Crete is foodie heaven! The diverse and rich agriculture of the island provides excellent raw materials for the local restaurants, including dairy, cheeses, meat, diverse vegetables, herbs, fresh fish, olive oil, and some of the best wines in Greece. It’s no surprise then that the best restaurants on the island take full advantage of what is seasonally available; resulting in a food adventure as you move across the island. Here are my top five recommendations for Chania, Rethymno and Elounda, but no matter where you go, you will find good food in even – and maybe especially – the smallest mountain villages.
Flame @ Blue Palace Hotel, Elounda
The Blue Palace Hotel in Elounda boasts some of the best restaurants in the area. One of these is the steakhouse Flame. As with all the restaurants at Blue Palace, the view from Flame is of the famous Spinalonga Island in the not-too-far distance. Flame serves up high quality meat and an interesting array of side dishes. A must-try is the grilled corn on the cob covered in cream cheese and truffle oil; it is simply delicious!
Prima Plora, Rethymno
Prima Plora in Rethymno is right on the beach with a fantastic view of the Fortezza castle in the distance. The restaurant sources its raw materials from small local producers who grow their food organically and the menu includes seafood as well as sushi. Go at sunset and enjoy the ambiance with the waves lapping on the shore next to you; you won’t regret it!
Ferryman restaurant, named after the BBC series “Who Pays the Ferryman?”, filmed in Elounda Harbour in 1977, has come a long way since it was first opened in 1974 as Vasili’s taverna. The menu is now managed by the famous Greek celebrity chef Giannis Baxevanis and all dishes are based on traditional recipes that use local ingredients sourced from farmers in the area.
Despite being frequented by visitors from the large luxury resorts in the area, Elounda harbour remains picturesque and a meal at Ferryman with its view across the bay is perfect for a relaxing evening.
Pallas, at the old Venetian harbour in Chania, is a beautiful restaurant occupying a renovated 1830’s building. This gorgeous building was once home to Ali Pasha and at a time also served as the customs building. Seating is available downstairs, but also on the terrace on the top floor and even the balconies. The view of the harbour from the terrace is amazing and the sunset view is spectacular.
The menu plays on traditional dishes as well as fresh fish. In summer, there is also a sushi menu available, and you can combine dishes from both menus.
Salis, at the far end of the Venetian Harbour in Chania, is right next to the old shipyards and across the marina. It is a great spot for people watching, especially in the early evening when the harbour starts getting busy as people arrive for dinner and drinks. Enjoy a pre dinner cocktail and sit back and watch the world go by.
Salis’s menu is seasonal and they source their raw ingredients from local farmers. It has an extensive wine list, including both local wines from small local wineries as well as international varieties. Salis is great to visit at all times of the day and also serves breakfast and lunch.