One Skillet Paella (Gf, Df)

Paella has always been a dish that I looked forward to ordering in restaurants. I thought it was an impossible dish to master at home. Recently, I discovered that it is really not all that difficult! The key to making a paella dish at home is to use a good cast iron skillet and high quality saffron.

The first batch of saffron I used, my parents brought me back from Barcelona. Have no fear, that definitely is not necessary! I ended up buying the saffron on Amazon that had the highest ratings, and it performed really well in the recipe. For the cast iron skillet, you can also get those on Amazon. Here is the link for the skillet I use. Here is the link to the saffron I purchased.

The rice that I used in this recipe is from Right Rice. You can purchase the original flavor here or at your local Kroger store! The rice is made from a base of legumes like chickpeas, lentils, etc. and is a really filling option. If you are looking to make this paella with regular rice, you definitely can! Unfortunately, I have not tested the exact measurements for how much rice you would need. There is about a cup and a half of cooked rice that comes out of the bag from Right Rice, and you could totally play around with the seasonings provided.

The Recipe:

One Skillet Paella (Gf, Df)

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Spanish
Keyword: Paella, Rice, Rice Dish, Spanish Food

Equipment

  • Cast Iron Skillet

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow onions
  • 3-4 cloves minced garlic
  • 3 links chicken sausage Can use any type of sausage/chorizo. I like Bilinski's sausage.
  • ~20-25 pieces shrimp Tails off
  • 1 package Right Rice Original Vegetable Rice Can use another rice, but I have not tested the exact amount.
  • 1 1/2 diced tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp saffron
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1 1/3 cups bone broth For cooking the rice. I like Bonafide Provisions.
  • 2 tbsp bone broth Save this for the final steps
  • juice of half of a lemon
  • parsley for garnish Optional

Instructions

  • Cook the Right Rice according to the package. Instead of using water, cook in the chicken broth! Set the cooked rice aside.
  • Heat the oil, onions, and garlic in your cast iron skillet and saute until translucent and fragrant.
  • Add the sausage in and cook for about a minute. Be sure to double check that your sausage is pre-cooked. If it is not, cook the sausage until it is about half way through cooking.
  • Add the shrimp in and cook for about a couple minutes. They will not be fully cooked, but you do not want your shrimp to overcook and become rubbery throughout the rest of the cooking process.
  • Add in the paprika and the salt and stir everything together. Turn the heat down to medium, medium-low.
  • Add in the rice and the diced tomatoes and mix everything together.
  • Add the remaining 2 tbsp of bone broth, the saffron, and the lemon juice. Let everything simmer for a few minutes.
  • Add in the frozen peas and let everything simmer for a few more minutes. The rice will absorb the bone broth. Make sure your proteins are fully cooked at this point!
  • You can garnish the paella with parsley, a little more salt and enjoy!

I am thinking that the next batch I make of this is definitely going to need to be paired with a homemade Sangria recipe. Who wants to join me?!

If you make the recipe, remember to tag me on Instagram @matcha_and_margs so that I can send you the love and support right back! I hope you all enjoy this festive and flavorful recipe. Adios amigos!

xo,

Cori

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Gut Health, Probiotics, Enzymes and all that good stuff!

Gut health is such a mysterious pillar of wellness. It is not easy to define which things our bodies can tolerate and which things that they can’t. As we age, different foods become harder to digest and it is more common to grow food intolerances. Unfortunately, bloating is common and we’ve all had meals that have left our stomachs in knots. The hardest part to me about all of this is that our gut is technically our “second brain”. There is a nerve that physically connects our brain to our gut called the Vagus Nerve. This connection can lead to imbalances in our bodies, whether it be bouts of anxiety, depression, etc.

So, how do you even begin to figure this all out?! Every situation looks different, but here is the story of my journey with my gut. I share this in hopes that anyone with a similar story can gain insight into what may be going on inside.

My Gut Health Story:

My story with my gut is complicated and frankly still is. About two years ago, I started having extremely bad stomach pains. It got to the point where I did not want to go out knowing that my night would probably end in a stomach ache. The most frustrating part was that I really could not decipher which foods made my stomach feel that way. The pain was inconsistent and not telling of what was going on inside of me.

