One of the greatest pleasures of holidaying in Crete is its gastronomy – a prime blend of delectability and goodness responsible for the locals’ longevity; based on the fruits of the land and the sea, and drawing on an ancient tradition that dates back to Minoan times. But it is not only quaint, old-school cafes and tavernas out there. With a new wave of forward-thinking eateries, food in Chania is in the spotlight now more than ever. The emphasis still lies on premium – and whenever possible (or befitting), locally sourced raw ingredients – but advanced techniques, fresh presentation and a surge of culinary genius have been steadfastly upping the ante in recent years.
Whether in popular Instagram-worthy spots or in off-the-beaten-track locations, Chania’s top-tier restaurants play an essential role in elevating the city’s status to one of the most iconic Mediterranean foodie destinations. If palatable delights are high on your agenda too, read on for our handpicked suggestions about where to eat the best food in Chania – but also where to sample some first-rate wine and raki.
Food in Chania: Sizzling hot latest entries
Matzenta Kuzina Del Sol, Koumbe, Chania
Chaniot Dimitris Malandrenis went to Mexico to study the authentic culinary heritage of the moles and the adobos – and then returned to his beloved hometown to delight foodie locals and visitors with his characterful multicultural creations. Crafting an off-the-beaten-path gastronomic bridge between Crete and Mexico, his inspired flavours showcase shared culinary memories, traditions and raw materials, you might never know they existed– were you for example aware that tomatoes first originated in Mexico and are frequently combined with oregano, which is one of the most popular ingredients in the Mexican cuisine, as well?
Senal, Katehaki square, Chania
Enviably positioned on the photogenic Katehaki square, Senal is your go-to place for coffee, cocktails and multiculti meals with pizzaz – tacos, chimichangas, burgers, risotti, spaghetti and creative brunch options. The location is sea-gazing and gorgeous, and it’s where you’ll enjoy some of the best comfort food in Chania, along with fine local wines and inspired concoctions. This is also one of the city’s best seeing and being seen spots.
Philocaly, Old port, Chania
The team of the legendary Pallas is introducing a novel concept which has just elevated breakfast and brunch in Chania to a whole new level. Located in a gorgeous neoclassical mansion that overlooks the Egyptian Lighthouse, Pallas Philocaly is a deli, bakery and liquor store, rolled in one. Take your pick between a considerable selection of sweet and savoury options, fine Greek and international wines, Cretan cheeses and charcuterie and artisanal products from all over the world. There is also an open grill which serves premium meat cuts made to order. Talking about one-stop-fix.
Food in Chania: All-time heros
Salis, Old port, Chania
Boasting a prime waterfront location in the scenic port of Chania, Salis offers in-vogue wining and dining with the boats’ gentle lap in the background. The food is classic Greek and Mediterranean fare with a modern twist and presentation. Everything is prepared with fresh, locally sourced ingredients – most actually coming from the owners’ homegrown organic produce – and is absolutely mouthwatering. Their wine collection is pretty impressive too – featuring rare local gems and some of the planet’s finest labels.
Oinoa, Old town, Chania
The restaurant’s postcard-pretty setting and gorgeous sunset views are luring enough, yet the fairytale-like Oinoa also serves some of the best food in Chania. Dishes here are rooted locally and cooked imaginatively – and the wine list is well-thought-out, with some very interesting and out-of-the-ordinary options. The service and ambience are wonderfully friendly – making you feel always at ease. Take it all in from your table on a quaint pedestrianised street in Chania’s old town or on a terrace that overlooks the Venetian fortress.
Argentina, Kolymbari, Chania
Despite its exotic evocations, Argentina has nothing to do with the Latin American country or its cuisine – and though it is multi-awarded, it is also not solely targeted at gourmands. Of course, the latter will be super-pleased with the imaginative Chef’s creations, but this classic seafood restaurant – which dates back to some 30 years ago – serves all-time favourites, like calamari and fried shrimps in their best possible version, thanks to the fresh raw materials and the cook’s considerable skill.