In Greece, a meze is a small dish that is served with ouzo or raki. Nowadays, you can find them in numerous restaurants or tavernas where locals enjoy a selection of mezes to share as lunch or dinner. Here are ten flavorful dishes you should try at least once in your lifetime – you won’t regret it.
Tzatziki is a creamy dip that hardly needs an introduction; however, if you are unfamiliar with it, it is made with Greek yogurt, cucumber, and garlic. It is usually served with pita bread and complements just about everything, especially meat, and can be used in salads, sandwiches, and wraps.
Skordalia is a garlicky, mashed potato dip, flavored with olive oil and, of course, a lot of raw garlic. This tasty purée can be served with cooked veggies, pita bread or fish, just like the Greeks do on their National Independence Day where they serve it with beetroots and fried salted cod.
Another meze staple, dolmades are delicious vine leaves stuffed with rice, fresh herbs, and seasonings and sometimes pine nuts. These can be served in a meze platter or simply as a tasty snack. You can even try to make them for your next potluck dinner.
Kolokythokeftedes, as they are called in Greek, are sometimes in the form of a patty or a fried ball. But no matter how they are served, these courgette balls or fritters are simply delicious. They usually involve grated or puréed courgettes with fresh herbs such as dill or mint. They go perfectly with tzatziki.
Fried calamari, or kalamarakia, is a very common meze served in every fish taverna. Some recipes include marinating the calamari in ouzo, which makes them super tender on the inside and crispy on the outside. Yummy!
Melitzanosalata is a tasty roasted eggplant dip that can be served as a side dish or be eaten on its own. While many recipes often call for oven-baked eggplants, there is no denying that grilled eggplants, if you choose to make it yourself, add a smokiness that intensifies the flavor.
If you’ve ever visited Greece, you have probably seen a whole octopus hanging out to dry in the sun near small harbors or marinas. Octopus is a very common meze dish in virtually any taverna. Whether it is grilled or marinated, it is one of the tastiest side dishes on a menu that you can order.
Fava, also known as split pea purée, is another meze that is delicious and easy to throw together. Sometimes served as a main course, it can also be used in a sandwich or a wrap. With the added bonus of being healthy, full of protein, and low in fat, it is no wonder why it is a staple item in the Greek diet.
Discover new levels of yumminess with saganaki. Even though it may sound Japanese, saganaki cheese is 100 percent Greek. And what is it you ask? It is kefalograviera cheese that is fried, served with lemon juice, and eaten with bread, and it’s simply one of the best small dishes you can try.
Along with tzatziki and dolmades, taramosalata is probably one of the first items that comes to mind when thinking of Greek mezes, right? Made with fish roe, olive oil, lemon juice, onions, and bread, taramosalata is a delicious sauce you can use as a dip.