Nightlife and Eating Out

Crete, like most of the Greek islands, has a plethora of places to eat and drink.

From very flashy bars serving every cocktail known to mankind, to basic kafenios which sell only village wine, beer, coffee, and ouzo.
Even a Greek coffee comes with food

Generally the latter are very economical, and if you are looking for somewhere to sit in the shade during the day and enjoy a beer or wine and watch the world go by, then these are the places to go. Many of them also serve food of some sort although they may not have a menu. If it is seems to be full of 'locals', then don't be shy (again), you will find you can have lots of fun.

Crete has a cuisine that is distinctly Greek but with variations all its own, many of which use local ingredients such as some of the excellent cheeses that are made on the island. There are restaurants that feature 'international' dishes, but you didn't really come to Crete to eat pizza did you?
Dry, twice baked bread, softened with water, this is a 'luxury' one!
A simple 'dakos' makes an ideal lunch!

You will find 'bifteki' on most menus which is the Greek version of a burger except that it is made from pure meat with seasoning and herbs and it doesn't come in a bun, although there is a good chance it will come with home made chips from our local potatoes.

Don't ask for hummous though because that is not Greek, and neither is haloumi cheese!
A snack from a roadside 'kantina'.

One of the great 'secrets' of Cretan food is the 'kantina'. Sometimes these are proper shops where, if you want to know what they have got you have to go in the kitchen and look in all the pots, other times you will find them on the side of the road. The picture on the left is a typical offering. A couple of pork souvlakia and some bread. The price including the can of Fanta? About 2 euros!
Greek menus are usually in more than one language

If you are out for an evening drinking, then you will have many places to choose from, although once you are sat at a taverna table it is yours for the evening, most places don't expect you to leave as soon as you have finished eating. 

While ther may be a lack of gay bars on Crete, many bars are gay friendly and quite often you will realise in the busier resorts (or even the quiet ones), that you are not alone. At the time of writing there is only one bar, in Heraklion, La Brasserie, that advertises itself as gay, (which happens to be one more than Mykonos where none of them seem to admit to being gay), but Home Hotel near Hersonissos has 'party nights' on Saturday which are usually well attended by both LGBT tourists and locals. If you are in Xania, then Adaba Bar is quite gay friendly. 

The famous Eros Bar at Malia is no longer open, but it is almost certain that YOLO in Hersonissos, run by the inimitable Astrid, will be open in 2015.

Many bars and restaurants are run by non-Greeks, or by Greeks married to foreigners who of course in their own countries are well used to LGBT customers and for the mature gay and lesbian visitor the lack of gay venues is not a problem, after all we grew up without them!

A bit of research on the internet before you leave home will do well here as your hotel will probably not know where to send you, and might well be embarrassed by the question.

Nevertheless it is possible to have a good night out with music, both Greek and international, lots to drink, and not get into bed until 6am!