Best Restaurants in Heraklion: Exploring the Best Restaurants in Heraklion in the Heart of Crete
Heraklion, the vibrant capital city of Crete, is not only renowned for its rich history and stunning landscapes but also for its culinary delights. The city boasts a diverse and dynamic food scene, with best restaurants in Heraklion that serve a wide range of traditional Cretan dishes, as well as international cuisine. In this extensive guide, we’ll explore some of the best restaurants in Heraklion, each offering a unique gastronomic experience that showcases the island’s rich culinary heritage.
1. Peskesi – The Traditional Oasis
Address: Vernardou 6, Heraklion 712 02, Greece
Phone: +30 281 028 4404
Peskesi is a culinary gem that brings Cretan tradition to life. The restaurant is nestled in the heart of Heraklion, providing a tranquil and inviting atmosphere for guests to savor authentic Cretan dishes. What sets Peskesi apart is its commitment to using local, organic ingredients and preserving the culinary heritage of Crete.
The menu features a variety of dishes, from freshly baked bread and olive oil to hearty stews and succulent grilled meats. The restaurant’s attention to detail and dedication to preserving traditional Cretan recipes make it a must-visit for those seeking an authentic culinary experience.
2. Κουκουβάγια (Koukoubagia) – The Hidden Gem
Address: A.Papandreou 49, Heraklion 712 02, Greece
Phone: +30 281 024 9884
Koukoubagia is a hidden gem in Heraklion, known for its warm and welcoming ambiance. Located a short walk from the city center, this restaurant offers a blend of traditional Cretan flavors and contemporary twists on classic dishes. The menu is a culinary journey through the island’s rich gastronomic heritage.
The restaurant’s commitment to sourcing local and seasonal ingredients is evident in each dish, from fresh seafood to locally grown vegetables. It’s the perfect place to savor the flavors of Crete while enjoying a relaxing and inviting setting.
3. Λουκουμαδες (Loukoumades) – The Sweet Indulgence
Address: 1821 Square, Heraklion 712 01, Greece
Phone: +30 281 022 1795
For those with a sweet tooth, Loukoumades is a paradise of indulgence. This charming dessert spot specializes in loukoumades, traditional Greek donuts that are crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. The menu offers a wide range of toppings, from honey and cinnamon to chocolate and fruit.
Loukoumades is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike. Whether you’re in the mood for a sweet treat after a day of exploring Heraklion or want to satisfy your dessert cravings, this is the place to be.
4. Σμυρνειο (Smyrneio) – The Seafood Haven
Address: Agiou Dimitriou 21, Heraklion 712 02, Greece
Phone: +30 281 028 4146
Smyrneio is a seafood lover’s paradise located in the heart of Heraklion. This charming restaurant offers an extensive menu of fresh seafood, including a variety of fish, shellfish, and other maritime delights. The skilled chefs at Smyrneio prepare each dish with precision and a deep appreciation for the flavors of the sea.
The restaurant’s cozy and intimate atmosphere makes it an excellent choice for a romantic dinner or a special celebration. With a focus on quality and freshness, Smyrneio is the go-to spot for those seeking the best seafood in Heraklion.
5. Ouzeri tou Lykourgou – The Timeless Classic
Address: Androgeo 6, Heraklion 712 02, Greece
Phone: +30 281 028 0715
Website: Ouzeri tou Lykourgou
Ouzeri tou Lykourgou is a Heraklion classic that has been serving traditional Cretan cuisine for decades. The restaurant’s warm and friendly ambiance, along with its extensive menu of Cretan meze, or small plates, make it a beloved spot for locals and visitors.
The meze at Ouzeri tou Lykourgou features a wide variety of dishes, from dakos, a traditional Cretan salad, to grilled octopus and lamb in tomato sauce. The restaurant’s commitment to using high-quality, locally sourced ingredients ensures an authentic and delightful dining experience.
