A Culinary Guide to Santorini

Written by EJ Ray

October 27, 2021
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In this culinary guide to Santorini, Greece, we explore popular local dishes and the best places to find them in this Aegean jewel.

One of the biggest draws to the Greek Islands for many travelers is the opportunity to immerse themselves in the authentic cuisine of the country. From sizzling street food to Michelin-starred creations, these islands celebrate the entire spectrum of Greece’s varied cuisine, often championing local ingredients that bring the dishes to life. Santorini is probably best known for being a romantic retreat, with some of the best views anywhere in the country. However, this Cycladic island is actually home to a thriving culinary scene and hosts some of the area’s most renowned restaurants. In this culinary guide to Santorini, we run through some of the most popular local dishes and the best places to find them on this south-Aegean jewel.

Local Santorini Culinary Specialties

No culinary guide to Santorini is complete without two of the most popular dishes. Ask anyone who knows anything about Santorini cuisine, and they’ll point you straight to a steaming plate of Tomatokeftedes. Translated, these are simply fried tomato fritters.

culinary guide to Santorini

Tomatokeftedes, or fried tomato fritters, are a delicious Greek ouzo meze from Santorini. Photo by ALLEKO via iStock by Getty Images

Tomatokeftedes can be found as a popular starter in almost any restaurant or taverna across the island. Due to the composition of the volcanic soil in which they grow, Santorini’s tomatoes are said to have a unique taste, and are widely considered to be some of the best found anywhere in the world.

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Another dish that’s celebrated in this part of the world is fava, which curiously isn’t made from fava beans, but instead from puréed yellow split peas. Often featured on menus as a side dish, fava is typically eaten as a dip, but can also commonly be found accompanying grilled octopus. Santorini fava has even received PDO status (protected designation of origin), meaning that the dish has been recognized as having the strongest links to this particular area.

culinary guide to Santorini

Taditional fava with olive oil. Photo by oykuozgu via iStock by Getty Images

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Culinary Guide to Santorini: The Best Places to Eat

You will do well to wander Santorini and explore the variety of local eateries, but for this culinary guide to Santorini, we want to offer up a few of the not-to-be-missed places you simply must eat in while you're in Santorini.

culinary guide to Santorini

Enjoy the flavors of the Mediterranean in Santorini. Photo by Kamala Bright on Unsplash

Metaxi Mas

Celebrating an array of local, seasonal ingredients, Mextaxi Mas comes with a sizable reputation among both tourists and locals. Unlike many of the popular eateries on the island, this well-renowned restaurant sits well off the beaten path in the small village of Exo Gonia in the center of Santorini.

culinary guide to Santorini

The small village of Exo Gonia on Santorini is home to Metaxi Mas. Photo by chriss73 via iStock by Getty Images

Complete with views of the Aegean Sea, Metaxi Mas offers a broad range of Greek specialty dishes for you to sample, from fava to white eggplant, to pork chops in orange sauce. Paying the closest attention to detail, they have carried out meticulous research of the local vineyards, to ensure the foods are paired with the best wines of the area. After all, local wine is often cited as one of the top reasons to visit Greek Islands.

Argo Restaurant

If it’s a dinner with a view you’re after, then you must book a meal at Argo. Situated above the Old Port of Santorini, in the capital of Fira, this enchanting culinary retreat offers one of the island’s most unique dining experiences. Enjoy unobscured views of the Aegean sea as you bask in the fading light of the famous Santorini sunset, savoring the local tastes celebrated by Argo’s distinctive menu.

culinary guide to Santorini

Book a table with a view of Fira town at Argo Restaurant. Photo by zoom-zoom via iStock by Getty Images

With a selection of Greek salads, fresh seafood, and specialty pasta dishes, Argo caters to the tastes of all guests. However, a particular favorite of many visitors is the shrimp saganaki, made with cheese sourced from the neighboring island of Naxos. Whether you’re pulled in by the views or the appetizing food—or both—Argo will certainly leave you desperate to return for another taste.

Taqueria Los Tres Amigos

While there is plenty to be admired about Santorini’s local ingredients, some of the best eateries also champion international flavors. One such spot is Taqueria Los Tres Amigos, a popular culinary haunt offering Mexican street food.

Celebrating humble vegetables is a fundamental characteristic of Greek cuisine, and Taqueria Los Tres Amigos certainly plays up to its host's customs in this regard. Offering a vast range of vegetarian dishes from burritos to quesadillas, this foodie’s paradise will transport you from the Aegean coast to the white-sand beaches of Mexico with one bite. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, why not set your taste buds tingling with their range of specialty tequilas? A shot is often offered free of charge.

One of the biggest draws to the Greek Islands for many travelers is the opportunity to immerse themselves in the authentic cuisine of the country. Sanntorini is probably best known for being a romantic retreat, with some of the best views anywhere in the country. However, it is also home to a thriving culinary scene. In this culinary guide to Santorini, we explore some of the most popular local dishes and the best places to find them on this south-Aegean jewel.

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One of the biggest draws to the Greek Islands for many travelers is the opportunity to immerse themselves in the authentic cuisine of the country. Sanntorini is probably best known for being a romantic retreat, with some of the best views anywhere in the country. However, it is also home to a thriving culinary scene. In this culinary guide to Santorini, we explore some of the most popular local dishes and the best places to find them on this south-Aegean jewel.

A Culinary Guide to Santorini

Written by EJ Ray

EJ Ray is a traveler at heart. It is part of her soul and she loves to share her travels through her words. She has traveled the world, seeking great food, wine, and experiences. EJ was born in the Eastern US but has lived across the country and in Europe and Mexico. She also took to the road for a while, exploring from her RV. EJ always seeks the next great sip, bite, and adventure.

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