Greek eating, drinking, and socializing conventions

It can be stated unequivocally that Greeks are social creatures, and that much socializing goes on in connection with food and drink, and that drinking in Greece is always accompanied by some kind of food, if only a little plate of peanuts or a small mezes (snack/appetizer) such as a few little squares of bread with some olives and bits of cheese.

More often, however, plates of mezedhes (plural of mezes) are far more elaborate, and include everything from meat or fish dishes to dips for bread, including tzatziki (yogurt-garlic-cucumber) or melitsanosalata (a puree of aubergine with oil and garlic), the dishes commonly shared by the parea (the company partaking of the food and drink, who are most often friends and/or relatives, though a parea can be a group of professionals meeting over a meal, too).

Often one person will pay for everyone, though people will share the bill too, but if you are invited as a guest, your effort to pay for your portion will be refused.

As stated above, a substantial meal is eaten by most Greek at midday, which usually means sometime after 2:30, though with some exceptions, especially among those who do not work for others at regular jobs.

Villagers with crops and animals, for example, might begin in the wee hours of the morning (pro-ee pro-ee) and get home for the midday meal at noon.

Greeks who live in cities and towns, including young students, often go out for a meal in the evening, a meal that may begin after 10 pm in the summer months, just after it gets dark.

Many shops stay open till this hour (or later in summer), so that many are getting off work around then. Music at many tavernas begins around this hour as well. The midday nap (which begins anywhere from 3- 5 pm), allows for the lively nightlife enjoyed by Greeks in many places, which in summer, also includes villages, where people wait for the coolness of late evening to sit down to the last meal of the day, whether at home or in a local taverna.

Greek Style