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Baked Feta Cheese at Metaxí Mas in Santorini

Santorini Food Guide – The Best Santorini Restaurants for Food Travelers

In Food Guides, Greece by Daryl & Mindi Hirsch1 Comment

Wondering what and where to eat in Santorini Greece? We ate our way through the Greek island paradise and found great food among epic views. Check out our Santorini Food Guide with some of the best Santorini restaurants.

Red Beach Selfie in Santorini

Santorini was impossible for us to resist. There’s good reason that the island’s blue church domes grace every Greek travel brochure and poster. Its geography, molded by an epic volcanic event several thousand years ago, makes the crescent-shaped island wholly unique in the Greek archipelago.

Oia Selfie in Santorini

Some tourists climb on rooftops to take selfies in Santorini. Not us.

Santorini is beautiful – one of the world’s most touristed destinations. Thousands of visitors literally fill the island’s cobblestone lanes every day during the summer and into the shoulder seasons. These tourists include summer vacationers and honeymooners as well as boatloads of cruising daytrippers who swarm the caldera docks every day – often numbering up to 8,000 people.

Tourists crush Santorini’s lanes in search of the perfect island souvenir. We’re not exaggerating about the crowds. Many streets in caldera towns like Thira and Oia bulged with people during our October visit.

Instagrammers were literally climbing atop private properties to snap selfies featuring the island’s iconic blue-domed churches. Yes, we took selfies with the famous structures. No, we did not trespass on private property to do so.

Crowded Thera Street in Santorini

It’s not usual to get trapped among thousands of tourists who visit Santorini every day. In Thira, afternoon cruise ship crowds often jam narrow streets.

In a way Santorini is like an A-list movie star struggling to escape the gaze of paparazzi. But like a radiant Greek goddess, this island cannot be ignored. White chalk stucco walled residences with arched roofs pile high upon rugged cliffs that look upon a vast, timeless seascape.

In one of nature’s most fortuitous coincidences, the monumental caldera acts as a solar amphitheater. If the weather breaks right, there’s no grander sunset on Earth. And, despite the crowds, it’s still possible to hide in narrow alleys that provide a respite of peace from the overabundance of t-shirt shops and pottery stores.

Bell in Oia in Santorini

Every angle is a photo op in Santorini including this view through a church bell tower in Oia.

It would be a mistake to only visit Santorini’s western end. Outside the steep caldera, vineyard dotted mountains slope gently toward scenic beachscapes with views of the neighboring island of Anafi.

Southeastern mountain, Taygetus, rises above Santorini. Villages like Pyrgos provide more expansive views of the sea and island. Even Santorini’s airport lounge (open to the public) offers beautiful views of the seascape to the east. There’s little of this island that isn’t a visual gem.

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Why We Visited Santorini

Thera Buildings in Santorini

Even buildings, like the St. John the Baptist Cathedral in Thira, are prettier in Santorini.

The popular Greek destination originally hit our collective radar back in 1982 when we saw the racy movie Summer Lovers for the first time. Beyond the film, it’s almost impossible to escape Santorini’s iconography. From travel agencies to American Greek restaurants and diners, Santorini images are everywhere.

Mindi in Oia in Santorini

Dreams come true in Santorini, a Greek island with no lack of photo ops. Mindi happily poses for one on this stairway in Oia.

Although we spent five weeks in Greece in 2018, we didn’t make it to Santorini. Instead, we spent our time exploring the country’s culinary delights in Athens, Meteora and Mykonos.

With readers clamoring for Santorini recommendations and our desire to experience this island’s beauty for ourselves, it was finally time for us to visit, explore and, of course, eat our way around Santorini.

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What to Eat in Santorini

Santorini Tomato

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

Although Santorini isn’t famous for its food compared to islands like Crete and Rhodes, the scenic Cyclodian island is no slouch when it comes to cuisine. Visitors to Santorini can easily enjoy a full range of must-try Greek food at all price points from cheap eats to fine dining and everything in between.

Twisted Spinach and Cheese Pastry at Svoronos Bakery in Santorini

Santorini bakeries sell traditional Greek classics like this twisted spinach and cheese pie.

Classic Greek dishes like souvlaki, moussaka and horiatiki salad are all readily available on Santorini, but food travelers who crave a deeper culinary dive will not be disappointed. Santorini’s rocky, volcanic soil creates amazing products that are best sampled at the source.

