Delicious Destinations: Eat Like A Local In Santorini

To experience the best of Santorini’s culinary temptations, one just needs to eat like a local.

Santorini’s volcanic earth and the surrounding Aegean sea yield unique and delectable produce, seafood, and wine. As home to a climate and resources that produce abundant fresh, flavorful foods, the best advice for dining on holiday in Santorini is to eat like a local.


First, travel to the southern Aegean Sea to the Isle of Santorini just 200km (120 miles) southeast of the Greek mainland. But let’s leave Santorini’s geography, history and volcanic activity to Wikipedia enthusiasts and get down to the essentials. Basically, you will need air, water, shelter and delicious local food. Fortunately, those four things can all be found in abundance on Santorini.

Of course, that’s if we are talking salt water, fresh water is a little scarce but that’s a good thing – meaning – rainfall is scant and your holiday will be hot and sunny. Santorini is one of only two locations in Europe with a hot, dry desert climate. Now file that fact away for your next game of trivial pursuit and let’s talk food!


Maybe you’ve rented a beautiful house in Imerovigli or Megalochori and are ready to immerse yourself in the life of the island. Since every destination on the island is at most a comfortable car ride away, Santorini is your oyster…or in this case…your tomato-kefides ball.


The number one thing to know to eat like a local in Santorini: when you go to a restaurant insist on local tomatoes in your salad! The cherry tomatoes grown on Santorini may be the best tasting tomatoes you will ever have.  Let the uninformed tourists eat imported tomatoes – you know better.


Tomato-kefides: Not the fried green tomatoes of the American south but the deep fried RED tomatoes of Santorini mixed with herbs, butter, onions and whatever secret ingredient each restaurant adds to make this meatless meatball recipe their own.


Honor the grilled eggplant!  In Santorini, grilled eggplant is treated with great respect. In most restaurants it will be presented like a flaming cherries jubilee without the flames and cut into bite size pieces by the waiter.


Eat at the family run fish tavernas located near the smaller beaches – bonus points if the owners catch their own fish and their Mother is in the kitchen cooking.


Enjoy wheat and corn flower bread – the locals have no problem with their gluten.


Remember these words: Pan fired crusted feta cheese with honey. Perhaps you have seen this item on menus around the world – but please wait and eat it here.  Maybe you will only have it once in your lifetime – or until you return to the Isle of Santorini. But that will be enough.


Wander the back streets of Pyrgos until you discover Penelope’s café. I would give you more specific directions but it is part of the experience to somehow discover Penelope’s after having been lost and in need of an exceptional Greek coffee frappe.  Let’s list this moment under “heightened experiences to be recounted to friends”.

Visit traditional food shops for: Santorini wines, ouzo, tsipuro, canned fruits and seeds for tomatoes, fava and squash. TIP: Bring a hardcase suitcase to stash the wine in and keep bottle intact. Search for: Kotsi (a delicious meat not found on menus but whispered to waiters who nod) and Loukoumi, ice cream with real sugared rose petals.
With a little insider’s knowledge, plus your natural curiosity, you’ll experience the joy of indulging in the fruits – both savory and sweet – of Santorini’s unique ecology and climate.
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