Hattie Lloyd 02/07/18
The Best Restaurants In Santorini
Main image: Canaves Oia
The Greek island of Santorini’s unusually dry, volcanic soil is surprisingly fertile – and as such, has given rise to some of the most unique and delicious cuisine on the planet.
After all, you can’t make baklava without lava.
And besides the stunning landscapes, characteristic whitewashed architecture and famously good hospitality, the food is one of the most persuasive reasons to visit Santorini. The island’s packed with unmarked gyros stands; intimate, family-run tavernas; and fine dining with breathtaking views of the caldera. But in a tourist-heavy spot, it’s easy to miss the real gems. So without further ado – our pick of the best restaurants in Santorini…
FlyAway Creative Restaurant and Bar | Imerovigli
It may not have the catchiest name, but FlyAway sure is easy on the eyes. Tacked on to the recently built West East Suites boutique hotel, you’ll find tables casually perched next to the infinity pool carved out of the cliff-face, and set into modern, cave-like booths overlooking the caldera. Artfully presented dishes range from twists on classic Greek numbers like the rooster pastitsada (cooked sous-vide with calamarata pasta) to innovations like beef tartare with smoked feta; ink fish roe salad with black garlic pearls; and Greek tiramisu with olive oil snow.
Details: Open daily 1-11pm | West East Suites, Eparchiaki Odos Firon-Ias, Imerovigli 84700 | ££££
Metaxi Mas Tavern | Pyrgos
Metaxi mas (‘between you and me’) is a gorgeously eclectic, no-frills, family-run establishment overlooking Anáfi island (although the seating inside the rustic, converted house is equally charming if you get sick of all these damn views). The dishes have a Cretan influence; order a huge Cretan salad to accompany your pan-fried crusted feta cheese, veal fillet with local Vinsanto wine sauce, or saffron-scented orzo pasta with fresh prawns and mussels, and finish off with a trip to the nearby Kamari open-air cinema.
Details: Open 1pm-late, often closed Dec/Jan | Éxo Goniá, Pyrgos 84700 | £££
Laokasti | Oia
Served on a typically picturesque whitewashed terrace, the food at Laokasti is the real Greek. You won’t be able to watch the sunset here, but it’s totally worth it for the stuffed zucchini with lemon and feta sauce; saganaki (pan-fried cheese); and, of course, the chocolate orgasm. Which, as with all good chocolate orgasms, involves chocolate soufflé, chocolate ice cream, and chocolate soup.
Details: Open daily 1-10pm | Oia 84702 | ££
Cava Alta | Pyrgos
Mediterranean and Cycladic flavours are harmoniously married together at this Spanish-owned joint, as in the stir-fried chicken and chorizo with ouzo-tomato sauce, or Iberian ham with puréed Santorini white aubergines. Perched amongst the village rooftops with views of church belfries and the castle above, it’s an excellent lunch spot for taking stock and planning your next move… By which we mean which bottle of local wine you’ll be opening.
Details: Open for lunch and dinner | Just up from the main plaza, Pyrgos 84700 | £££ _
Kapari Wine Restaurant | Imerovigli
Whoever said ‘it’s what’s on the inside that counts’ needs to be pointed in the direction of Kapari Wine Restaurant. Because outside, you’ll find their achingly romantic, candlelit terrace where you can knock back top-notch wines with local specialities like aubergine with fáva, smoked octopus, and squid ink risotto, all overlooking the rosy hues of a caldera sunset.
Details: Open daily 12-11pm | Kapari Natural Resort, Imerovigli 84700 | £££
Melitini | Oia
Run by a pair of friends, Melitini is a bohemian-styled tapas spot serving up the kinds of recipes that have been handed down for generations. Inside, you’ll find classic dishes like grilled octopus, lamb sausage, and freshly baked pita with feta cheese, aubergine and tzatziki dips. Outside, it’s the same, but sunnier.
Details: Open daily 1-10pm | Eparchiaki Odos Firon-Ias, Oia 84702 | ££
The Athenian House | Imerovigli
With a view like this, it would be understandable if The Athenian House took their foot off the pedal with everything else. But instead, they’ve bussed in a triumvirate of Greece’s most lauded head chef, sommelier and mixologist – meaning that you can dine on traditional ingredients given the haute cuisine treatment as you sip your way through a ‘Greek wine journey’, finishing with a nightcap cocktail using local spirits. And hey, you might not like tsipouro, but it’s worth a shot.
Details: Open 6-11.45pm daily | Fira-Oia Pedestrian Street, Imerovigli, 84700 | £££
Mousiko Kouti | Megalochori
Mousiko Kouti (‘Music Box’) is the sort of restaurant that people seem to happily stumble across in films, but in actuality takes a little insider knowledge to find. Navigate the picturesque cobbled streets at the entrance of Megalochori and keep an eye out for the restaurant fronted by a pergola overtaken by trailing pink bougainvillea – inside, you’ll be rewarded with generous portions of moussaka, tomato fritters and beetroot sesame salad; exceptional service; and an enchantingly rustic terrace.
Details: Open daily 5-11.30pm (1-11pm Sundays) | Megalochori, Santorini, 84700 | ££
To Psaraki | Vlychada
If you’ve ever dreamt of having your supper caught by a real-life Captain Birdseye, this is probably the closest you’ll ever get. Showered with awards for its gloriously fresh seafood, To Psaraki is perched right above the Vlychada marina, where it benefits from both beautiful views and fish that was caught approximately ten minutes earlier. It’s also thrillingly close to the Tomato Industrial Museum.
Details: Vlychada Marina, Vlychada 84703 | £££
Ambrosia | Oia
Another gorgeous spot hewn into the cliff face of Oia, Ambrosia promises fine dining by candlelight, a solid knowledge of Santorini wines, and dishes like octopus rolled in angel hair pastry with creamed white aubergine.
Details: Open April – October from 7.30pm | Oia 84702 | ££££
Selene | Pyrgos
Selene serves up some of the most beautiful, eye-catching dishes on Santorini – which is no mean feat considering the view they have outside. Souping up local ingredients and traditional recipes with the techniques of a gourmet chef, it’s the spot to make a beeline for to celebrate a special occasion. Or, you know, lunch.
Details: Restaurant open 7-11pm, bistro noon-11pm | Just off Pyrgos Central Square, Pyrgos 84700 | £££££
Panorama Balcony at Canaves | Oia
When you’ve grown tired of all the elbowing and selfie-sticks from the rabble at the other rooftop restaurants, there’s only one thing to do: hire your own. This ridiculously romantic private balcony is part of the already delicious Petra restaurant at the Canaves hotel, but has the added bonus of unspoilt views, total privacy, and severely reduced FOMO from watching other people’s plates go past.
Details: 1 seating per night | Canaves Hotel, Oia 84702 | Email [email protected] to book
PS Like travelling? Then check out our New York Guide
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