If you’re heading to a Cretan restaurant while in Athens, you’ll find a few mainstays on the menu: dakos, a salad consisting of a hard barley rusk covered in diced tomatoes, soft mizithra cheese, oregano, capers and olives. There’s apaki, smoked and salted pork that can be eaten like charcuterie or cooked. Skioufichta, a type of pasta specific to Crete, is usually served with local cheese or meat. Do look out for symbetherio, a veggie-based casserole, too.
Above all, Cretan cooking is about freshness and provenance—dishes are prepared as simply as possible so the ingredients take centre stage. Here are some Cretan restaurants in Athens that will transport you right to the island with their food, atmosphere and music.