With its whitewashed cliff-top buildings, vibrant blue-domed churches and mesmerising vistas overlooking the caldera, this charming Greek Island is in a league of its own. Santorini does spectacular in abundance, with its restaurant scene undoubtedly adding another string to its bow – whether you’re after luxury dining with sunset views or authentic food in an intimate taverna, you’re sure to find it here.
We’ve cherry-picked five of the best restaurants in Santorini for you to consider, so you can eat your way around the island…
If you’re seeking opulence, this vegetarian restaurant located in the village of Pyrgos is a must-visit. Selene overlooks the idyllic vineyards of Akrotiri and Megalochori, with its upstairs restaurant inhabiting an old arcaded house, plus a downstairs “Meze and Wine” bistro – which is slightly more casual. Staying true to Cycladic cuisine, Selene utilises the local culinary heritage of Santorini to create contemporary dishes with authentic heart. Its award-winning menu is seasonal, with fresh ingredients such as white aubergine, tangy capers and fragrant tomatoes often featured.
Perfect for a special occasion.
Metaxi Mas, Exo Gonia
Off the beaten track in the small village of Exo Gonia is Metaxi Mas, a tavern restaurant is located down a set of steps, next to the church of Agios Charalambos. This intimate venue boasts a friendly atmosphere, favourable portion sizes and free-flowing raki – one of the many reasons guests claim it’s easy to lose track of time here! Delicious Cretan food is served, with overflowing seasonal salads being a popular choice alongside cured pork, grilled pleurotous (oyster mushrooms), Sfakiani pita (Cretan cheese pie with honey), fava, fresh seafood linguine and more.
Perfect for authentic food
To Steki Tou Psara, Vlyháda
This tiny hole-in-the-wall restaurant has no more than 15 tables, and is a go-to for hungry locals. Located in Vlyháda port quay, right next to where the fisherman hop off their boats, its name translates as ‘the fishermans hangout’ – so you can expect a menu that’s heavily steered towards seafood. A family-run restaurant for over 20 years, this hidden gem is more commonly known as Roula’s Place – who, if you’re lucky, may even serve your meal. Assorted seafood dishes includes hake, mackerel, kalamari and bogue, although other meats and vegetarian options are available.
Perfect for a fish dish.
Lucky’s Souvlaki, Fira
It may not be restaurant-worthy, but it would be rude not to mention souvlaki, since we’re in Greece. This cheap and cheerful bite is made with skewered grilled meat and served with a tomato and onion salad inside pitta bread, often topped by lashings of tzatsiki – Greece’s trademark condiment. Lucky’s is located just off the main road in Fira and is the perfect choice for those after fast fuel before exploring the island. Don’t expect to sit down at a table, though – these whopping pittas are made to be eaten standing!
Perfect for on-the-go grub.
Oia is one of the most popular villages in Santorini, renowned for its spectacular sunsets, expensive fine-dining restaurants and boutique shops. But you don’t have to spend big to enjoy a beautiful meal here, especially if you steer away from the main strip. Roka is tucked away in a beautiful 1912 building just a few minutes from the main walkway. Its small but inviting courtyard is peppered with plants, providing a cosy, away-from-it-all atmosphere. While at the back of the restaurant you can soak up spectacular views of the island and watch the famous Oia sunset. Favourite dishes include the traditional meze, the Roka and Santorini salads and the slow-cooked beef.
Perfect for a cosy atmosphere.
The Family Bakery, Megalochori
Ok, not technically a restaurant but an absolute no-brainer if you’re a baked goods fan. Located on the corner of a main road by the charming village of Megalochori, this family-run bakery (the clue is in the name) isn’t much to look at on the outside, but certainly makes up for it on the inside – serving up the most delicious array of pastries, breads, cakes and gelato. Open 24 hours a day, The Family Bakery makes for a great pit stop to keep you going until lunch (or dinner).
Perfect for a coffee and a pastry.
Panorama Balcony, Oia
Lastly, but by absolutely no means least – for quite literally the most unparalleled gourmet dining experience you could ever have, there’s Panorama Balcony. This luxury hotel invites couples to dine in its intimate setting underneath the stars, making it the ideal choice if romance is on the cards. The restaurant comprises of a candle-lit terrace with only one table on it. That’s right, one. It’s just you, your lover, the waiter (awkward?) and infinite views over the caldera…
Perfect for romance.