8 meat dishes of the greek cuisine that you must eat while on vacation in Greece
What are the typical meat dishes of the greek cuisine? Are you going on holiday to Greece, and want to know what to order at the restaurant? What meat dishes do I need to eat in order to feel like I am in Greece? Thanks to this article you will have all the answers!
Eating fish in Greece is perhaps the most typical thing to do on holiday by the sea, but if you are a meat lover, you will not be left empty-handed.
In fact, there are many typical dishes that you can find in Greece based on meat, but which are the ones that are most popular to both tourists and locals?
Let is discover together the most typical meat dishes of Greek cuisine to try at least once if you visit Greece.
1. The skewers (in Greek “souvlaki”)
I am talking about the most famous Greek meat dish; I would say by far! Skewers in Greece are an institution in every part of the country. When you do not know what to eat, there is always this solution. Also, for this reason, souvlaki is the street food par excellence and you have a good chance of seeing someone grilling them. They are generally divided into two categories: pork and chicken. It can be accompanied with Pita, a typical Greek bread, french fries, fresh onion and tomatoes.
2. The greek “kebab”, but do not ever use this name! (in greek “gyros”)
Kebab is the first thing that comes in mind when you see your gyros being cut in front of your eyes to be served immediately. It is meat that is grilled all at the same style, on a big vertical skewer that revolves around the grill and is cut in small pieces as soon as you order it. But do not ever call it kebab in Greece because it can really be offensive, but also because there is a great difference: in Greece the meat is exclusively pork, not beef.
3. The meatballs (in greek “keftedes”)
Again, I am talking about a truly typical dish of the Greek cuisine. Keftedes are found almost everywhere: they are meatballs, generally of beef meat, but can also be found as a mix of beef, pork and lamb meat and are always seasoned with spices and herbs. They are small and fried and therefore you can eat more than one with a little Tzatziki (yogurt and cucumber sauce) on the side and french fries! You can also find them as an appetizer given their small size. Definitely small bites of heaven!
4. Hamburger is the translation that is closer to describing it better, but it is something more (in Greek “bifteki”)
The Bifteki can be imagined as a hamburger but with a different consistency than the classic American dish. The bifteki on the palate is firmer, while remaining juicy, and the grilled beef meat is kneaded until the herbs and spices blend with it. In short, it is not a fast-food dish, but more of a refined food with ingredients such as onion, spices, herbs, breadcrumbs, eggs sometimes and olive oil.
5. The gigantic skewer (in greek “Kontosouvli”)
Take the souvlaki (skewer) and imagine it really big. That is Kontosouvli! If you are hungry, you already know what to order! Usually, the meat pieces are placed on a big inox steel skewer and left to cook for many hours. The meat, be it pork or chicken, is tender inside, roasted outside and more substantial than the simple skewer. It is a delicacy that I recommend especially in certain regions of northern Greece, where they are skilled with this cooking technique.
6. Pork chops (in greek “brizolakia”)
Small pork chops. A classic and very simple dish, but in some restaurants, they are very tasty. You get a plate with several small chops so that they can be tasted by more than one person. Seasoned with spices, you can combine them with one of the many salads.
7. Another type of meatballs, only longer (in greek “soutzoukakia smyrneika”)
Another typical dish found in many restaurants is soutzoukakia smyrneika, that is a form of meatball but elongated, like the form of a small sausage. They are made again with either beef or a mix of beef and lamb meat with the addition of garlic and spices and herbs. Then they are fried and afterwards are left to simmer in tomato sauce. They are usually served with rice or french fries. It a dish that originates from the Greeks of Asia Minor and has become a staple in every Greek house, usually cooked for a Sunday lunch or at feasts.
8. The lamb chops (in greek “arnisia paidakia”)
Lamb chops are typically grilled on a barbecue to make them crispy. The scent they release is unforgettable. They are marinated with olive oil, lemon juice, herbs, mustard and ready to be served. Lamb is also one of the traditional foods in Greece: during Easter lunch it is almost inevitable.
Obviously, there are many other more sought-after meat dishes that are part of the Greek cuisine and the list would be very long. But at least, for your next holiday in Greece you will know the basic dishes and you can be prepared when you read the names on the menus. Do not forget to pair the meat with a generous Greek salad, enjoy your meal!
My name is Taxia and I am Greek. I like to share the beauties and traditions of my country to make you discover “the other Greece”.