Good Eats and Drinks That Are Worth Finding in Santorini
“Fish, to taste right, must swim three times –
in water, in butter and in wine.” ~ Polish Proverb
Santorini is a small island that has a big reputation for being a first-rate, world-class candidate for Earth’s most stunning spot.
Worthwhile mentioning is the fact that it is now fast gaining the popularity as a delightful gastronomic hub in Greece. For this size of an island, it boasts of over 2000 food businesses ranging from cheap gyros take-outs to gourmet-style restaurants within an area of about 60 square miles.
In a 2012 update about best restaurants and vineyards in Santorini, a traveler gets a glimpse of what to expect and where to eat in Santorini.
Santorini’s cuisine stands out for its simplicity and freshness. If you come here, you can safely expect to have doses of its most unique cuisines such as the fava bean that has been cultivated in Santorini for about 3500 years; the cherry tomatoes made extra sweeter by Santorini’s anhydrous soil; the one-of-a-kind white aubergine or eggplant; the cheeses – chloro cheese from goat’s milk and feta cheese from sheep; Tomatokeftes, an old-style dish made with tomatoes, fresh mint, parsley, onions, and paprika; the wild Santorini capers; and the excellent local meats – beef, lamb, rabbit, and quail.
The 2012 Update also talked about the excellent and distinctive Santorini wine that is attributed to the ideal soil conditions of the island owing to the volcanic or pyroclastic materials – ash, lava and pumice stone. It similarly enumerated the top restaurants that are well-patronized by both the tourists and the locals in the island of Sartorini.
What Are Some of the Best Vineyards in Santorini?
… Santorini has two applellations: one for dry whites( Asyrtiko, Athiri and Aïdani Aspro) and one for sweet whites (Asyrtiko and Aïdani). Vinsanto (sweet white wine) is the most traditional wine of Santorini.
According to Ed McCarthy of the winereviewonline.com there are four Santori producers that he considers excellent…
About Gaia — Gaia Wines was founded in 1994 by winemaker/oenologist Yiannis Paraskevopoulos and his agronomist partner. Paraskevopoulos is perhaps Greece’s most respected winemaker…
About Sigalis — No winemaker has done more to preserve Santorini’s vineyards than Paris Sigalas, who founded his winery in 1991–this is about the time that Greek wines began their revival. Sigalas is also the only Santorini producer who saves his older vintages, and so a vertical tasting of his wines is always a possibility on a visit to the winery. Sigalas has also done vertical tastings of his Santorini in the U.S…
About Argyros –Making wine under its own label since 1903 by Georgios Argyros, in a 5 acres vineyard located in Episkopi Gonia Thiras (Santorini). Georgios Argyros made his wines according to the traditional Santorinian way, the winery has become famous for its Vinsanto, which is regarded as one of the best on the island. The winery takes great pride in its history of Vinsanto production, and has the most strict aging regime on the island, releasing their wine only after 20 years of barrel aging. Many awards have been given for Assyrtiko Argyros..
About Hatzidakis –Hadzidakis came to the island in 1991, and like many winemakers on the island, was employed for a time at Boutari…He is also notably the only winemaker on the island to use native yeast fermentation’s for all his wines. Hatzidakis also makes the rare red Santorini ‘Mavrotragano’ wine.
What Are Some of the Best Restaurants in Santorini?
Restaurants in Fira
Koukoumavlos— Fira 84700, Greece –+30.22860.23807
Chef Nikos Pouliasis was born in Corfu and has lived and worked in Santorini for over 25 years. He creates exciting, highly original dishes while showcasing fresh, local ingredients in unique and creative ways. —foie-gras matched with koufeto, a local almond candy, sea bass matched with nerantzi, a local bitter orange, or potato soup matched with kumquat — Toques d’Or (Golden Hat or Chrysos Skoufos) for 10 consecutive years (2002-2011).– Koukoumavlos Website — 4 stars tripadvisor
Selene – Pyrgos–Santorini, Greece, 84700, P.O. 87 Phone: +30 22860 22249 Fax: +30 22860 24395 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Formerly located in Fira, this upmarket restaurant moved to Pyrgos village in 2010.–Selene uses local produce to highlight what owner George Haziyannakis calls the “creative nature of Greek cuisine.” The appetizers, often including a delicious sea urchin salad on artichokes and fluffy fava balls with caper sauce, are deservedly famous. Frommers consider Selene their favorite restaurant on Santorini Island…
Naoussa Restaurant –Lagoudera`, Fira, Santorini, P.C. 84700 , Greece +30 22860 24869
Naoussa is in the heart of Fira and has many great Greek traditional dishes.This Tavern is a highly ranked restaurant in Tripadvisor. `Naoussa` Restaurant has a lot of fish, local meat and a local housewine of Santorini. There is also great view, reasonable prices and family environment.
Nikolas Tavern — Erythrou Stavrou, Fira, Santorini
Good, local, no-frills tavern at reasonable prices–This is a family owned restaurant. Try the stuffed vegetable dishes. Perhaps their best dishes are some of the spreads. Try the eggplant and fava bean purees.
Restaurants in Oia
Ambrosia And Nectar -Oia — Village Center on the Sunset Path | Caldera View, Oia 84702, Greece
Seating with only 14 tables on the terrace and 8 tables inside means reservations are a must during high season. Some of the popular items on the Ambrosia menu include fava beans, oven lamb, chicken and figs and other dishes. They make an excellent moussaka, which is made with the Santorini white eggplant. There wine list has a nice selection of local Santorini wines.
