After spending some time in Zakynthos and enjoying their food we decided to write a blog post about it. Here is what we know about food in Zakynthos and traditional dishes in Greece.
Fresh Mediterranean cuisine, local ingredients, and the warmth of the island’s people are just a few things that make food in Zakynthos delicious. The dishes and food we had to try were all fresh, rich in flavors, and comforting.
What else can a person ask for?
Pure olive oil, locally made from the island’s trees, fresh fish from the sea, and amazing light vegetarian dishes. If you want to hear more about food in Zakynthos, let’s dig in on some of the best food the island has to offer.
Food in Zakynthos – What to eat in Zakynthos:
Kolokithokeftedes (Zucchini balls)
Traditional veggie starter, found in most tavernas (small Greek restaurants) on the island. The fried balls are made of zucchini, feta cheese, onions, and fresh mint. Usually served with a yogurt dip or Tzatziki. An excellent dish to start your greek dinner at the restaurant and also a great option for vegetarians.
Tzatziki – Food in Zakynthos
This classic dip is a staple part of Greek cuisine, it goes with almost everything, and it’s a must on every breakfast, lunch, or dinner you will have on the island. The Tzatziki is made of thick creamy yogurt, cucumbers, garlic, dill, and a dash of extra virgin olive oil. You can order it as a side dish in a restaurant or ask to add it to your sandwich or gyros on the street food stalls.
Greek salad – Food in Zakynthos
One of our favorite dishes in Zakynotos, not a single day passed that we didn’t order this lovely refreshing salad. First of all the salad is a great option to eat on the super hot summer days of the island, it is light, healthy, and energizing, so you can continue with your day exploring and being active.
Second of all, it’s delicious and not like in any other place in the world. Even though it’s super simple containing tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, peppers, fetta cheese, and olive oil the quality of the local ingredients takes it to another level.
Moussaka – Food in Zakynthos
A classic Greek dish, that can be found everywhere on the island. Each taverna will have its version of Moussaka, but in most cases, it will include layers of eggplants, potatoes, and minced meat cooked in tomatoes and creamy béchamel sauce. Reminded us a bit of the Italian lasagna just without the pasta.
Halloumi cheese – Food in Zakynthos
This amazing cheese is usually made from goat milk and has a hard texture, making it great for grilling or frying. You can find it in the local supermarkets, order it in a salad in the restaurants, or have it in pita bread on the fast-food gyros stalls.
The most popular street food in Zakynthos and probably in all of Greece. The dish is basically a wrapped sandwich assembled with greek flatbread pita, meat, tomatoes, raw onions, and tzatziki sauce. Vegetarians can also enjoy the dish, and in some places, they will offer grilled veggies or a meat substitute.
Dolmades – Food in Zakynthos
Stuffed vine leaves, filled with rice and fresh herbs. It’s a great option for snacking something delicious and light in the middle of the day along with cold beer or to order it as an appetizer for your fancy dinner.
Gemista – Food in Zakynthos
The greek version of stuffed vegetables. Usually served in tomatoes and peppers but can be also any seasonal vegetable (we had it with an eggplant). The veggies are filled with rice and a mix of local herbs, baked in the oven covered with tomato sauce.
Another great local appetizer dish, made out of fried or baked eggplants slices, covered with lots of garlic and vinegar sauce. The combination of the sweet eggplants with the sour of the vinegar works amazing and we guarantee you will lick your fingers after.
Sardines and seafood
One of the main perks of traveling to islands is enjoying the fresh catch the surrounding sea has to offer. All over Zakynthos, you will find tavernas that offer their fresh-caught fish and seafood of the day.
We especially enjoyed the fried sardines which were the best we ever had. Besides the sardines, you will also enjoy all kinds of octopus and calamari dishes.
Above, we mentioned a lot of tasty food and dishes that Zakynthos offered us. It wouldn’t be fair to let out the amazing local Olive oil which adds all the food that extra boost of deliciousness. Our modest opinion is, that the food wouldn’t be the same without it.
The quality of the oil is one of the best in the world. Interestingly, even when we visited the cheapest food places on the island, they had olive oil that could be used in a Michelin star restaurant. We highly recommend buying some, so can feel Greece in your kitchen back home.
Try as many dishes as possible
We fell in love with Zakynthos food, each night we went to a different taverna and enjoyed it until our bellies were blown. We especially liked ordering a lot of small dishes to have a feast of flavors. The selection is rich, and you can try something new each day. The freshness and lightness of the food also helped with the island’s summer heat.
So, if Zakynthos is on your travel list we can guarantee you will have a culinary experience you won’t forget.