For those unaccustomed to Greek eating habits and cuisine these words may serve as a quick (and certainly biased) introduction.

Traditional Greek cuisine is a country-style, simple cuisine. It has had many influences during the centuries from ancient Greek, to middle eastern and turkish, and regionally also (especially the islands) Spanish, Italian and Southern French. At its best (usually found at selected homes and rarely in restaurants) it can be pleasant and very few non-Greeks would dislike it.

Reality alas is harsher: When it comes to eating out (restaurants, tavernas etc) the quality of food is from mediocre to bad with few notable exceptions. One reason is that for the last two generations the culinary aptitude of the average Greek fell well below zero. Experience suggests that some small restaurants, where the "mother" cooks daily local dishes are the best places to eat on the island. One can find in later years a variety of "european" or "pseudo-Italian" restaurants. These are expensive places which typically have a nice/luxurious atmosphere, usually good ingredients but where the cooking art is in most cases simply unacceptable. Some exceptions, also exist.

The purpose of the list below is to give some suggestions to the visitors to the Physics Department. The list is arranged into an alphabetic order by name (spelled with latin characters) of the restaurant.

In order to be prepared with some common local fish you may find in your way, you should consult the following web sites: contains pictures and translations of the most common fish between English and Greek. has a large list of common fish names in French as well as their scientific names. contains the names of many fish in Japanese, Swedish, Hawaiian, French, Dutch, German, Spanish, Italian, Danish, Norwegian, Russian. contains the most common fish of Cyprus (that coincide with those of Crete).


This is a very good restaurant, serving traditional Cretan Food. It has food that is similar to Merastri or Erganos, and the menu is uniformly good. I will give a special mention for the dolmadakia, that are one of the two best I ever had in Crete, the "hordogardoumo" a Cretan speciality that here is grilled, the lamb chops are excellently grilled, (unlike many other places), and the "antikrysto" (slow-grilled) lamb superb accompanied with boiled stamnagnathi greens. If you want to make sure you will have some antikrysto you must book it in advance. Highly recommended!

<E. Kiritsis, Sept 2022>

This is a fish tavern that is located in the suburb of Nea Alikarnassos, to the east of Heraklion near the airport. This used to be an old cafe turned fish-taverna. The environment is modest but the cooking is good. If the owner does not have fressh fish, he does not open. Therefore it is important to call +30 6972 701 628 to make sure the restaurant is open. The calamari, shrimp, and cuttlefish dishes are superb (cuttlefish done in various forms). They have fresh stamnagathi salad that is excellent. Make sure you tell them to cook the fish gently so that it does not dry up. Red mullets done perfectly in the frying pan. The white wine by the pitcher is honorable. Prices are correct. Good service and highly recommended.

<E. Kiritsis, May. 2023>

This is a fish tavern that is located over a small cliff, just above the sea, in the area of Linoperamata, just outside of Heraklion towards Rethymnon. Threfore, an obvious plus is the direct view of the sea underneath and away. The cuisine is traditional and done very well. I distinguished the taramoslata, the dolmadakia, excellent grilled calamari and fried fresh shrimp, superb cuttle fish in its ink, and very good and fresh fish depending on the catch of the day. Make sure you tell them before the grill large fish to not salt them, not cut them and to keep them juicy. For the common fish varieties found, see the description in "7 seas" below. Prices are correct. Excellent service and highly recommended.

<E. Kiritsis, Sep. 2022>

This is a restaurant with traditional Cretan fare. It is housed in a building creating appropriately the atmosphere of a traditional eatery. Most of the fare is good to excellent. A special mention for the Cretan omeletes (omeletes with greens, zuchinni etc), "splinogardouma" (the "large" lamb intestine filled with spleen pieces and grilled) the best "gardoumakia" I ever had (the "small" lamb intestine cooked and served with a classic egg-lemon sauce) and superb lamb "ofto" (young lamb slow cooked in the wood-fired traditional Cretan oven, better order it in advance). To be sure to get the "ofto", you must book the quantity you want in advance otherwise it may be too late. If you want to have a cross section of traditional Cretan food, this is an excellent place. It is highly recommended.

<E. Kiritsis, Aug. 2022>

This is a restaurant housed in a neoclassic house with newly and well decorated interior. The food is traditional Cretan and is done very well. Extra mention for the Cretan omelletes with greens, splinogardouma (see explanation in the Erganos review above) grilled vegetables, kid with "askolymbrus" (a thistle that is eaten together with part of its root) It has superb Cretan "ofto" lamb slowly roasted in a traditional wooden oven, that is a must (but most of the time with too much salt). Like in other places if you want to be sure tp get "ofto" you must book it in advance. Also ask them not salt it, as mountain Cretans oversalt "ofto". Merastri has a wide selection of good Greek wines, properly preserved and served at the correct temeperature in good glasses. In the summer you can eat in the garden. It is highly recommended.

<E. Kiritsis, Sept. 2022>

This is an excellent restaurant which serves greek and Cretan refined cuisine located near the Heraklion airport. The cooking techniques and presentation are modern, but unlike many other upscale places, here it is done very well. From the many excellent appetiser dishes I will single out the calamari-pasta with pistachio pesto: this is grilled calamari cut in pasta form with a pesto-like sauce where the main ingredient is grilled pistachios. This is simply superb! However, in the last year of so the quality of this paprticular dish went down, and its price went up. The place serves also an excellent mushroom risotto. The restaurant has also a rather rich list of daily caught fish that are prepared simply (grilled or poached) but they are excellent. You must ask for the daily fish list to see what they have. They also have a daily fish soup that is very good. Most of the year the varieties found are in order of frequency, Ροφός (Grouper (Eng.) or merou (Fr.)), Σφυρίδα (white grouper (Eng.) or merou blanc (Fr.)) Στήρα (Epinephelus-Costae), Μπαρμπούνια, (red mullet (Eng.), rouger barbet (Fr.)), Συναγρίδα, (Common Dentex (Eng.), Dente (Fr.)), Τσιπούρα ( Gilt-head Bream or Sea Bream (Eng.), Daurade Royale (Fr.)), Κωλοχτύπα, ( Scyllarides Latus, Slipper Lobster (Eng.)), Σαργός (White Sea bream (Eng.)).

The restaurant has a rather lengthy and well chosen wine list and impecable wine service. This place is highly recommended. In late times the quality of the sushi served at the restaurant has improved. I can now recommend the California roll, the seabass sushi and shashimi and best of all, if it exists , the toro (but only if you checked that it is absolutely fresh). This place has become very expensive, lately.

<E. Kiritsis, May 2023>