Without a doubt, the growth of tourism has brought challenges to the island’s agriculture. However, Santorini still has plenty of good food available from cherry tomatoes to white aubergine (eggplant) and, of course, magnificent wines.

Homemade Cod Roe Tarama Spread at To Psaraki in Santorini

Every meal is a feast in Santorini including our lunch at To Psaraki. Dishes included excellent tarama, sea bass ceviche and pungent tomato spread.

If you’re visiting for the first time, you might not know what to eat in Santorini. We recommend that you start your Santorini food exploration with the following local products:

Cherry Tomatoes (Domatínia)

Tomato Fritters at Kokkalo in Santorini

Tomato fritters are a popular way to prepare Santorini tomatoes.

Santorini’s tiny tomatoes are intensely packed with sweet flavor due to the island’s dry climate and mineral-rich soil. Granted PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) status by the European Commission, these tomatoes claim a prominent spot 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.

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 is topped with grilled octopus.

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

Seafood (Thalassiná)

Red Mullets at To Psaraki in Santorini

Santorini fishermen catch an abundance of fresh seafood in the Aegean Sea.

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.

Pro Tip: We recommend trying both grilled octopus and shrimp saganaki. For the uninitiated, the latter Greek dish preparation involves baking prawns in a red sauce containing tomatoes and feta.

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, Santorin’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 aubergines, local chefs also transform them into paste and add them to comforting, cheese-rich saganaki.

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 grow flavorful grapes including Aidini, Athiri, Mandelaria and, most notably, Assyrtiko. They produce world-class wine with these grapes. This wine is sold on the island, around Greece and throughout the world.

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 qualify as 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 wine must be 9% abv or higher.

Pro Tip: Take a wine tour to learn about the Greek island’s liquid bounty as soon as you arrive in Santorini. We opted for a private Urban Adventures wine tour that transported us to three separate tastings at a local wine cellar, a unique wine venue and a top Santorini winery. In our opinion, there’s no better way to learn about Santorini wine than by drinking with the local experts at Urban Adventures.

Santorini Food Guide

Baked Feta Cheese at Metaxí Mas in Santorini

Coated with honey and sprinkled with sesame seeds, the baked feta at Metaxi Mas is a Greek cheese lover’s fantasy.

Santorini has a variety of eateries to satisfy its 15 thousand residents as well as approximately two million annual visitors. Let’s face it, people need to eat when they’re not busy gawking at gorgeous vistas during the day and watching the sun kiss the sea each evening.

Pro Tip: Call to check restaurant closing dates if you travel to Santorini in the off-season. Some restaurants close as early as mid-October and reopen in the spring.

Cretan Dakos Salad at Kokkalo in Santorini

Eating salad is the opposite of a sacrifice in Santorini. We ate this Cretan Dako at Kokkalo.

In our quest to experience the best places to eat in Santorini, we dined at restaurants in hectic Thira and Oia as well as in quieter areas like Exo Gonias and Pyrgos. We chowed down on souvlaki and sipped glasses of wine. We dined at top Santorini restaurants recommended by trusted sources and followed our noses to discover local gems.

Read on to find our favorite places to eat in Santorini.

Santorini Restaurants

Sunset Salad at Dimitris Ammoudi Taverna in Santorini

Dining with a view is a popular thing to do in Santorini. We enjoyed this scenic meal at Dimitris Ammoudi Taverna.

The best restaurants in Santorini celebrate the island’s local resources while adding creative twists to classic Greek dishes. Some offer epic views of the caldera while others operate in more intimate spaces.

Selene

Santorini Tomato Can at Selene in Santorini

Taking local tomatoes to new levels, this Santorini Tomato Can starter incorporates a variety of mini tomatoes, yellow tomato sorbet, red tomato sorbet, compressed watermelon and feta cheese water.

Honeymooners and luxury food travelers will want to indulge in at least one special meal in Santorini. Award-winning Selene fits this bill by offering an upscale gastronomic dining experience filled with fresh ingredients and creative gastronomy. Recognized as one of the best restaurants in Greece, Selene offers a nightly a la carte menu during the tourist season, closing from mid-October until spring.

Opened by Yiorgos Hatziyannakis in 1986, Selene has continued its commitment to serving local products over three decades. Guests can dine at one of twelve tables in the Pyrgos restaurant’s surprisingly informal dining room or on its more expansive outdoor terrace. Note, dining on the terrace wasn’t an option during our shoulder season dinner.