Ambrosia – Oia, 84702, Greece — phone 22860 71413
This restaurant is owned by the same people as Ambrosia and Nectar but has a different location and menu. It has some lovely outdoor seating, but just a few tables so reservations are imperative, and specify that you want a table outside on the top terrace with a view. The view is one of the best of any restaurant in Santorini.
1800 Restaurant — Oia (Ia), 84702, Santorini Cyclades Islands, Greece Tel. +30 22860 71485 or +30 22860 71800 Fax: +30 22860 72317
Oia is located high up on a cliff on the northern tip of Santorini and provides gorgeous views of the Caldera and the Aegean Sea. The restaurant is located in a luxury mansion that was built around 1845 and is interwoven with the history of Oia…
Roka Oia, Oia, Greece +302286071-896
Roka is not located on the main strip in Oia, but it is worth searching out. Some of the specialties include a variety of meze (Greek starters), salads, risottos and onion pies, fried cheese, thin-sliced eggplant with feta and tomato sauce, snails with tomatoes, mussel.
Papagalos -Oia -Phone: 0030 22860 71469
Papagalos Restaurant focuses on using organic ingredients and fresh local produce to create varied menus based on the New Greek cuisine.
Other restaurants included in the 2012 Update are those located in Amoudi Bay and Kamari Beach. There are two restaurants in Amoudi Bay that can be worth the time of foodies – Dimitris and . Dimitris is a fish restaurant that gained the moniker ‘destination restaurant” for being “the island’s best.” Taverna Katina is known for its freshest calamari and octopus. Here, guests have a great time picking their own fish to be cooked especially for them. If you find yourself at the Kamari Beach, head off to Almira Restaurant for a taste of its own version of simple island Greek cuisine.
Eating Guides in Santorini
Conde Naste Traveller – Guide Section offers additional restaurants in the island that serve simple, but delicious Greek cuisine. An unequalled sunset dinner of Mediterranean flavors awaits you at Archipelagos Restaurant (Fira) alongside the precipice overlooking the caldera. Still in Fira, there is a good, local tavern, Nikolas Taverna, that can serve you inexpensive, but delicious meals. Aktaion is an 80-year old tavern in Firostefani that boasts of traditional and reasonably priced Santorini fares such as mackerel fritters, fava with capers, and white-aubergine pie.
If the day can’t pass without an energy-boosting cappuccinos and Bellinis, hit Franco’s Café beside the citadel in Pyrgos. For a drink or two with some delicious local bites, try Hasapiko and Domaine Sigalas both in Oia.
The Telegraph Travel – Destination Section similarly shares some tips where to get a bite in the island of Santorini. Aside from Selene, the guide suggested Psaraki Vlyháda that is thought to possibly be the best seafood/mezédes taverna around Santoríni, with views overlooking the island’s port to the Khristiána islets. Another good-to-try taverna is Anogi that offers a view of the caldera and serves creative and popular Greek recipes such as shrimp moussakás, stuffed biftéki, bekrí mezé with two meats, and a variety of desserts that can be washed down by a good wine from microwineries from across Greece.
Matt Barrett’s Travel Guides offers his persona insights and experiences in Eating in Santorini. He shared his own list of preferred dining places. Ginger is a sushi restaurant in Firostefani that offers the fresh tuna. Other favorite eating spots he recommended are Limanaki in Vlihada beach, Forum on Perissa Beach that offers live music during weekends, Psaraki also in Vlichada that is popular among cosmopolitan locals and which offers menu of fresh fish and creative appetisers. Another fish tavern that is worth your money and time is Delfinia right below the beach at Akrotiri. Here you can sit right on the sea and feast on reasonably-priced fresh fish.
Away from the caldera or beach, Kyra Niki’s, a classic tavern called psistaria or grill house, is unromantic, but it serves authentic Santorini cuisine that visitors who come here want to get a taste of. It is, however, very accessible being located on the main thoroughfare from Fira to the airport. Meanwhile, Penelope, in a small hole-in-the-wall restaurant near a church is known for its best tomato keftdes and Greek Salad. Metaxi Mas, a Santorini-Cretan restaurant, is a must-visit and comes recommended by virtually everyone who has gone eating in this place. This restaurant is in the village of Exo Gonia. True enough, the place serves great food and the best wine from Antonis Argiros of Artspace Winery.
Never-fail Restaurant Favorites
Aside from what were already recommended, some of those favorite dining places that you can try are:
Saltsa Restaurant in Firostefani has a great chef, the reasonable, and the food is marvellous. Start with white Santorinian aubergines, the lavraki fish, or stuffed onions. Make sure you’ll ask for “kotsi” even if it is not in the menu. Cap you meal with heavenly ice cream “loukoumi” that has real sugared rose petals. Nyhteri in Kamari serves simple, delectable dishes at a cut-rate price than Saltsa.
If you like fish, Skaramagas, a classic family tavern serves the most authentic Santorini fresh fish along with traditional dishes like fava, tomato-fritters. In Dolphins at Akrotiri, you can have the freshest fish supplied by Kostas and Fanis to their father Captain Giorgos. If you want to start the day with a hearty breakfast, head to taverns like Mamas in Fira.
Mezedopolia or Meze bars to try in the island are Ouzeri and, of course, Metaxi Mas. Additional restaurants that are worth sampling are Marmita of Megalochori, Ochre at Oia, and Monolithos near the Airport.
If you like dining in the beach, head to Perivolos where there are hundreds of restaurants, taverns, bars, and mini markets. If you prefer less crowded beaches, Vourvoulos and, next to it, Pori are your options.
Food is something you can look forward to when you are in Santorini. The island is filled with must-visit corners of hedonism in all its simplicity.
Indeed Santorini is a paradise where food is a source of pleasure and eating is a way of life.