We all know that the internet is a scary place, but I definitely learned this on my journey. “Cut out all grains, all dairy, sugar, etc. indefinitely”, you name it. I did not want to go this route as it felt extremely restrictive. I came across a lot of credible sources that shared information with me about elimination diets, probiotic supplements and foods.

After a lot of reading, I decided to follow an elimination diet for 3 weeks solely to figure out which foods were causing the discomfort. I don’t like to use the word “diet”, but in this scenario it was a short term protocol with the purpose of getting down to the bottom of some health issues. For three weeks, I cut out a specific list of foods. After the elimination phase was over, I would add one thing back each week that was typically harder to digest. This ranged from gluten, dairy, legumes, and so on. I learned from this protocol that my gut was extremely sensitive to dairy. Sigh. My diet did not include an abundance of dairy, but I knew it was time to limit it.

Beyond the Elimination Diet

Aside from this, I spent a lot of time doing research on a probiotic to start incorporating into my routine. I wanted the very best option, as probiotics surely are not cheap. A good probiotic has the true power to monitor the gut and make changes in gut health for good. They have the power to to destroy harmful organisms which allows the growth of good microbes in the gut. On top of all of this, they can help us digest foods more easily and absorb more of their nutrients. I was on a mission and I was not giving up.

A plethora of peers recommended Silver Fern Probiotics to me. I was hesitant at first about the price, but I was not in a place to put a price tag on my health. I read countless reviews, did the groundwork, and placed an order. About two and a half weeks after I started to take these probiotics, I noticed huge changes. My stomach pain and bloating had been immensely reduced. I began to have less social anxiety about going out and ending the night in pain. These probiotics worked WELL and they worked FAST. I’ll spare you on too many details, but my tummy was definitely happy again. 🙂

Where I’m at Now

About two months ago, I visited Greece. Before my trip, I had not consumed any dairy in two years. When traveling, I am ALL about gaining experiences and fully immersing myself into a country’s culture. I could not go on the trip and not try the local feta, right?! After some more research, I decided to buy digestive enzymes to eat before all meals that contained dairy. I still was going to continue taking my probiotics everyday, but use the enzymes as a precautionary step.

Overall this went pretty well! At first, I definitely felt some discomfort as dairy was a foreign substance to my body. I also definitely over did it as I was super excited to try all of the local foods. By the end of the trip, I was able to figure out a routine with dairy that didn’t upset my stomach too much. I limited my intake each day and made sure I was eating the highest quality that I could find. I learned that my body responded better to goat’s and sheep’s milk cheeses. With the help of these enzymes and my daily probiotic usage, I was able to find a love for dairy again.

I’m not here saying that it has been the perfect gut health journey since Greece, but I am extremely happy with the progress I have made. My gut has been so much stronger, and I have been able to enjoy some forms of dairy here and there. Two years later, I still take the Silver Fern supplements everyday and completely trust everything about the brand. I know that consistently taking the probiotic for two years has yielded in positive, permanent changes in my gut health. That is something for me that you can not put a price tag on.

My meal recently, enjoying homemade Shakshuka with my favorite cheese that I discovered in Greece — Halloumi.

The Silver Fern Difference

As mentioned before, there are so many benefits to taking a high quality probiotic. From restoring the gut flora to helping improve your stomach acidity, they really do have so much power. When we opt for lower quality probiotics, often the strands are already dead on the shelf. If they aren’t dead yet, there is a high chance that they will die upon entering a gut with high acidity. If you have taken a probiotic before, you are probably familiar with the strands they contain and the amount of CFUs. Many bottles advertise thousands of different CFUs. This is often a marketing tactic, so again you have to do your research. It really is about the quality of the strands you are putting into your body, not the quantity.

The Silver Fern Brand has had third party testing done to guarantee 100% survive-ability rate once the probiotic reaches your gut. Silver Fern Brand’s Ultimate Probiotic contains potent high quality strains that offer an endless amount of benefits to our bodies.

Probiotics help produce digestive enzymes in the gut like lactase. As we age, we produce a significantly less amount of digestive enzymes. This yields in a difficulty digesting our foods and absorbing their nutrients. This is why when we get older, we may develop food intolerances that we have not had before. Its why I decided to add digestive enzymes to my routine before meals. They are made to help replenish your gut with missing enzymes and help you break down foods that are difficult to digest. The Silver Fern Ultimate Digestive Enzymes are THREE TIMES stronger than common enzymes on the market. They help your intestines directly with complete protein digestion.

