I never counted how many restaurants there are in Chania but I guess that if you included all eating places, from souvlaki joints via tavernas, ouzeria, fancier restaurants and workers cafés in the covered market you might well get into three figures….That’s a lot of restaurants for a town of just over 50.000 inhabitants (or 85.000 if you count in the greater Chania from Souda to Nea Kydonia and all the way South to the mountains). It’s also a lot of good restaurants: consider that many of those stay open all year around and don’t just target the tourist market. If they are going to survive with such an intense competition (and in a deep recession) they will have to be good.
I am going to make a short list of good restaurants for another page on this web site and thought that it might be a good idea to try to get recommendations from other visitors to Chania. I could do this via Facebook but I would prefer to use the comments section of this blog for this purpose.
So please, let me know what your favourite eating places are in Chania and why. And feel free to comment on the choices of others.
I’ll add your favourite places to the list in the article as things happen and eventually will publish some of the better recommendations on a page about where to eat in Chania. Please try to keep your recommendations to Chania, at least for now.
I’ll start with 3 of my favourites (note that I am not saying that they are my 3 favourites, I have no ranked favourite place).
(Defkaliona & Ikarou Streets, Palaia Poli Chanion, tel. 28210 57035)
I don’t go to eat at Chrisostomos very often because I am often in Sfakia (where you can eat good Sfakian food in a lot of places) so I don’t feel that much need for good Sfakian food when eating out in Chania but it is probably the restaurant that I recommend most often to people who are staying in Chania and want to experience true, high quality, traditional Cretan food. Chrisostomos comes from the village of Anopolis (he also owns the beach café at Marmara near Loutro) and has a passion for quality and great pride in his work. His restaurant is really popular with locals so if you are going to go late in the evening (when most Greeks go out to eat) it is a good idea to reserve a table.
This year the restaurant is also open in summer (most years it was only open from November to April when Chrisostomos wasn’t running the Marmara kantina) so it might be your first chance to go and try it if you only come in the tourist season.
(at the very western end of Selinou Street, Nea Chora, tel. 28210 94661)
in the 1980s, before I lived in Crete, Tsalikis used to be one of my favourite places. One reason was because a good friend on mine lived at Chryssi Akti and we could go to Tsalikis by just walking along the beach towards Chania. The second reason was the beautiful location of Tsalikis with a terrace shaded by tamarisk trees right over a narrow strip of the Chania town beach. You could also watch the sunset from there and the food was very good.
Once I lived in Crete I rarely came to Tsalikis because it was the wrong end of town for me. But a couple of years ago I went back and loved it again just as I had over 20 years ago. It seems that Tsalikis has gone down in popularity, at least the last few times I ate there it was very quiet, almost deserted, but the food is still very nice (mainly fish but also a good choice of other foods) and the settings are still superb. I’d avoid it on a very windy day though because you might need to eat inside and would miss out of the lovely beach side setting.
(Halepas 23, tel. 28210 28481 open daily from noon till late night)
Located on the main road of Halepa (near the church of Evangelistri) this busy grill place is far from the usual tourist places. You won’t go there for the views (it’s located on a busy road) or the charm of the interior (although it is perfectly OK) but if you are after any type of grilled meat it’s one of the best (and best value) places to go to. A favourite with students (the university is not too far up the road) and locals. They also do take-aways and will deliver.