Best Restaurants in Crete

Crete is the largest and most populous island of Greece. It is famous for its beautiful beaches, ancient ruins, and busy cities. Crete is a perfect destination to experience different kinds of adventure and enjoy the attractions and Crete Restaurants that Greece has. The weather in Greece is medium and doesn’t have extreme weather conditions, which is ideal for visiting. For sunseekers, the best time to visit Crete is between May and September. The coldest weather is from December to March. During peak season, Crete is not overcrowded, unlike other summer holiday places. Car Rental in Crete is a great choice if planning to do a lot of stuff in Crete. It gives tourists freedom on how and when they want to visit a particular attraction or restaurant in Crete. It also allows visitors to reach places that are difficult to get to. Crete budget-friendly Restaurants are affordable and accessible, which makes the stay and visit enjoyable and worth it. Crete is a safe town and the locals are hospitable and welcoming.

Greece is known for its delicious food, location, and services. Cretan foods, European, Mediterranean, and Greek cuisines are made from fresh ingredients. These cuisines are available in most Crete popular Restaurants. View, ambiance, and service are the factors that tourists and visitors look for.

Listed below are the Best Restaurants in Crete.

  • Elia Restaurant. It is a beach-side restaurant located in Malia with a beautiful view and offers different cuisine such as seafood, Mediterranean, European, and Greek.
  • Tamam Restaurant. It is a restaurant inspired by Turkish. Its building is a Turkish bath in ancient Venetian that turns into a restaurant. It offers local, European, Greek, and Vegetarian-Friendly cuisines.
  • Pelagos Seaside Restaurant. It is a seafood restaurant that sits beside the beach. They serve fresh fish and homemade dishes and bread.

1. Elia Restaurant

Elia Restaurant is a Modern Cretan Cuisine restaurant, located in Malia Town, Afenti Christou, Malia, Crete. The Elia Restaurant offers International, European, Seafood, Mediterranean, and Greek cuisines. Elia Restaurant ranked 57th on the Best Restaurants in Malia, Crete out of 97 restaurants. Based on the tourists, Elia Restaurant is the best Cretan-Mediterranean restaurant in town. The service, location, view, and food are the reasons many tourists enjoyed their visit to Elia Restaurant. It is located on the beach in Malia, where tourists can enjoy the beautiful waves of the ocean and the sunset. It takes a 5-minute walk to reach Elia Restaurant from the Town Center. They serve meals for breakfast, bunch, lunch, dinner, and drinks. The best time to visit Elia Restaurant is when the sun is about to set and in the evening for a romantic date. Based on the Greek Tourism Industry, visitors are no longer required to present Covid-19 Vaccination Certificates and can enjoy full access to the museums, restaurants, and other entertainment venues. Wearing masks is required for safety in some places, such as public transportation, shops, taxis, and public utilities. Elia Restaurant has an official website; Elia Restaurant, and an official Facebook and Instagram account.

Elia Restaurant in Malia

2. Tamam Restaurant

Tamam Restaurant was founded in 1982 and is known for traditional Greek food with some Eastern-oriented influences from Ottoman cuisine and the broader Eastern Mediterranean region. The building of Tamam Restaurant was built around 1400 AC by the Venetians to operate as a public bath for the Turks. When the Turks left, it became a restaurant and the word “Tamam” means “all good.” Furthermore, the wine list in the Tamam Restaurant is from the selected wines from the Greek vineyards, with an emphasis on wines of Crete. It is located at 49 Spyridonos Zambeliou, Chania Town, Crete, Greece. They ranked 47th out of 387 restaurants in Chania Town. They have local, European, Greek, and Vegetarian-Friendly cuisines. The best time to visit Tamam Restaurant is for lunch, dinner, and late-night meals. The service, delicious food, great atmosphere, and location are the reasons Tamam Restaurant is one of the best in Chania Town. Live music events, performances, screenings, and exhibitions are hosted in Tamam’s. It takes 7 minutes to walk from Hatzimichali Giannari to Tamam Restaurant. Masks are still required for staff in public areas. Sanitizers are available for guests and staff. It has an official website; Tamam, and an official Facebook and Instagram account.

