Local's Favorites: Best Family-Owned Restaurants in Santorini

When it comes to exploring the culinary delights of Santorini, nothing beats the charm and authenticity of family-owned restaurants. These hidden gems not only offer exquisite dishes but also provide a unique glimpse into the local culture and traditions. In this article, we unveil the best family-owned restaurants in Santorini, handpicked by the locals themselves. From traditional Greek cuisine to mouthwatering seafood delicacies, these establishments have earned their reputation as beloved dining spots. Whether you’re a visitor seeking an unforgettable culinary experience or a local looking for a new favorite haunt, these restaurants are sure to satisfy your cravings.

Table of Contents

Is the best restaurant on Santorini. Tucked away from the crowds and off the beaten path, you will be amazed by the stunning views of the ocean and surrounding villages this restaurant offers. Dimitri and his brother Kosta have been delighting customers with their twist on traditional Greek food for over 20 years.

Is a charming restaurant serving Mediterranean cuisine. Tucked into the maze of Pyrgos alleyways, it’s housed inside a century old Santorini winery. The interior dining rooms are a classical and intimate affair. There’s cafe style dining out front, and a shaded rooftop patio with sweeping views out to the sea, perfect for lunch or dinner. Dinner reservations recommended.

Is located in the heart of Fira, just off the main walkway and beside the Fabrica shopping center, delighting palates since 2003. Ouzeris are popular amongst Greek people and very much a part of their culture. It’s a type of Greek tavern that traditionally serves ouzo (a Greek anise flavored liquor) and mezes only, which are small dishes meant to be shared. There’s a relaxed and casual environment with views of the Aegean Sea. Plenty of outdoor seating, no indoor seating, but plexiglass windows can be closed to create an indoor space. The big bright sign makes it look questionable, but the food is great and moderately priced. Chef and owner, Georgios Stakias, has been classically trained at Cordon Bleu School in Paris and introduces French techniques into his cooking while maintaining the Greek traditions and flavors of classic dishes. The menu consists mainly of traditional Greek dishes with a modern twist.

Restaurants in Santorini
Image by Michelle Raponi from Pixabay

Is a charming family-owned and operated jewel of a restaurant tucked into the interior of Oia. Stepping off a busy pedestrian alleyway filled with small shops, you’ll find this romantic candlelit patio under bougainvillea-filled arbors, with live traditional Greek music most nights. Inside are two intimate interior dining rooms, one adjacent to the bar and the other just outside the kitchen, with waitstaff delivering dishes cooked by mother and son. Reservations recommended.

Naoussa Restaurant started in 1992, serving traditional food from my mother and my brother, Kyriakos, who is the restaurant’s chef. My other brother Costas is responsible for the quality of service. After many years of successful traditional food distribution in the old tavern ‘Naoussa’, our restaurant moved to the cliff of the Caldera of Santorini next to the Central Metropolis of Fira, the capital of Santorini, with the same successful Traditional Greek Cuisine at reasonable prices at a beautiful place overlooking the Caldera of Santorini and the famous sunset of the island.

Welcome to the cliff top village of Oia, Santorini and to Ambrosia Restaurant, one of the best and most famous restaurants in Santorini and the whole world. Oia village is a unique place with many memories of the Past, the beauty of today and soft dreams of tomorrow all around you. At Ambrosia restaurant, you will enjoy your candlelight dinner on the panorama terrace overlooking the famous Caldera, or dine in our two antique-filled indoor salas. Our menu is Greek gourmet cuisine with international flavors.
The owner of Ambrosia Restaurant, Panagiotis Vassilopoulos, also the owner of Horizon Mills” Villas & Suites, welcomes you to the Ambrosia Restaurant and to Santorini island.

If you’re searching for authentic Greek flavors passed down through generations, Grandma’s Recipes in Pyrgos is the place to be. This family-owned gem prides itself on preserving traditional recipes that have stood the test of time. Using locally sourced ingredients and age-old techniques, Grandma’s Recipes serves up mouthwatering dishes that capture the essence of Greek cuisine. From hearty souvlaki to melt-in-your-mouth baklava, every bite is a celebration of Santorini’s culinary heritage.

