If you’re planning your holidays in Crete and you’ve put Chania on your itinerary, one of the things you’ve started to consider, right immediately after where you’re going to stay, is where and what to eat in Chania!
Well, you don’t really have to worry! In Crete’s second-most important city, Chania, food is king, and Chania has a lot to offer to the culinary panorama of the island. Not only it’s home to some unique local products that you can easily taste in the Municipal Market, but it’s also a place where more and more restaurants are being opened each season.
Each of them offers very unique menus that combine all the freshness of the local products and healthy ingredients of the Cretan diet.
In this list, I’ve purposely stayed away from most of the restaurants located right on the Venetian Port (many of which are tourist traps) and decided to focus on the hidden gems of the local cuisine, favorite among visitors and locals alike.
For the same reason, I’ve included their phone numbers, as I strongly recommend you book before showing up, especially in high season! Let’s check now this Chania restaurant guide with the 12 best restaurants in Chania to try on your next visit to this charming island!
The Best Restaurants in Chania: Food You Must Try!
Location: Skoufon 4, Old Town
Phone number: 2821 086386
Open: High season only (from May to October)
Tucked in the alleys of the old town, between the Jewish quarter and the Topanas district, the intimate and elegant atmosphere of Serenissima will introduce you into an outstanding world of colors, shapes, and tastes that best exemplifies creative Chania cuisine.
Here, Chef Iosif Petrof elaborates the most stunning dishes with international techniques and fresh Cretan ingredients, creating a cuisine that’s influenced by his French experience in Lyon, his love for the island, and his passion for all that’s genuine.
It’s very difficult to suggest a specific dish to eat in Chania here, since Serenissima’s menu changes every twenty days to give way to his creativity, however, any dish you choose (either it’s Mer, Terre, or Vegan), will blow your mind with its taste and impeccable presentation.
Location: Akti Enoseos 3, New Marina
Phone number: 2821 043700
Open: All year round
Right in on the romantic seafront promenade of the Neoria (the old Venetian arsenals), Salis made its way into the new gastronomic panorama of Chania with a proposal that’s entirely different from the traditional Greek tavernas in Chania’s port.
Driven by a revolutionary farm to fork concept, the ingredients that are served on their tables are locally sourced, (mostly from Chania, but also from the rest of Crete), some of them produced by the owners themselves!
This Chania restaurant star dish is the deconstructed pastitsio, which is a pasta dish with Cretan truffles. For that season, Salis is a must-try restaurant in Chania.
Location: Akti Papanikoli 15, Nea Chora
Phone number: 2821 086596
Open: All year round
The Five is a new entry in the Chania restaurant scene that truly made some noise on Chania’s great food culture — and with a solid reason. This modern restaurant in Chania is located in the quiet neighborhood of Nea Chora, right in front of the beach, less than ten minutes away from the Old Venetian Harbor.
Nikos and his sommelier wife Kleopatra Bright pair extensive wine knowledge to revolutionary, cutting-edge dishes, full of taste and imagination, well away from the usual Greek traditional taverna.
It’s very hard to choose a dish from their very impressive menu, however, you won’t go wrong if you taste the mouthwatering prawn ravioli. The Five also serves yummy brunches and has a great selection of beer. Both perfectly combine with the relaxing views of the sea.
Oinoa Wine Bar Bistrot
Location: Theotokopoulou 63, Old Town
Phone number: 697 608 9225
Open: From April to November
Oinoa is a Mediterranean wine bar and restaurant located in the extreme west of the old town, not far from the Lighthouse. Living up to their mission, with their unique menu, Oinoa pays tribute to the Greek farmers, fishermen, local winemakers.
At Oinoa you will taste delicious simple food presented with excellence and unique care.
When sitting at one of their tables, go for one of the many different proposals of Black Angus as well as for their delicious (and best-selling) tuna tartare, or simply let their knowledgeable staff suggest you what to try. You won’t regret it.
Location: Zampeliou 51, Old Town
Phone number: 2821 096080
Open: All year round
One of the top choices when it comes to excellent food in CHania has always been Tamam Restaurant. It is located on one the liveliest roads of the Venetian neighborhood, inside an enchanting old Turkish hammam.
Tamam’s food proposal combines Middle Eastern spices and flavors with excellent Cretan wines and a touch of imagination.
One of their most requested dishes is Hünkar Beğendi, a delicious beef stew in Cretan Kotsifali wine and tomato sauce with aubergine puree.
