Whether on popular instagrammable locations or at off the beaten track spots, these thoroughly romantic restaurants in Chania will delight your palates, rekindle the flames and lift your spirits.
Valentine’s day – commemorating the patron- saint of love, a priest who secretly married early Christians and for this martyred and died under Roman Emperor Claudio’s reign – is typically celebrated around the globe with red roses, heart-shaped candy, spicy lingerie and candlelit dinners.
Yet who says romance should be exclusively reserved for February the 14th? This month is still cold and bleak – sometimes, even in sunkissed Crete. Yet the promise of spring winks from just around the corner. As we are all beginning to get lured away from the wintry weather stupor, we are also intuitively starting to search for reasons to be merry. It is no coincidence that the pagan-rooted, ancient custom of the Carnival (Apokries), also falls within the month that kicks off the rebirth of nature.
Romance is of course the no1 instant-mood booster, that’s why it shouldn’t be limited to one day of the year only. Whether the calendar says 14/2 or 25/8 –and everything before, after and in-between – read on for the top 5 romantic restaurants in Chania: All handpicked, special places – each one with its own distinctive brand of allure; all guaranteed to enhance your spirits and kindle those flames.
With a prime waterfront location on the scenic port of Chania, Salis offers Greek and Mediterranean classics with a modern twist on techniques and presentation. Everything is prepared with fresh, locally sourced ingredients – most is actually coming from their homegrown organic produce – and is absolutely mouthwatering. There is also an impressive, multi-awarded collection of wines, featuring rare local gems and some of the planet’s finest labels. One of the most romantic restaurants in Chania, Salis is the go-to place for wining and dining in impeccable style, while you watch the boats’ gentle lap on the water.
With stunning sunset views amid postcard-pretty settings, just steps away from the razzmatazz, Oinoa is as fairytale-like as it gets. Seating is either on a quaint pedestrianised street of Chania’s old town or on a terrace that overlooks the Venetian fortress –and this is just the beginning. The food here is scrumptious – rooted locally and cooked imaginatively – and the wine list is well thought of, with some very interesting and out of the ordinary choices. The staff are knowledgeable and cordial and behave more like hosts than employees.
Nestled ιn Koum Kapi – one of the most scenic and historic corners of the town– Miami is not what you would normally include in a typical list of romantic restaurants in Chania. Yet for those willing to look behind the rose-tinted, candlelit cliches, this is a perfect match, right on the water’s edge: Part painting studio, part brasserie and part boutique, Alexandra Manousakis’ innovative concept brings together art, wines and great food in one eye-catching package. Based on fresh, seasonal ingredients, the eclectic menu sports extensive world cuisine references and is served amid colourful, modern and convivial surroundings. Opt to get seated by the fireplace – in itself a work of art – to enjoy a couples’ experience that goes beyond the mundane.
This hidden gem of a restaurant is located on the outskirts of Chania, about 10 minutes away from the city centre – and it’s well worth the drive there. The food is on par with haute gastronomy – and not only the charcoal- cooked, premium beef cuts which are its principal claim to fame. Everything, from the Cretan- inspired appetisers to the fresh premium seafood, is prepared and presented with creativity and panache in an atmospherically lit terrace. And there is an exemplary walk-in cellar with more than 500 handpicked labels, from Sitia to Patagonia – all served by the glass, for an unforgettable, food and wine pairing journey.
Tucked away in a forgotten corner of Western Crete, the Milia eco-retreat is all about getting back to the basics. One of the most unique and romantic restaurants in Chania, in a village that looks like it would have looked back in the 17th century, it serves slightly elevated takes on rustic traditional dishes, that are as mouth watering as they are packed with goodness. With soul-restoring views over the surrounding olive groves and warm, welcoming hosts that will teach you all you need to know about Cretan gastronomy, this makes for an off the beaten track experience that you’ll remember in the years to come.