My General Gut Health Advice:

I have never been a science person, but the science behind our gut health and the impact of probiotics and digestive enzymes really fascinates me. Please remember that I am not a qualified health practitioner, and if you are facing serious gut health issues, you should definitely consult your doctor. I am sharing with you my general gut health advice that can hopefully help give insight into stomach discomfort you may be dealing with and beyond.

When purchasing any probiotic or digestive enzymes, do endless amounts of research. This is one area of my life that I really do not put a budget on. The gut is our second brain, and when there are imbalances it can really effect our mood and mental health. Try out different supplements and really tune in to how they are impacting your body. These days, it is extremely easy to get caught up in the trends on social media. It is important to be able to sort through this and be able to find out what works for you and your body. Don’t over complicate things. If a company has high quality practices, it will not be hard to find information on the products that they offer.

If you have the time and the patience, you could explore an elimination diet! This helped me immensely and I was able to see which foods really did trigger bloating and discomfort. I also have made a conscious effort to include fermented foods into my diet. Although these do not travel directly to our gut and provide us with probiotics, they serve as a great source of nutrients for the bacteria in our gut. Another supplement I take often is collagen, which helps support the lining of our guts.

Everybody is different!

You know the drill, but we really all do have different imbalances in our gut and what works for me may not work for you. Be sure to consult your doctor if you are experiencing serious issues; there could be an underlying issue that is causing everything. There are actions that we can take each day to help improve our gut health, even if there is something more serious going on on the back end.

Thank you all so much for taking the time to read this! I could write a handful of posts all about gut health and different things that help me, but I will keep this one at an appropriate length. If you have any questions about my personal journey, I am an open book and am always happy to chat with you.

This post has been sponsored by the Silver Fern Brand, but all of the opinions and recommendations are wholeheartedly my own. I am extremely proud to be partnering with a company that has had such a positive impact on my health the past couple of years! Cheers to good gut health and less food intolerances 🙂

xo,

Cori

When Matcha drinks Coffee: Why I’m Loving Pour Over Coffee

Matcha here, checking in to share a new coffee machine and method of preparation that I have been loving: pour over coffee. Do not get me wrong, I love a good frothy matcha in the morning. There is something so cozy about coffee to me; I love how its smell instantly signifies the start of a new day. It signifies that it is time to wake up and get started on whatever your day has to offer.

Coffee is definitely known to go through trends; whether it be Nitro brew or oat milk lattes, the list is endless. The latest buzz I’ve been seeing at coffee shops and from different baristas is pour over coffee. There is nothing too fancy about it, which was a big reason I was so interested in trying it out. Pour over coffee simply gives you total control over the brewing process and allows you to have a stronger and tastier cup of coffee. It also yields a much smaller mess than other methods, which I am all about.

So, whats the buzz?

I’m excited to share that the pour over method is my new method of choice thanks to Mr. Coffee. Sadly, I have been attached to my Keurig machine for years. It definitely makes me cringe at how many K-cups I have been through and wasted. But alas, we cannot all be totally perfect in our sustainability efforts. This is a big reason why I wanted to share my new find with all of you. I am happy to have found a method that reduces waste and tastes a LOT better in my opinion.

Showcasing the awesome and intuitive LED screen with various settings and commands.

Pour over coffee is a method of brewing coffee that allows you to control the temperature of water you are using. Because of this, the water temperature is at the optimal heat to brew your coffee — 200 degrees Fahrenheit. You are also able to control how fast the water pours over the coffee. In this case, the slower the better as it gives more time for the water to absorb all of the flavor notes of the coffee beans.

How do I make it at home?

One thing I really love about the Mr. Coffee Pour Over Machine is that it is extremely intuitive. It has an LED screen with instructions and the machine beeps at you if you miss a step or if you do anything wrong. I mean, I totally need this setting on for all of the happenings in my life! Forgot to lock the front door? Accidentally left the lights on before leaving the house? Dog has to go to the bathroom? Please beep at me!

You have the option with the machine to make 2, 4, or 6 cups of coffee. I really love this feature as it allows you do reduce waste. It’s really nice that you aren’t required to brew an entire pot; you have total control over what is made.

