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The Best Restaurants in Santorini & What to Eat There

Are you wondering what to eat in Santorini? And what are the best restaurants in Santorini to try these fantastic Greek dishes? Then you are not alone!

Santorini is a beautiful Greek island famous for its white-washed houses and blue-dome churches. But there is so much more to Santorini than what meets the eye. Apart from the picturesque landscape, Santorini is also quite known for its amazing local traditional cuisine

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Locally grown products are being prepared according to traditional family recipes all over the island. And it is so worth a try. 

This post will be your foodie’s guide to Santorini, and tell you all about the amazing dishes you have to try on your vacation. And of course, where to find them! 

Let’s dive in. 

What produce is being grown in Santorini?

Santorini is known for its abundance of locally-grown fruits and vegetables. On the volcanic Santorini soil tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplants, and olives are thriving. 

Tomatoes are the most popular crop on the island, so it is no surprise that you can find them in a lot of traditional Santorini dishes.

Cucumbers are often found pickled and served as a side dish or added to salads or in the famous tzatziki. Eggplants grow in abundance there as well, too, and are usually served stewed or grilled. 

Olives are one of the most used ingredients in many dishes on Santorini. They have over thirteen different varieties growing on the island. 

Additional to the veggies, there is also a small variety of fruit growing in Santorini. They farm peaches, oranges, lemons, and figs on the island. Thanks to the hot climate on the island these different fruits can ripe to perfection. You can find them in juices and smoothies, and also as a dessert. 

Lastly, they also grow carrots, potatoes, onions, garlic, bell peppers, and many other vegetables. 

Santorini Wine – A Must Try

Santorini does not only grow amazing food, but they are also quite famous for their wine. 

The wines of Santorini are known to have a very unique flavor. Made with grapes grown on the volcanic soil of the island, these wines have a distinct taste that you can find nowhere else. I felt a light salty taste in the wines. 

The most popular wine in Santorini is the Assyrtiko. It is produced from a white grape and has aromas of citrus and mineral notes. It goes perfectly well with seafood. 

Another popular wine from Santorini is Vinsanto. Vinsanto is an amber-colored dessert wine made from sun-dried Assyrtiko grapes. They do not add any sugar to the wine, but rather let the grapes almost turn into raisins before pressing them. 

Santorini also produces other specialties including Nykteri (a dry white), Mavrotragano (a full-bodied red), and Aidani (a light greenish-yellow). 

You might have noticed the odd-looking vineyards of Santorini on your trip. Unlike other vineyards in the world, Santorini wine grows in baskets, instead of rows. The baskets protect the grapes from the strong winds. 

About the Traditional Santorini Cuisine

Santorini’s culinary tradition has a long history. Most of their dishes have their roots in ancient Greek and Mediterranean cuisine. 

Over the last couple of centuries, other influences have been added to the Santorinian diet. Especially seafood, olives, and wild greens have been added to the local dishes in the 14th century. 

Today, traditional Santorinian cuisine is mainly made up of many dishes cooked with local vegetables.  Cheese is also a big part of traditional Santorinian dishes.

Seafood is also very popular on the island. You can find fresh fish and other seafood almost in any restaurant in Santorini. 

With the growth of tourism in Santorini since the 1960s, the local cuisine has also changed. Chefs from all over the world have added their own flavor to the local dishes. Tradition and local ingredients are, however, still all the rage. You can still find many dishes with fava beans, eggplant, tomatoes, and capers on the island. 

What to eat in Santorini 

1. Tzatziki

Tzatziki is one of the most famous Greek dishes and is also a favorite in Santorini. It is a yogurt-based dip flavored with cucumbers, garlic, olive oil, and herbs such as oregano or dill. It is often used as a side dish to grilled meat or as a starter with freshly baked bread. The best Tzatziki on the island can be found in Pyrgos, at Penelope’s View restaurant. 

2. Saganaki

Saganaki is basically fried cheese. It is usually served with honey and lemon juice. They usually make it from fresh goat cheese, such as Kefalotyri or Graviera cheese. It can nicely be paired with Ouzo or fresh Santorini wine. 

For an amazing plate of Saganaki, try Ouzeri restaurant in Fira. Fira and Oia are the most crowded places on the island, so make sure to make reservations in advance. However crowded they may be, they are still worth a visit. 

- a Greek dish of kefalograviera, kasseri, kefalotyri, or feta cheese, pan seared and served with lemon and bread
Cheese Saganaki

3. Veggie Fritters

Veggie fritters are small balls of veggie and red onion. They are usually served as a side dish with fresh fish and seafood or as an appetizer. You can find good veggie fritters anywhere on the island. Most popular are tomato and zucchini fritters.

4. Pasta with wine sauce

Santorini wine is not only a treat to drink, but some restaurants actually use it to cook. This might not be a traditional Santorini dish, but it is something you must eat in Santorini. 

Olio restaurant in Megalochori is the perfect place to eat pasta with wine sauce. They serve it with freshly grated cheese and stir-fried beef strips. This is possibly my favorite dish on the island. 

5. Fava Beans Santorini Style

Something you can also find on almost every restaurant’s menu are Fava Beans. Pureed fava beans are cooked in olive oil and refined with onions, tomatoes, garlic, herbs, and spices such as oregano and cumin. 

We have tried our first Pureed Fava Beans at Anhydrous Winery, accompanied by white Santorini Assyrtiko wine. 

6. Seafood Spaghetti

Seafood Spaghetti is a very common dish in Santorini.  Some restaurants serve it with freshly caught lobster cooked in a tomato sauce with garlic and capers. In some other places, you can find it with mussels instead of lobster. The best place to eat seafood in Santorini is in Ammoudi Bay. There are a couple of traditional tavernas that serve freshly caught fish. 

