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11 Santorini Food Favorites That You Will Love

Santorini claims fame more for its epic scenery than for its food but don’t count out the island’s food scene. The key is to know what to eat in Santorini during your visit.

Homemade Cod Roe Tarama Spread at To Psaraki in Santorini

Compared to islands like Crete and Rhodes, the scenic Cyclodian island holds its own in the cuisine realm. Beyond gawking at sweeping caldera views, visitors to Santorini can easily enjoy a full range of must-try traditional Greek food ranging all the way from cheap eats to fine dining.

Santorini Tomato Can at Selene in Santorini
We ate this colorful tomato salad at Selene, arguably the toniest Santorini restaurant.

Classic Greek dishes like souvlaki, moussaka and horiatiki salad are readily available at most Santorini restaurants, but food travelers who crave a deeper culinary experience won’t be disappointed. Santorini’s rocky, volcanic soil creates amazing agricultural products like wine and fresh vegetables that are best sampled at the source.

Without a doubt, the island’s rapid growth in tourism has created agricultural challenges. However, allay your concerns. Santorini has plenty of great food available starting with cherry tomatoes, white aubergine (eggplant) and, of course, magnificent wine.

Discover the best food to eat in Greece.

Santorini Food Favorites

Twisted Spinach and Cheese Pastry at Svoronos Bakery in Santorini
Santorini bakeries sell traditional Greek classics like this twisted spinach and cheese pie.

Most first-time visitors are more focused on researching epic sunset spots instead of researching local Santorini cuisine. If this is your situation, we recommend starting your culinary exploration with a few Santorini food facts and the following dishes and drinks:

1. Cherry Tomatoes (Tomataki)

Santorini Tomato
Earning protected PDO status, sweet Santorini tomatoes are one of the island’s signature products.

Santorini’s tiny tomatoes are intensely packed with sweet flavor due to the island’s dry climate and mineral-rich soil. Local farmers have been growing the little red fruits (or are they vegetables?) since the early 19th century.

Granted PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) status by the European Commission, these petite tomatoes claim a prominent spot in a myriad of dishes on almost every Santorini menu. Many chefs serve the red fruit atop salads while others fry them to make crispy, sweet, melt in your mouth fritters called tomatokeftedes.

Where to Eat Tomatoes in Santorini
If there’s a Santorini restaurant that doesn’t serve sweet local tomatoes in at least one dish, we are yet to find it. In other words, tomatoes are eveywhere in Santorini.

2. Tomato Fritters (Tomatokeftedes)

Tomato Fritters at Kokkalo in Santorini
Tomato fritters are a popular are a popular way to repurpose Santorini’s tomato bounty.

You can eat tomato fritters all over Greece but there’s nothing like eating tomatokeftedes in Santorini, the island where the tangy fried tomato patty was invented. It’s no exaggeration to assert that local cooks channel history every time they fry tomato-infused dough in olive oil. That’s how prevalent tomato fritters are in the Santorini food culture.

Born in poverty ‘back in the day’ when tomatoes were more available than meat, tomatokeftedes are as rich in flavor as they are in history. Beyond tomatoes and olive oil, typical ingredients include mint, onion, parsley and assorted spices.

Where to Eat Tomato Fritters in Santorini
Most local restaurants serve tomatokeftedes. We ate our favorite version at Kokkalo in Fira.

3. Cretan Dako Salad

Cretan Daco Salad at Dimitris Ammoudi in Santorini
This Cretan dako salad at Dmitris Ammoudi Taverna temporarily distracted us from an epic sunset thanks to ingredients like tapenade-coated rusk, tomato, feta, capers and herbs.

Horiatiki may be an iconic Greek dish as well as one of the most popular global salads , but we never say ‘no’ to Cretan dako salad whenever we see it on a Santorini menu. Typically, restaurants prepare the salad with local tomatoes, feta cheese, black olives, capers, olive oil and oregano.

But barley rusks, crunchy, rustic, crouton-like cubes, are the star of this salad born on the Island of Crete. Not only does the rusk’s double-baked bread add a hefty bready texture to the salad, but the wholesome carb also turns the seemingly simple Greek starter into a miniature meal.

Where to Eat Cretan Dako Salad in Santorini
Dimitris Ammoudi Taverna, Kokkalo and Metaxi Mas

4. Fava (Fáva)

Fava with Octopus at Kokkalo in Santorini
Fava bean purée is readily available at most Santorini restaurants. The version served at Kokkalo in Thira was topped with grilled octopus.

Though fava beans are available all over Greece, Santorini’s variety is so special that the island’s green pods qualify for PDO status. Local restaurants typically purée fava beans into a creamy spread and top the lush concoction with octopus, tomatoes and other local products.

We recommend ordering fava as often as possible in Santorini. It’s a great starter for vegetarians and pescatarians as well as for carnivores like us. If you fall in love with the dish, you can learn to make your own fava at a Santorini cooking class.

Where to Eat Fava in Santorini
Traditional restaurants serve fava all over the island.

5. Seafood (Thalassiná)

Red Mullets at To Psaraki in Santorini
Santorini fishermen catch an abundance of fresh seafood in the Aegean Sea. We found this selection at To Psaraki in Santorini.

As an island in the Aegean Sea, Santorini is literally swimming with seafood. Most restaurants take advantage of this fishy situation by offering seafood options like octopus (chtapódi), prawns (garídes), mussels (mýdia) and fresh Mediterranean fish like red mullet, tuna, seabass and John Dory.

You don’t want to leave the island without trying our two favorite Santorini seafood dishes – grilled octopus and shrimp saganaki. For the uninitiated, the latter Greek dish preparation involves baking prawns in a tasty red sauce containing tomatoes and feta. Santorini’s grilled octopus, cooked to charred doneness with a tender texture, is less niche but equally tasty.