The machine retails for around $139. To me, any machine like this is a smart investment as we all know how expensive coffee shops can be. To purchase the machine, you can click the link here. I will add a highlight to my Instagram page showing how easy it is to brew with the machine. Because, who doesn’t love a tutorial?

This blog post is sponsored by Mr. Coffee but all of the opinions and recommendations are wholeheartedly my own.

I hope you enjoyed learning a little more about pour over coffee! Tell me, have you tried out this method before? What is your brewing method of choice? Are you a coffee or a matcha person? As you can tell, I am a happy mix of both and am extremely excited to have found this new method to use in the ease of my home. Wishing you all a great day ahead!

xo,

Cori

A Guide to All Things Mykonos, Greece

If you haven’t had a chance to check out my Santorini Guide yet, you may not know that this past June I traveled with a friend to Mykonos and Santorini in Greece. It truly is hard to say which island I loved most. They were both extremely different in their own amazing ways. Mykonos definitely had more of a “party” scene and is known for its picturesque white roads in Mykonos town. We stayed in Mykonos for four nights and in Oia, Santorini for five. For the sake of organization, I am going to keep the guides separate as I have so much I want to recommend and share about both places!

Taken at 180 Sunset Bar, more details on this spot below!

This guide shares all of my favorite things that we ate, drank and more in Mykonos! All of the opinions are 100% my own. If you visit any of these places, please tag me in your pictures so that I can live vicariously through you!

How to get to Greece

For us, it was definitely cheapest to fly into Athens, Greece and then take another flight to the Mykonos Airport. Being that the Mykonos airport is small, flights into here from the United States can be a lot more expensive. You can also take a ferry from Athens to Mykonos; it totally depends on your travel preference and what is most cost effective for you! We flew Ellinair from Athens to Mykonos and had a pleasant experience. The same thing goes if you are going to Santorini first; your cheapest bet is flying directly into Athens and then taking a flight or ferry to the island from there.

Where to stay in Mykonos

Although Mykonos is a small island, the areas are definitely a little spread out and taxis are not cheap. There are around 32 taxis on the island and they charge high amounts to get to extremely short distances. We stayed about halfway between the beaches in Psarou and Mykonos town in an area called Agios Ioannis. It was located away from the “hustle and bustle” of Mykonos and we loved that we had our own little oasis to come home to. The hotel was called Anax Resort and Spa Mykonos and it was extremely nice and accommodating. It was definitely more on the luxury end, so it really all depends on how you like to travel. I had a friend (@amesoutloud) on the island rent an adorable Air BnB right in Mykonos Town and it was more of an authentic Greek experience.

Our hotel had a beautiful infinity pool with extremely friendly staff, an unlimited breakfast buffet spread every morning from 8:00AM – 11:00AM, and gorgeous architecture that we could not get enough of. I would definitely recommend this hotel to anyone coming to Mykonos in search of a luxurious hotel. Food wise, the Greek salad here was one of our favorites and we got a Greek frappe every single morning. The froth was unlike anything I had ever had before and I could not believe they didn’t add milk to it!

One of my first plates (of many) of the amazing breakfast buffet at the Anax Resort & Spa
Our favorite discovery in Greece – a Greek “Frappe” – an extremely frothy coffee with no added milk or sweeteners.
The Greek salad at the Anax Resort & Spa was surprisingly one of our very favorites!

What to Eat in Mykonos

Kastro’s:

I felt like every time I storied a meal in Greece, I was like “THIS IS THE BEST MEAL EVER”, but Kastro’s was hands down the best meal we had in Mykonos. The waiters were extremely accommodating and each plate we ate, we loved more than the last. We started with the grilled calamari which came with a basil pesto, tarama mousse, and quinoa. They also brought us out pita chips and tarama dip for starters. Kastro’s was the original restaurant that we discovered tarama at (a dip with fish roe, lemon, and olive oil), and it was our favorite here.

We ordered a vegetable salad with truffle yogurt that was to die for. For our main dish, we split the almond crusted sea bass with an olive oil lime sauce and a broccoli coconut puree. It was all truly incredible and not to miss. The restaurant is in the heart of Little Venice and has a beautiful view of the water in Mykonos. I would recommend booking a reservation here beforehand requesting a table outside.