6. Kastella – The Seafront Dining
Address: Sofokli Venizelou 30, Heraklion 712 02, Greece
Phone: +30 281 032 8850
Kastella is a seafront restaurant in Heraklion that offers not only delicious cuisine but also breathtaking views of the Mediterranean. With a menu that highlights fresh seafood and Cretan specialties, Kastella is the ideal place for a romantic dinner or a leisurely meal by the sea.
The restaurant’s menu features a range of seafood dishes, from grilled fish to seafood pasta, along with traditional Cretan options. With the gentle sound of waves in the background, Kastella provides a tranquil and picturesque dining experience.
7. Vrakas – The Gourmet Adventure
Address: Nearchou 6, Heraklion 712 02, Greece
Phone: +30 281 032 3631
Vrakas is a restaurant in Heraklion that takes Greek cuisine to a gourmet level. With a focus on creative and innovative dishes, Vrakas offers a modern interpretation of traditional Greek and Cretan recipes. The restaurant’s contemporary interior creates an elegant and sophisticated dining environment.
The menu at Vrakas includes a variety of dishes prepared with artistic flair, such as grilled octopus with balsamic reduction and lamb roulade with truffle risotto. This restaurant is a perfect choice for those seeking a unique and high-end dining experience in Heraklion.
8. Parasties – The Cretan Culinary Experience
Address: Panourgias 4, Heraklion 712 02, Greece
Phone: +30 281 028 5859
Parasties is a restaurant that takes guests on a culinary journey through the flavors of Crete. Located in the historic center of Heraklion, this dining establishment offers a cozy and inviting atmosphere, reminiscent of a traditional Cretan village.
The restaurant’s menu features a wide range of Cretan dishes, from Cretan salad and dakos to grilled meats and savory pies. Parasties’ commitment to using local ingredients and traditional recipes ensures an authentic and memorable dining experience.
9. Elia & Diosmos – The Farm-to-Table Experience
Address: A. Papandreou 3, Heraklion 713 07, Greece
Phone: +30 281 400 2199
Website: Elia & Diosmos
Elia & Diosmos is a farm-to-table restaurant in Heraklion that focuses on using fresh, locally sourced ingredients to create delightful dishes. The restaurant’s commitment to sustainability and ethical sourcing is reflected in its menu, which offers a range of Cretan and Mediterranean specialties.
The restaurant features dishes like roasted lamb with Cretan herbs and fresh seafood platters. With a charming and rustic interior, Elia & Diosmos provides a cozy and welcoming atmosphere for diners seeking a farm-fresh dining experience.
10. To Kanoni – The Old-World Charm
Address: Daskalogianni 22, Heraklion 712 02, Greece
Phone: +30 281 024 4421
Website: To Kanoni
To Kanoni is a traditional Greek taverna that exudes old-world charm and hospitality. Located in the heart of Heraklion, this restaurant offers a warm and inviting atmosphere, complete with cozy seating and friendly service.
The menu at To Kanoni features a variety of Greek and Cretan dishes, from moussaka to grilled souvlaki. The restaurant’s commitment to using high-quality ingredients ensures that each dish is a delicious and authentic representation of Greek cuisine.
Heraklion, the bustling capital of Crete, offers a plethora of dining options that cater to a wide range of culinary preferences. From traditional Cretan tavernas serving authentic local dishes to gourmet restaurants that provide modern interpretations of Greek cuisine, the city has something for every palate.
Whether you’re seeking a romantic seafront dining experience or a cozy, traditional taverna meal, Heraklion’s best restaurants offer an opportunity to savor the rich and diverse flavors of Crete. These culinary establishments not only provide a taste of the island’s gastronomic heritage but also create memorable dining experiences that complement the city’s vibrant culture and history. So, the next time you find yourself in Heraklion, be sure to explore these gastronomic treasures and embark on a delectable journey through the heart of Crete. Yes the above mentioned are the best restaurants in Heraklion.