The plunging slopes of Santorini are nothing if not photogenic – and nowhere more so than Oia, famous for its sunset views across the caldera. Here are our recommendations for the finest Oia restaurants for your next visit.
Adorned with neat sugar-cube houses and blue-domed churches, the village of Oia is also a foodie destination. Vines are grown across the island, fresh seafood is caught from the Aegean Sea and local produce is at the core of island cuisine – from tomatoes and aubergines to capers and yellow split peas. Look out for family-run tavernas, patio restaurants tucked away on the winding streets and romantic sunset spots serving traditional local dishes.
Sunset and windmill views? Check. Delicious meze dishes ideal for sharing? Check. Ellinikon is the place to come if you’re looking for a relaxed and sociable spot to take in Santorini’s nightly light show. The menu is focused on authentic Greek dishes. Though you really can’t go wrong with most orders, try the octopus salad, vine leaves, shrimps in tomato sauce and the meatballs.
Only the breeze interrupts a balmy evening at Candouni, where live Greek music fills the candlelit patio, decked with bougainvillea blooms. Family-owned, this low-key eatery is warm and intimate to those that seek it out. Food cooked by the mother and son team is traditional and comforting. Don’t miss the grilled halloumi or the fried aubergine and courgette slices, washed down with a glass of local wine.
Walk the 300 steps down from Oia to Ammoudi Bay, the tiny fishing port located below the town. There are several restaurants right by the water, but our pick is Ammoudi Fish Tavern, where an expansive wooden deck looks out over the Aegean. Whilst there are lots of locally grown vegetable dishes, you’re here for the fish, from steamed mussels to crayfish, mackerel, crab and sea bass. Open from April to October, evening bookings are a must. Take a taxi back up the hill to Oia after a feast.
Walk the white steps down to Katharos beach, cut between swathes of towering rocks. It’s here on a terrace, cut into the cliffside, that you’ll find the uniquely scenic Katharos Lounge. Separated from the rest of Oia, the original building dates to around 1900 when a marina at the beach brought patients to this hospital, quarantining them before passage on to the village. Even today, the building remains an outpost. The views and away-from-it-all ambience aren’t the only reason to stop by; Katharos specialises in vegan meze, from beetroot salad to smoky harissa cauliflower, red pepper hummus and vegan moussaka.
Another seafood restaurant, right by the bobbing, briney waves. You can watch the sailing and super yachts moor up on the jetty, as you dine on the fruits of the ocean. In fact, many customers arrive by boat to sample the menu at Armeni. Fried prawns wrapped with kataifi pastry, grilled octopus, local lobster and fresh sardines are all exquisite. Top it off with a view of the light fading over the waters; it doesn’t get any better than this.
Liked Oia? Then why not explore the other must-visit towns and villages on Santorini. If you’re on the island for seaside vibes, we’ve rounded up the most blissful beaches where you can sink your toes into the sand. Haven’t booked a room yet? Check out our recommendations of the best luxury hotels and budget stays. If you’re partial to a sundowner, then you’ll want to visit the best cocktail bars on Santorini.