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18 Best Cafes, Bars and Restaurants in Chania: Eat Like Locals

by Crete Locals

  • Posted 1 year ago

Discover the Best restaurants in Chania with our guide, find the finest cafés, bars, and eateries as favoured by locals. Dive in and dine as the locals do, letting Chania’s culinary scene take you on an unforgettable epicurean adventure.

Eat Like Locals in Chania by immersing yourself in the city’s diverse and vibrant culinary scene. The city of Chania, nestled on the island of Crete, pulsates with a diverse and lively culinary scene. It’s a gastronomic paradise boasting a myriad of eateries where you can explore more than just conventional fare. From traditional Cretan dishes that tell a tale of the island’s history, to innovative fusion and international cuisines that bring the world to your plate, Chania has it all.

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Crete has been honoured with the Tripadvisor award Travelers’ Choice Best of the Best this year, securing its position as the world’s second Best Food Destinations.

Eat Like Locals in Chania: Where Crete Locals Eat?

As someone once said:

One should never be a tourist, but be a temporary local instead“.

And how do you know a place is good? It’s when all the locals go there!

Here are some of the best places to eat like locals in Chania and I totally recommend visiting each and every one of them!

Crete travel forum

Meze Places in Chania

Summer in Crete comes alive with the allure of delectable food made from fresh, seasonal produce. The best way to savour the myriad of Cretan delicacies is by delving into the culture of meze, popular in local taverns and ouzeri. Rooted in the belief that a drink should be always accompanied by something to nibble on, the meze tradition involves enjoying small plates with your companions.

Meze offerings range from a simple serving of olives and cheese to a plate of meatballs, marinated fish or stuffed vegetables. But, here are some must-try dishes in Crete.

  • Cretan Dakos, with its foundation of Cretan rusk, topped with fresh tomato, white cheese, oregano or thyme, and olive oil, is perhaps the most renowned Cretan meze.
  • Stuffed zucchini flowers or blossoms are a special vegan summer meal. Squash flowers are stuffed with rice, vegetables and herbs and baked.
  • Tzatziki, a refreshing spread of yoghurt, cucumber, garlic and olive oil, is another Cretan delight.
  • Deep-fried zucchini, best enjoyed with a yoghurt dip or tzatziki, is a favourite treat on hot summer nights.
  • Aubergine salad, made from the succulent local aubergines, is a flavorful spread featuring parsley, tomato, garlic, and feta cheese.
  • Finally, for meat lovers, Cretan meatballs are a gastronomic delight, made with quality meat and fresh tomato sauce. Pair these dishes with your preferred alcoholic beverage for an unforgettable culinary experience.

1. Kafeneio Fix

Location: Pl. 1821 8, Chania

cretan meze plates, miniplates
Delicious meze at the Kafeneio Fix at the Chania’s Splatzia Square

This popular spot nestled in the heart of Chania’s Splatzia Square is adored for its traditional Cretan meze/tapas, made with a strong emphasis on locally sourced ingredients. It’s an ideal haunt for evening visits, whether you’re in the mood for a local raki or a casual beer, each complemented by an array of delicious meze. While their cuisine embraces simplicity, the quality is top-notch and the prices are incredibly reasonable – a combination that has won the hearts of many locals.

2. Kafeneío Boúrmpos (Καφενείο Μπούρμπος)

Location: Episkopou Nikiforou 6, Chania

Stuffed zucchini flowers | Crete Locals
Stuffed zucchini flowers or blossoms stuffed with rice, vegetables and herbs and baked.

Nestled within a neighbourhood brimming with local charm, this relaxed meze establishment is a magnet for locals. With its attractive tree-canopied setting, it serves scrumptious food at wallet-friendly prices, making it an ideal locale for leisurely afternoons. Pack a deck of cards, unwind, and allow the melodious notes from a nearby piano lesson to serenade you. This spot is beloved by a wide range of patrons, from students to the elderly, and is a go-to for anyone seeking a genuine, understatedly elegant, and traditionally charming experience.

3. To Steno

Location: Episkopou Dorotheou 26, Chania

stuffed mashrooms | Crete Locals
Roasted Stuffed Mushrooms

Nestled in a quaint alley of the old town, this charming, no-frills spot offers a compact yet delightful menu. Whether you’re stopping by for a quick raki or beer, accompanied by meze or purely for the meze itself, To Steno delivers an experience to remember. A welcome reprieve from Chania’s usual hustle, the establishment features an array of petite, tapas-like dishes that truly stand out – especially the orange & rosemary pork and the cheese pie with honey. The cooperative-run restaurant has a palpable passion for what they do, reflected in the dedicated staff. Exceptional food comes at a surprisingly below-average cost here. A must-visit locale when in Chania!

Fish and Seafood Tavernas and Restaurants in Chania

4. KAIKI

Location: Akti Papanikoli 5, Chania

kaiki seafood chania | Crete Locals

For a delightful seafood feast with a stunning view of the harbour sunset without breaking the bank, this place is the perfect pick. Enjoy the serene, sophisticated, and less crowded ambience it offers compared to the bustling main harbour. Their grilled octopus stands out for its freshness, as opposed to the frozen variety found elsewhere, and the calamari is equally remarkable. Generous portion sizes and delectable flavours define their offerings. However, ensure you make a reservation if you intend to dine after 7 pm. However, if you visit earlier, you may be fortunate enough to snag a spot without prior booking.

