It is an unfortunate thing to say that the Greek breakfast is actually non-existent in the hotels and cafeterias of the country. Walking by the lines of cafeterias in the Greek islands, you will see signs for English or Mediterranean, but not for Greek breakfast. How weird is this, especially for a country that has so many local and high-quality products?
Breakfast in hotels
In most hotels and rooms, the breakfast buffet includes Danish butter, French marmalade, croissants, German sausages, pre-packed cakes, eggs and bacon. Some would say that this is what the hotel clientele probably wants from a breakfast. Others would argue about the cost of Greek products, which are occasionally more expensive than packed and massively-produced foreign products.
But would it really be so strange for accommodation owners to make special arrangements with local shops and workshops to buy Greek products in lower prices? Would it be so unacceptable for foreigners to eat Cretan rusks instead of croissants and local butter instead of Danish? Would it be strange not to have bacon in their breakfast but a traditional tomato and feta cheese omelet (called strapatsada in Greek)? After all, it is healthier and you do not need the extra calories of bacon in the hot atmosphere of Greece…
A partly Greek breakfast will most possible be found in small family hotels and rooms around the country, where the owners try harder to show to visitors the beauty of their homeland. In larger 4 and 5 star hotels, breakfasts are more westernized.
The Greek Breakfast Project
Recognizing gastronomy as an important sector of tourism in general, the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels has prepared since 2010 and is promoting the Greek Breakfast Project. This is a program that aims to form the breakfast buffet of the hotels with fresh Greek products and traditional local dishes for the region. In fact, they are designing a standard breakfast for every different region and island in Greece, so that the local products are truly presented and promoted.
In general, the Greek Breakfast consists of bread, rusks, olive oil, yoghurt, cheese products, honey, fresh vegetables, pies and fresh fruit. Apart from these basic products, the hotel buffet is enriched with local dishes, depending on the region. These dishes could be, for example, cheese pie, spinach pie, milk pie (called galatopita in Greek), rice pudding with cinnamon on top (rizogalo in Greek), froutalia omelets, kaltsounia in Crete, fried cheese pie in Skopelos, homemade cookies and more.
Breakfast from bakeries
Even if the hotel is not offering the typical Greek breakfast or if your accommodation does not offer breakfast at all, this does not mean that you can’t easily create your own breakfast. Just go to the local bakery and see what they have to offer. They will usually have pies and cookies, all handmade and produced locally in the bakery’s workshop.