Our meal started with an amuse bouche of ‘raviolis’ constructed with beetroot and celery shells and continued with the restaurant’s signature Santorian Tomato Can – a fun, tri-colored rainbow melange of multi-colored mini tomatoes, tomato sorbet, compressed watermelon and feta cheese water gingerly placed inside an edible tomato can.

Pasticcio at Selene in Santorini

This modern version of pasticcio came with homemade pasta stuffed with pork and beef cheeks, bechamel, parmesan foam, smoked carrot purée and tomato confit.

The “can” was unique but we preferred the deep flavors and delicate pasta of Selene’s modern, canneloni-like Pasticcio. Stuffed with pork and beef cheeks and served with sour, creamy bechamel, parmesan foam, smoked carrot purée and tomato confit, this deceptively simple starter, incorrectly described as deconstructed by our server, was a cohesive culinary winner.

Selene’s main dishes stretch the envelope in terms of both execution and pricing. Accordingly, we opted to share one Piglet Prasoselino that had been slow-cooked for 12 hours and was plated with celery foam, smoked roasted leek, mini brioche hot dog and sweet red pepper ketchup.

Chocolate Dessert at Selene in Santorini

Not your typical chocolate bar, this bar at Selene was plated atop a layer of soft butter and olive oil and with cinammon ice cream and sour yeast bread crisps.

Selene’s desserts are extravagant. Accordingly, we shared the restaurant’s take on a chocolate bar served over soft butter with olive oil and a side of cinnamon ice cream. It was a sweet ending to a satisfying meal filled with great food and excellent relaxed, friendly service.

Although we fully recommend Selene, we would be remiss if we didn’t comment on the cost of our meal. The tally for two starters, one main course, one dessert, a bottle of water, an espresso and two glasses of wine exceeded €140. Consider this your Santorini splurge with costs that are in line with European Michelin starred restaurants.

Our only complaint would be the restaurant’s lack of a comprehensive tasting menu (which, in our view, would eliminate surprises on the final bill) and a definitive list of wines sold by the glass. The restaurant does offer glasses on selected bottles at 20% of the total bottle charge, but it was a bit of a hassle to begin tabulating percentages as we selected our wines.

Overall, we recommend Selene for a modern, quiet splurge-worthy dining experience away from the tourist throng.

Pro Tip: Make a reservation at Selene Meze & Wine if Selene isn’t in your budget or wheelhouse. The ‘downstairs’ taverna serves a simpler, less expensive menu featuring Greek classics like grilled octopus and moussaka.

Selene is located at Pyrgos Kallistis 847 01, Greece.

Metaxi Mas

Metaxi Mas Dining Room in Santorini

Metaxi Mas is a vibrant restaurant at the foot of Mount Taygetus

You know you’re in Greece when you dine at Metaxi Mas. The 20 year old local institution has an ageless charm that feels like it’s been open decades longer.

Set in the shadow of Mount Taygetus, the popular Santorini restaurant fills with tourists and locals every day and serves honest dishes like plump, spicy pork sautéed with feta and ginormous lamb shanks accompanied with local tomatoes and white eggplant. Cats and dogs mill about the restaurant’s classic al fresco Hellenic patio while servers pour wine from clay pitchers.

Lamb Chop at Metaxí Mas in Santorini Greece

As big as Daryl’s head, this lamb shank came with white aubergine, Santorini cherry tomatoes, feta cheese and fresh basil.

Expect to eat dishes from Crete as well as typical Santorini specialties. In addition to serving items like Dako salad loaded with fresh tomatoes, feta, oregano and Cretan olive oil served atop a large Cretan barley rusk, the restaurant welcomes guests with shots of Cretan raki and little nibbles.

Portions are large and prices are reasonable. We were too full for dessert but somehow devoured the complimentary cheesecake topped with raspberry sauce after it magically appeared at our table. Consider yourself warned.

Though it’s away from the typical tourist areas, Metaxi Mas is far from a hidden gem. Diners fill the Exo Gonia restaurant on a daily basis, making reservations a must. We booked our dinner on the advice of trusted Greek friend and travel expert Chrysoula Manika of Travel Passionate. We thought Chryssie’s advice was spot on.

Pro Tip: Park in Agios Charalambos’s ample church parking lot when you dine at Metaxi Mas. The restaurant is just a short walk down the hill.

