World Places and News

Chef Marianna Leivaditaki on Crete

Chef Marianna Leivaditaki on Crete

June 17
00:35 2018

Stavros & Stamatis is the best place for a traditional Cretan lunch in Chania, the island’s second largest city. It’s located in the main indoor market opposite the fish stalls and is a favourite of fishermen, who go early for a plate of offal or mutton soup after being at sea all night. It’s run by father Stavros and son Stamatis and has been there since 1928.

— In a building opposite the minaret in the old city, Mesogiako is a cherished haunt. Chef and owner Manolis has created a lovely menu full of Middle Eastern influences. In summer, you can sit in the courtyard surrounded by plants and feast until the early hours.

— By far my favourite place to eat is Mezedopolio Stavros (pictured above), just by the water in Chania’s Nea Chora (new town). Go for a glass of cold retsina (pictured below) and some octopus in red wine sauce, listen to locals gossip and let the day go by.

— At Pasteleria de Danain the old town, Konstantinos and his mum have created a beautiful space for desserts that are unique and adventurous, such as a salted caramel and mascarpone torte.

— For a traditional Cretan taverna, travel west to the village of Voulgaro. Neratzoula is a family business in which everyone helps out. From simple salads to stuffed vegetables and slow-cooked meat stews, the food is always delicious.

— About three hours east of Chania, Ston Prodromo, in the village of Fourni, is magic for coffee or afternoon raki (anise-flavored spirit). In terms of food, the owner offers whatever he has decided to make that day.

Marianna Leivaditaki is head chef at Morito Hackney Road, London (

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