How to order food in Greece!

How to Order Out Like a Local

how to order food in greece

I know what you’re thinking: Does this girl think we’ve never been out to eat before?

The answer is no, I definitely don’t think that. However, from my experience, I know that tourists seem to make the same common mistakes when ordering at a traditional Greek taverna.

I have worked for a sailing charter company in Greece for four years. Our job is to sail guests around the Greek islands. We often recommend restaurants and gather feedback from our clients after their dinners, and I cannot tell you how many times I have heard “we over ordered” or “the portions are so large here”.  

For example, a group of six will order three Greek salads, three or four appetizers, and a main dish each. This sounds reasonable, but trust me, it’s not. In Greece this is an overwhelming amount of food for six people to share. So, here are some of my tips for getting the portions right!

Take Your Time

how to order food in greece

Service at a taverna in Greece is typically efficient. You will receive your drinks and food fairly fast after ordering, and you are never rushed to order, eat and leave (like in some countries). So, take your time. Order intuitively.

Start off with some appetizers. A Greek salad is always nice to pass around the table along with some fava. Try some items on the menu you have never heard of or tasted before. Like I mentioned earlier, the apps should arrive quickly, so you can start eating while you continue to check out the menu.

Maybe you really loved one of the appetizers and it was devoured in seconds…order another one. Start off small and you can always add without being a bother or having to wait a long time for your food to arrive.

See how you feel after the appetizers. Are you all stuffed and satisfied? Are you all still hungry but not hungry enough for an entire main dish each? No problem. Take your time to look over the main dishes, keeping in mind that the portions are massive, and proceed from there.

At this point, you could order a fish for the table to share or a couple main dishes to split. Don’t worry about time, understand the portions, and enjoy your meal!


If you are of drinking age, at least by Greek standards, and are looking forward to having some local wine with dinner, avoid ordering by the glass or by the bottle. Ask your waiter for a half kilo, kilo, or multiple kilos (I’m not judging) of the house wine.

The house wine is always the local wine of the area brought to you in a glass or tin pouring container. The price for this option is always right.

And just like that you are dining and drinking like a local.

how to order food in greece


I hope you have room for dessert! Most tavernas will bring each person at your table a small dessert on the house. Sometimes they’ll ask if you want it, but most of the time they’ll just bring it to you.

The ‘‘on the house’’ desserts could be some of the following: watermelon, yogurt, ice-cream, halva, sponge cake and more.

In Conlusion

Eating out at a traditional Greek taverna is an immersive experience. Don’t rush to order and never feel like you are taking too long or being an inconvenience. Ask questions. Enjoy your company. Sit and chat while tasting a bit of everything Greece has to offer.

Now you can eat, drink and enjoy your time at the taverna like a local.

Have a wonderful vacation!

how to order food in greece

How to Order Food in Greece