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Greeks love their coffee and instead of Ouzo, they drink coffee all day long; coffee bars have replaced Ouzerias. My favorite coffee bar in Kamari was Anna’s, which has both indoor and outdoor sections (like all restaurants and cafes along the beachfront).


In the summer, the coffee drink of choice if the Cafe Frappe, which is basically instant coffee, with sugar and milk poured over ice. They serve complimentary marble cake with all their coffee drinks and snacks with all their alcoholic drinks (some people were drinking beer as their breakfast beverage).


I asked for my coffee with no sugar or milk, but received it with a bit of both, albeit I’m sure less than the full dose. The coffee was not bad, but not something I would drink as often as I saw all the Greeks drinking it.


One of my favorite Greek foods is spanokopita, or spinach pastry, and they sell them in every bakery in Santorini for 3 Euros ($5 USD), so I bought one to taste an authentic one. I was surprised at the shape and size; they are about 8″ in diameter and round coils filled with spinach and feta.


They heat them before giving them to you, so they are warm, delicious, and very filling; one pastry lasted me for two lunches!


Lucky’s
is so popular, they even have a Facebook fan page! They are located right on the main square of Fira, one block above the bus station, so they get plenty of foot traffic. The staff all speak excellent English and Veronica, the cashier, has relatives in California!


The gyro here was unlike any I have ever eaten; I think my tourists think the same thing about hamburgers when all they have ever tasted are fast food versions. This pita was fluffy (!!!!) and toasted (!!!!!) and the pork was grilled with a nice crust and spice(!!!!!). The pita I ate here made me redefine gyros. Yes, they put french fries in the gyro, and there was fresh lettuce, tomatoes and tzatziki in the meal that included a drink (soda or beer) for a grand total of 3,20 Euros ($5 USD). I think I smiled after every bite!


When I asked Vaggelis, the manager of Oceanis Studios for his favorite gyro place, he said there were two that were good, but one souvlaki place that was great in Kamari named Minas. I opted for Minas, located on the corner of Appollonas and an unnamed street between the beach and the outdoor cinema (more on that later). It opens at 5pm and most customers are locals (always a good sign); I was the only non-Greek in the crowd.


There is a self-serve salad bar for only 3 Euros ($5 USD) where I created my version of a Greek salad.


Since pork seems to be so juicy and tasty in the gyros, I ordered it as a skewer for only 1.20 Euro ($1.50 USD); this was one of the tastiest skewers of roast pork I have ever had. Everything in the place is immaculate, and they grill your order as soon as you hand your paid ticket to the cook. Some people ordered food to go and their plates were stacked 20 high with these skewers as they headed out for their large families or parties (there was no way I could eat more than 2 skewers).


I came back another night and tried the chicken skewer, which was good, but I preferred the pork from the first night. Vaggelis also recommended the cheese stuffed sausage, but when I ordered it and found a cheese stuffed hot dog, I simply chalked it up everyone liking something foreign in their meals.


Eating like a local is one of the greatest pleasures of traveling as a tourist!

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Select Cafe (tel 30-22860-23893) has a perch atop the main area of Fira which offers incredible views.
I stopped by for a light breakfast (at noon) and ordered what was listed as toast on the menu for 5,50 Euros ($7). What I received was two pieces of toasted bread with cheese, tomato and ham; a very light version of a grilled ham and cheese pannini.


But the view from their terrace was worth the mediocre food.


Hotel Galini is on the rim of the Caldera and has rooms ranging from $120-$200 a night depending on the size and season. But they also have a wonderful cafe which is open to the public. A continental is 9,50 Euros or about $13 and includes homemade jam, marmalade, freshly baked bread, and freshly squeezed orange juice (most places on the island charge 6 Euros or $8 for a glass of fresh orange juice alone).


Dana Villas has a beautiful setting on the rim of the Caldera, but if you want to stay in the villas, be prepared for the 80 or so steps up to the main road; rates range from $130-$600 a night depending on season and size of the accommodations. It is worth the walk for a seat in their poolside cafe where you can enjoy a fresh tuna salad with a view of the sea for 11 Euros ($14 USD).


Dana Villas has a pool, which is a big plus in this part of town because in spite of the gorgeous views, there is no beach area nearby.


Vanilia serves the most wonderful gilt head Sea Bream grilled and served with seskoula (local wild greens), virgin olive oil and lemon for 18 Euros ($25). Because of their prime sunset viewing location, be sure you make a reservation before stopping by if you want a front row seat for the famous Santorini sunset.


Your table awaits.

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