Chania and Rethymnon are recognised not just in Crete but in Greece too for the excellent cheese and yoghurt produced. Couple these with the tiny salty black olives produced locally and 'paximadi' Cretan dried bread and you have a great Cretan equivalent of Ploughmans Lunch!
Visit a local market and buy a bottle of homemade 'Petimezi' which is grape molasses and not commercially produced.
In the resorts near to Chania and Rethymnon, you will find Chinese, Indian, Swedish and Italian to name but a few. However if you visit the traditional local tavernas you will see dishes advertised on menus that will not appear anywhere else. This is because there is a certain influence remaining from the days when Crete was occupied by the Turkish people. To enjoy truly authentic local dishes, either stop off in a village taverna for lunch or head for the towns and see where the Greek people eat.
Here are a few of the local dishes we recommend you try:
fronds of fennel and finely chopped spring onions sautéed in olive oil then spread over pastry made with olive oil, flour, water and a splash of Raki before being quickly fried until lightly brown.
A deep courgette pie without the pastry bound with eggs and flavoured with soft Mizithra cheese, fresh mint and a little grated tomato and baked in the oven. Perfect summer food.