With fresh and quality products, delicious fish of the Ionian and Aegean, and a perfect olive oil, Greek cuisine deserves to be one of the most loved cuisines in the world.
According to research, the seventh most ordered cuisine in the world belongs to Greece. Undoubtedly, the contribution of fast-consuming meals such as Gyros is great. Because in addition to being satisfying at an affordable price, it is known as a national food and can be found all over the world. Of course, Greek cuisine is not just about Gyros. Greek cuisine, which has developed unique traditions under the influence of many civilizations throughout history, is a gastronomic paradise where natural and fresh ingredients play an important role, where olives and olive oil, seafood, cheese and wine play an important role.
Its cuisine, which is blended with common flavors such as Moussaka, Baklava, Spanakopita (spinach pastry), also has certain secrets. The freshness and quality of the products used, the use of spices, olive oil, and most importantly, simple recipes based on good ingredients-correct cooking, where only the plain state of the products is polished. The contribution of the seafood from the azure waters of the Aegean and Ionian and the goats fed with natural grasses cannot be denied. However, there is something beyond everything that adds a different meaning to this kitchen. Undoubtedly, one of the feelings we are familiar with is the fact that each plate is served at tables where conversation and family intimacy are experienced.
Carne – Rhodes
Carne, with its cuisine built on the trilogy of meat, fire and wine, actually gives a brief summary of its philosophies at the entrance. While the restaurant draws its strength from a good fire, it is not modest in his mastery of cooking meat. Nor are they unfair. The 33 meat dishes in their menu consist of delicious Greek delicacies. Veal, lamb, pork or chicken, they all count as meat dishes. If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, let’s just say it’s tough. Although the menu is quite rich with classical Greek appetizers, kadayıf pastries and pilaf, rest assured that meat smells will rise from every table in the place. They have a long and detailed meat menu along with many traditional recipes from Mousakka to Kleftiko. Greek doner Gyros, shish kebab Souvlaki, 12-month rested angus, the list goes on. If you wish, the island’s beautiful lobsters are also among the options. Dessert options are limited and not considered traditional. But Carne has certainly been offering the best Greek cuisine in the world in recent years.
Nea Diagonios – Thessaloniki
Nea Diagonios is the new branch of Diagonios, which has been serving in the city center of Thessaloniki since 1976, opened by the second generation. The kitchen of the place, prepared in a more daring, more dynamic style, offers a pleasant combination of traditional and modern. The kitchen, led by Ioannis Chantakis, born in 1984, bears the signature of a true foodie. Although Chantakis had studied medical informatics, the kitchen microbe in her blood had triumphed and put herself in front of the stove. When it first opened Nea Diagonios in Athens in 2007, it managed to win the fastest Gourmet award in just three months. Kalamaria, which it opened in 2009, was rewarded by many authorities, while Chantakis received the title of Executive Chef from the Paris World Chef Academy. The determination and creativity of the chef who produces its own wine and beer by keeping the title of sommelier from WSET in London is admirable. The prominent stars of the menu are Soutzoukakia and Gyros, one of the classics of Thessaloniki cuisine.
Aleria – Athens
One of the best representatives of Greek cuisine, Aleria is a dreamlike place with its atmosphere created in a neo-classical building dating from the mid-1800s. Its veranda reflects the warm Mediterranean spirit of the four seasons of the year with its colorful flowers as well as its contemporary decoration. Two separate menus emerge from its cuisine, which interprets traditional recipes. One is Earth and Sea, and the other is vegetarian-based Garden and Nature menus. As the name suggests, Chef Gikas Xenakis uses the richness of the Greek land and the generous seas to construct a modern Greek cuisine inspired by the unforgettable flavors of his childhood and his travels around the world. It offers the traditional Greek meatballs called Giouvarlaki in the form of tartar, and prepares the stuffed tomato called Gemista for vegetarians. Be sure to try the chef, who grew up in rural Greece, to accompany his childhood memories of fishing on weekends and to taste mother’s meal.
Eleas Gi – Athens
Offering an exquisite view from the top of Politia overlooking Athens, Eleas Gi first takes you through a labyrinthine cellar filled with magnificent wines, and then takes you into a perfect atmosphere prepared with Greek architecture. Its cellar, carefully selected from local producers, turns heads. But before you get tempted, let’s remind you that there are plenty of options on the menu to try. Eleas Gi means “Land of Olives” in Greek. There is not only the name of the place, but also this miracle of nature behind its philosophies. Everything here is prepared with olive oil and focuses on traditional Greek cuisine. You can choose a la carte or take one of the two tasting menus with 14 and 24 options. According to the 2023 menu, there is no 24-choice tasting menu that you can buy for 68 euros. There is everything from eggplant salad to wrap, from tandoori to baklava. With the Greek interpretation of course.
Where to Eat the Best Greek Cuisine in Turkey?
Oi Filoi – Bodrum
Oi Filoi, the pop-up restaurant opened at the beginning of this summer by Habitat Bodrum, a multi-purpose event space opened in the shade of a giant oak tree in Koyunbaba Gumusluk in 2022, is one of the best places to bring the cuisine of the opposite side to Turkey. Oi Filoi, which means “Friends” in Greek, appeals to those who are fond of taste with its menu prepared by Volkan Akdamar and Burcu Aykıran’s wine, raki and ouzo selection, while reminding the warm ambiance of Greek taverns with its operators taking special care of each guest and pleasant conversations. The menu is great for seafood lovers. Horiatiki salad, the king of hot appetizers, Saganaki, apart from the classic Souvlaki, Horta Pastry with Subye, Stuffed Calamari and Garida Filia are among the stars of the menu. It is necessary to make a reservation in advance for the venue, which is open five days a week.