In addition to the unique architecture and picturesque beaches, delicious food is one of the main highlights of a vacation to Santorini. As you’d expect, fresh seafood and Mediterranean flavors are easy to find, but you might be surprised at the ethnically diverse offerings available on this charming Greek island.
The Best Restaurants in Santorini
If you’re planning a vacation to the Aegean in the year ahead, be sure to add a few of the following top spots to your agenda. Below are our picks for the nine best restaurants in Santorini.
With its stunning sunset views and creative cuisine, Argo has become a fine-dining favorite of locals and visitors alike. Located in Fira along the caldera, the open-air dining area at Argo offers a spectacular location to catch Santorini’s famous sunset while enjoying a memorable meal.
The menu features a variety of international dishes with a distinctly Greek influence. Chef Constantin prides himself on incorporating as many local ingredients as possible, and the fresh flavors shine in offerings like shrimp saganaki, sea bass gyros and roasted lamb shank.
Reservations are strongly recommended for this popular spot, especially at dinnertime. This was a no-brainer for our list of the best restaurants in Santorini.
Since 1986, Selene has been a beloved member of the Santorini culinary community, both in its original location in Fira and its current iteration in the village of Pyrgos, where it relocated in 2010. The village is anchored by a medieval castle on one of the highest points on the island. But more importantly, Pyrgos sits next to the fertile farmland and lush vineyards on which Selene relies for so much of its menu.
Its innovative dishes feature fresh produce like the “Santorinian Tomato Can,” a mixture of miniature tomatoes, red and yellow tomato sorbet and strawberries in osmosis. Other notable dishes include spinach pie tortelli and boneless lamb loin with fried sweetbreads and lemon verbena sauce.
In addition to the main restaurant, Selene also operates Selene Meze and Wine—a more casual taverna. They also operate Selene Experience, which offers a variety of cooking and tasting courses for guests seeking a deeper dive into the island’s gastronomic culture.
For nearly a century, Aktaion Taverna in Firostefani has fueled residents and visitors with classic Greek dishes served in a warm, laid-back atmosphere. Now operated by the third generation of the Roussos family, the restaurant’s walls are adorned with an impressive display of art created by its founder.
The menu is packed with traditional favorites like moussaka, grilled octopus and Santorini fava puree, as well as classics with a twist, such as savory loukoumades made from balls of fried feta cheese and served with tomato chutney. It also offers plenty of choices for vegetarian diners, including two varieties of kalogeriko: homemade pasta with tomato sauce, garlic and capers or mushrooms, grilled manouri cheese and truffle oil.
History buffs will love 1800, located in a 19th-century mansion in Oia that once belonged to Captain I. Sarris, a shipowner made wealthy by Santorini’s flourishing port. The restaurant’s owners have preserved much of its original ambience, including colors, furnishings and the captain’s weathered wooden travel chest.
Popular menu items include fried calamari, seafood risotto and rack of lamb paired with its impressive list of Greek wines. Capacity is relatively small at around 30 tables, so make a reservation if possible. It packs up fast too, and is easily on our list of the best restaurants in Santorini.
Ginger Sushi Lounge, which opened in 2008 as Santorini’s first sushi restaurant, takes full advantage of the availability of fresh seafood on the island. In addition to its extensive menu of sashimi, nigiri and makimono rolls, the chefs at Ginger are happy to create a customized tasting menu for adventurous guests looking for creative food at one of the best restaurants in Santorini.
Signature selections include the truffle oil-marinated snapper sashimi and tekka (tuna) roll. If raw fish isn’t your thing, Ginger offers a wide range of cooked options, like ishiyaki steak cooked on a sizzling volcanic stone, chicken kushiyaki skewers and shrimp tempura.
This charming taverna makes an appearance on nearly every list of top restaurants on Santorini, and for good reason: the kitchen has perfected fresh, simple Santorinian and Cretan cuisine and paired it with friendly, attentive service.
Liberal use of local produce and bold ingredients make even the most basic dishes memorable. Some examples include the Cretan salad with tomato, cucumber, onion, green pepper, boiled potato, Cretan myzithra cheese, olives and capers.
Classics like lamb with yogurt sauce and mint, grilled pork tenderloin, seafood linguini and grilled octopus with Cretan green olive oil and Santorinian fava beans round out the menu of one of the best restaurants in Santorini.
Perched on the edge of the Aegean at its namesake Port, Ammoudi Fish Taverna offers what may be the best waterfront dining on Santorini. Diners can watch cruise ships, fishing boats and other watercraft drift by as they enjoy freshly-caught local seafood.
Start your meal with sun-dried grilled octopus, steamed mussels or mastelo with honey and sesame; for a main course, consider fisherman’s barley with lobster or a wide variety of grilled fish, including grouper, bass and swordfish. Y
ou’ll probably be able to score a table pretty easily at lunchtime, but make a reservation if you plan to visit for dinner.
Widely considered the most romantic restaurant in Oia—and perhaps all of Santorini—Ambrosia’s cliffside location along the caldera yields breathtaking sunset views to match its equally impressive cuisine.
Highlights include salmon tartare with avocado, chives and lime vinaigrette; duck fillet accompanied by baby carrots, asparagus and figs in Santorini Vinsanto sauce; and shrimp risotto paired with white truffle oil. Don’t even think about showing up without reservations; you may need to call weeks in advance to snag a space.
If you’re craving a departure from Greek cuisine, consider Convivium, a relative newcomer to the Santorini dining scene. This hip spot in Fira features a daunting selection of homemade pasta dishes and pizza as well as grilled meats, seafood and chicken.
Caprese con burrata, oven-baked lasagna (available in Bolognese and vegetarian versions) and pizza topped with Santorinian cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, manouri goat-cheese, olives, basil and capers are just a few of more than four dozen choices. Finish off your meal with tiramisu, panna cotta with caramel or one of several other sweet treats on the menu.