Metaxi Mas is located at Exo Gonia, Έξω Γωνία, Santorini 847 00, Greece.

Dimitris Ammoudi Taverna

Sunset at Dimitris Ammoudi in Santorini

Could there be a better view than the sunset at Dimitris Ammoudi Taverna?

Located below Oia on the northern edge of Santorini, hiking down to Dimitris Ammoudi Taverna is worth it for the spectacular views. We don’t say this lightly after a near catastrophe occurred during our trek down a steep trail’s 200+ uneven steps, many littered with donkey poop.

Don’t get us wrong, we loved the views from Oia to Ammoudi Bay, but our 70d DSLR camera nearly met a premature death after Daryl slipped on the trail’s slippery path. The camera literally bounced down ten or so steps, spilling parts along the way.

Somehow, after recovering the camera’s battery door, battery and function wheel (with a little help from some helpful locals), the camera miraculously functioned without a hitch. Seriously, buy a Canon if you’re in the market for a camera. We’re now Canon customers for life.

Cretan Daco Salad at Dimitris Ammoudi in Santorini

This Cretan dako salad at Dmitris featured a tapenade-coated rusk, tomato, feta, capers and herbs.

But back to Dimitris Ammoudi. Joy Kerluke moved to Santorini in 1985 and opened the popular taverna with partner Dimitris Hamalidis. Specialties include all manner of fresh seafood as well as comforting starters like tomato fritters, saganaki and dako salad.

Kerluke is a hospitable owner whose presence is felt all over the dining room as she touches tables and talks to guests. She even arranged our transport back up the mountain to Oia.

But, to us, dining at Dimitris Ammoudi Taverna, is all about the harbor view that the restaurant shares with three other lagoon-based tavernas. Our table was mere inches from the sea, facing epic red cliffs and providing an unobstructed yolk-like view of the sun tucking behind nearby Thirasia Island.

Night View at Dimitris Ammoudi Taverna in Santorini

The lagoon in Ammoudi remains gorgeous even after sunset.

Be sure to plan your meal to coincide with sunset, preferably arriving before dark and securing a front-row view of the Aegean’s nightly show. You’ll want to toast the magical moment with sparkling water or wine. Better yet, order a bottle of Donkey Beer from Santorini Brewing Company (see below) to complete the ultimate Santorini sunset experience.

Pro Tip: Request that the restaurant arrange a shuttle to transport you back to Oia after your dinner. We shared a van with three other couples. The €10 fee was money very well spent.

Dimitris Ammoudi Taverna is located at 1, Oia, Ormos Ammoudiou 847 02, Greece.

To Psaraki

To Psaraki in Santorini

Diners at To Psaraki have a front-row view of Santorini’s Athinios Harbor.

Dining at To Psaraki provided us with a quandary. Though Daryl wanted to order a whole fish from the seafood restaurant’s fresh bounty, Mindi was committed to ordering a selection of mezze dishes instead. In retrospect, there was no bad choice, though Daryl still feels regret about acquiescing to Mindi for a change.

DH: I plan to order a big whole fish during our next visit.
MH: Ok Daryl. Next time we’ll order a whole fish.

Sea Bass Ceviche at To Psaraki in Santorini

To Psaraki is famous for its ceviche which featured sea bass during our meal.

But seriously, can you blame Mindi for wanting to sample seafood dishes like sea bass ceviche, homemade white cod roe tarama, grilled octopus and paprika-flavored bonita as well as white aubergine baked with tomato and feta cheese??? A carafe of house wine plus a bread basket served with an intense tomato spread completed our midday meal.

Grilled Octopus at To Psaraki in Santorini

Grilled octopus is always a good choice in Greece. This version at To Psaraki was adorned with olive oil and balsamic.

Dining at To Psaraki made us happy. Open since 2009 and located by the Athinios Harbor on the south side of the island in Vlychada, the restaurant is an affordable, must-visit for food travelers in Santorini.

Pro Tip: Request a table overlooking the harbor when you reserve your table at To Psarki.

To Psaraki is located at Vlichada Marina, Vlichada 847 00, Greece.

Kokkalo

Kokkalo Dining Room in Santorini

As is the case at many Santorini restaurants, the views at Kokkalo are stellar.

Located a bit away from central Thira’s tourist fray, Kokkalo’s large windows overlook Santorini’s eastern terrain. Beyond its epic views, this Santorini restaurant manages to be both chic and comfortable. But, at the end of the day, dining at Kokkalo is all about the food.

