Undeniably one of the most picturesque islands in Europe, Santorini is one of Greece’s most beautiful destinations. Its traditional architecture, breath-taking beaches and the rich-flavored Greek cuisine combine to create an unforgettable setting. Enjoy Santorini’s best cultural restaurants with our handpicked guide of the island’s top gastronomic locations, from classic tavernas to simple beach bars, all with a unique touch of local authenticity.
As one of the best choices for those holidaying in Fira, the capital of Santorini, Argo is a high-class location and has won TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence more than once. With its large open-air location that offers scenic panoramic views of the caldera, Argo is a perfect place for a memorable sunset meal. It’s also a great destination for the eco-conscious, as the restaurant has an environmentally friendly kitchen. The menu is tempting with a variation of Greek and international dishes, prepared with fresh local ingredients taking you on a ‘culinary tour in many corners of the world’. Among the highlights are the Santorini fava and Argo’s specialty patatina.
Established in 1968, Selene is a stylish restaurant from the village of Pyrgos that has always remained faithful to its mission of using local ingredients and recipes to help visitors understand the culture of Santorini. The restaurant also offers cooking classes and enjoys a great location in the vicinity of the Santorini of the Past Museum. Selene operates a small meze and wine tavern, providing the complete Greek tasting experience. Its menu features delicacies like squid in seaweed, rabbit marinated in red wine, dorada with wild greens and caper cream or grilled lamb with eggplant puree.
Opened more than 90 years ago, Aktaion is a traditional Greek taverna that has witnessed almost a century of Santorini’s history and change. Now run by the third generation of its founding family, Aktaion is a reference point on the culinary scene of the island. The restaurant enjoys a great location in one of the most beautiful villages near Santorini’s capital and treats guest to a splendid display of the owner’s artworks. The menu is solely based on raw local ingredients with delicious dishes like zucchini pie, marinated anchovies with garlic, grilled and marinated mains or shrimps in basil pesto.
Situated in an authentic captain’s house from 1845, this restaurant is the perfect destination for those seeking Santorini’s nostalgic spirit. Still preserving the original colors, furnishing and even the captain’s wooden travel chest, 1800 offers a memorable escape. One of the most popular restaurants in Oia, a small but historical village situated on the northern coast of the island, 1800 offers great Mediterranean recipes and an impressive view over the Aegean Sea from its rooftop terrace. The restaurant’s menu is completed by a handpicked Greek wine list.
With almost 30 years of experience going back to when Andrew the donkey was the main means of transportation that supplied the taverna, Sunset by Paraskevas is a must for those who reach Oia during their stay in Santorini. Founded by a fisherman and his wife, this typical Greek restaurant is famous for its fresh fish, handpicked daily by the owner himself from local markets. Enjoying a unique location in Ammoudi Harbor, Sunset tempts its guest with its excellent quality and special dishes like its top-secret lobster pasta recipe.
Atlantis Island is the perfect choice for those who enjoy refined service and delicious dishes while taking in a view of the blue sea on one of the most beautiful beaches of Santorini. The restaurant allows its guests to handpick – from two local farms – the ingredients used to prepare their preferred recipes. Focusing predominantly on Mediterranean food, the menu changes every year. What stays constant, however, is an abundant presence of natural, local ingredients such as fava beans, tomatoes and white eggplant.
The first sushi lounge in Santorini, this restaurant is unquestionably a must-try location for those with an appetite for fresh hamachi or hot sake while relaxing in the colorful village of Firostefani. Opened in 2008, Ginger Sushi prides itself on its use of fresh ingredients, culinary creativity and a personal touch. Offering the complete package of sushi, customized rolls, chopsticks, wasabi and ginger, the lounge also has a special tasting menu ‘created to match even the most experienced culinary adventurers’.
Situated in the tranquil village of Finikia, Krinaki is a traditional Greek taverna hosted in an 1832 wine production warehouse. Deeply rooted in the agricultural rhythm of rural Santorini, Krinaki uses only local and Greek ingredients to build a menu all vegetarians will love: roasted eggplants with tomatoes and cheese, omelets with asparagus, and fried mushroom or tomato fritters with fresh spearmint. The restaurant also has excellent meat dishes, including fried pork in wine, lamb on the spit or grilled lamb chops. At Krinaki Taverna you can also enjoy wine tasting, poetry readings and art exhibitions.
The list of Santorini’s top cultural restaurants would not be complete without a sunny beach venue. Our pick is Aegialos, located a stone’s throw from Fira, accessible by car, foot or water. With a nautical-inspired design featuring a boat for a sofa, and fishing nets surrounded by omnipresent green and blue nuances, this small beach restaurant delivers its guests an unforgettable Santorini experience. Highly popular among tourists, Aegialos offers local dishes made only with fresh ingredients cultivated on the island and a variety of seafood and fish recipes.
Considered one of the best tavernas in Santorini, Nichteri is a popular gastronomic venue with an established reputation for serving its guests the best of the island’s traditional cuisine. Run by Vasilis Zaharakis, a local-born chef who has participated in a number of international competitions, Nichteri aspires to connect the visitors of Santorini to the ‘authentic taste’ of the island. The menu offers an excellent selection of Greek delicacies from sun-dried tomato salad, Kefalotyri cheese with lemon marmalade, steamed mussels to decadent, honey-based desserts.