The cliff-hugging whitewashed houses, glistening beaches, and lively beach bars make it easy to see why Santorini is among one of the most well-known Greek islands.
Located in the Cyclades in the middle of the Aegean Sea in Greece, Santorini attracts visitors from all over the world for many reasons, including the fantastic Greek Mediterranean cuisine.
In the island’s 20 beautiful villages, fishermen get first sight of the freshest catch in seaside towns like Kamari and Amoudi Bay, while the romantic hilltop spots in Pyrgos and Imerovigli help Santorini live up to its romantic reputation.
Therefore, you might anticipate that Greek restaurants on well-traveled islands like Santorini will abandon substance in favor of style. However, tourists can find the hottest tables to book for fresh seafood, family-run restaurants, and truly authentic Mediterranean menus between traditional tavernas and chic supper restaurants. And the best part? Every evening meal becomes even more special at some of these tables because they are positioned so that you can watch the sunset over the caldera.
I am sure that here you will find some of the best restaurants in the world. Here are my top 11 great Santorini restaurants that I prefer every time I visit Santorini, in no particular order, that will make your taste buds dance with joy!
1. Metaxi mas (Exo Gonia) $$
My wife’s favorite choice! And we all know what this means! In the middle of Santorini, viewing the sea, you will find this amazing taverna-restaurant! Fantastic food! Just this! My wife still lusts for it every time we plan to travel. The menu is a celebration of local ingredients, featuring succulent grilled meats and fresh seafood that will transport your taste buds straight to the Aegean Sea. Must taste the Greek ntako salad made from fresh Santorini tomato. When Greeks talk about Greek food, this is it. Metaxi mas has been a standard choice since the first time I visited Santorini and is for sure one of the best restaurants not only in Santorini but in almost all Greek islands.
2. Varoulko (Imerovigli) $$$$
The first Greek chef with a Michelin star is the owner of this amazing restaurant. You must know that the chef specializes in seafood! The restaurant’s balcony hangs literally above the sea, with the lights of Oia shining further. We taste the red shrimp, with the charming sea sweetness, on a fragrant spinach pie cream, embroidered with rice crackers with cuttlefish ink and mayonnaise with curry. They are followed by the blue crab from Katerini, with tangerine foam and seaweed marinated in broth from Stone Fish. In fact, whatever Greek food dishes you choose will amaze you!
3. To psaraki (Vlycahada) $$
This restaurant is located just above the little port of Vlychada, it looks like the typical Greek taverna. This is the place you must visit when you want fresh fish. Actually, the name of the restaurant means little fish so expect the best seafood dishes. Ask for swordfish or tuna, and you will taste the most amazing fish you ever had in your life. Fresh sea bass is the standard option. Don’t forget to order fava made from fresh ingredients and olive oil, and grilled octopus!
4. Selene (Fira) $$$$
Selene restaurant is located in a unique place. The abandoned catholic monastery of the 18th century is now the best fine-dining restaurant in Santorini. After more than 30 years, Selene is now under the responsibility of one of the most famous Greek Michelin-starred chefs, Ectore Bottrini. Enjoy an amazing experience that you will remember for the rest of your life! Definitely the best of Fira restaurants.
5. Ammoudi Dimitris (Oia) $$
In the small bay of Ammoudi, a few minutes away from Oia, you will find Dimitris Amoudi fish tavern restaurant. Located where the wave hits the quay, it is the time to taste the best lobster spaghetti in your life!! I still remember this excellent taste! Start with the fresh greek salad, and then taste the famous greek mezedes, fava, tomato fritters, and fried zucchini and eggplant. Enjoy these greek flavors. It’s time for the seafood, delicious dishes, and wine! Fish are so fresh in this restaurant that maybe you see them moving. Really fantastic Greek food!!