Raki at Kokkalo in Santorini

Raki is a popular aperitif in Santorini. We drank this raki at Kokkalo.

We enjoyed a smorgasbord of local favorites during our lunch – crispy red tomato fritters, velvety fava topped with grilled octopus, grilled sausage stuffed with feta and tangy tzatziki dip. We added a Cretan dako salad for good measure, though we agree to disagree about the inclusion of xinomitzythra cheese instead of feta. (Daryl would have preferred feta in this dish though xinomitzythra is more traditional.)

Grilled Sausage Stuffed with Feta Cheese at Kokkalo in Santorini

We almost didn’t order the grilled sausage stuffed with feta at Kokkalo. That would have been a mistake.

Though it’s not on many lists of where to eat in Santorini, we’re proud to include Kokkalo in our Santorini guide. This restaurant impressed us with its fresh, local ingredients and flavorful combinations. We flat-out adored the feta-stuffed sausage. Plus, we’re suckers for restaurants that welcome us with raki.

Pro Tip: Schedule a cooking class at Kokkalo and learn how to prepare Santorini dishes like fava, tomato fritters and mussels saganaki. Don’t worry, you’ll get to eat the food too.

Kokkalo is located at 25is Martiou 25, Thira 847 00, Greece.

Santorini Souvlaki

Souvlaki Selfie in Santorini

Two gyros are better than one in Santorini. We ate these at Pitogyros in Oia.

If you visit Greece and don’t eat souvlaki during your trip, did you really visit Greece? We think not.

Greek souvlaki is the country’s ultimate fast food and is bargain-priced to boot. Throughout the country, souvlaki stands serve grilled meat on skewers, in pitas and on platters. Though typically involving proteins like chicken, pork and lamb, vegetarians can find meat-free souvlaki with a little extra effort.

Pork Gyro at Luckys Souvlakis in Santorini

The best Santorini souvlakis come with tzatziki and fries.

After eating all the souvlaki in Athens, we were curious to check out the best souvlaki in Santorini. We satisfied our mission at the following two spots:

Pitogyros

Spicy Sausage Gyro at Pitogyros in Santorini

Pitogyro is the best spot to eat souvlaki in Santorini.

If you only have time for one souvlaki meal in Santorini, eat it at Pitogyros. This popular cafe cooks its meat to order on a charcoal grill and serves it on a serene outdoor terrace on the edge of touristic Oia.

Diners go inside Pitogyros to put their name on the list or order takeaway, and we were no exception to this rule. Seated fifteen minutes later, we ordered two pita wraps, one with grilled pork and the other with spicy sausage. Both were excellent, rivaling souvlaki we’d previously eaten in Athens.

Plus, priced at €4 each at the time of our visit, these gyros may be the best cheap eats in Santorini. You can walk away for under €10 even if you order a Yellow Donkey beer to wash down the tasty Greek sandwich.

Pro Tip: Vegetarians can order souvlakis featuring tzatziki, Greek salad or grilled halloumi cheese.

Pitogyros is located at Oia 847 02, Greece.

Lucky’s Souvlakis

Gyro and Beer at Luckys Souvlakis in Santorini

Souvlaki and beer is a winning combination.

We felt lucky when we nabbed two stools at Lucky’s Souvlakis in Thira. The busy souvlaki stand takes Santorini cheap eats to the extreme by selling gyros for €2.60 at the time of our visit. After ordering our gyro, we added a Mythos beer for just €2.50 more.

Our well-positioned stools placed us in front of spinning spits of meat and gave us ready access to chat with the stand’s colorful crew. Although it wasn’t the best souvlaki we’ve ever eaten, it was a fun break as well as a pleasant respite from the strong Mediterranean sun.

Pro Tip: Eat at Lucky’s if you’re eating in Santorini on a budget. Then grab a gelato at nearby Solo Gelato.

Lucky’s Souvlakis is located at Dekigala, Thira 847 00, Greece.
Solo Gelato is located at Fira Square, Thira 847 00, Greece.

Santorini Desserts

Gelato at Lolitas Gelato in Santorini

Lolita’s gelato in Oia features a variety of flavors. Since we didn’t eat the Greek Viagra flavor, we can’t attest to its potency.

In our opinion, Greek bakers make some of the best desserts in the world. If you’ve ever eaten baklava at a Greek diner, then you know what we mean.

