Part of the joy of visiting a new country is sampling the local cuisine. Take Greece, for example. You might not have tried Greek food before, but you’re sure to make some firm new culinary favourites when you do. When you’ve only got a limited amount of time on a tour of Greece, it can be difficult to know where to start – so we’ve put together some suggestions below. If you have any recommendations of your own, please let us know by leaving a comment!

 Moussaka

Moussaka is a bit like lasagna, but with slices of aubergine/eggplant instead of pasta separating rich layers of white sauce, minced meat and tomatoes. Precede it with a classic Greek salad, known as Horiatiki in Greece – a delicious and healthy combination of cucumber, red onions, olives, and that great staple of the Greek diet, feta cheese.

Yemista

Yemista means baked vegetables stuffed with either minced meat or a rice and herb filling. The most common are peppers and tomatoes, but other vegetables can be used too. Ideal for meat lovers and vegetarians alike, this tasty dish is healthy Greek cooking at its best.

Souvlaki

Sometimes called ‘Greek fast food’, but in fact far healthier than this nickname would suggest, souvlaki is the name given to meat skewered on kebabs. Pork is traditionally used, but there are numerous other variations, including lamb, chicken and even swordfish. There’s also a vegetarian version which uses vegetable chunks instead of meat. Try it with tsatsiki (pronounced ‘sat-SEE-kee’), a delicious yogurt dip.

Calamari

While seafood isn’t for everyone, there are few things more evocative of the Greek island experience than calamari, otherwise known as fried squid. Freshly caught squid enjoyed at a beachside restaurant is a classically Greek experience, and tastes particularly satisfying when partnered with a chilled glass of locally produced white wine.

Baklava

For the perfect end to any meal in Greece, baklava is a must. Sweet layers of pastry, honey or syrup and chopped nuts combine to produce a delicious treat which also makes a great gift to take back to your family and friends.

While you might not have time to sample every exotic dish whilst on European tours, if you’re in Greece you must try to fit these five in. It’s essential for that authentic Greek experience!

Written by Kat Kraetzer, a passionate traveller and experienced travel writer.