December 13, 2022

Top Restaurant Picks in Heraklion, Crete

The flavors of Crete are the best of Greek cuisine, from feta-laced salads to gyros, with fresh …

By Nardia Plumridge




Lunch at luxury holiday Villa Malia in Heraklion | Photo Source: A.M.A Selections

The flavors of Crete are the best of Greek cuisine, from feta-laced salads to gyros, with fresh seafood, an abundance of seasonal vegetables and, naturally, lamb on the plate. The capital, Heraklion, hosts a number of restaurants creating Cretan tastes – from the classic to contemporary interpretations – for the culinary curious.

Photo Source: Peskesi


Farm-to-table plates in a rustic yet elegant interior in a restored mansion in the heart of Heraklion, Peskesi’s focus is on classic Cretan recipes yet with a sustainable edge using raw ingredients grown on their private 120-acre farm. From Dolmadakia (rice stuffed grape leaves) to homegrown tomato salads or Sfakiano lamb stew, the menu changes with the seasons. While for something sweet, their take on a cheesecake is inspired by ancient Greek recipes and, in summer, topped with sumptuous strawberries.


A rustic restaurant that’s steep in the past – if you’re looking for authenticity in every way, both on the dish and in the décor, Erganos is a must. Think traditional taverna with an al fresco balcony for the summer months with a healthy selection of meat and vegetarian dishes. Order a plate of sarikopites, Cretan fried cheese pasties, then a traditional tsigariastó, a local lamb stew in wine sauce. Local Retsina wine and raki make up much of the drinks list which perfectly matches the food.

Photo Source: Herb’s Garden

Herb’s Garden

For dinner with a view, head to the rooftop of Lato Boutique Hotel with its stunning harbour vista of the Heraklion skyline towards the Koules Fortress. Interiors are modern in design with dishes influenced by Mediterranean and Greek recipes, some with a twist. From the octopus risotto with fennel and ouzo sauce, to the simplicity of grilled fresh fish or sardines with a side of sauteed seasonal xorta greens. Come at sunset to sample the local wine, or a cocktail, before the dishes begin.

KirKor 1922

More café than restaurant, KirKor 1922 is the ideal place for a snack break in-between sight-seeing and cultural adventures in the centre of Heraklion Old Town. Kirkor has been serving bougatsa in Crete for almost a hundred years – hence 1922 in their name – a filo pastry filled with sweet cream or local cheese sprinkled with a generous drizzle of honey. Order a Greek coffee and pastry, and if extra hungry, a serving of Cretan yogurt or ice cream.

Photo Source: Pagopoieîon
Photo Source: Pagopoieîon


A former 1950s ice cream factory has been reworked into a retro yet modern space serving international dishes with a touch of local Crete flavour. Chicken skewers with paprika and yoghurt, salad of sour Myzithra cheese with cherry tomatoes, carob rusks with fresh mint and strawberry vinegar dressing. Or pork steak with a honey and chilli glaze are some current standouts. Pagopoieîon is an all-day affair so early birds come for breakfast to sample the strong Greek coffee and a sweet croissant filled with fresh banana and caramel sauce.

If you see something you like from this list, our A.M.A Selections concierge team can help organise restaurant bookings for lunch or dinner during your Crete holiday booked with us. Check out our portfolio of luxury holiday villas in Crete to find something spectacular for your next trip to Greece.

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Picture of a dining table infront of a river at sunset

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