We rarely skipped desserts when we dined at Santorini restaurants. However, we sometimes made a special effort to secure dessert when we needed a sweet break during the day. These are favorite dessert spots in Santorini:

Sborwnos Bakery

Kataifi at Svoronos Bakery in Santorini

Local institution Sborwnos Bakery serves dozens of Greek pastries including this honey-laden kataifi.

An institution in Thira since 1912, Sborwnos Bakery serves sweet and savory baked goods all day every day. The bakery also serves coffee, orange juice, sandwiches and ice cream.

During our multiple morning visits, we sampled Greek treats like the twisted spinach & cheese pie pictured above and this kataifi stuffed with almonds and coated with syrup. Although most customers take their treats away to enjoy later, we scarfed ours down at the bakery’s limited outdoor seating.

Pro Tip: Don’t shop at Sborwnos Bakery when you’re starving. If you do, you’ll want to buy … everything.

Sborwnos Bakery is located at 25is Martiou, Thira 847 00, Greece.

The Family Bakery

The Family Bakery in Santorini

Locals frequent The Family Bakery in Megalochori. The roadside bakery sells a variety of sweet and savory Greek treats.

We initially spotted The Family Bakery during our Santorini wine tour. Once we realized that the Megalochori bakery was literally a two-minute drive from Venetsanos Winery (see below), a visit was inevitable a few days later.

With a strip mall exterior more resembling a New Jersey convenience store than a European bakery, the Family Bakery has a wide selection of desserts and is open 24/7. This bakery possesses a truly local feel and sells a range of cooked food suitable for a quick meal on the go.

Pastry at The Family Bakery in Santorini

We couldn’t say ‘no’ to this triangolo panaramico dessert at The Family Bakery.

We shared a decadent dessert called a ‘triangalo panaromico’ according to the cashier. With a honey-coated shell, sweet cream and pistachio bits, this pastry may have been the best dessert we ate in Santorini.

Pro Tip: Buy a wedding cake at The Family Bakery if you’re planning an island wedding. Otherwise, just buy a pastry.

The Family Bakery is located at Επαρχ. Οδ. Φηρων – Ορμου Περισσης, Μεγαλοχωρι, Σαντορινη 847 00, Greece.

Lolita’s Gelato

Gelato Cup at Lolitas Gelato in Santorini

Lolita’s Gelato is the best spot to eat ice cream in Santorini.

Touring Oia can be exhausting between the hills and the sun, not to mention the crowds. Accordingly, stopping at Lolita’s Gelato is mandatory for ‘mental health’ purposes.

Apostolis Tsolakos opened the popular gelateria in 2013 after studying the art of gelato in Bologna. He and his staff add ultra-fresh ingredients to every batch of gelato and sorbet.

Overwhelmed by the flavor choices, we chose three – Cuban lover, baklava and mastic. The combination was divine.

Pro Tip: If you only indulge at one gelateria in Santorini, do it at Lolita’s.

Lolita’s Gelato is located at Oia 847 02, Greece.

Santorini Drinks

Cappuccino at Volkan on the Rocks in Santorini

Finding craft coffee in Santorini was like finding a unicorn but, shockingly, we did it. We drank this excellent double cappuccino made from beans roasted by taf in Athens at Volkan on the Rocks.

Locating a place to drink in Santorini isn’t a challenge. However, with so many coffee chains and party bars, the key is to find the best spots on the Greek island paradise.

With 16 wineries, wine is both prevalent and affordable, and there’s no lack of beer, both craft and commodity. However, coffee is more of a challenge. After literally walking out of two promising coffee shops, we finally found excellent specialty coffee in Thira.

Read on to find our favorite Santorini watering holes.

Drinks with a View

Coffee with a View at Volkan on the Rocks in Santorini

Four cruise ships including the three pictured here didn’t ruin our coffee drinking experience at Volkan on the Rocks.

Santorini bars are a dime a dozen in both Thira and Oia, but the best spots offer epic views with their libations. Drinking with a view is easily one of the best things to do in Santorini. Just don’t forget your camera or wallet after enjoying one too many drinks.

Volkan on the Rocks
Cocktails at Volkan on the Rocks in Santorini

In addition to their own cocktails, Volkan on the Rocks offers cocktails from Athens’ craft cocktail bar The Clumsies.

We bumped into Volkan on the Rocks on our very first day while touring Thira and returned three more times to enjoy the island’s best craft coffee, elevated brunch food and extraordinary caldera views. It quickly became our morning happy place due to its crafted specialty coffee made with taf beans from Athens.

