The intimate resort of Maleme is only home to a handful of restaurants, but each of them knows how to do Greek food just right, with succulent lamb and fresh salads steeped in local flavours. And what's more is that many of the restaurants are located right along the beach, just a stone's throw from the water, so you'll enjoy a dose of sea breeze as you wash down a glass of Cretan raki.
The Wave will give you a little taste of Grecian paradise, both in cuisine and scenery. The seating choices here include outdoor tables in the shade, plus swings and plush beds overlooking the beach. You can simply enjoy a cocktail or dive head on into the Greek fare, with tzatziki and lamb kleftiko, plus crowd favourites like fillet steak and pizza.
Mike's Restaurant is aptly attached to Mike's Hotel, and the two enjoy magnificent waterfront views. Many of the vegetables you'll find in your dishes here have been handpicked from the restaurant's garden. The menu features a mixture of European food with Greek hints, plus versatile eats like pizza, chicken nuggets and omelettes.
The interior of this restaurant gives off cave vibes, complete with a skeleton-laden bar that occasionally features live music. The Black Lantern brings a nice array of English food to Maleme, with mains like roast beef and back-home beers, plus Greek treats like rabbit stifado and chicken gyros.
The Maleme Beach Taverna is a big hit with little travellers, as it features a playplace with bouncy castles and play equipment. For adults, there's a dining area right along the beach. Here, like other tavernas in the area, you can expect Greek dishes like moussaka and souvlaki, plus complimentary raki and a plate of fresh fruit.
Although Maleme calls for a slower style of living, if you do find yourself in a hurry, this eatery is great for quick dining. They specialise in burgers and chips, plus gyros stuffed in pitta bread and kebabs. They also feature a comfort food dish called 'special chips', which are chips topped with cheese and bacon.
The Albatross Restaurant is attached to the Albatross Hotel, which is completely family-run. The food here is cooked by the family matriarch, so the dishes contain distinctly homemade tastes and spices. The restaurant might look quiet at first, but these Greek eats are very popular, especially the massive mixed grill and the moussaka.
Mythos is another restaurant that runs right up against the shoreline, with tables and umbrellas on a wooden deck overlooking the water. For a full meal, Mythos serves brunch, as well as Greek dishes and pizza, or you can opt for ice cream and crepes to tide you over.
Ageri takes its place along the waterfront with thatched umbrellas and gorgeous views of the coast. The dishes here are traditional Greek cuisine, the highlights being moussaka and lamb kleftiko, but they also do a mean pizza. Ageri is located beside a little shop that's run by the same family, so should you need any supplies for your stay, you can pop next door.
If you veer away from the seaside slightly, you'll find Perasma Taverna, a Greek restaurant that's family-owned and operated. Your food might take a little longer to reach your table, but that's because it's fresh and lovingly prepared, so you'd be wise to kick back with a glass of wine and leafy Greek salad as your oven-cooked lamb marinates.