Did you know that Greeks eat their dinner late? For those who know little (or nothing) about Greece, they would certainly be amazed by the fact that most restaurants in Greece open around 9:00 PM. When Greeks decide to go out for dinner, they usually head for the restaurant around 10:00 PM, or even later during the summer season.
The restaurants in Greece are very interesting. They all post their menus outside their establishments. Restaurants located in the tourist areas may even have a host posted outside the door. This person works like a “barker”, attracting the attention of the passers by and tempting them to eat at their restaurants.
Generally, whether it is a hidden rule or not, waiters in the restaurants in Greece do not rush you with your food. Greeks normally spend a lot of time talking and socializing in between courses. While most restaurant managements in other countries frown on this, the restaurants in Greece never seem to notice.
Greeks do not call all dining places restaurants, much like we don’t consider McDonald’s as one. They have various types of dining places. The traditional one is called the Tavernas. All the foods, except the grilled ones, are prepared every morning and are served all throughout the same day. Grilled dishes are not cooked unless somebody orders them. These types of restaurants in Greece have smaller dining rooms and mostly have outdoor tables as well. While local wine is available, tavernas do not commonly serve coffee or desserts.
The real restaurants in Greece are locally known as “estiatoria” and are obviously more expensive and more spacious than the tavernas. Most restaurants in Greece serve international cuisine as well. If wine is served from the barrel in the tavernas, these can be ordered by the bottle in the restaurants in Greece.
Fast Foods are indeed available and are actually popular in Greece. While we may envision McDonalds-like establishments, these are not the only ones considered as fast foods in Greece. This may be just a small stall on the street that serves food for take out. These may be a far cry form the posh restaurants in Greece but these serve some of the locals’ favorite food.
Cafés are not exactly restaurants in Greece either. They normally just serve desserts and coffee but a few have started to prepare a few specialty meals. Greeks linger long in cafés and make it a point to visit one each day.
Part of a great travel is learning much about the place – food included. Restaurants in Greece may offer us the food that we know from home, but what’s the point? Isn’t it a part of our travel to know what their food is like? But if you must get in touch with base, Starbucks has made it to Greece.