Tamam Restaurant in Chania

3. Pelagos Seaside Restaurant

Pelagos Seaside Restaurant has the finest and constantly renewed list of wines, and desserts, located at Coriva Beach Hotel, Koutsounari, Ierapetra, Crete, Greece. Pelagos Seaside Restaurant is at the Southern Cretan Sea, the most beautiful beach in Create. This modern place offers coffee, brunch, cocktails, and special meals anytime. Pelagos Seaside Restaurant ranked 2nd out of 10 restaurants in Koutsounari. They have Greek, Mediterranean, and Seafood cuisines. Pelagos Seaside Restaurant is known for its excellent food, service, and reasonable prices. Tourists visiting the Pelagos Seaside Restaurant are amazed by the quality of service, food, and the beach view where the restaurant is located. Pelagos Seaside Restaurant has nearby attractions such as Chrissi Island, Waterfall of Mylonas, and Kale fortress. It takes 15 minutes to walk from nearby hotels to Pelagos Seaside Restaurant. For safety, masks are still required for staff. Hand sanitizers are provided to guests and staff, and dining tables are socially separated. Pelagos Seaside Restaurant has an official website; Pelagos Seaside Restaurant, and a Facebook and Instagram account.

Pelagos Seaside Restaurant

4. Chrisostomos Restaurant

Chrisostomos Restaurant is known for its oven heated with wood, hand-kneaded bread, and Cretan food located at Defkalionos Ikarou, Chania Town, Crete, Greece. They received the Greek Cuisine Restaurant Awards from 2014 to 2015 and 2017 to 2021. Mediterranean and Greek cuisines are available for lunch and dinner. The notable dishes at Chrisostomos Restaurant are lamb tsigariasto, a goat with cheese, and grilled lamb chops. They ranked 52 out of 387 restaurants in Chania Town because of their authentic Cretan cuisine, excellent service, and atmospheric place. The best time to visit Chrisostomos Restaurant is during dinner. Chrisostomos can be reached by boat with the view of Sfakia land. The atmosphere and the decorations are divine. Staff are required to wear masks as a safety protocol. It takes a 60-minute walk from Rethymno. It has an official website; Chrisostomos, and an official Facebook and Instagram account.

Chrysostomos Restaurant

5. Taverna Alekos

Taverna Alekos is a restaurant offering authentic meat-based Cretan cuisine located in the Village of Armeni, Rethymno, Crete, Greece. In this restaurant, a set of food is served and presented with a variety of plates determined by the chef. The set menu is composed of salads, appetizers, casserole dishes, stews, and steaks as the main dish. It ranked 1st in Greek Restaurants in Armeni. The ambiance in Taverna Alekos is cozy and rustic because of the stone walls. It is 10 km to the south of Rethymno. Parking is available outside the restaurant. There are two seating areas: indoor and outdoor, with a terrace. The outdoor seating is better in summer. Taverna Alekos is popular for the quality and quantity of its food. The service is fast, and the staff is friendly and responsive. This restaurant is recommended for meat lovers. Staff are required to wear masks for safety reasons. It takes 1 hour and 55 minutes to walk from Rethymno. Taverna Alekos has an official Facebook and Instagram account.

Alekos Taverna

6. Ferryman Taverna

Ferryman Taverna is a seaside restaurant that offers Seafood, Mediterranean, European, Greek, and Healthy cuisines. It is located in Akti Elounda Crete, Greece. Ferryman Taverna ranked 38th out of 95 restaurants in Elounda. They offer grilled sardines, calamari, and grilled salads. Tourists are amazed by the cozy atmosphere, friendly staff, and excellent service. Ferryman Taverna has sea-facing tables. They offer food that is vegetarian-friendly and there are gluten-free options. Ferryman Taverna offers meals for lunch, dinner, and late night. Gardens, sea, and mountains are the view at Ferryman Taverna. This restaurant is just offshore in the Gulf of Elounda. Ferryman Taverna is where the TV Series Who Pays the Ferryman was filmed. For safety, staff are required to wash their hands regularly; sanitizers are provided for staff and guests, and dining tables are socially separated. It takes 2 hours to walk from Agios Nikolaos. Ferryman Taverna has an official Facebook account.

