Although each area of Crete offers visitors a unique dining experience, Chania’s restaurants offer many delicious traditional dishes that attract thousands of tourists to the region every year! Dining in Chania is a fantastic way to learn about traditional Cretan food while also experiencing the legendary Greek hospitality! In Chania’s local cuisine, you will find a wonderful combination of local, seasonal and fresh ingredients. You will discover why the olive oil-drizzled salads taste so fresh, which foods the wild Cretan greens pair well with, the huge range of fresh cheeses and scrumptious honey-base desserts, and of course, the region’s top local wines!
Superb tavernas offering traditional Cretan food derived from Chania’s local farms can be found in the city centre. Lamb, goats’ meat, rabbit, poultry, and pork products are among the meats produced locally by the region’s farmers. Vegetables, fruits, and olive oil are all supplied to these restaurants, from the abundant olive tree groves and cultivated lands of the area. Chania is also famous for its unique tasting avocados and actually grows 90% of the country’s avocadoes! It is also renowned for its orange tree groves which produce a special Washington Navel variety of orange called Maleme Chanion Kritis. These delicious oranges are eaten fresh of the trees, as well as made into delectable jams and added to scrumptious desserts such as pastries and pies.
The Old Town of Chania is charmingly beautiful with lively little lanes filled with tavernas, restaurants, and cafés that serve a variety of cuisines. The most popular eateries are, of course, the ones serving authentic and traditional Cretan food, and you can see this from how full these places are with local customers! These restaurants are usually family-owned and operated, with chefs who have spent their entire careers in the kitchen, often learning to cook from a young age for their own families, using recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation. You will leave these restaurants feeling like you have been with old friends, with complimentary dessert and Raki, the infamous Cretan spirit, and warm hospitable wishes for your return!
Daily specialities will always be announced to you by the waiter, and it is highly recommended that you try them, as they have been created with fresh seasonal ingredients of the day! Think of the restaurants of the Old Town of Chania as places where you will experience traditional Cretan home cooking! Consider braised lamb with wild greens, stuffed courgette blossoms with rice and herbs, and Moussaka, an oven baked dish with sumptuous beef or lamb mince cooked with fresh tomatoes and layered with delicious aubergine. In these tavernas, high-quality fresh seasonal food is a given, and you will not be dissatisfied with the great Greek home cuisine on your plate as well as the large portions and reasonable pricing! Boureki is a Greek courgette and potato gratin from Chania, filled with feta and kefalotyri, a hard pale yellow and sharp cheese. It’s a delicious vegetarian main dish that is great to eat by itself, and even better with a fresh salad and slices of freshly oven-baked bread. A variety of vegetable dishes, and delicious lamb and beef stews, in the restaurants in the Old Town, are endorsed with a special dairy product made in Chania called Staka. Staka is produced by salting and boiling the creamier, fattier surface of fresh sheep or goat’s milk. After many hours of simmering, a unique roux emerges called Staka, a rich heavenly cream. The sauce is mixed with flour and added to many dishes such as soups, stews and casseroles as well as meat dishes like Apaki, a Cretan smoked pork delicacy and must- try! Staka is also baked with eggs into a mouth-watering Cretan breakfast which is a speciality in the region of Chania and one you won’t regret indulging in!
Framing the Old Town in Chania is a beautiful Venetian port, crowned with a historic lighthouse, which is one of the oldest lighthouses in the Mediterranean. The seafood restaurants around the port are as popular with tourists as they are with the local residents. Fish soup is a popular Cretan dish, and many of these tavernas specialize in it. They serve fresh fish and seafood purchased on the same day from Chania’s local Agora, or market. This means that the seafood served in these restaurants will change with the seasons. Fish such as Red snapper, white bream, and striped mullet are plentiful in the winter just as Cuttlefish and octopus are between the months of October and May. Fancy something easy and quick to bite while you wander around the heart of Chania? The Souvlaki is a hearty must-try during your stay, even if it not traditionally Cretan! Many street food outlets in the centre of town have long lines of customers waiting to be served this tasty pitta wrap made with pork meat roasted on a vertical rotisserie and topped with tomatoes, onions, and Tzatziki, a yogurt and cucumber sauce. A piece of advice for you is that you’ll never be satisfied with just one Souvlaki, so don’t forget to order two!
Yialos Wine Restaurant, serves dishes inspired by Crete’s and Greece’s culinary traditions, composed with outstanding fresh ingredients found locally all over Crete, Greece and the Mediterranean. The Yialos wine restaurant’s food and beverage menu includes many traditional Chania ingredients and recipes that are key elements to the genuine Cretan diet, the finest form of the Mediterranean diet. We incorporate Chania’s abundant fresh produce of vegetables, fish, meat, herbs and spices, cheeses, olives, Raki and much more into our menu. Yialos Olive Oil Bar also offers premium, extra virgin olive oils with special olive varietals produced solely in the region of Chania. The Koroneiki olive and the Tsounati olive are key ingredients in our olive oils because of the unique flavours they add to our menu. The famous Myzithra, a soft white cheese recipe from Chania, is also used to enrich many of our dishes! Chania’s high quality and unique tasting super foods such as avocados feature in many of our delectable dishes.
Visit Yialos Wine Restaurant to experience high quality foods, exciting combinations of flavours textures and colours, for a mouth-watering and wonderful feast of the senses!