The calamari, sea-bass, truffled yogurt veggies and tarama dip with pita.

Price: $$$

Bowl Mykonos:

Bowl is an adorable Australian inspired health cafe that was located near our hotel. At first, we were hesitant to visit a health spot as we truly wanted to take in all of the Greek food we could. If you find yourself in Mykonos, definitely do not skip out on this spot! The food is extremely fresh, flavorful and different than your classic “health” cafe. The owner is from Australia herself and is extremely friendly and knowledgeable.

It was here that we discovered halloumi and became obsessed with the cheese. Order the “Green Brekkie Bowl” with kale, spinach, quinoa, chopped almonds, a soft boiled egg, avocado, halloumi and lemon. We went multiple times and never strayed away from this bowl. They also have a delicious matcha latte with house-made almond milk, which is not a common finding in Greece!

The matcha latte with house-made almond milk and the Green Brekkie Bowl.

Price: $$-$$$

Jimmy’s Gyros

If you are looking for a cheap, authentic gyro experience in Greece, Jimmy’s is your place! It is found in the heart of Mykonos town and has a delicious spread of classic Greek staples.

The classic Greek gyro with french fries!

Price: $

Scorpios:

We made a late reservation here around 10:30 PM and it was pretty crazy! Right next to the dining area, there is a large area with music where people are dancing and drinking. There are also plenty of bars and beds on the beach to hang out at after. Food wise, they had one of the best Greek salads that we had on the trip. The meatballs and the mushrooms were also incredible. The seafood here is extremely fresh and a lot of people around us were ordering the fish of the day.

Price: $$$-$$$$

D’Angelo Mykonos:

You will probably see this restaurant advertised all around the streets of Mykonos. This was a really cute lunch spot that we really enjoyed in Mykonos town! This was the place where we got the Greek salads served in watermelons. We had the best mushroom appetizer here that we ordered a second plate. I’ve also heard the seafood pasta is incredible here!

Greek salad served in a watermelon and the best mushrooms ever.

Price: $$

What to do in Mykonos

180 Sunset Bar:

This was definitely my favorite place that we visited in all of Mykonos, and maybe even Greece as a whole. 180 Sunset Bar is the cutest bar that overlooks the beautiful island and gives you the most perfect view of the sunset. They have incredible cocktails here that we could not get enough of. The one we kept coming back for was the “Curly Sue” — their Bloody Mary which was the best one I have ever had. The Watermelon Colada was super refreshing as well! You can also order food here, but we really kept visiting for the views and cocktails. Make sure you do not miss this amazing bar and atmosphere!

The “Curly Sue” – best Bloody Mary ever – and the Watermelon Colada!

Scorpios (daytime):

We went here for dinner, but they also have an extremely fun day time beach party that turns into a club at night. I recommend you get a cabana here in the daytime for a day drinking activity or come for dinner and stay after for the club! You could do both if you can handle it, all power to you lol.

Negrita:

This was a really fun cocktail bar that overlooks the water in Little Venice! Kastro’s is in Little Venice as well, so definitely come to Negrita first if you plan to eat dinner there. It is a great spot to hang out at and watch the sunset! Little Venice is a town in Mykonos that you do not want to skip out on.

Rent ATVs:

I definitely recommend this activity but with caution. My friend and I got totally scammed when we rented ours, but that is a very uncommon occurrence! Just make sure you do not rent from JOE’S ATVs in the heart of Mykonos town. Being that there are so few taxis in Mykonos, this is an extremely fun and cheap way to get around the town. We had a blast when we drove around in ours!

Shop around Mykonos Town:

Mykonos Town is the area of Mykonos that you will recognize from its beautiful white streets. We spent a good amount of time shopping in boutiques here and found a lot of cute “Greece” like clothes for cheap! They also sell adorable evil eye jewelry all over, but make sure to ask questions to ensure what you buy will not rust.

