Candouni is a very nice restaurant near the bus station. Although you won’t get a stunning view along the cliff, you will be very relaxed bathed in a nicely decorated garden with green plants and lovely flowers.
The house was built in the 19th century, and was only turned restaurant 20 years ago or so. The business is family-owned. As many pleasant restaurants in Santorini, here you can also find dining areas indoors as well as outdoors. During the warm weather, sitting outdoors under the roof of flowers is my favorite thing to do. There are also couches with hand embroidered cushions scattering around, which makes it quite cozy. The indoor interiors were richly decorated, with many vintage or even antique items. Even the bathroom were decorated and worth a little attention. I wonder if all those were handed down through the generations by people living here.
The menu does offer vegan and vegetarian dishes, most of them being the sides or appetizers. Many vegetarian dishes can be made vegan too by avoiding cheese. Besides those they also have this “dish of the day”, which is different every day, and includes things like Briam (baked vegetables), Gemista (tradition Greek dish - stuffed tomatoes and Florentine pepper with rice, pine nuts and raisins), Vegan patties served with tomato sauce (made from lentils), vegan tartar with couscous and black eye peas etc. You’d better ask for that.
We got to taste the bread, which I think one with multi-grain and the other with corn flour, with mashed fava bean, leek and capers, as well as mashed eggplant seasoned with vinegar. Those were simple and delicious. Then we were offered the “dish of the day”. One is a crispy patties with lentil, carrots, herbs, radish and parsley, served with rucola leaves and a little tomato sauce, if I remember corretly. We particularly like those patties, as they’re well balanced and nutrient-rich. Another dish is a stew of potatoes, carrots, as well as some green vegetables. This one is pretty homely and rustic. We also tried one of the side dishes, roasted pleurotus mushrooms, served with herbs and a little vinegar. The mushrooms look a bit like the Chinese one we tried which is often used in soup, however they tend to be a little dry and slightly bitter in the after taste. When dipped in some olive sauce it started to taste a bit better, but I’m not sure I like this one that much.
In all we had a relaxing, slow, pleasant lunch at Candouni. I enjoyed the calmness, living plants and homely prepared dishes that featured local vegetables. The service was cordial and chefs were ready to answer your questions. It could be a little pricey, but worth visiting if you ever come to Oia. I hope we will get to see more vegan dishes next time we visit.