22 Authentic Greek Dishes Worth Traveling To Greece For

1.Pastitsio

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Pastitsio is the best comfort food you could ever ask for. Similar to lasagna, it’s a baked dish of pasta, ground beef, and béchamel sauce. It’s topped with cheese before going into the oven, giving it an amazing golden, crunchy top.

2.Tirokafteri

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Greeks really love their dips, and tirokafteri has to be one of the best. That’s because it’s basically just cheese. Feta is mashed up with hot peppers, lemon, olive oil, and spices, and it’s so delicious spread onto fresh crusty bread. Or just eaten straight with a fork — no one’s judging.

3.Bougatsa

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This dish is for everyone out there with a sweet tooth. Creamy sweet custard is wrapped in flaky layers of phyllo pastry, then dusted (or buried) with icing sugar. It’s best straight out of the oven, when the pastry basically melts in your mouth. It’s sometimes filled with cheese or minced meat as a savoury option, but the custard one is always way better.

4.Koulouri

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It looks just like a simple bread roll covered in sesame seeds. But some koulouri sellers coat the bread with honey or sugar syrup before adding the seeds, giving it an amazing flavor. Whether it’s sweet or savoury, koulouri is a perfect breakfast or snack on the go, and is available at every bakery.

5.Moussaka

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A standard menu item at most Greek restaurants, there’s no beating a classic slice of moussaka. It’s baked layers of eggplant and mince, topped with a fluffy, creamy sauce. When it’s done right, it’s absolutely packed with flavor. It also makes delicious leftovers, eaten cold straight from the fridge — trust us.

6.Frappé

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Yes, frappés exist outside of Greek cuisine. But here, they’re on a totally different level. Instant coffee is blended with a little water to make a foam, then topped with cold water and ice. It doesn’t sound like much but it tastes incredible, and once you try it, you’ll be ordering it every day. You’ll be asked whether you want it sweet (four teaspoons of sugar), medium (two teaspoons), or plain (no teaspoons). You can also have it with evaporated milk, but it’s creamy enough on its own.

7.Baklava

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Baklava is a classic dessert that is an absolute must-try while in Greece. It’s essentially just nuts — usually walnuts or pistachios — layered with phyllo pastry and drowned in a honey syrup. It’s an incredible companion to bitter Greek espresso.

8.Kataïfi

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This is like baklava’s trendy older sister. It’s the same basic idea of nuts and pastry, but kataïfi is covered with thin strands of pastry, similar to angel hair pasta. The texture is bomb, and really takes baklava up a step.

9.Dolmades

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These stuffed grape leaves make a great shared starter before any meal. They’re usually filled with rice and herbs, then simmered with lemon juice. You can get heartier ones stuffed with mince or veggies, but the classic rice can’t be beat.

10.Spanakopita

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Feta is a real recurring ingredient in Greek food, and spanakopita is one of the best uses of it. (Wait, who are we kidding? Anything with feta in it is a winner.) This spinach and cheese pie is simple but the flavor packs a punch. You can get flat, thin versions of it from bakeries as a snack, or huge thick slices as a meal.

11.Yemista

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This straightforward dish sees tomatoes and capsicum being stuffed with rice, veggies, and spices — some places serve it with mince as well. The stuffed veggies are chargrilled and doused in olive oil, giving them a rich smoky flavor.

12.Keftedes

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Mezze is the Greek version of tapas, and you can’t have a good mezze spread without keftedes. These meatballs — usually made with beef or sometimes lamb — are flavorful enough to be eaten on their own, though sometimes they come in a richly spiced tomato sauce.

13.Kolokithokeftedes

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Another great mezze addition, these fritters take the humble zucchini and turn it into the best vegetable you’ve ever tasted. It helps that they’re deep fried, I guess, but the flavor in these is unbeatable. They’re delicious paired with tzatziki; a cucumber and yoghurt dip.

14.Octopus

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Don’t go to Greece without trying the seafood, and definitely don’t leave before ordering octopus. It’s a staple in the Mediterranean diet, and it’s usually served simply dressed with lemon and olive oil. If you’re a little too freaked out to order whole octopus, opt for calamari rings instead — they’re just as good.

15.Loukoumades

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Loukoumades are deep fried dough balls, smothered with honey and dusted with cinnamon or icing sugar. You can find places that serve them with ~trendy~ toppings as well, like Oreos or Nutella, but stick with the classic and you won’t be disappointed.

16.Pastourmadopita

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Pastourma is an air-cured beef, usually sliced thinly like ham. And a pastourma pie is made from phyllo pastry, pastourma, and a hard cheese (usually sheep’s). Eaten straight from the oven, the cheese gets all gooey and the meat is nice and salty.

17.Amygdalota

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These flourless almond cookies are made with only five ingredients but the flavor is *chef’s kiss.* Made with egg whites and almonds, they’re crunchy on the outside but somehow still chewy on the inside,

18.Fava

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Sometimes served as a dip, sometimes as it’s own meal, this is kinda like Greece’s answer to hummus. Fava beans are blended up with lemon, garlic, and a healthy dollop of olive oil. The flavor is bolder than hummus, and it’s a pretty good protein source too.

19.Saganaki

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Two words: Fried. Cheese. That’s all you really need to know to make this your new favorite Greek food. Saganaki cheese is similar to halloumi, and usually served pan-fried with fresh lemon and sesame or herbs.

20.Taramasalata

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Another classic Greek dip, this one is made with fish roe. Some people might be put off by the thought of a seafood-tasting dip but it’s always worth a try. It’s blended with garlic and potato, so the flavour isn’t too overpowering.

21.Yiaourti me meli

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Literally just yogurt served with honey and walnuts, there’s something incredible about this breakfast food. The yogurt you’ll eat in Greece is better than any other on the planet, and when paired with honey, the tanginess really comes through.

22.Spoon sweets

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Spoon sweets are essentially just fruit preserved in syrup, served on a spoon. It’s a Greek custom to serve these to guests as a gesture of hospitality, or to make up a jarful as a gift. The best ones are sour cherry or orange, and they go great with coffee.

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