Go directly to:


Type gerechten





A Greek mezze is a snack that is eaten with a glass of wine, ouzo or raki. A selection is often ordered and shared with table companions. Mezedese can also be served as a dish. Well-known mezedes are dolmades, olives, keftedes and taramasalata.

What is mezze?

A mezze (Greek spelling μεζέ, pronounced: “MEH-zay”) is a Greek snack, where mezze is singular, so one bite, and mezedes the plural. Mezze therefore literally means ‘snack’. The Greeks like a glass of wine – ouzo or raki to be precise – but always eat something when they drink, hence the important role of the mezedes.

You don’t usually have a drink on your own, and eating mezedes is, therefore, a social matter. Neighbours, friends or family come together for a chat, a bottle is opened and a selection of mezze is then ordered. Drinks and food together gradually create a convivial atmosphere.

Outside Greece, mezedes are ordered as a dish, when all kinds of dishes with different tastes and textures have already been selected for you. There are also Greek restaurants where you choose your mezze yourself, directly from the menu or from a buffet table. An individual mezze can also be served as an appetiser.

Mezze exists in an enormous number of forms. They can be cold or hot, vegetarian, made of meat or fish, simple (cubes of feta) or examples of real cooking (kidneys cooked in red wine). Some typical snacks on the mezze menu are kalamata olives, dolmades (stuffed vine leaves), eggplant dip, taramasalata (fish roe dip) and pita (sandwiches). Since Greece is surrounded by the sea, fish cannot be missed. What do you think about grilled sardines, squid rings or king prawns? Small meat dishes are also popular, including keftedakia (small meatballs) and all kinds of skewers from the grill.

Did you know...

The Greek mezze is not unique. There are many countries where one sometimes opts out of late dinner and instead nibbles on a buffet of small snacks, preferably with friends, family and neighbours. Turkey, Lebanon and Syria all enjoy their own variant of the mezze evening. The Spaniards call it tapas.

How to make mezze

Just as with the Indonesian rice table, the secret of a good collection of mezze is in the preparation. The choice of dishes is also important; an interplay of different flavours, textures and temperatures is the goal. After that, all that remains is to bring it to the table.

How to eat

It’s best to eat your mezedes slowly, slowly, talking and laughing with your friends around you. Preferably outside of course, while listening to the sound of the waves and watching the sunset. In the absence of a first-class beach seat, a small balcony, a postage stamp garden or a roof terrace also enough to imagine yourself in a sunny Greek atmosphere. Eating mezze is an informal affair, so it’s best to eat with your fingers.

Also try

The Spanish tapa is very similar to its Greek brother the mezze. Although the tastes differ, you will find similar items in both dishes such as meatballs, squid rings and sardines.

Please consider

A glass of ouzo, raki or wine, please.

Discover these dishes