Recommended restaurants and activities we did not make it to:

  • Pho’s Restaurant
  • Sea Satin Restaurant – you get the authentic Greek “plate-smashing” experience here and I have heard that the food is great! Rowdy spot with dancing on tables, etc.
  • Buddha Bar Mykonos – fancy cocktail bar with sushi ($$$$)
  • Nammos – really fun and well known beach club in Mykonos (similar to Scorpios), peak hours between 5-9pm
  • Fato a Mano – authentic Italian food
  • Reeza – restaurant inside of the Rocabella Hotel, reasonably priced
  • Vegara for dinner – amazing view, was told to order the fish of the day
  • Kiki’s Tavern for traditional Greek seafood
  • Alemagou – another fun, hip beach club

I hope you enjoy this travel guide and are as inspired visit Mykonos or Greece in general in your near future. If you do make the trip out to Greece, let me know and I am more than happy to share personalized recommendations or elaborate on any of the above. Happy traveling!

Xo,

Cori (+ Amanda, my favorite travel partner!)

A Guide to All Things Santorini, Greece

Traveling always helps me grow as a person as it gives you new perspectives, new experiences, and so much more. I knew I would feel this way about Greece, but I was definitely was not prepared for the immense impact that Santorini would have on me. Everything in this city resonated with me so much: the people, the culture, the delicious food, the way people scheduled their days around appreciating the beautiful sunset, and so much more. It is one of my favorite places that I have ever had the chance to spend time in and I plan to make many trips back in the future.

This guide shares all of my favorite things that we ate, drank and more in Santorini! All of the opinions are 100% my own. If you visit any of these places, please tag me in your pictures so that I can live vicariously through you!

Where to Stay in Santorini

This past June I was fortunate enough to spend around five days in Santorini, Greece with one of my very best friends, Amanda. We stayed in the breathtaking town of Oia, Santorini. There are three main towns that most people stay in in Santorini: Oia, Fira, and Imerovigli. Our stay in Oia was more calm than it would have been in the city of Fira, the city with more bars and late night activities to offer. Imerovigli is a town in between Oia and Fira and it is a little closer to Fira. We found that a majority of our favorite restaurants were in Oia and it was definitely a nice area to spend time in after four late nights in Mykonos.

In Oia, we stayed at the Atrina Canava hotel. The hotel was perfect for us and our needs; it was in a great location and offered a free breakfast daily. Each day, you were able to choose the time you wanted breakfast and the menu items you desired. You were able to enjoy your meal on the deck and take in all the beauty of Oia. This was definitely one of our favorite parts of the hotel as it was the best way to start the day.

One of our breakfast choices one day of poached eggs, smoked salmon and spinach on top of ciabatta
Our full breakfast spread from another morning at the hotel

Canaves was another hotel that was recommended to us. We went by it during our trip; it looked extremely nice and it was a little secluded from the busier parts of town. We did not stay there because it was too expensive for the dates that we were going to be there, but I hope to on future vacations! There are so many beautiful hotels all around Santorini and Airbnb is always a great option if you are looking to spend less money.

Where to Eat in Santorini

Melitini:

I cannot recommend this fabulous Greek tapas restaurant in Oia enough! All of the food was amazing and extremely affordable (including the wine!). Make sure to order the fried zucchini chips, the Santorini Salad, the octopus and the grilled cheese with herbs. This was one of the restaurants we came to twice in Greece and I will definitely be back on future trips!

Tip: Make sure you make a reservation on the rooftop terrace area and go around 8:00PM so you can watch the sunset!


The fried zucchini and the grilled cheese with herbs.

Price: $$

Catch:

We had an incredible seafood meal on the rooftop of Catch one night at sunset! You’ll want to make a reservation here around 8:00PM so you can enjoy the sunset on the beautiful terrace. The view and the food are both not to miss. They brought the most delicious, homemade turmeric sourdough to our table that I will dream about until I gain the confidence in the kitchen to mess around with a sourdough starter. They brought it out with “Taramasalata” which is a Greek dip made out of fish roe, olive oil, and lemon. We were absolutely obsessed with it. Sometimes, it could be found on the menus in Greece as “Tarama”.

We enjoyed the fish of the day, sea-bream, cooked and filleted fresh with olive oil and lemon. The octopus appetizer was delicious. Everything was so fresh; definitely make a reservation if you love seafood!


The octopus and tuna appetizers and the view at sunset!

Price: $$$

Roka:

We had another delicious, very reasonably priced meal at Roka in Oia. It was here that we discovered our favorite Greek red wine from Domaine Sigalas. We got the delicious Santorinian salad made with a goats cheese instead of feta, the mushroom ragout on sourdough, the sea-bass and the Santorinian fava beans with with fresh shrimps, Greek soutzouki sausage and herb crust. Everything was super tasty and the staff was extremely friendly! Roka did not have a view of Santorini, but the reasonably priced food is not to be missed.