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5. Thalissino Ageri

Location: Vivilaki str 35 Tabakaria, Chania

best restaurants in Chania
Sunset at the Thalassino Ageri Restaurant| photo: Thalassino Ageri

Situated within the Tabakaria neighbourhood in the historical district of Halepa, there exists a charming restaurant nestled by the seaside, considered one of the most scenic dining locales within the city of Chania. Tabakarias, originally established as leather tanning factories in the mid-19th century, is now home to Thalissino Ageri, a well-kept secret among culinary enthusiasts, perfect for a tranquil dinner by the gentle crash of waves.

The stunning sea view complements the appealing Mediterranean cuisine that caters to even the most sophisticated tastes. Indulge in fresh fish, expertly prepared octopus and squid, succulent lobsters and pumpkins with pasta, marides, a distinctive sea urchin salad, traditional village bread, and crisp salads, all enhanced by the refreshing ocean breeze. This unique combination presents an unrivalled dining experience in Chania.

6. Maridaki

Location: Daskalogianni 33, Chania

Maridaki may be a modest-sized restaurant, but it’s a culinary giant when it comes to its sterling reputation. Every day they cook whatever fish and seafood is available that day in the market, so their daily menu depends on it. You’ll be met with an array of mouthwatering dishes, generous portion sizes, and the enticing prospect of enjoying top-tier dining without breaking the bank – a rarity among sea-view eateries. This spot serves as an idyllic dinner retreat from the bustling, tourist-centric locations by the port. Despite being situated alongside a road, which may contribute to some noise during the summer season, the superb gastronomic experience offered by To Maridaki makes any minor inconveniences absolutely worthwhile.

Best Bars in Chania Loved by Locals

7. Sinagogi cocktail bar

Location: Par. Kondilaki, Chania 731 31

This welcoming, open-air establishment, tucked away in the historic heart of Chania, has been crafting signature drinks and cocktails since 1995. Its name derives from its proximity to a local synagogue. Ideal for those who enjoy the nightlife but wish to sidestep the noisiest spots, Sinagogi offers a vast range of cocktails, providing a cool, refreshing oasis during the summer months. 2

The bar boasts a unique architectural style, with its top entirely open, and features multiple distinct rooms creating a truly appealing ambience. The extensive selection of beers and cocktails caters to diverse tastes. As the evening unfolds, the atmosphere shifts towards a more traditional bar scene, with amplified music. It’s an excellent choice for a date or a fun night out with friends.

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8. To Monastiri tou Karolou (Charles monastery)

Location: Chatzimichali Ntaliani 22, Chania

This charming spot, nestled in a historic building, is a must-visit for its delightful cocktails and drinks. Experience tranquillity in its heartening atmosphere, complemented by a diverse drinks menu and welcoming staff. Nestled within the old Venetian Harbour, this visit will let you truly immerse in the city’s enchanting vibe. Enjoy your time in an inviting open-air courtyard, exuding a stylish and comfortable ambience without any ostentation. Here, the delectable cocktails are paired with invigorating music, creating a worthwhile experience. Indeed, it is a place that invites and deserves regular returns.

Coffee, Breakfast and Brunch in Chania – Locals’ Favourites

9. Bougatsa Chania

Location: Apokoronou 37, Chania 741 50

Bougatsa Chania is unrivalled in the city when it comes to making the finest bougatsa. This unique pastry often enjoyed as a breakfast treat, is specially crafted here using traditional phyllo dough—a skill only a few possess in the Chania region—and authentic extra virgin Cretan olive oil. The eatery specializes in one specific type of bougatsa, made with mizithra, a local Cretan cheese. When ordering, request it unsweetened and without cinnamon, and then customize it to your preference using the provided shakers. You can also try the Cretan mountain tea here.

10. Oikotechnia Kritikon Kaltsounion Giannaraki

Location: Kidonias 29, Chania

PXL 20230517 075235069 | Crete Locals
Authentic Cretan pastries

This petite local Pastry shop, nestled right next to the town hall, serves an array of authentic Cretan pastries filled with local cheese, meat, and herbs. It’s renowned for offering the finest kalitsounia in Chania, presenting a broad selection to choose from.

11. Oxo Nou

Location: Agias Kiriakis 29, Chania 731 33

Tucked away in the Halepa neighbourhood, this undiscovered treasure provides a stylish and serene getaway from the bustling centre of Chania. Don’t be deterred by the unpolished charm of the surroundings. Nestled beneath the stairs, you’ll find a café carved into ancient cliffs, offering delightful coffee, refreshing beverages, and delicious baked goods. The seating area provides a magnificent view of the tranquil Halepa Bay. I wholeheartedly endorse escaping the city rush to enjoy the calm Halepa ambience at this café. Whether for a morning coffee or a sundown beverage, it’s an exceptional spot.