7. Greek Salad

Of course, the classic Greek salad must be on your food bucket list for Santorini. The typical Santorini Greek salad consists of tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, and olives. However, some restaurants serve it with a very special dressing made from white vinegar and red sweet pepper flakes. Parea Tavern in Fira serves an amazing Greek salad that you need to try!

8. Stuffed Bell Peppers

Red or green bell peppers stuffed with feta cheese and herbs are another great thing to eat in Santorini. They are seasoned with herbs and fried in olive oil. Lastly, they bake them in the oven and serve them warm with Greek yogurt on top.

Karma Greek Restaurant in Oia has amazing stuffed bell peppers and stuffed tomatoes on its menu. 

9. Gyros

Gyros is a special kind of Greek meat grilled on a vertical rotisserie and served on pita bread. Pork gyros are typically seasoned with oregano, thyme, and other herbs and spices. Usually, it is topped with onion, tomato, lettuce, and tzatziki sauce. 

The best Gyros in Santorini can be found in Taverna Mythos in Pyrgos. The traditional Greek tavern is a great Santorini restaurant you must visit on your trip. The owners are super friendly and the atmosphere is authentic. 

10. Shrimp Saganaki

Shrimp saganaki is another typical Santorini dish you can find in almost every restaurant. The shrimp is sautéed in olive oil along with garlic and tomato sauce. It is usually served with pasta or rice. 

Find a fantastic Shrimp Saganaki recipe here>>

Prawns in tomato sauce on a white plate with a slice of bread and a sprig of parsley on top
Shrimp Saganaki

I am not a big fan of shrimp myself, but the sauce was so delicious that I had to try a couple of bites. 

11. Baklava

Baklava is a classic Greek dessert that originated in the Ottoman Empire. It is a pastry made with layers of dough and stuffed with grated nuts. A lot of butter and honey are used to give it all the juiciness. It is hard to eat more than one peace at a time, they are super mighty. The best baklava can be found in The Bakery of Pyrgos by Ioannis Fousteris. Some restaurants, like Pyrgos Restaurant, even serve it for dessert. 

12. Mousaka

Mousaka is another typical dish from the Santorini cuisine. It is made from eggplant layered with ground beef.  It is served with a sauce from tomatoes, onions, garlic, and other spices. Lastly, it is topped with a creamy béchamel sauce before baking in the oven until golden brown! It can be compared to an Italian lasagne, but the pasta is switched with eggplant.

Alexander Tavern in Kamari serves great Mousaka. Their entire menu is made from traditional Greek cuisine. My favorite part about this restaurant: they have live music there on many evenings, which creates an amazingly upbeat atmosphere. 

12. Fried Calamari

Fried Calamari can also be found in almost every Santorini restaurant. The sliced squid rings are dipped into flour and then fried until golden brown! The best place to eat fried calamari is in Kamari, on the beach boulevard with an amazing view over the black sand beach. 

13. Traditional Santorini Breakfast

Our fabulous luxury boutique hotel Azanti Suites in Megalochori served us every single morning with a traditional Santorini breakfast. The traditional breakfast consists of a Santorini omelet with bell peppers, tomatoes, olives, and feta cheese and a crispy feta pie called Alevropita. 

14. Local Santorini cheese with Aronia Jam

Something typically served with wine-tasting experiences is a cheese platter with locally produced Aronia jam. The dark purple jelly gives the cheese a special and sweet flavor and can nicely be combined with Santorini wine. We were served the cheese platter at Santo Wines Vinery. From there you also have a lovely view over the sunset. 

15. Souvlaki

Souvlaki is a traditional and popular dish that consists of grilled meat or fish and pita bread with tzatziki sauce. It typically costs less than €20 per person. You can find it in any traditional Greek taverna on the island and it is definitely something you have to try in Santorini. 

Are Santorini restaurants expensive?

Santorini restaurants are known for their stunning views and delicious Mediterranean-style cuisine. Unfortunately, many of the dishes in Santorini come with a hefty price tag. 

Depending on the restaurant, it may be a lot more expensive than restaurants in other areas of Greece. Especially in Oia, Imerovigli, and Fira, the restaurants with a view of the Caldera charge a lot extra. Reservations can be hard to come by and to be honest, the food was never that great in the hyped places.

However, you can find some great deals and hidden gems if you look around. Many restaurants still serve authentic Santorini cuisine at a great price point. Especially off the beaten tracks, in Megalochori and Pyrgos you can find restaurants with a view and good food. 

Many Santorini restaurants specialize in seafood, which can often be an affordable option due to its abundance in the area. Fish and meat dishes are usually fairly priced on the island, especially outside Oia. 

Make sure to check the menus before you sit down somewhere; otherwise, you might have a nasty surprise coming. If you stick to authentic restaurants, the chances of getting ripped off are smaller. 

Conclusion: What to eat in Santorini 

As you have seen in this post, Santorini has an amazingly big offer of delicious dishes. The Santorini cuisine is mostly inspired by local produce, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, and olives. 

Most of all, a lot of seafood can be found in the Santorini cuisine as well. The seafood dishes are known to be very special in Santorini. 

With tourism overflowing the island, it can be a bit harder to find authentic Greek dishes that have not been commercialized yet. However, it is not impossible and I hope this post showed you many great Santorini restaurants and the best typical Santorini dishes. 

Author Bio: Sabrina is a passionate travel blogger and content creator. She spent several summers over the last couple of years in Santorini – and even got married there. She sampled her way all through the island and made it her goal to find the most charming and authentic places to eat in Santorini. Follow her on Instagram and Pinterest.

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