The Well of the Turk
Location: Sarpaki 1, Splantzia, Old Town
Phone number: 2821 054547)
Open: High season only (from May to October)
The Well of the Turk defines itself as an eclectic mix of Greek, Turkish and Middle Eastern Cuisine. This venue has been regularly on top of every list of Chania’s best restaurants not only for the fantastic delicacies but also for the romantic atmosphere where this restaurant is located.
Nestled in a romantic garden among the alleys of the Turkish quarter, The Well of the Turk opens only for dinner, serving creative dishes made with local ingredients. Their salads are a must, as well as their Moroccan mint tea.
Location: Vivilaki 35, Tabakaria, Halepa
Phone number: 2821 051136
Open: Seasonal opening (from the end of March to the end of October)
Another traditional restaurant in Chania is Thalassino Ageri, located in the suggestive scenario of the old abandoned district of Tabakaria, where the tanneries can be found.
The tables are set right on the beach where you can enjoy some of Chania’s most spectacular sunsets, which get even better when the food arrives. Thalassino serves tempting octopus, lobster with pasta, and a fantastic sea urchin salad.
Everything is paired with excellent local wine labels and an inspiring seaside atmosphere. Reservations are suggested.
Location: Corner of Deukalon & Ikarous streets, Chania
Phone number: 2821 057035
Open: From Wednesdays to Sundays
Chrisostomos is the place to go if you’re looking for a taste of the traditional cuisine of Sfakia, one of the most authentic regions of Crete, known for the simple but tasty dishes exclusively made with local products.
The utmost expression of local gastronomy, Chrisostomos serves original Cretan dishes cooked in the wood oven.
Do try staples of the local cuisine, such as lamb with stamnagathi (local wild greens), sheep wrapped in cooking paper and staka with fried eggs.
Colombo Kitchen & Bar
Location: Eisodion 17, Old Town
Phone number: 2821 044310
Open: All year round
Hidden in one of Chania’s most gorgeous alleys, this tiny restaurant is one of the local gems when it comes to the Chania food scene.
Colombo specializes in traditional dishes revisited with creativity as well as more modern proposals with a Mediterranean touch. A fresh selection of salads, such as the avocado salad and the tabouleh, as well as interesting wines, round out the menu.
To end with, they replace the traditional shot of Cretan raki, with refined mastixa liquor from Chios and homemade sweets.
Location: Akti Kountourioti 60, Old Venetian Port
Phone number: 2821 036011
Open: All year round
This is the only restaurant in Chania on this list located on the old Venetian port, and it truly deserves a place on this list.
La Bodega is a very informal wine bar & bistro, ideal for a late dinner close to Chania’s lighthouse, in the romantic setting of the harbor.
They specialize in Mediterranean tastes, a delicious combination of Greek and Italian flavors and an interesting wine list. Try their variations of bruschetta as well as their salmon salad!
Overwhelmed by all the delicious Chania food to try?
Taste Crete like a local taking this foodie experience, full of local bites and delicacies. Explore the local market and taste the fresh traditional products. Discover some of Chania’s most stunning corners as you eat your way through the old town on this Airbnb Experience!
Where to Stay in Chania
Budget: Doge Traditional Hotel
Doge Traditional Hotel is pretty much exactly that: a lovely historic Venetian traditional house. It was originally built in the 15th century with 8 rooms to offer guests and has been refurbished lovingly. It is an intimate and quiet hotel, perfect for couples and families up to five.
While this charming Chania hotel has many perks, I’d argue the best part of the hotel has to be the rooftop where you can gaze at the beautiful views of the sea – especially during sunset!
Each room has canopy beds set in a beautifully lit room with some nice lamps and chandeliers. This makes each room seem rustic and historic yet still warm and inviting due to the wooden elements in its interiors. Some walls have rough rocks to create an interesting focal point on the whitewashed walls. It also has wooden ceilings which also helps in absorbing noise from outside, aside from adding some serious style points. There are also interesting paintings hung up on the walls to add visual interest.
If you want a bigger suite to accommodate a larger number of people, you can get their superior suite, which has a mezzanine that serves as an additional bedroom. All rooms feature a closet, heating, A/C, fridge, electric kettle, coffee and tea making facilities, sofa bed and safety deposit boxes.
This chic hotel features the typical Venetian exterior, but inside it has modern features for the sophisticated traveler. The hotel follows a minimalist aesthetic, livened up with a little playful and artsy décor. Everything just harmonizes perfectly, typical of a boutique-style hotel. It is also located on the picturesque Theotokopoulo Street, where a ton of old houses are lined up – perfect for Instagramming your away around Chania.