Pancakes at Volkan on the Rocks in Santorini

We shared these pancakes topped with butter and orange blossom honey at Volkan on the Rocks.

Operated by Thessaloniki’s Ergon Foods, Volkan on the Rocks is a great spot to share a quiet drink or eat tasty food before, during or after a day of touring Thira. In addition to taf coffee, the well-positioned bar serves beer from Volkan Brewery (see below), wine from Nomikos and cocktails from The Clumsies.

Pro Tip: Make a reservation to view a family-friendly outdoor movie screening at Volkan on the Rocks. Depending on the night, movie options are Mama Mia and My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

Volkan on the Rocks is located at Firostefani, Thira 847 00, Greece.

Santorini Wineries

Vines at Domaine Sigalas in Santorini

Indigenous to Santorini, Assyrtiko is the island’s signature grape.

Despite or perhaps due to its volcanic land and arid climate, Santorini farmers have been growing some of the country’s best wine grapes for over 3,000 years. Not only does the volcanic soil create interesting taste profiles, but it also protects the grapes from diseases like phylloxera.

As we learned during our Santorini wine tour, the island’s 16 wineries produce excellent wine of which 85% is white and 78% is Assyrtiko. Assyrtiko, which absorbs volcanic properties from the soil, is Santorini’s most important grape variety but it’s not the only grape in town.

Other varieties include Aidani, Arthiri & Mavrotagano. Then there’s Vinsanto, Santorini’s luxurious dessert wine exclusively made with late-harvest white grapes.

As you plan your Santorini itinerary, consider visiting the following wineries:

Venetsanos Winery
Server at Venetsanos Winery in Santorini

Gregoria Koskorellou served us wine with a view at Venetsanos Winery in Santorini.

Carved into the cliffs just above the port of Athinios, Venetsanos Winerys’ sunset terrace is the ultimate spot for tasting wine in Santorini. The views of the island’s caldera and nearby islands are nothing short of breathtaking.

Constructed in 1947 and more recently renovated after being closed for decades, Venetsanos has been offering wine tastings and tours at its unique winery sine 2014. Venetsanos also has a museum for guests who want to learn about the winery’s storied history.

Venetsanos Winery Selfie in Santorini

We enjoyed both the wine and the views during our sunset tasting at Venetsanos Winery.

We shared a four-glass tasting during our sunset visit. Gregoria Koskorellou guided us through tasting 2018 Santorini (Assyrtiko), 2018 Nykteri (Assyrtiko), Anagallis (Aidani, Assyrtiko and Mandilaria) and 2016 Vinsanto (elixir of the gods).

Although we arrived by car, other guests we met had taken the bus from Thira to the Megalochori winery. However you get to Venetsanos Winery, get there. The cliffside view from the Southeast corner of the caldera is worth the effort.

Pro Tip: Make an advance reservation to ensure a sunset viewing for your tasting.

Venetsanos Winery is located at Caldera Megalochori, Santorini Island 847 00, Greece.

Domaine Sigalas
Wine Tasting at Domaine Sigalas in Santorini

We shared this tasting at Domaine Sigalas with a view of the winery’s vines.

Drinking wine at Domaine Sigalas’ Oia winery is a relaxing way to explore the breadth of Santorini wine. Not only does the winery grow estate grapes on its 37 hectares to produce 300,000 bottles each year, but it also purchases additional fruit from 100 local farmers.

Founded in 1991, the winery offers wine tastings and food pairings for visitors. During our visit and with a view of rows and rows of vines in the field, we shared a six-glass tasting and a Ntakos salad with barley rusk, tomato, Chloro cheese, capers, olives and oregano.

Our tasting included the following wines: Am (Assyrtiko and Monemvasia), Santorini (Assyrtiko), Kavalieros (Assyrtiko), Ean (Mandilaria), Mm (Mandilaria and Mavrotragano) and Vinsanto (Assyrtiko and Aidani). Santorini and Vinsanto both qualify for PDO status.

Pro Tip: Schedule a tour to fully experience Domaine Sigalas and its wines.

Domaine Sigalas is located at Baxes, Oia, Santorini 847 02, Greece.

Santo Wines
Wine Tasting at Santo Wines in Santorini

Our glasses and plates runneth over at Santo Wines.