Ferryman Restaurant in Elounda

7. Avli Rethymno

Avli is a world-renowned rustic fine dining restaurant that has ten suites, a wine cellar, and a traditional products shop. It is located in 22 Xanthoudidou Radamanthios, Rethymnon, Crete Greece. They ranked 74th out of 337 restaurants in Rethymno. Avli has Mediterranean, Greek, Contemporary, and Healthy cuisines. Avli offers meals and drinks for breakfast, lunch, dinner, brunch, and late night. Also, Avli offers personalized services such as event planners, event places, cruise tickets, massage, and beauty services. Their hotel lounge has an elegant ambiance of an earlier era, garden, and public areas. Tourists are amazed by the tasty and creative presentation of the food, atmosphere and the service. For safety reasons, staff are required to wash their hands regularly, and sanitizer is available for staff and guests. It takes 10 minutes to walk Avli from the Rethymno downtown. It has an official website; AVLI, and a Facebook account.

Avli Restaurant

8. Dounias

Dounias is a hidden gem in Crete. It is known by locals and travelers for its traditional cooking that is done on a wood fire. It is located at Drakona Village, 6 km from Therisso Crete, Greece. They offer Greek, Cretan, Mediterranean, and Vegetarian cuisines. The tourists enjoyed their visit to Dounias because of the welcoming and hospitable owner and staff. Slowly-cooked food is worth the wait and amazing with a nice view of mountains while eating. This restaurant is child-friendly and good for families and friends. They offer meals for lunch, dinner, late-night, and desserts. Dounias is 21.9 km away from Chania Town. The best time to visit Dounias is in March and April to avoid crowds and enjoy the pleasant weather. Wearing masks is recommended for safety reasons. Dounias has a website but mostly focuses on the workshops they offer; Dounias. They do not have social media sites.

Dounias Restaurant in Chania

9. Apostolis Restaurant

Apostolis Restaurant is a well-known restaurant for serving fresh fish from the Cretan Sea and other seafood cooked with local and pure materials. It is in front of the sea and has a 300 square meters that can accommodate 240 people. This restaurant is ideal for occasions and events such as weddings, receptions, and baptisms. It is located in Chania downtown, Crete, Greece. They offer Seafood, Mediterranean, and Greek cuisine and are ranked 89th out of 287 restaurants in Chania Town. Tourists are pleased and amazed by Apostolis Restaurant because of its fresh and quality foods. The service is great, and it has a nice ambiance and view. Apostolis Restaurant is 1 km away from Chania Town and 10 minutes walk from the main harbor. For safety, hand sanitizers are available for guests and staff. It has an official website; Apostolis Restaurant, and an Instagram account.

Apostolis Taverna in Chania

10. Herb’s Garden (Lato Boutique Hotel)

Herb’s Garden is a restaurant that has a view and breeze of the Cretan Sea. It is located at the Lato Boutique Hotel at 15 Epimenidou, Heraklion, Crete, Greece. They offer Mediterranean, European, Greek, and international cuisines. Its balcony and the panoramic view are breathtaking, making the locals and tourists enjoy their visit to Herb’s Garden. They have meals for lunch, dinner, and late night. Herb’s Garden ranked 33rd out of 432 restaurants in Heraklion. The best time to visit is from May to October. They offer fresh fish, salads, tender meats, and various wines. This restaurant has the fragrance of herbs and a garden that has a beautiful scenic sea view. Herb’s Garden is perfect for events because of its set-up, atmosphere, and quality food. These features are the reason the locals and tourists are satisfied visiting Herb’s Garden. It is 5.2 km from The Palace of Knossos, and it takes a 78-minute walk to get there. Lato Boutique Hotel has health protocols to ensure safety. They reduced the capacity of restaurants by one-third, and foods are served without using shared utensils. It has an official website; Herb’s Garden Restaurant, and a Facebook account.

