Saturday, May 13, 2017

Rachi Taverna: Best View & Ambience Restaurant in Lefkada, Greece

It’s been almost a year now since we were in Lefkada Island. This coming summer holiday we will be again in the Greek Islands, albeit on a different and new island. We haven’t booked yet, but we already know which island we will be going to. We are excited!

Rachi Restaurant Taverna in Exanthia, Lefkada Island - Greece
Rachi Restaurant Taverna in Exanthia, Lefkada Island - Greece

The Greek Isles are for the Dutchman and moi, the perfect summer holiday (yearly) destination. I can enumerate hundreds of reasons as to why we keep coming back but I will spare you the details and instead show you one example, such as this taverna sitting on top of the mountains of Exanthia and overlooking the village of Kalamitsi and the western coast of Lefkada on the Ionian Sea.

Would you believe that there are hundreds of tavernas like this in the islands? Of course, they all vary in terms of stunningness. And this, my friends, is just one of the myriad of reasons why we have fallen in love with the Greek Islands.

[To read the rest of the post and see more pictures, click the READ MORE link below]

Our Greek Island summer holiday is very different from the holidays I have throughout the year. It’s my yearly “chill-out” vacation where I have a pace as slow as a turtle. I don’t do much for 2 weeks except lay down on the beach or beside the pool, hopping from one sunbed to another, drinking cocktails, reading a book, having long lazy lunches and dinners with a view and sitting down on café terraces drinking Greek frappe.

A highlight, of course, is the relaxing dinners with a view that we always have. I always research ahead of time for restaurants on the beach shore or with a panoramic view and carefully plan this into our agenda. Most of the lovely places I have discovered though, I only found out about them when I was there because nobody has written about them yet (in English or Dutch since I use both search engines). Dutchman and I are suckers for nice places with a view. We live for this. We holiday for these.

Rachi Restaurant-Taverna in Exanthia is a very popular restaurant in Lefkada, because it has, hands down, the best view and ambience in the island.

Rachi Restaurant Taverna in Exanthia, Lefkada Island - Greece
Rachi Restaurant Taverna in Exanthia, Lefkada Island - Greece

It does not matter where your table is, you will have an outdoorsy ambience and lovely panoramic view of the mountains, the Lefkada coast and the Ionian Sea.

The restaurant’s location is just perfect, nestled on top of the mountains overlooking the western coast of Lefkada and the vast turquoise-blue Ionian Sea. It is approximately 20 minutes drive from the main road near the village of Agios Nikitas (where we spent a day as well) in the north of the island and 26 minutes from Kathisma Beach where we spent the whole afternoon on said day. You need your own vehicle to get to Rachi.

You can check out my earlier posts here about Kathisma Beach and Agios Nikitas Beach. We were here on different days:

Here is the location of Rachi:

Driving direction from the main road near Agios Nikitas to Rachi Taverna. It is a winding and mountainous road to Exanthia. You can park anywhere on the street, however, the streets are narrow and parking slots are usually taken by the locals already, thus you may have to park further. 

Dutched Pinay Rachi Restaurant Taverna in Exanthia, Lefkada Island - Greece
Rachi Restaurant Taverna Terrace in Exanthia, Lefkada Island - Greece

When we arrived, the queue to get a table was already long and we were told to wait 45 minutes. Hah, this restaurant taverna is this popular! They also do not accept reservations here, so it is a first come, first serve basis. There is no short-cut, you really have to wait. I think I can agree to that.

Dutchman and Dutch mother didn’t mind the long wait because we all right away fell in love with the view and ambience of the place. It is beautiful. While waiting, we sat at the bar and ordered drinks. The Dutch mother entertained herself by watching the animated bartender concoct cocktails whilst the Dutchman was busy taking pictures. Yours truly was obviously sipping on her sparkling and just enjoying the atmosphere. The buzz of this place was really nice.

You know what’s funny about this place? Everyone could not stop taking pictures! Especially when the sun was setting down the horizon, which was quite dramatic and spectacular, we had to wonder what it would be like to live in this spot for a whole summer. Anyway, every second and every minute, people were happily snapping away, a selfie here and a selfie there, even when they were eating, haha.

Bartender concocting cocktails - Rachi Taverna Lefkada
Waiting at the bar - Rachi Taverna Lefkada

Waiting patiently for our table here at the bar.