The Santorinian Salad and the Mushroom Ragout on Sourdough.

Price: $$

Ammoudi Fish Tavern:

This was the second restaurant that we went back to twice during our stay, and for a great reason! The area of Ammoudi Bay in Oia is a must visit when you are in Santorini. More on this later in the guide, but our absolute favorite seafood restaurant here was Ammoudi Fish Tavern. When you see the hanging octopuses outside of the restaurant, you will know you are at the right spot.

Ammoudi Fish Tavern is another wonderful restaurant to enjoy the sunset at. During our visits here, we tried the sun-dried octopus, the lobster with orzo and truffle oil, the mussels cooked in a white wine sauce, and a delicious Ammoudi special salad. Everything was incredible here, but definitely do not miss out on the sun-dried octopus! When you go, ask for Harry the waiter; he was incredibly nice and welcoming both times we visited. Tell him Cori and Amanda sent you!


The delicious sun-dried octopus appetizer.

Price: $$$

Onar:

Onar popped up right when we needed it one day during our hike from Oia to Fira, right before Fira in the town called Firostefani. We were so “hangry” we didn’t care where we ate, but we were so pleasantly surprised by this amazing spot we chose! We went for lunch, but the beautiful view from the restaurant would make for the perfect dinner spot as well.

Amanda and I ordered the halloumi and talagani cheeses, the grilled vegetables in a spicy sauce, the fresh crab tartar, the Greek salad and the crab salad. Like I said before, we were “hangry”, lol. Halloumi cheese was one of our favorite food discoveries in Greece and it was delicious at Onar.


The crab tartar and the halloumi and talagani cheeses.

Price: $$-$$$

Fino:

Fino is a wonderful cocktail bar and restaurant in Oia. We originally came here because the starters menu appealed to us, but we ended up having a great overall meal. I will share that we had really poor service here; it definitely could have been an off night as we had heard amazing recommendations about Fino before coming. All in all, the food and cocktails were great and I would definitely recommend spending a night here in Santorini! There is not a view from Fino, so make your reservation before or after the sunset.

We ordered the lobster spring rolls, the tuna tataki and the octopus for starters and our favorite was the lobster spring rolls. For the main course, we shared the sea-bass which was also amazing! It was cooked in capers and lime juice and was really refreshing.


The lobster spring rolls and the tuna tataki appetizers.

Price: $$-$$$

Katharos Lounge, Vegan Meze Bar:

This restaurant is actually one of the highest rated restaurants in the city of Oia. Vegan or not, the food here is fresh, flavorful and not to be missed on your trip. There is a beautiful view from the restaurant. I would definitely recommend it as more of a lunch spot. It is about a 20-25 minute walk from the main city of Oia, but there are really nice views of the water along the way.

Everything on the menu looked amazing here, but we had to come and try the baked vegan feta. Don’t get me wrong, the feta in Greece is amazing, but our stomachs needed a little break. The vegan feta was to die for and came with a delicious whole-wheat pita to dip into it. I would definitely come back here and try all of the other delicious menu items!


The baked vegan feta and the beautiful view from Katharos Lounge.

Price: $$

Cavotagoo Santorini:

This was another hotel/restaurant that we discovered on one of our hikes from Oia to Fira. We had heard amazing things about this hotel prior to our trip, so we had to go in and see what the hype was all about. Cavotagoo was one of the most breathtaking, amazing hotels I have ever witnessed in my life. The view was like no other and it had this peaceful aura that made me never want to leave. Of course, we had to take a look at the restaurant menu and it had sushi which sold us immediately. We enjoyed a delicious lunch by the water there and will remember this experience for a long time!

In order to spend the day at the pool here, you have to rent chairs which can get pricey. If laying out is your thing, I would definitely recommend spending time here if your budget allows. To enjoy the restaurant, you do not need to have a chair rented and you still get to enjoy the indescribable views. The tuna sashimi salad was delicious and all of the sushi was really fresh.

