Dakos (Cretan Meze)

Dakos (Cretan Meze)

The Spruce / Sonia Bozzo

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 15 mins
Servings: 2 to 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
61 Calories
3g Fat
7g Carbs
2g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2 to 4
Amount per serving
Calories 61
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 3g 4%
Saturated Fat 1g 6%
Cholesterol 9mg 3%
Sodium 79mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 7g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 13mg 63%
Calcium 46mg 4%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 235mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

In Greek: ντάκος, pronounced DAH-kohss

A traditional meze or a light meal on the island of Crete, dakos is often called "Greek bruschetta," and is easy to make with few ingredients and requires no cooking. Other names for it are ntakos or koukouvagia and some regions of Crete have their own names for the dish. 

Dakos is made with barley rusks, a specialty of Crete called kritharokoula. A rusk is a hard, twice-baked bread. Rusks from the island of Crete are made with barley flour, or a combination of barley flour and whole wheat flour. They often contain sourdough and keep for a long time, which is why there were the preferred bread in times when people did not have the opportunity to bake often. 

The thick rusks need to be rehydrated first, which can be done spraying them with water or briefly soaking them. You can find rusks at online Greek food shops, make your own, or use a thick slice of grilled or toasted crusty country bread. Regular bread isn’t nearly as hard as rusks so you’d skip the water. 

The topping for this appetizer consists of olive oil, grated tomato, and Greek cheese. The traditional cheese for this dish on the island of Crete is aged mizithra, but you can also use crumbled feta cheese. Some recipes add capers or olives. 

The sun-ripened tomatoes of Greece are very juicy and therefore most of the liquid is drained after grating the tomato. While rusks need to be softened to make them palatable, they should not turn soggy from too much tomato water. 

Just like bruschetta, dakos should be served right away. To make it ahead, you can store the grated tomatoes in the fridge for a few hours so you have them ready to assemble the dakos.


  • 1/2 large round barley rusk, about 5 inches in diameter

  • 1 large tomato, or 2 small ripe tomatoes, coarsely grated, skin discarded

  • 2 to 3 heaping tablespoons feta cheese, or aged myzithra, crumbled or grated

  • 2 to 3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • Pinch Greek oregano

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Dakos (Cretan Meze) ingredients

    The Spruce / Sonia Bozzo

  2. Spray the barely rusks with water (about 4 to 6 tablespoons total) to moisten.

    Spray the barely rusks with water

    The Spruce / Sonia Bozzo

  3. Grate the tomato with a vegetable grater (or the large grate on a multi-grater) into a strainer over a bowl so most of the liquid drain off.

    Grate the tomato with a vegetable grater into a strainer

    The Spruce / Sonia Bozzo

  4. Spread the strained, grated tomato on the rusk and top with cheese. Sprinkle with pepper and a good amount of oregano, and drizzle with olive oil.

    Dakos (Cretan Meze)

    The Spruce / Sonia Bozzo


  • Some like to add a couple of thin slices of bell pepper and/or onion. They aren't part of the original recipe but can be used if desired.