Santorini is an island that’s an 8-hour ferry ride (or 1.5-hour plane ride) from Athens. I suggest that if you don’t get seasick, take an overnight ferry to Santorini. Saves you a lot of money and idle time. ”Santorini” is actually not a Greek word, but rather an Italian one. The Venetians actually occupied it and had a lot of influence to what Santorini is today. Thira, which is the official name, is really famous for the architecture of white and blue houses, which were directly attributed to the Venetians.
Santorini is really a volcanic area hence the black sand and the dry lands. You really go there to see the architecture and the sunset, which I should say is really, really fantastic. The area of Santorini has a lot of historic contributions to Greek history (which I won’t talk about).
There are 2 main parts of Santorini for any traveller — Fira (the main town) and Oia (where most of the famous photos are taken). It should be no surprise that Santorini has become a tourist trap where prices tend to be more expensive than anywhere else in Greece.So what type of food does Santorini have that’s probably better than any of the Greek islands1? With the influx of gyros, souvlakis, and meat dishes in cities like Athens, you can’t go wrong with seafood… with Santorini being an island. One general tip is that grilled seafood usually means a fresher catch that fried ones, hence the higher prices on the menu.
I ate my meals exclusively around Fira. Oia looks great, but you’re basically paying for the view. A normal Greek meal in Athens would cost around €10-11. In Fira it might be in the €12-14 range, while a €17-25 meal in Oia wouldn’t be out of the norm.
My first dish I had was the Santorini’s Veal. OK, not the seafood meal I had planned, but it sounded nice. I just winged it and I enjoyed it. Not great, but a solid dish. I had posted earlier about a pasta dish that I tried in Cyma and that Pastisado dish tasted almost like this veal dish that I had ordered. So what makes this “Santorini’s?” I have no idea.
My cousin ordered a Grilled Calamari, which came with buttered rice and vegetables. I tried a bite and it was good. My cousin thoroughly enjoyed it, saying that this was the most tender squid that he’s ever had in his life. I’d take his word for it.
I tried my hand at seafood and got some Fried Calamari for dinner. I was surprised because we associate calamari with those squid rings. There, I think they fry the whole damn squid! As with most Greek meals, it comes with rice and fries2.
The rice in Greece is consistently great. So it’s a tribute to their cuisine when I say that my dinner plate probably had the worst quality of rice during my whole trip but I still liked it a whole lot.
My cousin opted for some fish, which I really don’t know which kind it is. It was fresh since they show you the fish before grilling it. Grilled fish, after all, is a bit more expensive because it’s fresher. Not a great tasting meal, but a really solid stomach-filler.
My last meal was a simple Turkey Sandwich because I got sick the next day. It came with turkey meat, Naxo’s cheese, lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise. I’ll be honest, I couldn’t taste a damn thing. It was a filler, though.
My cousin ordered some Mussels, which weren’t fresh, but the sauce was apparently great. I didn’t dare eat seafood with the (literally) shitty feeling that I had.
Overall, the food in Santorini was definitely not great. In fact, it’s pretty mediocre if you compare it to the other places. Prices are generally high, but I think there are definitely places you can find some real steals. Should you really be surprised3? The other areas maybe able to offer higher quality meals at more afforable prices. The best-rated restaurant in Santorini is actually located in the Pyrgos area. We planned to eat there, but time really didn’t permit us to do so.
But you don’t really come to Santorini to eat. Great meals are a bonus. Just don’t overpay what you can’t afford and just enjoy the scenery. Oia is really spectacular. Definitely the best day of my trip to Greece… even with the mediocre food.