Santorini - its iconic cliffs fill the imaginations of many travelers to Greece, and the views of the heart of the volcano, now filled with seawater, have inspired many boutique hotels. But Santorini island also boasts many cliff-hugging restaurants and other excellent choices for dining. Farming on Santorini has always been tricky, with most crops relying for most of their irrigation on the early morning mist generated by volcanic fumeroles on the island. Only a few food plants can thrive in these conditions,including special varieties of tomatoes, eggplants, grapes, fava beans and cucumbers, and that may be why most Santorinians seem to be born with an intense natural respect for foods and their essential flavors. In the past, some of this sensibility was thrown aside in the sometimes slapdash, tourist-friendly foods found at typical tavernas, but today's visitors are used to the philosophy of farm-fresh and local produce, and the restaurants in Santorini have followed suit. In general, the most upscale restaurants are open between May and October when Santorini is busiest. While there are always some great dining options available, if you are planning a visit in the off season, you may want to verify the restaurant will be open at the time of your visit. Some of them may only be open weekends during the rest of the year.
Located in Pyrgos about ten minutes drive outside of Fira, Selene tops lists of the best restaurants in Santorini and is noted as one of the best restaurants in Greece. It's also a past About Greece Travel Reader's Choice award-winner. Reservations are essential for the main restaurant and can be tricky in high season. The new Meze and Wine cafe is a bit more casual and may be your best choice if you can't plan ahead. In addition to wonderful food, Selene also offers one of the best wine lists in Greece. Their desserts are both deceptively simple and utterly dazzling. The restaurant is adjacent to the Drosos-Chryssos or "Santorini" Folk Museum which is also worth a visit, especially for foodies as it details the process used to manufacture the famed Santorini tomato paste, among other exhibits.
Santorini, Greece, 84700, P.O. 87
Phone: +30 22860 22249
Fax: +30 22860 24395
From the U.S., dial 011 first.
Ifestioni at the Aressana
Hotel restaurants rarely rise above their stand-alone peers, but the Ifestioni is an exception. Located on the lower level of the Aressana Hotel, it provides a selection of recipes using mainly local ingredients. The octopus cooked in mavrodaphne sauce over local fava beans is one of the foods on my "if I could eat anything in the world right now, what would it be?" list. As an aside, the upstairs outdoor bar area at the Aressana offers an excellent view of the moonrise on Santorini.... if a full moon is essential to you, you can find out full moon and moonrise times on Santorini.
Ifestioni at the Aressana
Aressana Spa hotel and Suites
Fira, Santorini, 84700, Greece
Phone: +30 22860 23900, fax: +30 22860 23902
firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Want to combine sunset-watching and dining? The Sphinx is a cliff-clinging restaurant with an unobstructed view of the caldera, something you can preview ahead of time from their webcam of the caldera. The Sphinx entrance from the promenade in Fira is an ornate archway leading directly to steep steps down to the restaurant itself. The Sphinx uses Cretan olive oil in its dishes and also prides itself on its cocktails made with French champagne. The seafood and steaks dominate here and yes, you do pay a premium for the view - but you may not mind much.
Fira, 847 00, Greece
Phone: +30 22860-23823
This multi-level restaurant in the heart of Thira offers dramatic, delicious seafood platters. Depending on where you sit, it also can provide an entertaining look at the passerby. In early spring and late fall, skip the rooftop which can get chilly after sunset.
Fira, Santorini 84700
More Restaurants on Santorini:Firostefani - Vanilia
Oia/Ia -1800 Restaurant
Thira/Fira - Ellis Restaurant
Thira/Fira - Koukoumavlos Restaurant
Oia/Ia - Ambrosia Restaurant (also called Nectar & Ambrosia
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