5 best restaurants in Heraklion
Our favourite places to eat. Enjoy awesome food and stunning decor.
Creative Cretan cuisine is the year-round calling from the boutique Lato Hotel – from November to May in Brillant, the super-luxe indoor venue; then from May to October in Herb’s Garden, with its open-air balcony and panoramic views of the old city harbour and Venetian fortress. Ingredients are hand-picked and fresh, from Cretan honey and olive oil to local fruit and vegetables, combining for artful dishes like slow-cooked pork and sautéed rabbit. A sure-fire winner any time of year.
15 Epimenidou street, Heraklion 71202, Crete
Tel: 281 033 4959 www.lato.gr/dining-heraklion
At home on the harbour
Set in a quiet corner of the harbour, Istioploikos is a favourite haunt of locals and tourists alike. Gaze out at the boats bobbing on the sea as you tuck in to the fresh fish they caught earlier in the day. Seafood cooked to order over a warm wood fire includes grilled shrimp and sautéed octopus, along with sardines and anchovies, while the herb-rice-stuffed cabbage and well-priced wine list also come highly recommended.
Heraklion harbour, Heraklion, Crete
Tel: 281 022 8118 www.istioploikos.gr
For Italian fusion
Based on Mediterranean favourites, the cuisine at Loukoulos is Italian-inspired yet features French tastes and authentic Greek dishes. Local organic ingredients provide the basis for offerings such as tagliatelle with mushrooms, juicy lobster and wild boar from the grill or wood oven. A list of fine wines can be matched to any dish, and the atmosphere is unrivalled in Heraklion – an intimate neoclassical dining room decorated with opulent designs, and an al fresco courtyard for romantic nights.
5 Korai, Heraklion, Crete
Tel: 281 022 4435 www.loukoulos-restaurant.gr.
A star for seafood
Set on the seafront, it’s no surprise that this family-run restaurant specialises in authentic fresh seafood. Simply cooked, but with a succulent seasoning of lemon and salt, try anything from fried squid, whitebait and shrimps, to tempting sides like fried aubergine and crispy salads. There’s usually a wait for a table, but it’s worth it - not least for the reasonably priced food but for a spot at the waterfront terrace with its views to the Venetian fortress.
3 Sofokli Venizelou, Heraklion 71202
Tel: 281 028 0240
A rustic local restaurant, Prassein Aloga specialises in innovative Mediterranean cuisine on an ever-changing menu. Dishes vary from veal cutlets to generous salads and pyramids of seafood pasta, all based on ancient Greek recipes. Set on a narrow, pedestrianised street, it is just off the beaten track while remaining in the heart of Heraklion. It offers outdoor seating for sunny days, a charmingly cosy indoor area and carafes of quality house wine.
21 Kydonias Street Heraklion 71202, Crete
Tel: 281 028 3429