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20 Famous Greek Foods You Need To Try Atleast Once In Your Life!

20 Famous Greek Foods You Need To Try Atleast Once In Your Life!

The exquisite cuisine of Greece is so good that it can be found in most parts of the world. However, the most famous Greek foods were all shaped by the “Mediterranean Triad” of olives, grains, and grapes and today you’ll still find the best examples of this cruise there – thanks in no small part to the availability of the finest olive oil, freshest seafood, tastiest pastries, and nicest cuts of meats.

To put it simply, Greek food cannot be ignored. As a result, even before my first trip to Greece, I was extensively familiar with Greek cuisine. Outside of Greece, it is a well-known and renowned food that is loved in many other nations – and thanks to places like Yoleni’s in Providence or Hellenika In Brisbane I was already familiar with well-known Greek delicacies like gyros, saganaki, dolmadakia, and moussaka. Yes, globalization has most certainly brought far-flung foods to our dinner table.

However, like any true food enthusiast, I was still eager to visit Greece and sample each and every one of those meals for myself in situ. I feel that you can’t say you’ve truly experienced any of the most famous Greek foods until you’ve actually tried it where it comes from. It would be comparable to claiming that you have seen a postcard of a Santorini sunset and understood its beauty. Everything just tastes better with the Aegean lapping at your feet or in the chaos of Athens.

So, when you plan your trip to Greece, make sure to put aside time to try the local cuisine.

In this article, you can find 20 famous Greek foods you need to try when traveling there. Remember that travel is the time to be adventurous, so consider ordering items off the menu that you normally wouldn’t try. Chances are you’ll fall in love with everything Greece has to offer.

famous greek foods -greek popular food -famous greek dishes
famous greek foods -greek popular food -famous greek dishes
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Mhhh, moussaka! This delicious meal was created in the 1920s by a Greek chef named Nikolaos Tselementes. What he made was a Greek variation of another dish, also called moussaka, that was popular in the Levant.

The Greek moussaka consists of a layered casserole of eggplants, potatoes, beef or lamb, cheese, and a béchamel sauce. If you’ve never heard of that sauce, it’s a creamy and buttery delight that brings the whole dish together.

As moussaka is one of the most famous and popular dishes in the country, you’ll have no problem finding it on the menu of Greek restaurants. Chances are you’ll order more than once!

Famous Greek Foods - Moussaka


Everyone likes a good ol’ cheesy dish, right? Well, Saganaki is fried cheese that’s served with lemon. Does it get any better than that? In Greece, you’ll be able to find it in most places as an appetizer. You may have heard or even tried the tasty meal at a Greek restaurant in the United States, but it’s a little different.

The owner of a Greek restaurant in Chicago is responsible for dreaming up the idea of introducing fire to the dish. Waiters would bring out the pan of cheese, yell Opa, and light it on fire. You won’t find that same showmanship of lighting pans on fire in Greece, but you’ll be chowing down on the authentic Greek version.

Famous Greek Foods - Saganaki


Gyros is one of the most popular Greek foods around the world. It is traditionally lamb–although beef and chicken can also be used–that is seasoned with yummy herbs and spices and is slow-cooked on a vertical rotisserie. The outside of the meat cooks first, so the chef continuously shaves off the pieces that are ready to be enjoyed. Those pieces are then typically put on pita bread with cucumber, tomato, onion, tzatziki, and potatoes (fries).

Researchers believe that the gyros we know today was invented around the early 1900s, and there’s a bit of debate about whether it originated in Turkey or Greece. Regardless, it’s a staple in Greek cuisine that you can’t miss out on!

Famous Greek Foods - Gyros


You’ll soon find out that there is no shortage of cheese dishes in Greece. Tiropita is a small snack or appetizer that is traditionally made with feta.

The dough is filled with an egg and cheese mixture and is commonly folded up into the shape of a triangle–don’t be surprised if you find different shapes of it or variations made in a casserole dish. It’s a great little snack to pick up when you explore Greek cities and pass by a bakery.

