete!

Best restaurants in Rethymnon, Crete

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 island. 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.

2 thoughts on “21 of the Best Restaurants in Rethymnon for a Great Dining Experience in Crete

  1. Ion says:

    Thanks a lot for all your information. I am very greatiful for all these and l hope to meet you in july, when we will be Rethymnon. From Romania with big respect!

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