Chania Crete Greece: Mouth watering authentic food combined with rustic beach spots and hidden romantic streets in the old city, experience it all and fall in love with this island.
The history of the old city Chania can still be seen today if one looks closely. From the old mosque near the central harbour to the Venetian architectural style, Chania therefore is a romantic city to stroll through at any time of the day.
Surrounding the city are immense huge old fortification walls once functionally used by the Venetians to defend the city and that can now be seen as decorative masterpieces which support huge cactuses.
Chania’s focus point is the sea/harbour thus find many small fisher boats proudly arriving back at the end of the day with their catch.
The amazing tips below are for the adventurous type visiting Chania Crete, as some of the locations are scattered around the North/West side of the island but I guarantee you they are worth every drop of gasoline and sweat to get there.
A tip while visiting Crete and for that matter visiting Greece, is that the way to eat Greek food is really to share small dishes with each other and not order individual meals per person.
That’s why I recommend you to always start off your food frenzy with a few classic all time favourites: tzatziki, fava beans, fried zucchini, fried small fish, dolmas, greek salad and dakos!
Must Eat 1
Don Rossario: Legend has it that the owner fled his country Sicily because of some kind of link with the famous Italian familie gang: the Mafia. However I really don’t care who, what, where and why because once you’ve had a bite of Don’s pasta you never want to leave his restaurant.
All pasta’s are served at your table in the iron cooking pan they where whipped up in which gives a real rustic feel to the festivities. I’ve had my fair share of pasta’s while traveling in Milan, Rome and Florence yet this guy really knows what he’s doing. He used to be located on a very romantic spot with dozens of flowers huddled across the terras however not easily reachable as it was tucked far away somewhere.
Thus now he can be easily reached from the highway between Chania and Kalyves. Golden tip: the buffalo mozzarella caprese (it was so yummy that it was already eaten before I could take a picture) and try his classic pasta pesto & carbonara.
Must Eat 2
Sunset Taverna Stavros: Mouth watering food and located on a turquoise beach, George Clooney would say “What Else”? Grab the car and navi cause this place is an amazing hidden gem that really is a must to visit. Located on the outer part of Crete you really have the idea that you’re driving to the middle of nowhere…until you spot this heavenly place on earth.
The kitchen is a blend of Greek, French and Arabic cuisine. A simple caravan is used as a kitchen to cook in while you waited on the beach with your feet in the fluffy sand overlooking the tropical sea. Everything on the menu is great: Tsatsiki, Marinated Aubergine, Dakos, Avocado salad and even their bbq’ed bread is great!
Must Eat 3
Gavalianos Kafenes a.k.a. Monica’s Taverna: This amazing hidden gem is found in a romantic rustic village called Gavalochori. This truly authentic Greek village has only a small city square that holds room for a typical Creten bar, where all the local men meet up to peel some peanuts and drink raki while discussing life’s purpose (no women to be found here), and to Monica’s Taverna. True authentic Greek food is prepared here and is meant to share with the entire table like real Greek’s do. Order a variety of dishes and have them all brought out to the table at the same time to eat and enjoy with each other.
This really is the greek way to do it. Tip: if it’s high season try making a reservation before hand of making sure you’re on time as this gem isn’t hidden anymore for the real food buffs.
Agora Marketplace: In the city center of Chania, stroll through the covered marketplace to cool down and buy some souvenirs for back home. Aside of the cliché keychains and fridge magnets you can also buy some killer goats cheese and get yourself some fresh olives.
Must See 1
Stavros Beach next to Sunset Taverna Stavros: Not only an amazing lunch spot but this beach has beautiful turquoise waters stretching along the coast. On the right you’ll find a beautiful elevated plain made by huge bouldering rocks. A very quiet and peaceful beach with beds that you can rent from Sunset Taverna Stavros. The plus side is also you’ll be guaranteed a delicious lunch as Sunset Taverna is found here. FYI: unfortunately the day that we went it was a bit cloudy so the water isn’t as beautiful as it could be.
Must See 2
Almyrida Beach: Looking for a beach that locals go to in the summer and that’s kid friendly? This is the spot for you! The beach is filled with Greek vacationers from the mainland enjoying the summer breeze and also a French/Scandinavian tourists that head on over to the sailing school here. Rent a kayak and start paddling to the small island located a bit off shore or bathe in the sun on one of the beach beds found here. The water is extremely shallow and therefore great for kids as they can easily sit on the shore and not get entirely swept away and if they decide to walk further you’ll have enough time to react as it’s almost 1 km shallow waters. The beach is surrounded by great lunch Taverna’s (such as Makis) so you can really stay here the whole day.
Must Drink 1
EscoBAR: A lively coffee bar that’s located smack in middle of the new part of Chania. This place is bustling with young people ready to get perked up with their daily dosage of caffeine.
Found on the corner this energetic place also get’s it cool due to the twisting wind that softly blows through the joint. Perfect place for a cold frappe on a warm day in the city.
Must Drink 2
RIDE Cycle Culture Cafe: Stumble upon this hipster happening while strolling through the romantic streets near the old port of Chania. Grab a cold beer and chill out on their comfy leather couch. The interior is stylish with of course a trendy bike casually hanging on the wall to inspire our bicycle souls to get active. However the relaxed atmosphere of this place will keep your butt in place. Far away from the touristic hassle this is a great place to refresh while wandering the old streets of Chania.
Must Drink 3
Cafe Potamos: In the small village Kalyves found near the beach you’ll be surprised to find a small cozy taverna next to a river filled with beautiful geese. This is a great stop to get a frappe or fresh orange juice while walking through this cute place.
The settings is idyllic and the fresh mountain water river filled with the majestic birds next to you are a sight to see.
Greek Hospitality: The Cretans are the Friendliest and welcoming people you’ll find in Europe. From super touristic hotspots to super hidden taverna’s that never see a tourist, it doesn’t matter because you’re always warmly welcomed and treated as a friend. One way that this hospitality is clearly shown is by the dessert and raki treat that you’ll get for free after a meal. Either a piece of sweet home made cake or the classic yoghurt with fruit and honey is subtly combined with an awakening shot of raki. The Greek word for cheers (spelled phonetically): Stini yamas!
That’s all folks.
For more travel tips about places I’ve visited, check my other posts such as: New York, India, Thailand or Indonesia.
Want to ask me something? Feel free to leave a comment below!
Like me on Facebook & follow me on Instagram to get even more tips and on the spot highlights.