Where to Eat on Santorini
Wondering where to eat on Santorini? Here’s a rundown of some of the best places to go…
Where to Eat on Santorini
As one of Greece’s most popular island destinations, Santorini is a haven for great restaurants.
What makes that experience even better? The stunning yet romantic surroundings at almost every turn. This is the island to take in views of a sunken volcano, stretches of blue seas and clifftop whitewashed towns.
Another factor to awesome restaurants in Santorini? The influence of traditional gastronomy that came natural to the island. For a barren volcanic land, there are some fantastic Greek island dishes. Think cherry tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes, excellent beans, white eggplant, all kinds of wonderfully prepared greens and fantastic wine.
Whether you are in the caldera towns, the inland villages or simply enjoying the beach resort towns, there are some go-to restaurants to add to your travel itinerary.
After three trips to the island and many professional reviews for major media, here are my favorite picks of where to eat in Santorini.
Where to Eat on Santorini: The Caldera Towns
This Oia restaurant is set in a captain’s house. These were mansions built by wealthy merchants in the 19th century.
While Sphinx may not have a caldera view, it has a beautifully designed interior dining room. An ambient dining patio has you enjoying your meal looking over the charming “skyline” of Oia’s backstreets.
The international wine list and Greek wine list is great. So is the service. As for the dishes, the lobster carpaccio was a favorite starter of mine. Try the delicate osso bucco sous vide with a potato cream and a lightly spicy tuna steak with a spicy tarama mayonnaise.
Oia; www.sphinxwinerestaurant.com ; Main dishes start at €20.
Right off the main shopping road of Oia, Red Bicycle is a local favorite for beautiful Mediterranean plates with a Santorini touch. I loved the ambient dining terrace which has a fantastic view of Oia. Quiet and romantic.
The sea bream is served with a vine leaf puree, sweet potato and quinoa in a dill sauce. The traditional island butter pastry dessert called melitini is served with a lemon coconut sorbet and a cherry tomato sweet preserve.
Oia; Main dishes start at €20.
Growing some of the best Greek grape varieties – since ancient times – has something to do with the land, and sommeliers at Domain Sigalas are ready to tell you all about the details and serve tasty Greek plates that perfectly accompany them.
While Sigalas may be a big name in the wine industry, this is still very much a local family-run winery. You can reserve a spot for wine tastings and wine and food pairing sessions. I loved getting to know everything about the whites, reds and sweet wines that have made this island a wine connoisseur’s destination.
You’ll find both international and Greek cuisine here. I found the menu pretty diverse and a fantastic view goes with the dining experience. The restaurant is set on three levels of dining terraces overlooking the caldera and towards Oia.
Starters include a cool quinoa salad with fresh tuna and dill. Main dishes include a mix of seafood, pasta and meat dishes with a touch of local ingredients such as sundried tomatoes and white eggplant. An excellent sweet ending is the rich chocolate marquise served with fresh mango ice cream.
Imerovigli; www.mezzorestaurant.gr; mains start at €15
Katina’s Fish Tavern
What was so memorable about dining at Katina’s Fish Taverna was the sea view and just being in one of the most charming spots on this beautiful island.
The tables are set right next to the bay so you can kind of daydream away as you watch the fishermen dock their colorful boats.
Ammoudi Bay in lower Oia; main dishes start at €15.
One of the oldest tavernas on the island is Aktaion which is located right on the main street in Firostefani. I loved the white eggplant dish – simply delicious. Finish off with lemon pie.
Firostefani; www.aktaion.gr; Main dishes start at €15.
Where to Eat on Santorini: Pyrgos
I was thrilled to review Selene which has an amazing reputation as one of the best Greek island restaurants.
Located in the quiet village of Pyrgos, Selene has an elegant interior décor, beautiful dining terrace and a unique fine dining menu that shows off what is possible with Santorinian local ingredients melds with top culinary talent.
Pyrgos; www.selene.gr; Main dishes start at €50. ; Reservations essential.
Tip: Selene’s also has a lower level bistro that is a bit more laid back.
Where to Eat on Santorini: Exo Gonia
On an island with countless Greek tavernas, Metaxi Mas was recommended to by so many locals I met. I started off my meal with complementary shots of house ouzo, traditional Greek bread rusks and Greek olives.
The smooth and rich fava dip with local capers was excellent. For a main, I tried the traditional slow-cooked pork dish in tomato sauce — hearty and delicious.
I loved the breezy patio with lovely view of the inland areas of Santorini.
Exo Goina; www.santorini-metaximas.gr; Main dishes start at €16
Where to Eat on Santorini: Perivolos
This bistro-like restaurant has a menu of Mediterranean and Santorinian dishes that are presented with creativity. 41 is also beautifully designed. This modern space also kept some traditional touches left over from its tomato canning factory days. The venue makes great use of its beach front spaces with outdoor dining. There’s also a charming private dining room inside where guests can experience a Santorini wine and food pairing.
Perivolos; Main dishes start at €16
Santorini Travel Tips
- Best time of year to go? I say May, early June, September and October. Less crowds and good weather.
- Don’t ride the donkeys. Yes, they’re terribly cute. Know that they are often mishandled and overworked and riding them continues the cycle.
- If you don’t like climbing steps or have difficulties walking up and down stairs, don’t stay in the caldera towns. If you don’t mind a hike, the caldera towns are the best place to stay. Make sure you book a room with a view.
Have you been to Santorini? Do you have any recommendations that are not on my list? I would love to hear about your experience. Feel free to comment in the boxes below.
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