It’s one of the most romantic and scenic spots in the world. Think stunning views, unique black-sand beaches and locations that you may have seen in thousands of posters, calendars and Hollywood films.
On our recent trip to Santorini, FAJO’s Senior Reporter Nadia MK dined at two of the best restaurants on the island. Today, she shares her tips and recommendations from these top locations.
An island favorite on Santorini, Mezzo, situated cliff-side in the hilltop town of Imerovegli, offers diners an unmatched dining experience. With unobstructed sunset views and three levels of outdoor seating, tourists and locals alike flock here to escape the crowds and enjoy modern twists on Greek favorites, while watching Santorini’s famous red-orange sun slip into the horizon of the Aegean Sea. While a number of restaurants on the island may boast dinner and a view, there is undoubtedly no match for Mezzo, where the quality of both the food and the view is nothing short of extraordinary.
Michael, the restaurant’s owner and general manager, oversees all aspects of its operations, right down to the interior design. The dining experience embodies his vision for Mezzo, and the energetic and passionate culture his management style fosters among the staff.
To the food: The Fisherman Shrimps stole the show. Sweet, juicy, tender and spiced to perfection, they are served on a sizzling hot skillet and will make your taste buds dance. Also, check out the Wild Mushroom Risotto—sure to make any foraging aficionado proud. With a well-curated variety of beefy, thick-cut mushrooms and savoury grains cooked perfectly al dente, this dish was as rich as it was hearty.
Other notable dishes included the Tropical Salad—a medley of avocado, caramelized pineapple, berries and a pop of mint, this salad is a light and sweet way to kick off the meal. For those looking to go classic Greek, try the Braised Lamb Shank (we’re sure you’ll be as wowed by the smoked eggplant it’s accompanied by as the meat itself) and end with the baklava.
Next time you’re in Santorini, enjoy an unforgettable meal at Mezzo and remember to bring your camera!
Insider tip: Save this spot for a special occasion and ask for “the” corner table on the bottom level, if it’s available. This cozy and intimate spot, situated at the very edge of the restaurant and just to the side of hustle-and-bustle of the main dining area, is worth reserving weeks in advance. Think: dining table meets infinity pool.
Ask any Santorini local where to have dinner and you’ll find Metaxi Mas to be the clear consensus. Nestled into the backside of Pyrgos, on the opposite side of the island’s fanfare, this staple provides a quaint yet lively setting to enjoy an unforgettable meal of true local fare.
To understand why the locals praise Metaxi Mas is to understand the restaurant’s success.
First, owned by two Cretans, local flavours and produce are the staple here: for example, the bread is from the village’s best bakery, while the honey, olives and vegetables come from their own farms in Crete.
Second, while many of the island’s restaurants are only open six months out of the year to cater to tourists, Metaxi Mas is open for 10 to cater to the locals. And lastly, the same concept is reflected in the restaurant’s pricing, which should be much higher, but isn’t.
Worthy of mention on Metaxi Mas’ rather large menu (of rather large portions) are two appetizers: the Pomegranate Salad which was fresh, crisp and summery, and the Pan-fried Crusted Feta Cheese in which warm creamy local feta is wrapped in light crunchy and flaky phyllo pastry with sesame and honey.
Next, the largest mussels and prawns we’ve ever seen (in the Seafood Giouvetsi), served on a lovely bed of saffron orzo with fresh parsley garnish. The white aubergine, a Santorini staple, is incredibly fresh and cut thick with smashed tomato and thinly sliced herbs.
A tender cut of veal, chef’s recommendation (Veal Fillet), is a hearty entree worthy only of those who aren’t yet full. Regardless of how many hours have passed and how many courses have been placed in front of you, it will be topped with Metaxi Mas’ sole dessert offered to all guests—a house cheesecake with fruit jam.
With a name that translates to “Between Us” in Greek, it is no surprise this is a hidden gem on the beautiful island of Santorini.