A guide to the best restaurants in Rethymnon

Rethymnon has no shortage of restaurants, tavernas and cafes set in stunning locations. From a mountainside, along the coast or in a 16th-century building, you’ll have no trouble finding a side of gorgeous views to go with your traditional Cretan meal or table full of mezze dishes on your holidays to Greece here.

BBQ ribs at Petite Fleur

Petite Fleur offers Greek and other European cuisine in an elegant setting. You can dine inside, or out on the street-side terrace, which looks out towards the beach. Though you’ll find many classic Greek dishes, the menu spans Europe to include ravioli, BBQ ribs and grilled tenderloin steak. The menu here is a little pricier than other restaurants in the area, but you’re paying for supreme quality and unique meals.

Traditional mezze at Alana Restaurant

Set in a traditional stone building in the heart of Rethymnon’s old town, Alana Restaurant comes equipped with beautiful gardens where you can enjoy your meal. The menu here centres on Greek and Mediterranean dishes prepared using authentic recipes, with mezze platters to share and homemade desserts.

Fresh bread at Thavma Coffee Drinks & Cretan Food

Nestled in the mountains and overlooking Rethymnon and out to sea, Thavma is a rustic treat that’s steeped in romance. Odds are, you’ll have to take a taxi to reach the restaurant, but the views and homemade Cretan food will be worth it. Dishes here include classic Greek eats like sea bass and pork kleftico, plus fresh bread from Thavma’s bread oven.

Lamb kleftiko at Taverna Othonas

With a rustic countryside interior, Taverna Othonas will give you the feeling of being in old world Greece. Here, you can sample classic Greek food like lamb kleftiko and moussaka, prepared with fresh ingredients and best paired with local wines.

Mediterranean with a twist at 1600 Raki Ba Raki

Raki Ba Raki feels a little cave-like when entering, with stone walls and comfy, rustic furniture. Out in the alleyway is even more dining space and a treetop cover shading you from the sun. Glass cases display the assortment of mezze dishes on offer, which are Greek and Mediterranean with a twist. You can eat octopus and prawns, slow-cooked lamb and honey chicken wings.

Takeaway Greek at Taverna Zisis

A favourite with locals, Taverna Zisis provides a massive outdoor terrace and a play-place for kids. This Greek restaurant is family-run and the traditional Cretan recipes here are entirely homemade and prepared fresh with local ingredients. You can order the meat, seafood or veggie-centric dishes to eat in or take out.

Elvis-style eats at Mojo Burgers

The popular burger spot lets you leave your mark – literally. After ordering a fresh Elvis-style or Sinatra-style burger and hand-cut fries, you can scrawl your name on the walls. And despite the name, Mojo Burgers also offers chicken sandwiches and some of the best blue cheese dressing on the island.

Fortezza views at Prima Plora

Tucked along the rocky shore and overlooking the Fortezza on the other side of the bay, Prima Plora unites land and sea with a chic terrace and seafood-heavy menu. You’ll find meat dishes like asparagus-stuffed lamb and grilled pork ribs, but the seafood treats are undoubtedly the stars of the show. Here, you can delight in dishes like cuttlefish risotto, bruschetta with smoked salmon and sea bass carpaccio. They’re great paired with a glass of wine and a refreshing sea salt breeze.

Rabbit stifado at To Pigadi

To say that To Pigadi is a beautiful restaurant is an understatement. It’s set in a 16th-century Venetian building that was once used as stables, and now houses diners that are hungry for traditional Cretan and Mediterranean dishes and gorgeous settings. Here, you can expect rabbit stifado and mezze starters like meatballs and local cheeses, plus delicious house wines and complimentary cakes for dessert.

Homely vibes at Vassilis Restaurant

At first, Vassilis Restaurant looks more like somebody’s elegantly-decorated home with a sunny porch decked with flowers. And the home-cooked food adds to the homely feel. The menu here primarily offers classic Cretan eats made with ingredients brought in that day and served to perfection. The mezze selection is top notch, with dishes like fried cheese with homemade jam, courgette fritters and jumbo prawns.