Where to Eat Seafood in Santorini
Though you can find great seafood in most Santorini restaurants, gems like the Ammoudi fish tavern include a coveside sunset view every night.

6. Souvlaki

Spicy Sausage Gyro at Pitogyros in Santorini
We ate this spicy sausage gyro at Pitogyro in Santorini.

Since souvlaki is readily available at both sidewalk stalls and casual restaurants all over Greece, it’s easy to find the ultimate ‘meat-on-a-stick’ snack food in Athens and on the country’s many islands including Mykonos, Rhodes and, of course, Santorini. Some Greek menus list this crowd-pleaser as kalamaki or gyro, but it’s all souvlaki and it’s all good.

Read our Athens Souvlaki Guide if your travel plans include Greece’s capital city.

To prepare souvlaki, grill masters cook meats like pork, chicken and occasionally lamb on large pits before transferring charred chunks to skewers. Motivated vegetarians can find souvlaki versions with eggplant, peppers and mushrooms.

Where to Eat Souvlaki in Santorini
Lucky’s Souvlakis and Pitogyros

7. White Eggplant (Lefkó Melitzána)

White Aubergine with Tomato and Feta at To Psaraki in Santorini
White eggplant is a Santorini standard. The version at To Psaraki mixes aubergine with tomato and feta.

Large in size and sparse in seeds, Santorini’s white eggplants (more commonly called aubergine in Europe) are filled with sweet flavor thanks to the island’s rich volcanic soil.

In addition to frying and grilling aubergine, local chefs transform the nightshade into a paste and add it to comforting, cheese-rich saganaki. In case you missed it above, saganaki is a must-eat dish in Santorini.

Where to Eat White Egglplant in Santorini
Traditional restaurants serve white eggplant all over the island.

8. Brunch

Avocado toast on Santorini
We practically inhaled this loaded Avocado Toast prepared with local ingredients at Volkan on the Rocks.

Brunch is one of our favorite meals of the day whether we’re in Amsterdam, Lisbon or Santorini. Though we didn’t expect to eat American pancakes and Australian avocado toast with a stunning view of the Mediterranean Sea, that’s exactly what we did on our first day in Santorini and every day thereafter at Volkan on the Rocks.

With the addition of specialty coffee made with taf beans from one of the top Athens coffee shops, there’s no other option for us when it comes to eating brunch in Santorini. Done and done.

Where to Eat Brunch in Santorini with a View
Volkan on the Rocks

9. Baklava and Other Pastries

Pastry at The Family Bakery in Santorini
Sweet treats are some of the best treats in Santorini. We ate this creamy pistachio pastry at The Family Bakery.

Although baklava was invented in Turkey, you can find excellent versions of it on Greek islands like Santorini. We could have happily eaten the honey sweetened, triangular, layered phyllo pastry every day, but then we would have missed outbon other sweet treats like kataifi and kopania

We recommend starting each Santorini morning with a different pastry until you find your favorite. In the heat of the afternoon, you’ll want to satisfy your sweet tooth with gelato at Lolita’s Gelato instead.

Where to Eat Pastries in Santorini
The Family Bakery and Sborwnos Bakery

10. Wine (Krasí)

Wine Tasting at Venetsanos Winery in Santorini
It’s always wine o’clock in Santorini. As a bonus, the views at wineries like Venetsanos are epic.

Benefitting from the island’s arid climate and volcanic soil, Santorini winemakers excel at growing flavorful grapes like Aidini, Athiri, Mandelaria and, most notably, Assyrtiko. After producing world-class wine with these grapes, they sell bottles around Greece and throughout the world. However, we suspect that the very best Santorini wine stays on the island.

Santorini wineries also produce Vinsanto, a late harvest dessert wine that derives its sweetness from white grapes that are sundried to a golden hue. To create authentic Vinsanto wine, winemakers must use a minimum of 51% Assyrtiko grapes and age the wine for at least two years in oak barrels. The resulting elixir must be 9% abv or higher.

Where to Drink Wine in Santorini
You can sample wine at wineries like Domaine Sigalas, Santo Wines and Venetsanos Winery. Better yet, take a Santorini wine tour.

11. Craft Beer (Spitikí Býra)

Volkan Beer at Volkan on the Rocks in Santorini
Drinking beer with a view is a must in Santorini. We drank this bottle of Volkan Santorini Blonde at Volkan on the Rocks.

Donkeys followed us in Santorini. No, not the animals who transport sedentary tourists. We’re talking about bottles of Yellow Donkey beer, Red Donkey beer and Lazy Ass Donkey beer at spots like Dimitris Ammoudi Taverna, To Psaraki and Pitogyros.

A local craft beer since 2011, Santorini Brewing Company’s brews were our beer of choice except when we encountered Volkan Brewery’s award-winning bottles. Talk about a win-win situation when we wanted to beat the heat and drink a tasty tipple.

Where to Drink Craft Beer in Santorini
Santorini Brewing Company and Volkan Brewery

Santorini Quick Facts

Blue Church Dome in Oia
  • Greece
  • Europe
  • Euro
  • Greek
  • Service is typically included but you can leave a ‘little something extra’ (5-10%) for excellent service.

Planning Checklist

Hungry for More in Santorini?

Check out our comprehensive Santorini restaurant guide.

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About the Authors

Daryl & Mindi Hirsch

Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website and YouTube. The married Food and Travel content creators live in Lisbon, Portugal.

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We update our articles regularly. Some updates are major while others are minor link changes and spelling corrections. Let us know if you see anything that needs to be updated in this article.

Important Update
Some businesses may revise their hours and menus due to COVID-19. Others may close, either temporarily or permanently, without notice. Be sure to check websites for updated information and make advance reservations where possible.