Trip to Greece!

My food recipe blogging took a bit of a break as I went off on holiday to Greece!  If you haven’t been, I highly recommend it – especially for the food.

Just wanted to share some of my eating experiences so if ever you head to Athens, Santorini or Crete – definitely check out these restaurants (or areas).

My trip started off in Athens for 2 days, where we did some of the usual tourist experiences – seeing the acropolis and walking around the plaka and monstiraki areas.   When I first arrived, my friend Puja and I set off to find the apartment we were staying at (did AirBnB for the first time!).  The taxi dropped us off at the plaka varnava, near to where we were staying.  Since we had NO idea where to go, we walked inside the first store and were delighted to realise it was a meat/cheese/wine shop! Score on all fronts.  We made friends with the owners (it was a family run place, SO CUTE) and sampled cheeses and meats.  We picked up a great bottle of Rose, eventually found the apartment and then enjoyed the view with our selection.  FYI, the salami and cheese in Greece is phenomenal – we spent the rest of the trip looking for good salami.  We found it, in the form of a spicy one the next time.

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These are three memorable places we went to eat in Athens – all different which makes it even better.

Spondi – a Michelin star restaurant, which happened to be RIGHT next to where we were staying.  Fate.  We got the tasting menu, which consisted of this amazing mousse grouper in a herb broth, with a parmesan topping.  I couldn’t get enough of the broth.  The main was a veal, which was great.   There were more delights as they gave us multiple amuse-bouches and desserts.  It was also paired with different wines with each course (white and red, depending on what we ate).  It definitely was not greek food, but it was fantastic.

Mousse grouper with a herb broth
Mousse grouper with a herb broth

Kouzina – a restaurant in the Plaka/Monstiraki area which is an art gallery and has a rooftop bar.  We were seated outside, where you can get a view of the Acropolis.   This is what we ordered, it was all great and slightly different to traditional greek cuisine but using the base ingredients.  Dumplings filled with feta cheese, olives and with a pomegranate sauce.  Zucchini balls with a spearmint and yoghurt sauce.  The mains we got pork roasted in the oven for 12 hours (so soft), as well as the spaghetti.  The spaghetti was simple, but SO good.  My favourite of the meal.  Even when I was too full, I kept on eating that.

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Paradosiako – a family run *dive* with traditional greek food in the best way.  This was the meal that consisted of solely vegetarian dishes (except one shrimp dish, but that wasn’t the best to be honest).  All the vege dishes were superb.  The best in my opinion were the stuffed zucchini flowers with rice.  Other highlights included the saganaki feta cheese (fried), lemon roasted potatoes, and the okra.  Of course we got greek salad.  For most of the trip, every place we went to, we got a greek salad.  Anywhere else in the world, I wouldn’t order a greek salad, it isn’t that great.  But in Greece, it is so fresh that is makes all the difference.  Those tomatoes and feta cheese. Amazingggg colours.

In Crete, we stayed in Rethymnon – which I would recommend.  Lots of cute lanes with stores and cafes everywhere.  Our favoured places to eat were:

Llagio – as we were walking around trying to find a place to eat, we just stopped and ate.  Totally worth it.  The moussaka was the best, as well as the lamb gyros and the cretan salad.

Prima Plora – a restaurant by the water.  Very romantic (with us 4 girls) – the restaurant is on different levels which gives it a great vibe.   Lighting was minimal to give it a great ambience.  I got the fish soup (I love soup!), it was great.  Puja got the spare ribs which was so huge it could have fed a whole family.

Avli – this was a recommended restaurant by the boutique hotel where we stayed (Rimondi Boutique Hotel, stay there!) The restaurant had a garden courtyard and we were seated just above the garden courtyard to get a great view.  Unfortunately I was sick that day so my eating experience wasn’t fully appreciated.  My friends loved their foods, and I enjoyed what I could eat.  The pasta, the fish, the salads and the dessert were all delicious.

Trying to wrap this up, but I have to speak about Santorini and the food there!! We spent quite a bit of time by the beach – Perissa and Karami.  Along the beach are tons of restaurants and bars, which we got our full delight of.  When we first arrived, we were STARVING and it took us forever to find a place to sit, but when we did, it was so worth it. We each got chicken gyros and stuffed it down.   Our delightful appetiser was oven baked feta in olive oil.  Oh my god, I still dream of that feta.   That place was called Volcano.  Another time, we went to this restaurant which had a greek night – greek music, greek dancing and smashing of the plates.  Very amusing.   I haven’t spoken about tzatziki as yet, which is my personal favourite.  Cooling, cucumber garlic dill yoghurt with warm pita bread.  I cannot get enough of that.  I made sure to get that as much as I could.

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Other highlights were tomato balls!!! Basically a tomato onion fried (like a pakora if you are desi) but a giant version.  Fried zucchini and all that feta cheese.

We booked a night to eat at Floga, which we were very impressed with.  Not only cause the service was on point, but the food was fantastic.  I’m finding it difficult to come up with more ways to describe great food right now…

I am definitely missing out on so much of the great food we ate.  I cannot express how every single meal we ate – whether it was fancy, a taverna, or a random place we stopped at was always worth it.  I would also like to give a shout out to all the spinach and cheese pies we ate along the way.   It was a lot.

Also all the fresh fish, calamari, octopus and lamb souvlaki.  And all that greek salad and feta cheese…oh man, take me back right now.  Here is a selection of more food pics that I managed to take before we quickly dug in to everything.

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