Bakaliko – to make you just eat great Cretan food

Fine foods & wines from Crete and the rest of Greece 


Bakaliko – to make you just eat great Cretan food

Heading to Bakaliko

The coasts of Crete are famous for their beauty (if not yet ruined by mass tourism). Nevertheless, there is great pleasure in spending some time in the enticing inland, adorned with stunning natural landscapes. We are heading to Bakaliko in the beautiful village of Archanes. We are driving 15 km south from Heraklion along the waving roads surrounded by endless vineyards to the sun-baked village of Archanes. There is a lot to tell about this village, located on the slopes of Mount Giouhtas. Archanes has a 5000-year-old history and important archaeological sites, besides wonderfully built houses, famous for their typical Cretan architecture. Archanes has won an award as the ‘second best-restored village in Europe.’ Archanes seems quiet and empty in the hot afternoon sun until we reach the main square. The central square is full of lively tavernas, their tables carefully arranged in the shade of leafy, old trees. It struck us that many activities occur simultaneously on the square, people come are sit here to meet each other, to eat, to drink, to talk, to gossip, as long as the time lasts.

Island love story

Amidst all the Greek tavernas, we find Bakaliko. Bakaliko was founded in early 2013 by two pioneering Hungarian women, Agnes and Susanna, who had come separately to Crete and both fell in love with Cretan island living. Enamoured by the beauty and bounty of Crete, the Cretan produce and wines, they decided to stay. The idea was to create a store and delicatessen restaurant. To cook some simple recipes to help visitors discover the amazing Cretan products. The name Bakaliko was a natural choice. Bakaliko, a word of Turkish origin, refers to a store. In 2017, Agnes returned to her native Budapest to pursue other interests.

Bakaliko is now run solely by Susanna and her husband George, a native Cretan. Susanna and George met at a sailing-club restaurant in the port of Heraklion, where she worked as a cook and he in the dining room, before they started their Bakaliko adventure together with Agnes. We ran into George after lunch to discover his passion and knowledge of the wines of Crete and Greece. 

Bakaliko – to make you just eat great Cretan food
Bakaliko – to make you just eat great Cretan food

Local with a twist

As lovers of good food, we could not resist the temptation to savour the tastes Babaliko had discovered. Bakaliko’s commitment to fresh ingredients, prepared with lot’s of love for the produce, delighted us. Genuine Cretan flavours, but with a twist, executed with modern techniques, sophistication and elegance. We are in for a remarkable lunch. We order Dakos, the typical Cretan rusks topped with tomatoes, olives, olive oil, fresh herbs and crumbled Myzithra;  delicious dolmades, the beautiful bulgur-wrapped vine leaves finished with lemon and mind tzatziki, and the rice pilaf with feta, toasted pistachios and pomegranate seeds. All accompanied by a savoury watermelon salad. George was kind enough to pair all of our dishes with a well-selected wine per glass that complemented the dish. Life is filled with unusual surprises. One of them was the tarte tatin. This heavenly French dessert with the taste of dark and sticky caramel, sweet apples and crisp pastry. George told us that people come specially to Bakaliko to eat this wonderful dessert. Good food and wines are part of Crete and Greece. 

The details:

When you visit Bakaliko restaurant you’ll be in for a treat, as much as we were at this charming, little place.

Bakaliko Archanes  – Main Square, Ano Archanes, Crete