Culinary Delicacies Discovered on Greek Ferries

Island Eats Culinary Delicacies Discovered on Greek Ferries

Great island meals happen everywhere, from humble beach shacks to four-star restaurants with ocean views. But they all have one thing in common: great seafood.

Since in-person dining was temporarily halted during the pandemic, many local eateries have become more reliant on takeout orders. That’s a good thing for those who crave Staten Island pizza with garlicky white clam pie recipes passed down through generations.


Known the world over for their healthy, delicious cuisine Greek dishes are often incredibly simple and can be made with ingredients found year round. One of the best examples is Dakos a traditional dish that is a combination of a big rusk and tomatoes with either feta or mizithra.

The story behind this popular meze dates back to the era when hard, dry barley rusks were staple foods for sailors and farmers due to their long shelf life. When the locals started moistening these rusks and topping them with fresh ingredients this led to the creation of this tasty, traditional dish.

To make a perfect Dakos you should use very juicy and flavourful tomatoes to really bring the dish alive and add a good sprinkling of either feta or a nice sharp crumbled Mizithra. Then finish off with some chopped chives, capers and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil for a super tasty meal!

You can try this scrumptious island treat when you visit Crete where it is particularly well loved. We recommend eating it at the taverna called Seli Ambelou overlooking the Lasithi Plateau in central Crete. Enjoy it with a glass of their local wine and you will have the perfect lunch to top off your day of snorkelling and boating in their crystalline blue waters!


Koulouria is a sweet and crumbly Greek pastry made with phyllo dough, chopped nuts (usually walnuts or pistachios) and a rich syrup of honey and lemon with a touch of cinnamon. It’s a popular treat during the summer months in Greece. The best places to enjoy this dessert include a beachfront taverna, on the island of Santorini. Tomatokeftedes is another popular dish that you can try on this island.

Astonishing locations and stunning views are a given on these islands but good chefs also use the very best island ingredients to their advantage. On Kythira, chef Michalis Troulakis poaches a whole sea bass, lavraki, in seawater with locally grown deep-gold potatoes and grilled cuttlefish, soupies, in herby sauce; and on the remote beach of Perivolos, cook Platon Mavranetopoulos serves squid with fava bean salad, koulouria and skordalia.

Back in Ermoupoli, head to the local produce market – or taverna if you prefer – in Potamos on Sunday morning for honeys and cheeses drizzled with lavender; herbal yoghurt; and cured meats and fish from the small boats moored off the coast. A browse through the ‘sugar shop’, zacharoplastio, offers a world of delectable delights: baklava, with layers of crisp phyllo dough, ground nuts and lots of honey or sugar syrup; galakttobouriko, a cheese pie layered with whipped cream; kataifi, with shredded wheat and a Nabisco-Shredded Wheat appearance; and gummy ’Turkish delight’ loukoumia from Syros.


Xinomyzithra, also known as Mizithra or Xyno, is a sour variant of the more familiar cheeses of Greece, made from the whey left behind after the production of other hard and soft cheeses. It is traditionally made on the island of Crete, where it has been produced since the 17th century. It is a snow-white cheese with a creamy to granular texture and a sour, slightly acidic taste. Unlike the popular Graviera and Kefalotyri Kritis, which are derived from cow’s milk, Xinomyzithra is made only with ewes’ or goats’ milk.

The island of Sifnos, on the other hand, is home to a cheese known as manoura (Greek: ) that is similar to xinomyzithra, although it does not use whey but full milk from cows, goats or sheep’s (or mixtures of these). Manoura is a DOC-protected cheese that is produced on the island and is a staple in every household in Sifnos.

Sifnos is also famous for its desserts, which are infused with local honey. These include the fried spiral pastry known as xerotigana and pastelaries (dried figs with almonds and sesame seeds). On the larger island of Corfu, you should sample pastisada, a rich stew of veal, beef or poultry served with boiled potatoes, while on the smaller islands of Zakynthos and Livadi, try tyropita, a puff pastry pie stuffed with feta and various other types of cheese.


Under the umbrella of the Mediterranean diet, Greece’s islands each boast a wide range of healthful and delicious produce. But each island’s distinct terrain, climate and people shape the unique flavors found on the plate. From olives and cheese to cured meats and honey, each island has something to offer for foodies with big appetites and a penchant for exploring local dishes and flavors.

Naxos is a water-rich island that produces abundant fruits, vegetables and livestock. Seafood is an essential part of the diet here, and restaurants serve everything from grilled fish and flaked cod to kokoretsi (grilled goat or lamb intestines) and fennel pie. In addition, there are a number of traditional meat taverns serving recipes like louza (pork seasoned with pepper, clove and cinnamon).

For sweet treats, try xerotigana (fried spiral pastries), pastelaries (dried figs with almonds and sesame seeds) or the honey-glazed baked goat and octopus dish called atherinopita. The island is also known for its Naxian potatoes and Naxian wine.

Interested in trying these culinary treasures for yourself? You can find an array of gastronomy experiences and tasting tours at Collective Retreats. Whether you’re looking to expand a Governors Island day trip into an overnight outdoor getaway, or a short weekend escape on the island of Staten Island, you can find the perfect fit for your preferences and budget.