If you have visited Greece at least once, you have tasted some of the most delicious and traditional whole-world dishes that have become the most famous recipes from the Greek islands. Even people who haven’t ever been there can pronounce the names of certain dishes, and we instantly know that they’re talking about Greek food.
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The Most Famous Recipes from the Greek Islands… and Everything You Must Try When You Visit!
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Every different region, and especially every island in Greece, has its trademark dish, and here we are, ready to show you some of the must-try if you ever visit some of these remarkable islands.
Spoiler alert: Get ready for an increased appetite!
Crete is the biggest island in Greece, and local people are all about tradition. And if you are reading this blog, you already know it too!
If you visit Crete, you will be treated to a shot of tsikoudia or raki (well, more than one!) and most likely invited to try some Cretan cuisine. On the island, one of the most popular meze (appetizers) in Crete is dako (ντακο).
Sometimes also served in salads, dako is made with fresh local ingredients like tomatoes, feta cheese, oregano, and, of course, olive oil, all spread on a piece of crunchy rusk, known as paximadia, which often undergoes a double baking process.
Nothing can smell and taste more Greek than this traditional starter. Want to give it a try? We have published the original dako recipe here.
Skopelos: Fish Stew
If you are planning to visit Skopelos and sunbathe in all of its exotic beaches, make sure to try some of the island’s popular dishes. One of the greatest recipes from Skopelos that you shouldn’t miss is fish stew.
Made with fresh fish and extra virgin olive oil, this can be considered as a light and tasty soup, but also a healthy and nutritious meal.
Tasty tip: it pairs extra well with a glass of rosé.
Sifnos island is popular for two things: Great architecture and great food. And yes, we know that revithada is a staple in Sifnos’ cuisine, but today we want to discuss amygdalota, and you’ll soon understand why.
You don’t have to be a sweets lover to realize this cookie that locals love to share tastes nothing less than delicious!
These almond pastry sweets made with pure almond flour have a long tradition in Sifnos. And if you visit, there is no way you leave without trying some.
If you ever plan to visit Corfu island you may notice that it is one of the few islands of Greece that never fell under the Ottoman oppression, yet it was conquered by the British, the French and the Italians, all of whom left a strong gastronomic influence.
One of the most classic recipes of the island is sofrito, and it has Venetian origins. Sofrito is made of small bites of fried beef meat and a good amount of onion.
It might sound so plain, but I bet you will change your mind once you taste the sauce in which the meat is soaked. Crushed garlic, chopped parsley, white wine, and other delicious ingredients make sure to make an explosion of taste in your mouth.
The largest island of the Cyclades, Naxos, is an island that uses 99% of local food resources. Unlike on many other islands, most of the popular dishes from Naxos contain meat and poultry.
One of Naxos’ most famous dishes is kalogeros which takes the name from one of the mountains on the island… or maybe also from the Castle of Kalogeros, sitting high on the northern coast, near the village of Apollonas.
Although it is often described as a summery type of food, Kalogeros is a delicious stew, traditionally made with fresh halved eggplants, soft beef, a delicious sauce, white cheese, and pure magic!
Santorini island is famous all around the world for its whitewashed landscape sitting on top of the most famous caldera around the world.
Popular like no other Greek destination, with its volcanic soil, the island is rich in minerals and produces some of the best tomatoes, capers, eggplants, and wines in Greece.
And this is also how, Santorini, manages to represent Greece to so many foreigners… On the island, locals follow many recipes of the most traditional Greek cuisine and enrich them with some of their best products.
One of the best things that the island is known for, is their fava recipe. Fava is a spread or dip, sometimes served warm, that pairs perfectly well with octopus, rustic bread, and a glass of local Assyrtiko wine.
This mouthwatering appetizer is usually served as a part of a much larger meze platter to start your engines.
Fava is a creamy dip made of yellow split peas, lemon juice, onion, and tons of extra virgin olive oil. And it is sometimes mixed with aromatic seasonings.
Thassos: Peppered Cabbage
If you want to escape from all the hustle and bustle of the big city, and the everyday routines, Thassos is the best place to relax and revitalize.
A well known recipe of the island is the peppered cabbage made traditionally just like old generations did. This dish is usually made in the cold days of winter to help you out warming up, although you can find it in the summer too, as a spicy appetizer to dip your bread or pita in.
It can be a bit… okay, a lot spicier than commonly made food, but believe me, the pickled cabbage in combination with white beans and peppers spices will give you the most delicious and unforgettable burning flavor!
Paros: Karavoli Stew
Paros combines a modern way of life and traditional elements, making the island ideal for tourists that want to relax and have a legendary nightlife.
A famous dish you shouldn’t miss if you visit Paros island is karavoli (meaning of the word: big snails) one of the most famous dishes from the Greek islands.
Locals start preparing this tasty stew around autumn when the first rains start, for obvious reasons.
Even though snails might not be something everyone would eat, I can guarantee having a hot dish of Karavoli will make you change your mind.
The mixture of local and fresh aromatic ingredients like red wine, garlic, and cinnamon, can give you the sense of heaven and warm you up on cold days.
There is also a tradition at the end of August where local people have a festival in which the main served dish is karavoli with skordalia, a strong pure with garlic paste that is the end of the world!
The quiet Serifos island is the perfect destination for whoever wants to relax and spend some time on one of the many peaceful beaches. And if you want to eat something new and delicious, there is no better place than Serifos.
Locals use a lot of fresh seasonings in their dishes, making their recipes some of the tastiest in Greece.
Marathopita is a famous recipe of the island prepared healthy and by tradition. Marathopites are kind of flat in shape, looking a bit like pancakes made of fennel leaves, maybe sometimes some feta cheese, and of course olive oil.
The perfect option for breakfast, a snack, or an appetizer served with a good portion of Greek yogurt or even tzatziki.
People living in Ikaria island follow a traditional way of life and cooking that helps them live a long and healthy life. About 10 years longer than the Greeks from the rest of the country. For real!
One of their traditional dishes is soufico, a summer recipe that requires a lot of patience to prepare but it’s always worth it.
Eggplants, zucchini, bell peppers, and more seasonal vegetables are carefully sautéed one by one and then baked in a tomato sauce and, of course, olive oil and extra seasoning. A perfect meal that can be served hot or cold.
Pair it with a glass of Greek red wine. Liatiko or Limniona are great red wines with vegetarian dishes if you’re looking for red.
Are you ready to try any of these stunning famous recipes from the Greek Islands? Let me know!
Read more about the Greek Islands
- Where to Go for the Next Summer Holidays in Greece
- Family Holidays in Greece: The Best Places to Visit with Kids
- 10 Great Reasons to Visit Greece on Your Next Holidays
- Crete or Santorini? Which Island is the One You Should Visit?
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About my blog:
I moved to Crete in 2016. During these years, I learned much about the island.
In Crete, I juggle being a solo mom, hosting culinary tours, and writing for several travel media.
I’ve written for Greek Reporter, published travel guides about Greece, co-authored DK Eyewitness Top 10 Crete, and had more glasses of frappe than any regular person could ever handle.