The produce consumed on the island comes from the land itself to as great extent, so you are sure to be tasting the freshest and purest ingredients. The exceptional quality of the raw materials is consummately showcased by recipes that have been feeding the generations of Naxos for many decades. Many taverna owners cultivate their own produce precisely for guests of their restaurants, just as they would for their own family. Therefore, during your visit to Naxos island you can expect to be fed well.
Apart from the famed Greek dishes that can be found all around Greece, in Naxos you should try at least 3 local speciality dishes. ‘Kokkoras krasatos’ which is rooster in red wine sauce served with pasta, ‘rosto’ which is a garlic infused pork leg braised in red wine sauce served with potatoes, and the sticky sweet called ‘melachrino’ which is a local version of the Greek classic walnut cake, with a citron liqueur spin
Two of the top speciality products that Naxos is responsible for, exported to the rest of Greece and beyond, are the Naxian potatoes and a variety of local cheeses.
Naxian potatoes are considered to be the most tasty in all of Greece, for the very simple reason that they are in fact the tastiest. The potato culture in Naxos goes back centuries, to 1700, while in 1950, Naxos was declared as the official origin of potato seeding in Greece. During September it is usual for Naxos to have a Potato Festival during which visitors can try a wide variety of potato dishes, cooked in various ways. They are best served fried for that crispy exterior, but try them in any shape or form, they are bound to be the best potatoes you have ever tried!
At least 7 different kinds of Naxian cheeses have managed to gain national status. Naxian gruyere (pronounced graviera in Greek) is definitely the most popular. A hard, table cheese that is fragrant and slightly piquant, it is also grated on top of many local dishes. It carries a protected destination of origin since 1996. Kopanisti is a kind of creamy cheesy dip that can be found in a few places around Greece, while no one kopanisti is the same with the rest. The Naxian version of kopanisti is one of the tastiest.
The freshest cheese you can try in Naxos is xinomyzithra and is made within 24 hours of the milk being collected and should be consumed up to a few days later. Other local cheeses to try include xinotyri (hard cheese) which is made from xinomyzithra, arseniko (hard cheese), thylikotyri (soft cheese) and komos a very low fat cheese made from thylikotyri.