Finally, we were called and our table was ready! Here at Rachi, it doesn’t matter which table is given to you, you will always have a great view.

We didn’t lose time ordering our fares. Dutchman decided on the grilled pork steak which was massive and this came with a side salad, seasonal vegetables and fries. The Dutch mother eyed the traditional Stifado (Greek beef stew) with fries. I, on the other hand, settled for their Today’s Special, a whole steamed fish fillet with vegetable filling and couscous salad with rucola on the side.

We also had a shared starter of salad drenched in cream dressing and sweet balsamic vinegarette. The salad was something new for us, as we always order the quintessential Greek Salad, but it’s nice to try something different every now and then.

The verdict: We very much enjoyed the food here. Perhaps not the best we have eaten in this summer holiday, at least not for me, but it was quite good, and with the stunning views and the whole magical outdoors setting, you cannot really ask for more. This place is gorgeous and highly recommended by the 3 of us! #lefkadamustvisit

Salad starter - Rachi Taverna Lefkada
Main terrace of Rachi Taverna in Lefkada
Wines Salad starter - Rachi Taverna Lefkada

The sun was already setting down the horizon when we started eating our salad starter. In June, the height of daylight in Europe, sunset in the islands is between 21:30 and 21:50.

Dinner at Rachi Taverna in Lefkada
Dinner at Rachi Taverna in Lefkada

As you can see, the 3 of us ordered a different dish. The portions at Rachi are generous, thus we were glad we shared the salad for our starter (which always comes with bread).

Dinner with a View at Rachi Taverna in Lefkada, Greece
Dinner with a View at Rachi Taverna in Lefkada, Greece
Dinner with a View at Rachi Taverna in Lefkada, Greece

Yep, this is really dining with a view here at Rachi!

Coffee at Rachi Taverna in Lefkada, Greece

Even the coffee we ordered were all different, haha. In Lefkada, they have this strong and sweet rose liquor digestive drink, this was given to us from the house.

We closed the dinner with coffee and had a chat with the friendly yet straightforward head waitress who gave us some complimentary liquor shots which smelled like rose flowers. She told us that it is always busy here every night, as well as during the day for lunch. Guests can come here as well for drinks. We also learned from her that they do not accept reservations.... because really, they do not need it. I mean, they have guests lining up and are willing to wait for an hour to be seated. You do not see this a lot in the islands.

So it is best to come here early for dinner, between 18:00 and 18:30 to avoid the long wait. Or come later, like after 21:00.

Here is a picture of the sun setting down on the Ionian Sea:

Sunset at Rachi Taverna in Lefkada, Greece

The Dutchman zoomed in the sea. The waters looked like grainy texture of a log.

The Moon at Rachi Taverna in Lefkada, Greece

We had a quarter moon as well. We left the restaurant probably around 23:00. It was a long and relaxing dinner, something we always do every night during the holiday in the islands.

Going back to our hotel in Nydri, we decided to take the route via the mountains. It wasn’t an easy route as we passed by very narrow roads that turned into dirt tracks. There were no street lights, it was total pitch dark. There were barely any houses on the road as well. We were in the middle of nowhere in the mountains with no living thing in sight and the Dutch mother at the back seat of the car is already almost having a panic attack. Some people are not used to travelling in the dark, whereas this was just normal for the Dutchman and I. We know the Greek Islands very well, as we traverse on these kinds of roads with our rental scooter every summer. Many times we even get lost in the middle of the island and dark wilderness.

We realised that we should not subject the Dutch mother to an adventure driving like this again. In fact, Dutchman and I could not help but laugh when we knew it wasn’t funny at all for the Dutch mother! We are being mean, I know. This is what you get when you are travelling with someone from a different generation and style of travelling. The drive in the darkness through the mountains was just a tad bit too adventurous for her.

Driving through the mountains of Lefkada in pitch dark.

Well, more Lefkada finds in my next posts! Stay tuned.

Travel Period: June-July 2016
Destination: Exanthia, Skafiotes (Lefkada - Ionian Islands), Greece

Keep in touch and follow me on Facebook: Travel & Lifestyle Diaries by Dutched Pinay Travels
Happy Travels! Enjoy Life =)

All pictures were taken by a point and shoot pocket camera or a smartphone.

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