Herbs Garden Restaurant

Which are the oldest taverns in Crete?

There are many old taverns in Crete. One of them is O Mylos tou Kerata. It is located in Platanias Chanion. It operated back in the 1960s. The owner turned the area around the water mill and called it Taverna. Since 1999, it is well-known as the finest restaurant in Crete. O Mylos tou Kerata offers traditional Cretan and Mediterranean cuisines. All the dishes are made from selected ingredients and cooked in olive oil. One more of the Oldest Taverns in Crete is the Tamam Restaurant. It was founded in 1982 and was known for traditional Greek food with some Eastern-oriented influences from Ottoman cuisine and the broader Eastern Mediterranean region.

Which are the must-visit restaurants in Rethymno?

Rethymno boasts a variety of unique and delicious restaurants that will make your experience in Crete even more enjoyable. Some must-visit restaurants include Lemonokipos, a charming rustic restaurant in the Old Town offering Cretan and Mediterranean cuisine; CAVO, a gastronomic restaurant on a cliff overlooking the Aegean Sea offering a wide variety of Cretan seafood and meat dishes; Avli, a restaurant encircled by a lush green garden offering the best of Cretan cuisine with a focus on meat and vegetarian dishes; and Asikiko, one of Rethymnon’s best restaurants offering a rustic charm with a variety of local, Greek, and vegetarian dishes. Be sure to check these Rethymno restaurants when you are in town.

Which are the top restaurants to visit in Agios Nikolaos?

Agios Nikolaos offers a wide variety of restaurants and tavernas that serve both local and international fare. Some of the best high-end restaurants in Agios Nikolaos include Patriko, a popular and affordable Greek restaurant on Amoudi Beach, Avra Restaurant, an exquisite dining establishment that serves all kinds of popular Cretan dishes, focusing more on seafood and offers exceptional service, and Piato, an elegant restaurant located near Ammoudi Beach that serves unique Cretan meals with a modern twist. For a romantic evening, head to Karnagio, a little restaurant with an intimate atmosphere that serves delicious food at an affordable price.

Which restaurants you should visit in Heraklion?

Heraklion has an big amount of restaurants where locals and tourists can enjoy both traditional Greek food to high-end, fine-dining experiences. Some of the best restaurants in Heraklion include Thigaterra, Ligo Krasi Ligo Thalassa, Peskesi, 7 Thalasses, Alla Ki Alla, Pantopoleio Geyseon, Kalamaki Meat Bar, and Parasties. Each of these restaurants offers a unique dining experience with a focus on traditional Cretan cuisine, slow food, and seafood. With plenty of restaurants to choose from, tourists can indulge in local dishes made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients..

What are the best restaurants in Chania?

Chania is famous for a fantastic catalog of culinary delights. Some of the best restaurants in Chania are Barraki, To Monastiri Tou Karolou, Well of the Turk, Chalkina, Prassein Aloga, 63 Mezedoscholeion, and Xilouris (Ta Neoria). These restaurants offer a variety of dining experiences, like waterfront seating or traditional Cretan dishes, plus even a modern take on traditional foods.

What food is famous in Crete?

Antikristo is the most famous food in Crete for the locals. It is a traditional way of cooking lamb next to or on top of fire. The young lamb is divided into four pieces called goulidia, with salt and placed on big wooden skewers positioned in a circular form around the fire. In forming the meat, the wind direction, strength of fire, and the distance between the fire and meat are considered. The method allows the meat to cook for 6 hours in its own oil and salt with the help of a flame’s heat. Antikristo means across the fire, describing its unique way of cooking. Moussaka is another popular food in Greece. It has layers of fried aubergine, minced meat, and potatoes, garnished with a creamy béchamel sauce and then baked until golden brown. The taste of Moussaka is similar to the Lasagna of Italians, but without pasta. It is the most famous food in Greece because Moussaka’s sauce brings out all the flavors, but without pasta, it is healthy because of its vegetable ingredients.

