The best traditional restaurants on Crete

Plan yourselves a tasty trip with our insider’s picks for the best Cretan-style tavernas and restaurants on Crete.
From the finest feasts to the local favourites, our insider has scoured the island to pick out the very best restaurants in Chania, Rethimnon, and Heraklion. Prepare your palates—there’s no better way to discover a culture or make the perfect holiday than with these fine eats on Crete.


Istioploikos—For fine fare and refined flare set right on the harbour, Istioploikos is undoubtedly one of the best. A seaside location lets you enjoy the twinkling Aegean and the meandering boats, while the delectable modern Cretan cuisine is unforgettable, perfect for everything from romantic meals to family gatherings.
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Herb’s Garden—Set high above the picturesque harbour of Crete’s capital, atop the famed Lato Boutique Hotel, Herb’s Garden is a magical culinary oasis amongst the glimmering lights of the city and the sea.

Local produce and delicacies are prepared with traditional care and a slight modern twist and served with a fine selection of wines, while the service and setting inspire a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere that is quite unequaled.

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Taverna Alekos—Heraklion’s hidden culinary gem is Taverna Alekos. Stepping inside is like stepping back to a time before tourism, where locals enjoy the relaxed, family-run atmosphere, local recipes, and delicious Cretan wines. A little tough to find, it’s worth seeking out for that historic taste of Crete.
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Akrogiali Fish Tavern—One of the most hospitable restaurants on Crete, Akrogiali matches the charm of its service with a stunning seaside location and a selection of some of Chania’s very best cuisine.

This is traditional fare done right: local produce, fresh-caught seafood delicacies, exquisite preparation, all accompanied by fine local wine and magnificent views.

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Lithos—Another seaside delight is Lithos Restaurant. Tucked into one of the best-preserved buildings in Chania’s Venetian port, Lithos draws in passersby with its delectable scents of culinary magic. Cretan recipes get a new life with creative touches from the expert chef, served up so tantalisingly that the dishes distract from the breathtaking view across the harbour.
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Avli—Meaning “the garden” in Greek, Avli’s verdant design is doubtless one of the most paradisiacal on Crete.

This enchanting setting of plants and flowering trees can only be matched by the modern Cretan dishes, which are so creatively and artfully prepared and served it can be tough to touch them. But one bite and you’ll be very glad you did. Finish off a thoroughly romantic meal with some delicious Cretan wine.

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Taverna Katerina o Pontios—Probably the best restaurant on the island for Cretan cuisine prepared in the traditional way, this restaurant should not be missed.

An unassuming exterior hides a wondrous haven of culinary magic, where the finest local ingredients are transformed into dishes that you will dream of for years afterward. The only thing to do is to keep coming back again and again.

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