It has 3 types of rooms to choose from (which are all suites and apartments). Their prices are somewhat on the lower mid-range, so you’re really going to get your money’s worth here. The superior and deluxe suites offer a balcony (with stylish wicker furniture) and a mezzanine; this is great for families with older kids, but not for ones with small kids as the stairs can be quite dangerous for them.
All of the rooms still follow the minimalist aesthetic, but what’s most important is that they are ridiculously clean (past guests have attested to that)! There’s also a kitchen equipped with all the things you need to prepare a nice dish for your family should you tire of Greek food — if that’s even possible! Coffee machines and a kettle are also provided so you can make your own coffee or tea in the morning or afternoon (or when you feel like having one, which for me is basically always!).
Luxury: Domus Renier Boutique Hotel
As part of the Historic Hotels Worldwide, this hotel doesn’t just offer a historic Renaissance past, but also a truly luxurious experience you can’t miss. This was once the residence of the Reniers, a noble Venetian family. It is a huge complex, and the main building was converted into a hotel: the exterior and interior of which will basically take you time traveling!
Their rooms are classy, sophisticated, and elegant: no two rooms are alike here. It is also spacious and you are sure to enjoy the simple details of their wooden furniture, adhering to the philosophy that less is more. You will surely love the rain shower in the private bathrooms that totally mimic the rain – bringing the spa experience to your room! For even more of that, you can even have masseuses come to your room for an in-room spa treatment.
More Crete Travel Resources
Headed to Crete? We have some great travel resources to help you with your trip. First read our guide to planning a trip to Greece, which covers visas, budgets, vaccines, and much more. We also have a Balkan currency guide which explains how money works in Greece and local tipping customs.
If you’re still trying to work out where to go on the island, check out our guide to the best places to visit in Crete.
If this will be one of your first trips to the Greek islands, check out our massive Greek Island hopping guide as well as our recommendations for where to go in Greece and when is the best time to visit.
We publish new content about the Balkans almost every day! For more information about traveling to Greece and the Balkans, bookmark our Greece and Balkan travel pages so you can find out what’s new before your trip.
5 Things to Bring with You for a Crete Vacation
We have an entire Crete packing list that includes exactly what to bring to Crete, but here are some essentials you don’t want to miss!
A Guidebook – While travel blogs are great, we also definitely see the benefit of having a good paper guidebook in hand to refer to in your on-the-ground travel. We own and recommend the Lonely Planet Greece book as a starter, but you may also want to pick up the Lonely Planet Crete which covers the island more in-depth.
Sunscreen: Yes, you will want sunscreen in Crete, even if you visit during the winter! While you can buy it here, I suggest you buy the good stuff from recognizable brands or better yet, buy it online in advance. I love this solid Neutrogena sunscreen. Who doesn’t love a good solid for liquid swap? Great to keep in your bag without worrying about sunscreen explosions.
Motion sickness pills: Great for bus rides especially on mountain or coastal roads – I buy these non-drowsy ones. You can also try these natural motion sickness bands which use acupressure to reduce nausea – they actually work pretty well. And these are a must if you’re also taking ferries, as the sea can be really choppy depending on the weather!
– Travel safety items. We think Crete is very safe to travel, but at the same time, it never hurts to be prepared! Some people like to carry money belts, but neither Stephanie or I use these. Instead, we both carry the same PacSafe anti-theft backpack.
It has locking zippers, slash-proof construction with metal mesh hidden in the fabric, and tons of other smart security features — all while being cute and stylish enough to be our everyday bag. We recommend it highly for both male and female travelers, as it’s neutral enough to be unisex. We also strongly recommend travel insurance! Our recommendation is at the bottom of the post.
– Sunglasses. No matter the time of year, Crete has plenty of sunshine! Keep your eyes protected with your favorite pair of sunglasses from home.
Don’t Forget About Travel Insurance!
I’m sure you’re aware that it’s a good idea to have travel insurance for traveling in Crete, the Balkans, or anywhere in the world!
We at Sofia Adventures have both been paying customers of World Nomads for the last three years. We love the peace of mind it gives us in case of emergencies, accidents, illnesses, theft, or trip cancellation or disruption.
While Greece is safe, there’s always a risk inherent in everyday travel like theft or injury, so it’s better to play it safe.
Pin This Guide to Where to Eat in Chania!
Gabi Ancarola is a translator and travel journalist living in Crete. She regularly writes about the island for several magazines about travel, gastronomy, and hospitality. She has published several travel guides about Greece and runs a local gastronomy tour in Chania. She loves cooking local dishes, taking photos, and driving on the mountain roads of Crete.