Famous Greek Foods - Tiropita

Greek Salad

We’ve all seen Greek salads on a menu before. But do you know the story behind it? Well, the famous physician Hippocrates is known for spreading the message that people should eat raw vegetables and salads. Centuries later, around the late 1800s or early 1900s, the official Greek salad was allegedly created in Athens. Although Hippocrates didn’t make the original recipe, who knows if the dish would have ever been created without him?

The salad includes leafy greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, feta cheese, olives, and red onions. You’ll have no problem finding eateries to chow down on a healthy meal.

Famous Greek Foods - Greek Salad


Souvlaki is one of Greece’s oldest known cuisines. It’s a simple creation that consists of grilled meat put on a skewer. On occasion, vegetables are added to the skewer as well, but whichever way you get it, you’ll be in food heaven. It’s been traced all the way back to ancient Greece, potentially as far back as the 17th century BC. 

Souvlaki is one of the country’s most popular street food. Bliss is the only thing you’ll feel walking through ancient cities while biting into a delectable skewer of meat.

Famous Greek Foods - Souvlaki


Don’t let the long name prevent you from trying this wonderful recipe. Revithokeftedes, which means chickpea meatballs, is Greece’s version of falafel. It includes pulsed chickpeas mixed with herbs that are made into little balls and fried. These balls of goodness are usually served on a platter with hummus, tzatziki, feta dips, and more. It’s a great meal to order for the table and share with everyone.

For the best experience, go to the island of Sifnos, where revithokeftedes is its most popular dish!

Famous Greek Foods - Revithokeftedes


Wow, that’s good tzatziki! Get ready to say that again and again because you’ll have no trouble finding spots to indulge in the famous dish. Tzatziki was originally created in the Ottoman Empire, but once the Greeks got a hold of it, they were hooked! 

Tzatziki calls for yogurt, cucumbers, garlic, olive oil, mint, dill, parsley, and a few other ingredients. All of those things are mixed together to make the popular dish. It’s a versatile food that can be eaten as a dip, soup, or sauce, so feel free to do whatever you’d like with it!

Famous Greek Foods - Tzatziki

Dolmadakia (Dolmades)

Dolmadakia is traditionally a cuisine of grape leaves stuffed with rice and herbs. Not all dolmadakia is the same. In each region you go to, you’ll find a slightly different variation. It’s most commonly a vegetarian meal, but there are plenty of meat options to chow down on as well.

Similar to tzatziki, it’s believed to originally be a dish from the Ottoman Empire. However, Greece just couldn’t help itself in adopting the region’s culinary creations as its own – and we honestly don’t blame them….

Famous Greek Foods - Dolmadakia (Dolmades)

Feta Me Meli

Some things just go well together, you know? Feta Me Meli is a common pastry of feta cheese wrapped in dough, baked, and drizzled with honey. It’s one of those things you could eat and die happy. When you bite into a feta me meli, your teeth will sink through a crispy outside and a creamy inside–a combination that never gets old.

Although feta me meli is drizzled in honey, it’s not a dessert. You will most likely find it in the appetizer section of the menu. So don’t hold back, and feel free to eat these delicious creations any time of the day!

Famous Greek Foods - Feta Me Meli


Dive into Greece’s spinach pie, known as spanakopita. Whether you need a little afternoon snack or want a small dish before your main course, these savory creations will not let you down. The recipe calls for steamed spinach, feta cheese, sauteed onions, eggs, and seasonings. Everything is then added to a piece of dough and baked. The outside will have a wonderfully crispy outside while the inside offers a melty delight.

Some people believe that spanakopita has been around for over 400 years and was inspired by a Turkish dish. The specifics of its origins are hard to track down, but its excellent flavor is easy to discover.

Famous Greek Foods - Spanakopita

Amygdalota (Almond Cookies)

If you’re a cookie person, then you’re going to love amygdalota! These are Greece’s almond cookies, and you’ll be thinking about them long after you leave. The country cultivates a lot of almonds, so it only makes sense that a local dessert would include them.

These almond cookies are the whole package and only include a few ingredients: almond flour, sugar, eggs, chopped almonds, and rose water (there are a few variations). Crunchy, chewy, sweet, and delicious. People often refer to them as Greek macaroons. Whatever you want to call them, they’re a great little treat that goes well with a hot cup of coffee.

