Your Historical Guide to a Greek Feast

Mediterranean natives have always known to be hard workers and natural-born warriors. They’re also incredibly innovative and creative, as ancient Greek and Roman cultures have made significant advancements toward civilizations. Modern society enjoys many things today that are derivatives of their inventions, which is a further testament to their ingenuity. Another powerful facet of this culture is the delicious cuisine that gives them the energy they need to survive and thrive. 

The Greeks have endured thousands of years, and their culture lives on internationally through their teachings and their cuisine. This is evident in America, where there is a healthy community of Greeks in many states. New York has plenty, California has a community, and even Washington D.C. houses Greek brethren. If you are looking for Greek food in DC, here is a little lesson on Greek meals to get you excited for a feast:

Greeks Eat Three Meals a Day

Like many Western cultures, Greeks eat a variety of energy-boosting foods spaced throughout the day. They take around three main meals a day to keep them energized, and have snacks in between each. Greeks are known for their warrior spirit, hard work, and dedication to their craft. When Greeks need to go to work, they’ll do so with pure heart and willpower. This characteristic is why nutrition is valuable, as it supplies hard workers with fuel to perform their daily duties and tasks. 


Proino is the least popular meal of the day, which is a small and simple breakfast that usually includes herbal tea or coffee with a piece of bread or a hard-boiled egg. This setup is for the usual Greek who gets up in the morning to complete a long to-do list. Farmers who do heavier workload throughout the day need a sustained source of energy, which is why they consume trahana to give them a boost. Trahana is made out of grains and is made with milk, which is good for bones and provides strength to those who eat it. 

Nowadays, Greeks usually follow the Westernized diet, which is a quick snack they grab on the way to school or work with a coffee. Times have changed and so have dietary needs, but a good old fashioned Greek breakfast is unbeatable. 


Kolatsio is a mid-morning snack that is consumed at around 11 in the morning. Due to the light breakfast, it is customary to get hungry at this time, so many Greeks eat a savory pie that has cheese or spinach. Some take coffee, but it is all up to their personal preferences. 


Lunch is an important meal of the day, as this is the most filling one in Greek culture. In the mid-to-late-1900s, traditional Greece did not have the nine-to-five workday, which meant that families came home to have lunch together. The usual meal consisted of a casserole or a stew with some cheese, bread, a salad, and some wine. Some wealthier families had different types of meat on the menu. This still holds true for some Greeks of today’s world, as they eat plenty of casseroles, pasta, and grilled meats due to their affordability. 

Afternoon Coffee Breaks

After mesimeriano, Greeks often took a nap and woke up at around 5. After waking up, they would have a dessert with their coffee. While napping is a luxury that not many have, coffee breaks are a staple in Greek and many other cultures. 


Greeks often have dinner past 9 in the evening. If they have had a heavy lunch, they might opt for fruits with yogurt, a sandwich, a salad, or whatever they have leftover from lunch. Some may have pizza, souvlaki, or even other cuisines nowadays. 


The best Greek food in DC recommends giving the Greek diet a try, which has kept the Greek people fit mentally and physically for centuries. As a culture of hardworking people who work in fields and as farmers or warriors, there is definitely a good boost in their nutrition. 

Manny & Olga’s is a fantastic restaurant serving Greek food in DC. We offer the best pizza in DC for those who wish to see what a Greek can do with a pan and some ingredients. Dine with us today and experience an amazing taste bud adventure.