Chania has for a long time been one of my favorite places on this earth. Yes, I didn’t write Chania city. Because Chania is both a city, but also a region. It’s the western region of Greece’s largest island, Crete. And the main-city of the Chania-region is called Chania.
The city of Chania has for many years been known for the historical center. It’s such a magical place to take a stroll and has so many interesting spots to visit. But that’s not what it’s about today.
Today I’ll give you some tips on the best restaurants in the Chania-region. Not only the city. I’ll not mention them in any specific order. Because that would simply not be fair. And just because I might not mention your favorite-restaurant doesn’t mean that it’s not good. But there are just so many restaurants to choose from.
In general the Cretan kitchen has a lot to offer. It’s based on olive oil, fruit, , wild herbs and vegetables combined with goat’s milk, fish and different, but limited, kinds of meat.
A lot of restaurants promotes themselves as local, but you can always check if that is really the case. A local, traditional, Cretan restaurant will always have snails on the menu. I’m not really a snail-eater. But try and look at the menu the next time you’re in Crete. I like Cretan food, but the restaurants I’ll mention, will not only be Cretan. Because when I go out to eat I like to try different things.
Elaias Thea This is a really special place. Everything is homecooked and they only use local ingredients in their dishes. Even their drinks are local. For instance the local Crete-cola. On the menu you’ll find both meat-dishes, but also som lovely choices for vegetarians or even vegans. And of course here you’ll find snails on the menu. The restaurant is located on the mainroad when you travel towards Paleochora in the south of the island. You can easily find it on Google maps.
Haroupia Taverna Haroupia means carrobtree. And in the upper part of Platanias towards the old village you can not miss this huge tree litterally in the middle of the road. This is also where you’ll find Haroupia Taverna. Haroupia is really a hidden gem. Although very visible. But most people don’t notice it on their way up the road. And what a shame! The place has spectacular views over the coast of Platanias. Here you can enjoy the beautiful sunset away from the noisy mainroad of Platanias. Which is still only 5 minutes away. On the menu you’ll find the most wonderful Cretan and Greek dishes. They also have a special children’s menu. Even though I do believe that the Greek (and also Cretan) kitchen is very childfriendly. My favorite thing to eat here is the yummy Giouvetsi. Giouvetsi has for many years been a favorite of mine. But I do sometimes get dissapointed when I try it in different restaurants. But not here! Gouvetsi is a meatdish and I am actually not such a big fan of eating meat. But it’s just too delicious. I’ll tell you more about the Greek food another day. Not now, I’ll just start to drool. Haroupia can also easily be found on Google maps. But you actually don’t need it. Just remember to look when you see the big tree!
Lottos Restaurant is the perfect place to go with the whole family. It’s both international and local dishes. They even have glutenfree pizzas. And you can also choose from vegan options. The pasta is great. But I must admit that their salads are amazing. Yes, I am really a salad-person. And in Lottos they have the famous Cesar salads and Chefs salads plus a lot of other choices. But if you want to do a more local salad, there’s not only a Greek Salad. You can simply choose a Cretan Salad. It resembles the Greek Salad, but it’s not. It’s different from region to region and even from restaurant to restaurant what the ingredients are. But in Lottos it has tomatoes, cucumber, peppers, onions, olives, potatoes, dakos and then instead of feta it has the very delicious Mizithra cheese. The portions are extremely big here, so often I have even just shared a salad and one other dish with a friend. But let’s not forget the dessert menu. It really is a treat! So maybe that’s also why you shouldn’t fill up completely. You need to leave room for dessert. Lottos is right on the mainstreet of Agia Marina (next to the trafficlights and the petrol station) and the restarurant is always full in the evening. But it’s also a nice place for lunch. There’s a playground and the beach is just on the other side of the street.
Romeos Family Taverna is as the name indicates a taverna for the whole family. And it’s run by a really nice local family. Here you’ll always feel welcome. The restaurant is in Agia Marina, not far from Platanias. It’s on a small road, but ask around and you’ll find it easy. Or use google maps. It’s not the biggest menu to choose from, but everything is good. From their tzatiki to their kalamari. Different pastadishes and also the more traditionel choices as mousaka, pastitsio or bekri meze. Everything is good.
Dimitris & Sakis This is a very popular restaurant for the Scandinavian tourists. They have a really nice playground, so it’s also very popular for the families 🙂 But the restaurant has a lot to offer. Large menu with many dishes you don’t find in all restaurants. But also the more traditional choices as souvlaki or moussaka. A really great thing they have on the menu is their mezes for two (or more) persons. This is a great choice. Also to try new things. In high season this restaurant is always full, so it’s a good idea to make a reservation.
Zepos One of the best choices in the old harbour of Chania. The front of the harbour is full of restaurants and it can be difficult to choose the right one. But if you go to Zepos, you’ll have a great meal and great service. The menu has many choices wether you like pastas, pizzas, vegetarian, steak or traditional dishes. They even make very good cocktails. And you haven’t really been to Chania without a visit to the old harbour.
The Well of the Turk is located in the old town and has been one of my favorites for years. It can be a bit difficult to find, despite many signs leading you the right way. But with Google maps you’ll find it in no time. The building which houses the restaurant is an old turkish mansion from the Ottoman period. Therefor the name. The kitchen is fusion between Greek, Turkish, Lebaneese and Maroccan food. Very delicious. The menu is small, but everything is a good. When friends come to visit in the summer time, this is a sure place to bring them.