Famous Greek Foods - Amygdalota (Almond Cookies)

Kolokythokeftedes (Zucchini Fritters)

That’s some kind of name, right? Don’t worry about pronouncing it because you can just refer to the dish as zucchini fritters. Chefs use grated zucchini, feta cheese, and fresh mint to create this yummy snack. It’s then thrown on a stove and cooked like hashbrowns. The result is a crispy meal that you’ll quickly fall in love with. In Greece, they’re usually served with a bowl of tzatziki sauce for dipping and a few slices of lemon.

It’s a simple recipe you can bring back home with you!

Famous Greek Foods - Kolokythokeftedes (Zucchini Fritters)

Olives and Olive Oil

Falling into a world of olives and olive oils is one of the best parts of visiting Greece. The country is considered to have some of the best products in the world. By no surprise, Greece is the third largest producer of olives and olive oils.

For the highest quality experience, head to Ionian Island, where some of the finest olive oil can be found. We should warn you that life won’t ever be the same afterward.

Famous Greek Foods - Olives and Olive Oil

Ellinikos Kafes (coffee)

Eating all of Greece’s delicious food will require a nap. When you’re ready to get up and continue tasting the country’s cuisine, try out some Greek coffee. Don’t expect your typical cup of joe because the coffee in Greece is known for being strongly brewed in a unique coffee pot called a briki, which is a tall and narrow pot. A cup of Greek coffee is often made with a generous scoop of sugar, but you can ask for yours without it.

Coffee is a very social drink in Greece that is meant to be enjoyed with family and friends over a long stretch of time. So, sit back and sip slow.

Famous Greek Foods - Ellinikos Kafes (coffee)


Pastitsio is one of the top pasta dishes in Greece. It contains layers of pasta (like penne), ground beef, and a generous amount of béchamel sauce. Pastitsio is Greece’s version of lasagna and is never a bad option to order!

Famous Greek Foods - Pastitsio


Baklava is a popular dessert in Greece, Turkey, and the Middle Eastern countries. The problem (like quite a few of the most famous Greek foods) is that everyone wants to claim the dish, but it’s difficult to pinpoint its exact origins. The good thing is that no one is arguing over just how delicious of a dessert it is.

Baklava is a flaky, multilayered pastry made with phyllo dough, nuts, and honey or syrup–what else can you ask for in a pastry? No matter where you are in Greece, you’ll be able to find these flaky treats in bakeries or coffee shops. 

Famous Greek Foods - Baklava

Fava Dip

Fava dip is a Greek classic, but you might be surprised to know that it’s not actually made with fava beans. What? It’s true! The tasty dip is made with yellow split peas. Fava beans in the Greek language are not the same as they are in English. In Greece, these beans have been growing in cities for thousands of years, which means you’re eating a part of history.

Today Santorini is best known for growing split peas, but you should be able to find fava wherever you go in the country!

Famous Greek Foods - Fava Dip


The seafood in Greece is on a different level than the rest of the world. There are so many delicious and unique options that choosing just a few dishes to highlight is impossible. You’re bound to find unforgettable seafood options throughout Greece but take a trip to Corfu for a one-of-a-kind experience.

The only bad part of the seafood in Greece is having to choose between all the options. There will be tasty mussels, buttery shrimp, lobster pasta, crispy calamari, and so much more. Order them all and have a spread that is only matched by those dreamed up in the wildest Greek films.

Famous Greek Foods - Seafood


Yemista (or gemista) means filled. As the name suggests, yemista is a traditional Greek cuisine that typically involves stuffed tomatoes and peppers, but you can use any type of vegetable that sounds good! In Greece, the people use rice, veggies, and seasonings as the stuffing. However, you can also chow down on options with meat.

The origin of the dish is a little murky, but the story goes that it was a result of the Greco-Turkish war after captured Greek soldiers escaped from Turkey. 

For the best yemista in Greece, head to the cities of Naxos and Athens to have your mind blown!

Famous Greek Foods - Yemista

Greece has an impressive menu, doesn’t it? With such a long history, it’s no surprise that the country has had time to finetune its flavors and dishes.

When you visit the country, take culinary risks and try everything it has to offer! If you want to take back some of the flavors, you should sign up for a cooking class. Safe travel and safe eating!