What to Know About Dining in Greece
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One of the many highlights of a trip to Greece will be eating some of the delicious food. This is a chance to experience the culture at its finest! Dining out should be viewed as an experience and there are plenty of options for people with varying tastes.
Follow these 5 tips to dine like a local:
You’ll enjoy the Greek dining experience the most if you throw your conventional meal times out the window during your stay. Breakfast isn’t an important meal in Greece and for many people a cup of coffee will suffice. The only Western style breakfast you will find is in tourist areas and in hotels. Lunch is typically the biggest meal of the day and usually doesn’t start until after 2pm. Tavernas are typically open all day but many upscale restaurants open for dinner only. For dinner, restaurants don’t fill up until after 10pm. During the summer, locals don’t eat dinner until the sun goes down allowing them to make the most of their long days.
Seek out tavernas
You’ll want to try your best to avoid the “tourist” restaurants. Traditional tavernas are the most popular dining option for locals. They are casual establishments that are family owned and operated. The food is more likely to be fresh if the menu is small.
In the summer months, dine like a local by avoiding the indoor air conditioning and dining outside. Restaurants set up tables anywhere they can get away with outside of the establishment. To dine alfresco, you must be comfortable with smoke, since smoking in outdoor dining spaces is allowed.
Follow proper etiquette
Where you are dining should determine what you wear. Most tavernas are casual but in cities and upscale areas you should dress up. By Western standards, service may seem slow. Don’t be afraid to gesture to a waiter if you need something. Enjoy drinks with your meal but avoid going over the limit. Public drunkenness is frowned upon. Service charges are included on the bill but it’s acceptable to leave a small tip of 10-15% or round up the bill.
Go off menu
Most restaurants have menus in English and other languages, but some of the smaller establishments might have Greek only menus or the server will just read what is available that day. Sometimes the best options aren’t even listed on the menu, so be sure to ask what the specials are that day.
This post was written by Greek Boston