It won't be hard to find somewhere to eat on your holidays to Malia – restaurants line the streets and come in just about every shade of cuisine and ambiance. Beach Road – the resort's main strip – is where the action is, with international eats and lively bars that keep the energy going throughout the night. For traditional Greek food at sweet, authentic tavernas, you can head into Malia's old town.
If you leave this restaurant hungry, you've done something terribly wrong. The portions at The House are anything but skimpy, with full plates of sirloin steak cooked to perfection and lined with chips. Plus there's Italian, Mexican, English and traditional Greek fare.
The vast tastes of the Mediterranean make their way to one location at the Brasserie Bar & Grill, whose menu includes everything from bruschetta to seafood linguine, BBQ pizza to a delectable stifado. Their cocktails are also something to write home about, often topped with full wedges of fruit and sparklers.
With a great outdoor terrace that's shaded by leafy branches hanging overhead, Eva Taverna presents home-cooked Greek food with a few international highlights. The majority of starters are Greek, including tzatziki and cheese pies, but the mains branch out with pizza and steaks, plus moussaka and Greek salads. Eva Taverna also has a great range of gluten-free options, including gluten-free calamari.
Greek island holidays aren't all kleftiko and gyros – although you can get those here too. The Red Lion is more of a super-pub, serving dishes for every meal and cuisine from all four corners of the world. They serve English breakfasts all day, the usual Greek favourites, plus BBQ chicken melts, salmon steaks and a whole lot of grilled prawns. You can also just pop in for a drink and catch a game on the TVs overhead.
The outdoor terrace at Milos gives off the vibes of being someone's incredibly-manicured back garden – intimate, beautiful and all-around atmospheric. Milos is located in Malia's old town, so you can expect a quieter evening with tantalising Greek fare like fall-off-the-bone lamb and rabbit. The restaurant has an oven in its garden, as well as a lot of the freshly-grown ingredients, so you can watch the chef at work as he gathers bits for your meal.
This house-like restaurant is postcard beautiful, with leafy gardens and candlelit tables in the heart of Malia's old town. Greek food is the focus of San Giorgio's menu, with lamb and moussaka, among many others. The authentic atmosphere here is also punctuated by live music during the week and occasional Greek dancing.
Gringos brings all the flavours of Mexico to the shores of Crete, with burritos, enchiladas and cheese-heavy plates of nachos, plus all-you-can-eat barbecue spare ribs. What's more is they also serve homemade desserts, including a chocolate fudge 'monster' cake and fruit chimichangas wrapped in puff pastry.
Nestled underneath a beautiful flourish of purple flowers in Malia's old town, Odas Taverna offers traditional Cretan cuisine in an authentically Mediterranean setting. The menu here has a nice assortment of vegetarian options, plus garlic lamb and liver, and baklava to close out the night.
This family-run restaurant specialises in grilling just about whatever you ask them to. You can pick what fish you'd like the chefs to grill, or opt for Greek eats like lamb or chicken and bacon souvlaki. Occasionally they feature live music, and are located close enough to beach making the Cretan Family restaurant a top spot for lunch between stints on the sand.
If you're looking for romance in Malia, you won't find an atmosphere quite like that of Petrino Gardens' anywhere else. When dining on the terrace, you'll be completely surrounded by grape vines with plump green grapes dangling overhead. Top starters here include the feta pastry drizzled with honey, while classic gyros and chicken souvlaki are great mains.