Our Tavern is a Traditional Family Business that was created many years ago by our Love for the local cuisine of Santorini and Fishing.
“Traditional Recipes and good wine made from our vegetables, herbs and vineyards and with a great cooking tradition“.
We are waiting for you, your Family and Friends in our Restaurant to enjoy Good Greek home-cooked food and local Hospitality!

Wine-tastings are held in the winery’s new cellar which was built in 2013. The winery’s partnership with Foodrinco begins, and wines from the winery are distributed throughout Greece. The Aroma Avlis restaurant opens, and diners can enjoy its wonderful yard filled with scents from aromatic Greek plants, or relax in the stylish modern décor of the restaurant’s interior. The restaurant serves Mediterranean and local cuisine, and also has a shop selling select local products and wine from the winery.

Artemis Karamolegos’s wines become the wine of choice for many, and their reputation grows and grows. With the guided tours of the winery, the wine tastings, the food in the Aroma Avlis, the cooking lessons and the exhibitions, the winery is brimming with life all day long. The restaurant’s second yard, with a view of the vineyards and the Aegean Sea, also opens at this time. The experience offered by a visit to the Artemis Karamolegos winery is complete.

Our restaurant used to be the first traditional bakery of Ia. It supplied with bread and other desserts Ia, Finikia and some other villages of Santorini.

The daily production of bread was about 300 kilos and they used to carry it either with donkeys nor by hand. The bakery was a family business so it was operated and owned by our family. Our grand father Granpa-John and his 6 children worked in the bakery. They started the preparation of the bread at 3 a.m. as everything had to be done manually.

They had to carry the water, the flour, prepare the yeast (which was homemade), knead and bake the bread. In our establishment you can admire the oven they used as it is preserved till today. This was a professional oven as it was built with a special rock which is called maltezopetra and it does not exist any more. This rock had the ability to keep a steady temperature into the oven for 3 hours so they were able to bake the bread evenly.

The procedure of the oven was the first that they used to do. They staffed the oven with wood which was given to them by the farmers of Finikia , they setted the fire and close the lid of the oven. When the wood was ashes the oven was ready to bake. Then they cleaned him thoroughly from the ashes and they threw them next to a deep hole, which they called carbon fiber and is still preserved in the restaurant. And finally they baked bread or whatever they wanted.

Our restaurant is called also Floga as a tribute to our ancestors

Along with its magnificent scenery, Santorini is well known for its thriving food industry. Discovering the top family-run eateries in Santorini is a journey that involves more than just eating. These businesses now form an essential component of the neighborhood and showcase the rich history and welcoming culture of the island. These family-run eateries provide an unmatched dining experience, from the authentic Greek flavors of The Olive Grove Taverna to the hearty fare of Mama’s Kitchen and the scenic setting of Taverna Yamas. Take a gastronomic adventure that will tickle your taste buds and leave you with priceless memories, whether you’re a tourist or a native. So, during your trip to Santorini, schedule some time to enjoy the flavors of these local specialties and immerse yourself in the authentic charm of family-owned restaurants.

Authentic Greek Flavors at Family-Owned Restaurants

Family-Owned Restaurants have been a cornerstone of Greek tradition for centuries, serving up delicious dishes and authentic flavors that have been passed down through generations. These restaurants are known for their traditional recipes, using only the freshest ingredients to bring out the unique flavors of Greece. There is something on the menu to suit every taste, whether you’re looking for robust soups and stews, delectable seafood, or something sweet. Come along as we explore the excellent cuisine on offer at these renowned family-run restaurants and learn the secrets behind their incredible dishes!