6. Lycabettus (Oia) $$$$
This place in Oia is ideal if you want to propose to your partner or just for a romantic dinner. Amazing view and excellent fine dining modern greek cuisine in one of the best restaurants in Santorini. Enjoy this a la carte menu and experience amazing food and exceptional wine selections in one of the best restaurants in Santorini.
7. Red bicycle (Oia) $$$
Hanging over the cliff of Oia, with amazing caldera views and the sleeping volcano of Santorini. There is a balcony in Greece that would be envied by three-star restaurants on the other side of the world; it is that of the red bicycle. We enjoyed, for a start, the fantastic white eggplant ravioli in tomato consomme and the crispy and absolutely summer salad with green beans, marinated shrimps, apricots, and fresh mint. For the main dish, we tried an impossibly juicy cod with lemony topinambur cream, with string beans and orange and fennel sauce, a true party on the palate. Don’t forget to ask for the dessert menu! Definitely one of the best Oia restaurants.
8. Kapari wine restaurant (Imerovigli) $$$
This is the place I go for authentic Greek cuisine. In addition to the fantastic food, the wine bar at this restaurant is one of the best on Santorini island. Every dish we tried was incredible. I am talking about some very tasty food. The pork belly was just amazing. We also ordered a variety of dips with pita bread which was delicious!
9. 1800 Floga (Oia) $$$
The 1800 Floga restaurant is housed in a captain’s mansion in Oia, which dates back to 1845. It is an absolute must for a romantic dinner during sunset with a view of the Aegean sea and the caldera. I tasted an excellent grilled octopus, but I also enjoyed the Mediterranean-style dinner!
10. Roka (Oia) $$
Roka Restaurant is located in an old 1912 building with interesting architecture, in an area where you can admire old preserved captain houses. I have tasted great food every time I’ve been to one of the best restaurants, Roka. The lamp is great and the grilled meat amazing, but the best food you must taste is skioufikta. Traditional greek pasta with vegetables. The Greek food at this restaurant is amazing. Definitely one of my favorite restaurants in Santorini.
11.Kastro’s (Oia) $$$
Nothing beats the warmth and hospitality of a family-run restaurant, and Kastro’s located in the village of Oia delivers just that. The rustic setting and traditional Greek cuisine made with fresh, local ingredients, such as grilled meats and homemade pasta, will make you feel like you’re dining with family. The grilled calamari is really amazing and I loved it! You must try the local Santorinian Beer that is served here made in Santorini traditional microbreweries.
Santorini is a delicious food paradise, and these are just a few of the many great dining options available on the island. Whether you’re looking for a casual, laid-back atmosphere or a more upscale dining experience, you’re sure to find a Santorini restaurant that suits your taste. Καλή όρεξη (kalí órexi) or Bon appetite!
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Greek food is based on fresh ingredients, vegetables and fruits, fish, and olive oil. Famous santorini food is fava that is made of yellow split peas puree and olive oil. Other popular Greek flavors include fresh fish, tomatokeftedes (tomato fritters), and Cretan ntako salad. A Greek food variation you must taste is mousaka made of santorini white eggplants.
Santorini has countless restaurants that serve more than 2 million visitors per year. Fira (or Thira) is the capital of Santorini and its busiest town. Here you’ll probably find the most restaurants on the island. There are restaurants scattered in the entire island where you can enjoy local food.
Reservations are required at most of the restaurants in Santorini. Especially from May to September when the island is really crowded you must book at least 3-5 days before. Otherwise you will explore island street food that may prove a tasty choice!
Tipping in Greece is customary for many services, though it isn’t obligatory. Generally, Greeks round up the bill to the next 5 or 0. For example if the bill is 32€ they leave 35€ and if the bill is 47€ they leave 50€. In case you have found the best restaurant you may tip as much as you want.
Bottled water is recommended for drinking. In Greek islands drinkable water is scarce. They use water from wells or they use reverse osmosis to sea water in order to get rid of salt and other particles. Prefer bottled water even if it is clean and safe because you are not used to this water.
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