Chania, Crete is one of the best places in all of Greece for food. Here, you’ll not only find your favorite Greek dishes, but also local Cretan specialties. I just spent a month eating my way through Chania to bring you this list of the best Chania restaurants.
One of my favorite things I discovered about Greek restaurants in general was their willingness to do half portions. Most Chania restaurants serve large plates, so a half salad and a half entree was typically more than enough food!
One of the things you’ll quickly notice on Chania is how late the locals eat. Dinner in Crete usually begins around 9 p.m., but can start much later. It’s not uncommon to finish dinner after midnight. Meals aren’t hurriedly consumed— they’re meant to be lingered over: multiple courses shared with friends and family over carafes of house wine. I love to eat like this!
The 10 Best Chania Restaurants
Akti Papanikoli 1 // +30 2821 076261
In the month I spent in Chania, I ate at Portes more than anywhere else. The menu is full of not only classic Greek and Cretan dishes, but also some interesting twists on those classics. The restaurant has two tiered outdoor seating on top of their indoor restaurant dining area. If you’re in for an early dinner, ask to be seated on the upper tier, where you can catch some some impressive sunset views.
Be sure to try the tomato fritters, stuffed zucchini flowers, grilled octopus and fava—all favorites of mine. And don’t forget to order some house wine to enjoy with your meal. Portes has some of the best house wine of any Chania restaurant I tried.
Also, make sure to ask about any daily specials, especially their fresh fish options. While I never saw it on the menu, if the fish burger is on special, you have to order it. But to be honest—you’re going to love whatever you order.
Zampeliou 57 // +30 2821 088270
Located in the heart of old town Chania, this is one of the first restaurants that I discovered will do half portions. I returned several times to sample more of their menu. The friendly service had a lot to do with my multiple visits, and by my second meal there, the waitress was treating me like a regular. She even remembering what I had previously ordered.
I suggest you try the lamb, as Enetikon is known for their roasted meat dishes. Or, like most of the restaurants on the island, you can’t go wrong ordering seafood dishes, including a dish of Cretan snails in rosemary!
For those less adventurous but still in a seafood mood, look for the steamed mussels.
2, Akti Papanikoli 1 // +30 2821 095772
I’m sure Woodstock also serves some great dinner, but I only ever visited them for breakfast or brunch. Their location has one of the best views of the harbor from seats overlooking the water.
Options include pancakes and waffles that would be hard to resist if you’re looking to have a sweet start to your day. Also, my coffee drinking friend said the cup he had was some of the best coffee in Chania.
If you’re more of a savory person (like me), I recommend the spinach and chicken omelet served with a side of crispy roasted potatoes.
Theotokopoulou 70 // +30 697 879 2721
My apartment was located over Pulse, so I was fortunate enough to try much of their menu. This isn’t your typical, boring vegetarian and vegan food.
The chef owner has put lots of thought into creating interesting (but more importantly, delicious) menu items such as Portobello burgers with sushi rice buns, a mushroom risotto that my friend is still raving about months later, and this carrot lox with homemade cashew cream cheese:
Pulse serves a full menu from lunch until dinner. The restaurant is located just on the edge of the Old Town and has a casual atmosphere. It almost feels like like you’re eating on the patio of a friends house and lends itself to long talks over wine.
Even if you think you’re not a fan of vegan or vegetarian dishes, drop in and give this place a try—I think you’ll be happily surprised.
Vivilaki 35 // +30 2821 051136
This was one of, if not my very favorite, dining experiences on all of Chania. You will definitely need to call ahead for a table, because look at these views:
Several times during my stay, I sat over the water enjoying a slow dinner and watching the sunset while sipping on house wine. I can’t wait to go back.
The menu features a wide range of fresh seafood priced by the kilo or serving. Here, you can find everything from grilled swordfish to fried shark, grilled or fried sardines, octopus and even lobster.
This is a great place for an anniversary or birthday dinner.
Sarpaki 36 // +30 2821 057590
Ginger Concept is open all day, so you have lots of opportunities to sample their incredible menu. You can start your day there with designer toast options, including a Reuben with slices of grilled beef or smoked salmon and avocado toast with horseradish cream cheese.
The menu also features a Croque Madame made with Edam cheese, a Spanish omelette stuffed with chorizo sausage, or their own version of a classic Greek breakfast.
If you prefer a lighter start to the day, you can also order yogurt or acai bowls.
Later in the day you can visit for aperitivo to try their wide range of tapas paired with wine or a cocktail from their impressive list.
If you’re in the mood for a dinner that’s more substantial than tapas, they also offer pizzas, pastas and even beef bourguignon.
Zampeliou 51 // +30 2821 096080
You’ll likely pass Tamam as you’re exploring the streets of Chania’s old town. When you pass, go ahead and pop in to make a reservation, as this place fills up at quickly at night.
The menu at Tamam is inspired by the traditional Greek Sunday dinner, meaning you’ll find traditional, homestyle meals made from top quality local ingredients.
Try the rabbit cooked in sweet wine with rosemary, basmati rice flavored with dried fruits and vegetables, or one of their several perfectly executed seafood dishes.
Their wine list features many Greek wines with a focus on bottles from Crete. Be sure to ask your waiter to recommend a bottle for your dinner.
Milonogianni 120 // +30 2821 059420
Evgonia is located a bit out of the way but is well worth the effort to find. This is a great place for neighborhood dishes with a menu that isn’t extensive but does feature some classic Greek favorites. The portions are large—if you’re dining alone, you definitely do not need a salad, appetizer and a main. I discovered this for myself! Be sure to ask about half portions if you’re a solo diner or your table doesn’t want to split.
I’d also recommend you ask about what’s on special. The staff will happily go over the menu with you and make suggestions. I let the owner basically order for me, and in the end, I enjoyed some of the best roasted octopus I had on the island:
Sarpaki 1 // +30 2821 054547
Their menu describes themselves as “an eclectic mix of Greek, Turkish and Middle Eastern cuisine” and this description is spot on.
Here, you can find slow cooked local lamb with preserved lemons served over couscous, shish kebabs served with an avocado and orange salad, lamb pizzas or this vegetarian moussaka.
Weather permitting, try a seat on the outdoor patio—they’re located in the quieter part of Chania’s old town, and it’s a nice place to sit and enjoy a long dinner.
Daskalogianni 25 // +30 2821 042391
One of my favorite places in town to try authentic, no frills homestyle Greek dishes, this restaurant features a daily changing menu of homemade selections. Kouzina is a great place for lunch or an early dinner. The meals are prepared just as you’d expect a Greek grandmother to.
Ask the server to explain what’s available that day—they’re happy to give you a peek under the lids of pots.
My favorite was a beef chickpea dish in a tomato sauce—be sure to look for it when you visit!
Now that I have your meals covered, check out these suggestions for my favorite bars in Chania:
Gavaladon 41 // +30 2821 052685
This jazz bar located in Old Town serves great drinks and large pours of wine. What else do you need to know? This became my go to place in Chania (and it didn’t hurt that it was located literally right out the front door of my apartment). I love their laid back vibe, great music and interesting cocktails.
Aggelou 16 // +30 2821 071877
Several locals cited this as their favorite bar in town and the place they go to unwind. Another jazz bar, this one also serving great cocktails. You can find Fagotto tucked away behind the Maritime Museum. Fagotto also seems to be one of the bars open latest in town, making for a great stop on the way home for one last drink.
Although I never had the chance to try it, I heard Fagotto also serves a great breakfast as well.