The Importance of Family-Owned Restaurants in Greek Cuisine

Greece is renowned for its delectable cuisine, and family recipes have been handed down for many generations. And what better way to do so than by dining at Greek family-run establishments? These eateries not only serve delectable real Greek cuisine, but they also give diners a close-up look at the customs and culture that make Greece unique.
Santorini, one of Greece’s most popular destinations, is home to numerous family-owned restaurants. These establishments serve as a hub for the local community, bringing together families and friends to share a meal and catch up on the latest news.
The importance of family-owned restaurants in Greek cuisine cannot be overstated. These restaurants often use fresh, locally sourced ingredients to create dishes that have been passed down for centuries. From moussaka to tzatziki, these recipes are steeped in tradition and offer a taste of Greece’s rich culinary history.
Furthermore, family-owned restaurants in Greece offer a unique charm and atmosphere that cannot be replicated in larger chain restaurants. The personal touch of the owners and staff, the attention to detail, and the passion for the food all combine to create an unforgettable dining experience.
In addition to offering delicious food and a welcoming atmosphere, family-owned restaurants also help keep Greece’s culinary traditions alive. These restaurants are often run by families who have been in the business for generations, passing down their knowledge and skills to the next generation.

classic greek salad recipe
Photo by Ksenia Yakovleva on Unsplash

A Brief History of Greek Cuisine

The history of Greek food is long and varied, going back many centuries. It has been shaped by the Ottoman Empire, the Byzantine Empire, and a number of nearby nations. Simple, nutritious meals made out of bread, olives, cheese, and wine were popular in ancient Greece. Greek food has, however, developed to include more elaborate flavors and meals.
In the Byzantine era, Greek cuisine was influenced by the Mediterranean diet. Herbs, spices, and olive oil were used extensively in cooking. In the Ottoman period, new ingredients were introduced, including meat, vegetables, and grains. Greek cuisine was also influenced by Turkish and Arab flavors, including cinnamon, clove, and allspice.
In modern times, Greek cuisine has become more internationally recognized. Greek dishes such as moussaka, tzatziki, and souvlaki have become staples in many restaurants around the world. Greek cuisine also emphasizes fresh, locally sourced ingredients, making it a healthy and sustainable choice for diners.
Despite the influences from other cultures, Greek cuisine has retained its own unique identity and flavor profile. Family-owned restaurants play an essential role in keeping these traditional recipes alive. They provide an authentic experience that is both delicious and culturally rich.

Traditional Greek Dishes Served at Family-Owned Restaurants

When it comes to dining at family-owned restaurants in Greece, you can expect to indulge in some of the most authentic and delicious traditional Greek dishes that have been passed down through generations. One place that is particularly known for its delectable Greek cuisine is Santorini, where the island’s volcanic soil yields exceptional ingredients that make their way onto the plates at family-owned restaurants.
One of the most beloved Greek dishes is moussaka, a layered casserole made with eggplant, ground meat, and béchamel sauce. Other staples that you’ll find at family-owned restaurants in Greece include souvlaki (grilled meat skewers), spanakopita (spinach and feta cheese pie), and tzatziki (a dip made with yogurt, cucumber, and garlic).
Seafood lovers will find plenty of options, too, especially in coastal towns and villages. Fresh fish and shellfish dishes are commonly found on menus at family-owned restaurants in Greece, ranging from grilled octopus and calamari to sardines and shrimp.
One thing that sets family-owned restaurants apart is their dedication to preserving the traditions and techniques of Greek cooking. These restaurants often use recipes that have been in their family for generations and utilize local, seasonal ingredients to create the most authentic dishes possible.
In addition to the delicious food, dining at family-owned restaurants in Greece also offers a unique atmosphere and charm. You’ll likely be greeted by warm hospitality and a cozy ambiance that will transport you back in time to the simpler, more traditional way of life in Greece.
If you’re planning a trip to Greece and want to experience the best of traditional Greek cuisine, be sure to seek out family-owned restaurants. Look for places that use local ingredients and have been around for several years. By supporting these small, independent businesses, you’re helping to keep the rich traditions of Greek cuisine alive for future generations to enjoy.