Price: $$$$

Lolita’s:

The most delicious gelato in Oia! Make sure to get the Greek Viagra flavor; it has Greek yogurt, hazelnuts and honey. I got the Pistachio, Greek Viagra and Hazelnut flavors in a cup and they were all perfect! It is the best snack to help get you through the Santorini heat.


Greek Viagra, Hazelnut, and Pistachio gelato flavors!

Price: $

What to Do in Santorini

Hike from Oia to Fira (or vice versa):

This was hands down my favorite activity that we did in Greece. It was the most beautiful hike and we craved the views every single morning we woke up. The hike takes around 2 1/2 – 3 hours total. I recommend waking up early to do it, and if you hike it in the heat bring lots of water! Every morning we went on the trail we brought huge water bottles filled with Liquid IV packets (hydration multiplier – you can use code ‘matchaandmargs‘ for 20% off plus free shipping), and it definitely helped a ton.

You can also do a shorter hike to Imerovigli, or just simply hike until you start to feel tired and turn around. Some days, we decided to do shortened versions of the hike and it still was amazing! There is a public bus system that can take you back to Oia/Fira respectively for about 1.80 euros.

Tip: There is a stand about halfway that sells Powerade, water, etc. so bring money just in case! Remember, hydration is key on this hike, especially with the summer heat. We saw people hike in bathing suits, etc. You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do, I guess!

Santorini Sailing:

Taking a catamaran around Santorini is a must! You get to see places on this tour that aren’t easily accessible otherwise. Throughout the tour, you get to see the black and red sand beaches, the volcano, and so much more! The food on board is amazing, and the beer and wine is reflected in the price of your rental. We chose the Horizon boat which fit up to 18 people and was semi-private. Our total was around 150 euros. You can select a cheaper boat for around 100 euros, but there are a lot more people on board. It’s totally up to you and your preference; we really enjoyed the Horizon and all it had to offer!

The staff is friendly, informative and will answer any questions along the way that you may have. We chose this catamaran company because it was featured on the Food Network; all the food definitely lived up to the hype. We could not believe it was all cooked on board! The company also provides a free hotel pick-up service that will transport you to the port the day of sail. We did the half day tour from 10:00AM – 3:00PM. They also offer sunset tours from 4:00PM until sunset.

Part of our beautiful lunch spread on board: mussels, roasted potatoes, bread, tzatziki, olive tapenade, shrimps cooked in tomato sauce and feta, pasta, Greek salad

Ammoudi Bay:

As previously mentioned, Ammoudi Bay is an awesome shore-side area in Oia that is not to be missed. You can access it by renting an ATV and taking it down to Ammoudi, or you can hike down the 200+ stairs like we did! There are donkeys at the bottom that you are able to take back up to the top, but we couldn’t get past how they were whipping the donkeys to move. Oh, and the plethora of donkey waste everywhere. You have been warned 🙂

Ammoudi is a fabulous spot to watch the sunset, enjoy fresh seafood, and cliff dive! Don’t forget your bathing suit. There are other restaurants besides Ammoudi Fish Tavern, but it was definitely our favorite. I’ve heard great things about Dimitris, too.

Tip: If you enjoy a nice dinner here with lots of wine, be sure to call a taxi to take you back to the main part of the city. Don’t be ambitious and try to hike up the 200+ stairs like we did, lol.

Recommended restaurants and activities we did not make it to:

  • Lauda – one of the best known fine dining restaurants in Oia
  • Armeni – great restaurant in Oia with a view
  • Ambrosia – another well known fine dining restaurant in Oia with a great view
  • Go out in Fira
    • 2 Brothers: casual bar with cheaper drinks and good deals (we did end up here and it was fun for a casual drink!)
    • Koo Club: popular club in Fira
    • Murphy’s: one of the most popular bars, good for meeting other travelers
  • Santos Winery tour
  • Domaine Sigalas Winery tour – our absolute favorite red wine from the trip was from this winery**
  • Get a fish pedicure
  • Ginger – sushi restaurant in Fira
  • Nao’s Restaurant for cocktails
  • Lotza’s for the best baklava in Oia

I hope you enjoy this travel guide and are as inspired to go (back to) visit Santorini as I am now! If you make the trip out to Greece, let me know and I am more than happy to share personalized recommendations or elaborate on any of the above. Happy traveling!

Xo,

Cori (+ Amanda, my best friend and travel partner!)