Dining at Pelekanos in Santorini came as a result of a happy coincidence, and a restaurant recommendation from my new hotel neighbours. It’s one of the best parts of travel, isn’t it? Connecting over food, sharing highlights, must-try dishes and all of the humanity that surrounds it.
After checking into my suite at Santo Pure in Oia and admiring the incredible room and hot tub on the veranda, I lay on the sunbed taking it all in. We were analysing how hungry we were and where to go for dinner that night when all of a sudden I saw a head pop over the side of the wall to our left, and then immediately disappear. A few seconds later another head popped up accompanied by the words, “Sorry! Kids! Do you want an Aperol?”
After a long day travelling, there was absolutely only one answer I was giving: yes!
So, I perched on the side of the wall, introduced myself and began chatting with my new neighbours. Their names were Steve and Michelle, and they were from New York. They’d honeymooned in Santorini 20 years before and were redoing their trip with their teenage children. They spoke about the differences to the island, how they didn’t think they’d want kids but after travelling and building a huge house, they felt an urge to fill it. They were full of stories and energy and lots of recommendations for things to do in Santorini, and one of those things was Pelekanos. So after enjoying an Aperol with our new pals, I said goodbye and got ready to venture into Oia to watch the sunset.
After taking a walk along the main walking street, and smelling the local cuisine filling the winding walkways, I found a place that looked intriguing. It had green stairs leading upwards—and when I saw the name, Pelekanos Santorini, was one of the recommendations that Steve and Michelle had provided earlier that evening, I knew I had to go inside and try it out.
I hadn’t booked a table so wasn’t sure if they had seats available—especially as Oia is notoriously busy during sunset hours and Pelekanos Santorini had been flagged as TripAdvisor Traveller’s Choice for 2023. But fortunately, they had a table. I didn’t take any photos of the view, as there were tables alongside the edge and I’m not a fan of photographing other diners, but to give you an insight into what I was witnessing, Pelekanos Santorini is located at the cusp of Oia’s main walking street, which means that the pretty traditional Cycladic style, offers a perfect setting for a quiet and romantic meal. It was created by Loukas Pelekanos in 1996 and the restaurant’s elevated location offers panoramic views of the island from the terrace, overlooking the incredibly blue Aegean Sea and the picturesque Santorini Caldera Bay (the cliffs). The views were incredible, but sadly the sunset was not due to the clouds.
The team at Pelekanos seated us and gave us plenty of time to peruse the menu, which featured a Mediterranean menu which combined traditional dishes with slight evolutions. One such example was the Moussaka, which instead of having the usual potato slices on top, featured a base of potato rosti, with the ragu and bechamel on top. This intrigued me, so of course I had to order that!
And then because, when in
Rome Greece, I also ordered a Greek Salad, BBQ lamb with sweet potato, and Tomatokeftedes, which are essentially Santorini tomato fritters.
The restaurant was filled with people of all ages. From utterly loved-up couples to families and friends, the atmosphere had a great buzz filled with conversation. Each dish came out well-flavoured and well-presented and the staff were great—delightfully attentive without bordering on bothersome. The only thing I didn’t like was when the Tomatokeftedes came out, they put the plate down then served them from there directly onto our plates, whereas I like to share dishes and take what I feel I can eat, rather than having everything piled on on my plate. It’s a small complaint, and in no way affected my overall opinion of the restaurant which provided a nice and chill way to settle into Santorini on the first night.
Overall, I’d say that Pelekanos Santorini is a solid recommendation. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner and at sunset, the restaurant transforms into a romantic setting with the sound of conversation and music playing in the background and a gorgeous view spanning Santorini’s incredible backdrop.
Find Pelekanos Santorini at
Nik. Nomikou, Oía 847 02, Greece