12. The Jar

Tucked away in the heart of Chania, within the tranquil surroundings of the Peace and Friendship Park, lies the charming eatery, The Jar. Offering a perfect blend of city conveniences and natural splendour, this café stands out from the typical Chania culinary scene due to its fair pricing and exceptional food. Enjoy the sight of turtles gliding through the neighbouring pond as you savour your meal.

Highly recommended are their delectable omelettes, particularly the one with smoked salmon. But if you’re craving something unique or fancy, their menu offers plenty of enticing options, with their pancakes being a top choice. Whether you’re stopping by for a morning coffee, a leisurely weekend brunch, an evening drink, or even a work session, The Jar maintains a cosy ambience and welcoming vibe.

Best Restaurants in Chania – Locals’ Choice

13. Throumbi

Location: Daliani 74-76, Chania

throumbi | Crete Locals
Throumbi a favourite place among locals

Throumbi, a favourite among locals, nestles within the winding lanes of the old town, providing easy accessibility from the city centre.

This eatery serves an array of dishes, ranging from authentic Cretan cuisine to quick bites like Gyros. Additionally, the complimentary homemade dessert served post-meal will surely leave a sweet impression.

Since Throubi caters more to locals than tourists, you’ll notice a distinctive warmth in the service. The staff are notably amicable, always ready to assist and ensure you have a memorable experience. In essence, if you’re seeking a restaurant that delivers quality food without breaking the bank, Throubi should be high on your list.

14. Patsas Agnos Marmaritsakis

Location: Kon/nou Sfakianaki 4-6, Chania

This cosy and genuine eatery offers delightful meals, served promptly, and in ample quantities at a reasonable cost. Predominantly frequented by locals, it’s likely you’ll be the only tourist, which only enhances the charm of this place. The restaurant dishes out quality food at unbeatable prices, and the servings are notably large! The staff is incredibly friendly and supportive, always ready to patiently walk you through the menu and might even suggest half portions for a wider sampling of dishes. The spot is typically packed, but the exceptional food experience makes the wait worthwhile.

15. The Well of the Turk

Location: Sarpaki 1, Chania

Should you prefer a dining spot conveniently located near the city centre, then ‘The Well of the Turk’ should be on your list. Nestled in the middle of the old town, this charming establishment specializes in Turkish and Oriental gastronomy.

If you’re hesitating due to the idea of enjoying Turkish fare while in Crete, reconsider. This dining venue will surely reshape your perspectives.

Their culinary mastery takes you on a unique gastronomic journey, offering a pleasant variation from typical Greek dishes. Additionally, this restaurant is a paradise for vegetarians.

Takeaways and Fast Food Restaurants in Chania

16. Oasis

Location: Voloudaki 4, Chania

Oasis gyros | Crete Locals
Mouth-watering gyros in Chania

At an incredibly affordable rate, you can savour the most authentic and mouth-watering gyros in Chania. This seemingly uncomplicated sandwich encapsulates the very soul of a gyros dish. Composed of pork, a yoghurt-based sauce, onions, tomatoes, and an irresistible pita bread. It’s worth noting that the gyros here is more compact than in other places and doesn’t come with potatoes, making it an ideal light and quick meal option. The pita bread hits just the right note of softness, and the flavorful meat, when combined with the perfect tzatziki and other additions, creates a pita gyros that is simply exquisite. It’s an absolute must-try!

17. To Fagito Tis Zois

Location: Tsouderon 95, Chania

To Fagito serves an impressive array of daily-made, local and home-cooked meals. Grab a meal to go and enjoy it by the seaside or in a park for a picture-perfect picnic. For an authentic and affordable dining experience in Chania, this spot is hard to beat. Don’t worry about scrutinizing a menu, simply trust your instincts. Their food is displayed for your choosing, guaranteeing you won’t be let down. Each meal is freshly prepared and absolutely delectable.

18. Pork to Beef Wild

Location: Daskalogianni 68, Chania

Without a doubt, this is among the top sandwich joints in Chania. It’s an outstanding street food spot for those who appreciate a good piece of meat. Be it steak, pork or chicken this venue is here to cater to your succulent cravings. It’s a highly favoured spot by both locals and tourists, hence it can get quite busy at certain times, requiring a bit of patience as you wait for your order. However, the exceptional taste of their sandwiches is more than worth the wait.

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In wrapping up this gastronomic tour of Chania, it’s abundantly clear that this gem of Crete is a true paradise for food lovers. From charming local restaurants and cosy cafes to quick-service spots and inviting bars, every corner reveals a cherished local haunt that promises a unique culinary experience. It’s within these bustling local favourites that the heart and soul of Chania’s vibrant food scene truly shine.

What sets Chania apart is how effortless it is to immerse oneself in the local dining culture and revel in the authenticity of Cretan cuisine. Indeed, in Chania, dining like a local isn’t just a concept, it’s a delightful journey packed with flavours that tell the story of the island’s rich heritage. So, take a seat, pick up a fork, and prepare for an epicurean adventure that goes beyond your wildest gastronomic dreams. Truly, in Chania, every meal is a celebration of Crete’s authentic spirit.

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