What do you need to know about Crete as a tourist?

Crete is a beautiful place for vacations. It has islands, beaches, mountains, and delicious foods. Here is the Crete Travel Guide that is important to know before visiting Crete as a tourist.

Listed below are the things to know about Crete as a tourist.

  • For all ages and budgets. Crete is one of the safest places for everyone, especially for solo travelers. Crete has child-friendly attractions such as water parks, beaches, and educational activities to boost their imagination and curiosity. These adventures are affordable and suitable for family bonding.
  • Accommodations. Crete has an offer that suits the budget and taste of every tourist. They have accommodations for large families, friends, and small groups.
  • Raki. Raki is a clear and pure drink. Raki is a distilled spirit of skins and seeds left over from making wine.
  • Hundreds of Villas. Each villa in Crete has its own characters, ambiance, story, and history. Some villas are known for their culture and music.
  • Destinations. Crete has many destinations. It has mild winters, spring, and autumn.  It has many mountains that are perfect for hiking and caves that are ideal for speleologists and archaeologists. Some beaches are great for water sports and other water activities perfect for everyone.
  • Big Island. Crete is the largest island in Greece. It is 260 km long and 56 km wide. There are various remote beaches and breathtaking views that can be explored by car.

Do you need to rent a car to visit restaurants in Crete?

Yes, renting a car is necessary when visiting Crete. If you wish to visit several destinations, attractions and restaurants, renting a car is a must. It is important to have freedom of where and when to visit a particular place. Before renting a car in Crete, there are things to consider, guaranteeing safety and the best experience in car renting and traveling. Age and driver’s license, car condition, fuel, mileage, and documents.

What are the factors to consider before renting a car in Crete?

Listed below are the factors to consider before renting a car in Crete.

  • Insurance. Insurance for Collision Damage Waiver and credit card driver is necessary as a guarantee when renting a car. Insurance with no excess and no credit card has an additional charge and needs to be asked to a car rental company. Both types of insurance do not cover the destruction of glasses and mirrors. If an accident happens, contact the station and stay until an officer arrives.
  • Driver’s Age. The driver’s age must be 21 and the license must be at least 12 months. Some companies require a 23-year-old driver. Ask for the limitations if aged 21-23 years old.
  • Driver’s gender. Any gender can rent a car. An additional driver is free, inform the car rental company, and the name should be indicated in the contract.
  • Car Type. The number of people and the luggage must be considered when deciding on the car type to rent. Transmission type must be considered: manual or automatic. Most cars in Greece are manual, and it is much cheaper. Automatic is available too, and it must be indicated when booking.
  • Documents needed for renting a car. A driver’s license and credit card under the name of the driver are necessary for renting a car. If a driver’s license is forgotten but has a credit card, the license of the second driver can be used. Driving without a license in Greece is prohibited.

How much does a car rental in Crete cost?

For example, the pick-up and drop-off locations are at CHQ Airport. A car rental for a week can cost around  €250. For day trips and night trips, the cost ranges from  €30 to €40. The car can be used for a week with unlimited mileage and four-seaters. It is a manual transmission, air-conditioned, has four doors, and the vehicle should be returned with the same amount of fuel as at the start of the trip to avoid charges.

How does Covid-19 affect car rental in Crete?

Staff and clients must follow the health protocols in car rental issued by the Greek Ministry of Health and advice from the World Health Organization to ensure safety and stop the transmission of the Covid-19 virus. Car rental companies clean the vehicle after every rental using cleaning equipment approved by the Greek Ministry of Health. Using hand sanitizers and the stations must be clean for the health of clients and employees. Infected clients and employees will be handled by the Hellenic National Public Health Organization.

Harry Anapliotis
Travel Writer and Developer
Harry Anapliotis is a travel writer and developer at Rental Center Crete - Car hire.
Rental Center Crete - Car Hire
Car rental Company
Rental Center Crete - Car Hire is a car rental Company offering services in Crete Island, since 1975.