Jonathan Lewis, a student at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, gives us a peak into the incredible food of Greece!

To jumpstart my summer, I have the opportunity to travel with a program called LeadAbroad to Greece (I am still in Athens while writing this). This program specializes in leadership development, adventuring and service. While abroad I have experienced the extraordinarily rich culture of Greece. During my time I have immersed myself into new experiences, culture norms, and traditions which I have never experienced before. In fact, Greece is my first time traveling overseas, and I am eager to experience a change of culture from which I am used to in the US. So far I have been especially impressed with the Greek cuisine. The simplicity and exquisite flavor of Greek food is phenomenal, and has well exceeded my expectations. Here are a few authentic Greek favorites I tried as well as some tips I have learned in the unique culture of Greece.

1. Frappuccino Freddo

As a regular coffee consumer I made a point to experience the best coffee Athens has to offer. This drink is made with iced expresso topped with frothy milk over ice.

Frappuccino Freddo

Tip – Although it may keep you up late, it is common in Greece for friends to gather late at night to share a cappuccino together. Stay late to hang out with the locals.

2. Traditional Moussaka

This dish is essentially the Greek version of Shepard’s Pie. This dish layers’ potato, ground meat, and eggplant. I read about this in a book, and it was definitely worth the try. It boasts as one of the most traditional Greek dishes!

Tip- it is quite common in Greece to eat late. Lunch around 2 pm and dinner at 9 pm is common. You will find locals eating dinner late into the evening.

3. Chicken Souvlaki

A fresh combo of garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, topped with grilled chicken and tzatziki sauce.
Quick tip- I learned it is super helpful to learn some common Greek words. The locals will be appreciative and will not try to run a Greek language drill on you at the dinner table (yes, this happened to me).

4. Greek Salad

A true staple in Greek cuisine. Comprised of tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, onion, feta cheese, and olives. The best part is the local restaurant’s typically do not grate their feta cheese.

Greek food
Tip – In the U.S. it is appropriate to ask to split a bill while dining at a restaurant. However, in Greece it is customary to pay with one bill.

5. Greek Gelato

You will find a multitude of gelato shops all throughout Athens. I especially enjoyed the cheesecake!

greek gelato
Quick tips – If you ever visit Athens be mindful the bread, olive oil, and water. You will be charged for all.

There’s so much I have experienced so far, and the Greek cuisine was one glimpse into my experience with LeadAbroad!