Best Family-Owned Restaurants in Santorini
Photo by Johnny Africa on Unsplash

The Charm and Atmosphere of Family-Owned Restaurants

When it comes to dining out, the atmosphere is just as important as the food. And there’s something truly special about dining at a family-owned restaurant in Greece. Take Santorini for example, a beautiful island famous for its stunning views and white-washed buildings. When you step inside a family-owned restaurant on Santorini, you immediately feel welcomed and embraced by the warmth of the family who owns it.
The charm of these restaurants lies in the fact that they are often located in old traditional houses or small alleyways, giving them a cozy and intimate feel. Decorated with local art and souvenirs, the atmosphere is authentically Greek. The scent of homemade food fills the air, making your mouth water in anticipation.
Another unique aspect of family-owned restaurants is the way the owners interact with their customers. They take pride in the dishes they serve and are eager to share their family recipes with you. They often ask about your preferences and dietary restrictions to make sure you get the most out of your dining experience.
As you savor the flavors of traditional Greek dishes like moussaka, souvlaki, and dolmades, you can’t help but feel like you’re experiencing something truly special. It’s not just about the food, it’s about the people and the stories behind it. You can tell that these families have been perfecting their craft for generations, passing down their knowledge and traditions.
In the end, dining at a family-owned restaurant in Greece is not just about satisfying your hunger, it’s about immersing yourself in the local culture and supporting the hardworking families who make it all possible. So next time you find yourself on Santorini or any other part of Greece, be sure to seek out these authentic dining experiences.

Tips for Finding the Best Family-Owned Restaurants in Greece

There is no better way to sample genuine Greek cuisine than by having dinner at a family-run establishment. However, choosing a restaurant that is worthwhile of your time and money might be challenging given the abundance of possibilities. Here are some tips to help you find the best family-owned restaurants in Greece:

  1. Look for restaurants with a long-standing reputation: If a family-owned restaurant has been in business for decades, it’s a good indication that their food is consistently delicious. Ask locals or look for online reviews to find restaurants with a proven track record.
  2. Seek out restaurants in less touristy areas: While it may be tempting to dine in the most popular tourist destinations, you’re more likely to find an authentic dining experience if you venture out to less touristy areas. Look for restaurants located in smaller towns or neighborhoods that are popular among locals.
  3. Look for restaurants that specialize in traditional dishes: Family-owned restaurants often specialize in specific traditional dishes that have been passed down from generation to generation. Look for restaurants that serve traditional dishes such as moussaka, souvlaki, or dolmades.
  4. Ask for recommendations: If you’re staying in a hotel or with a local family, ask for recommendations for family-owned restaurants in the area. Locals are often happy to share their favorite dining spots with visitors.
  5. Follow your nose: If you’re walking around a town or neighborhood, pay attention to the smells coming from the restaurants. If a restaurant smells delicious, it’s a good sign that the food will be just as good.

By following these tips, you’re sure to find some of the best family-owned restaurants in Greece. Not only will you get to enjoy authentic Greek cuisine, but you’ll also get to experience the warmth and hospitality that comes with dining at a family-owned restaurant.

Keeping the traditions alive at Family-Owned Restaurants

Family-owned restaurants have played a crucial role in keeping the traditions of Greek cuisine alive through the centuries. These establishments have been passed down from generation to generation, each time adapting to the changes in food culture and technology while preserving the essence of the Greek culinary heritage.

Family-owned restaurants often stick to traditional recipes and cooking techniques that have been handed down through their families for generations. The owners take pride in sourcing the best ingredients from local farms and markets, creating authentic dishes with pure, natural flavors that can only be found in Greece.

Additionally, family-run eateries make its patrons feel at home by treating them like members of the family. They frequently establish themselves as pillars of the neighborhood thanks to their attentive service and sincere concern for their guests’ needs. While savoring the cuisine that embodies the soul of the nation, visitors may encounter true Greek hospitality.

Keeping traditions alive also means supporting small businesses, and family-owned restaurants are the embodiment of such enterprises. They create employment opportunities, drive the local economy, and preserve the character of their cities and towns. Dining in these establishments is not only a culinary experience but also a cultural and social one that contributes to the well-being of local communities.

As we move towards a globalized food culture, it’s important to preserve the essence of traditional cuisines. Family-owned restaurants in Greece play a significant role in keeping alive the traditions that have defined the country’s food culture for centuries. These establishments serve as a testament to the pride, passion, and dedication of Greek families in their culinary heritage. So, the next time you are in Greece, make sure to support a family-owned restaurant and savor the authentic flavors of the country.

Find the best restaurants near you