Santo Wines is a popular winery that offers wine tastings with epic views of the caldera. Founded in 1947 as a cooperative, this Pyrgos winery is the island’s largest with more than 1,000 wine-growing members. Visitors to Santo Wines can take a tour and watch an informative documentary in the winery’s oenotourism center.

As for us, we headed straight to the wine bar when we visited Santo Wines as part of our Santorini wine tour. We enjoyed two five-glass flights with a variety of white and red wines along with a sampling of local cured meats, olives and barley rusks. Since it was already dark, we focused on the wine instead of scenery and selfies.

Pro Tip: Book a tasting via Santo Wine’s online reservation system.

Santo Wines is located at Pyrgos Kallistis 847 00, Greece.

Santorini Breweries

Beer Souvenirs at Santorini Brewing Company in Santorini

You can sample a range of Donkey ales at Santorini Brewing Company.

Sometimes we’re satisfied with drinking mass-market beers like Mythos and Fix but sometimes we want more. Thankfully, Greece has joined the craft beer movement and has two excellent breweries on Santorini.

Santorini Brewing Company
Slow Donkey Beer at Santorini Brewing Company in Santorini

Santorini Brewing Company has pinned the tail on the donkey with their craft beer.

Famous for its donkey logo, Santorini Brewing Company sells its beers in many of the top Santorini restaurants including Dimitris Ammoudi Taverna, To Psaraki and Pitogyros (see all above). Founded in 2011, the small craft brewery imports all of its ingredients and brews its beer in Pyrgos with a focus on quality over quantity.

We met co-owner Majda Anderson when we visited the brewery for a beer tasting. Anderson shared that the brewery is producing 120,000 liters this year, some of which will be distributed abroad to the US, UK, Japan and Switzerland.

More importantly, we tasted three beers during our visit – Yellow Donkey, Red Donkey and Lazy Ass Donkey. We also bought a t-shirt as a Santorini souvenir.

Pro Tip: You can buy t-shirts and bottles of beer when you visit the brewery for a tasting.

Santorini Brewing Company is located at Mesa Gonia, Santorini 847 00, Greece.

Volkan Brewery
Volkan Beer at Volkan on the Rocks in Santorini

Beer fans can drink Volkan beer at Volkan on the Rocks.

Located in Thira, Volkan Brewery adds local ingredients like lava rock filtered mineral water and grape honey to their craft beer. The brewery currently produces four different beers – blonde, black, white and grey.

Unfortunately, the brewery was closed during our October visit. On the upside, we were able to order bottles at nearby Volkan on the Rocks (see above).

Pro Tip: Call the brewery to make sure it’s open before you make a special trip to Volkan Brewery.

Volkan Brewery is located at Agiou Athanasiou, Thira 847 00, Greece.

Check Santorini Hotel Rates ➜

Things To Do in Santorini

Magnets in Oia in Santorini

For many, shopping is a top thing to do in Santorini.

Santorini is a destination that demands exploration beyond its epic caldera. We’re already recommended that you take a wine tour. Here are some other ideas for how you can explore the island’s natural and culinary treasures:

Souvenir Bowls for Sale Oia in Santorini

You can’t miss colorful souvenirs when you shop in Santorini.


Hungry for more? Check out our Athens Food Guide since you’ll need to eat before and after you visit the Acropolis.


Santorini Meal Map


We’ve included this handy map so you can track your Santorini meals and beverage breaks with a smartphone.

Research Santorini Hotels

Oia View in Santorini

The hills of Oia are filled with boutique hotels.

Click here to find an awesome rate for a Santorini hotel. Or, if you prefer to live like a local, click here to find a great Airbnb apartment.

We recommend that you rent a car after you book a hotel. However, if you don’t feel comfortable driving on Santorini’s curvy mountain roads, you can use a Transfer Service to get around the island.

Book a Tour

You simply must explore Santorini – it’s one of the world’s most beautiful islands. Click here to find an awesome Santorini tour or try one of these tours:

Buy a Travel Guide

Pin It for Later

We thank Urban Adventures for hosting us on a four-hour Santorini wine tour to facilitate this article. We otherwise self-funded our trip to Santorini.

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About the Author

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

Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.

Comments

  1. You two are so thorough, covering all aspects of the dining pleasures of your destinations, from the simplest to the most elaborate. Even I, jaded as I am regarding such touristy destinations, could consider a short visit here for that baked feta and the sausage stuffed with it.

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