Old Hersonissos Square, with its cobbled streets and historic charm, is a hidden gem in Crete, offering visitors a chance to experience the authentic flavors of the island. This picturesque square is not just the heart of the village but also a gastronomic haven. Here, traditional Cretan cuisine is celebrated, and every meal becomes a journey through the island’s rich culinary heritage. Join us as we explore some of the best restaurants in Old Hersonissos Square, where delicious food, warm hospitality, and a vibrant atmosphere await.

1. Taverna Harakas

Taverna Harakas is a beloved institution in Old Hersonissos Square, known for its traditional Cretan dishes and friendly atmosphere. The stone-walled interior and outdoor seating create a cozy and inviting ambiance. Signature dishes include the lamb kleftiko, slow-cooked in a clay pot, and the fresh seafood platter, featuring the catch of the day. Don’t miss the homemade moussaka, a rich, layered dish of eggplant, minced meat, and béchamel sauce, baked to perfection.

2. Kritiki Spiti

A visit to Kritiki Spiti, or “Cretan House,” offers an immersive experience in Cretan culture and cuisine. This family-run taverna prides itself on using locally sourced ingredients to create traditional dishes bursting with flavor. Try the dakos, a Cretan salad with barley rusks topped with fresh tomatoes, feta cheese, and olive oil. The rabbit stifado, a slow-cooked stew with onions and red wine, is another must-try. The warm hospitality and rustic decor make dining here a memorable experience.

3. Taverna Avli

True to its name, Taverna Avli boasts a charming courtyard setting that’s perfect for a relaxed meal under the stars. The menu at Avli is a delightful blend of traditional and contemporary Cretan dishes. Highlights include the grilled octopus, tender and flavorful, and the vegetarian gemista, bell peppers and tomatoes stuffed with rice and herbs. The dessert menu is equally tempting, with offerings like baklava and Cretan yogurt with honey and walnuts.

4. Mezes by Alex & Christine

For those who enjoy sharing a variety of small dishes, Mezes by Alex & Christine is the ideal spot. Specializing in meze, this restaurant offers a wide selection of small plates perfect for sharing. The spicy feta dip (tirokafteri), grilled halloumi cheese, and lamb chops are popular choices. The outdoor seating area provides a picturesque view of the square, making it a great place to enjoy a leisurely meal with friends or family.

5. Zachos Taverna

Zachos Taverna is known for its generous portions and hearty, home-cooked meals. The rustic decor and friendly service create a welcoming atmosphere that feels like dining at a local’s home. The menu features classic Cretan dishes such as kreatopita (meat pie) and kalitsounia (cheese pies). The grilled meats, especially the souvlaki and lamb chops, are cooked to perfection and served with fresh, local produce.

6. Taverna Stou Mike

A newer addition to Old Hersonissos Square, Taverna Stou Mike has quickly become a favorite among locals and tourists alike. The menu offers a mix of traditional Cretan dishes and modern Mediterranean cuisine. Try the fennel-crusted sea bass or the herb-crusted lamb rack for a gourmet twist on classic flavors. The wine list features some of the best wines from Crete and Greece, making it a perfect spot for a special evening out.

Old Hersonissos Square is a culinary treasure trove, offering a diverse array of dining experiences that cater to every palate. Whether you’re a fan of traditional Cretan fare or looking to explore contemporary twists on classic dishes, the restaurants in this charming square will not disappoint. So, take a seat at one of these delightful tavernas, savor the rich flavors of Crete, and enjoy the warm hospitality that makes dining in Old Hersonissos Square a truly unforgettable experience. Bon appétit!

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