More insider guides for planning a trip to Mykonos
Mykonos's restaurant scene runs the gamut from the modest to the magnificent, as you might expect from one of Greece’s more glamorous islands. Its capital, Chora, is crammed with places to eat to suit every budget, from basic, formica-tabled souvlaki shacks, to slick, white-tableclothed fine-dining establishments. And around its various villages and beaches you can find a good range of options, from low-key and traditional, to high-end and experimental. One constant is the classic Greek salad, which you’ll find adorning almost every menu, never deviating far from its basic ingredients of ripe, juicy tomatoes, thinly sliced red onion, firm chunks of cucumber and glossy, black Kalamata olives, garnished with a slab of crumbly, oregano-dusted feta cheese.
Mykonos Town / Chora
Open since 1976, you’d swear Niko’s swallows up more and more space every year, with tables overflowing from the wide street outside the restaurant up onto Agia Moni, the small square above. And necessarily so, as it’s always absolutely packed, with couples, groups of friends, and families, all having the time of their lives as the long-standing waiting staff move balletically around them. Inside, bottles of wine grace shelves alongside model boats as decoration, but most people want to be outdoors, sitting on the small, white-painted wooden chairs at tables decked out in red and white checked tablecloths. Traditional, well-cooked Greek dishes are the order of the day; freshly caught fish is sold by weight, while daily specials such as stewed octopus with orzo pasta or grilled pork skewers make regular appearances.
Contact: 00 30 22890 24320;
Opening times: 11.30am-1.30am
Reservations: Walk-ins only
Sometimes all you want is something simple – whether it's a souvlaki or a gyro – and Leonidas does arguably the best in town. It’s incredibly basic; just a handful of tables outside what looks like, essentially, a kebab shop illuminated by unforgiving fluorescent lighting, with a couple more tables inside next to the cold drinks fridges, but boy, does it deliver on flavour. You can have anything from chicken, pork or veggie souvlaki, to Greek salads and burgers, but the gyro are highly recommended: chewy, puffy pita breads are tossed onto the grill, then smeared with tangy, garlicky tzatziki, layered with lettuce and tomato, stuffed with chargrilled chicken, pork or veggies – plus a handful of fries – rolled up, wrapped in a square of greaseproof paper and handed over. All for less than four euros, and great both as a hangover cure, and for lining the stomach; which, with Little Venice's bars mere metres away, is probably a good thing.
Contact: 55 Georgouli, Mykonos Town (next to Marietta’s Market)
Opening times: Open 24 hours
Reservations: Walk-ins only
If you want to inject a touch of romance to your evening meal, Eva’s is a winsome, welcoming wonderland, draped in greenery and flowers, reached via an alluring maze of streets. The majority of tables are dotted throughout an airy, white-walled courtyard, with others situated on a mezzanine level two flights up, overlooking them. Staff are friendly and unhurried, ferrying carafes of wine and hearty platters of food to happy customers. Dishes err on the traditional – chewy grilled octopus, cinnamon-spiked moussaka, delicate lamb avgolemono (with an egg-lemon sauce) et al – but the cooking is assured and the setting magical.
Contact: 00 30 22890 22160; evas-garden.gr
Opening times: 6.30pm-12am
Pasta Fresca Barkia
Georgouli is one of the main arteries running through the island, parallel to the seafront and Little Venice, and lined mainly with clothing, jewellery and souvenir shops. Pasta Fresca Barkia is one of the few restaurants on the street, and takes over three floors of what used to be a townhouse. There are some tables crammed outside – from where, if you’re walking past, you also get a view of the chefs hand-rolling different pasta shapes - but inside it feels comfortable and homely, with slightly old-fashioned décor enhanced by beige tablecloths and dark wooden furniture. The star of the menu is, of course, the pasta: portions come in what seem to be tureen-sized bowls, with classic seafood (or lobster) spaghetti a hit thanks to its lavish heaping of mussels, calamari, prawns and octopus, alongside other combinations such as crabmeat linguine, four cheese ravioli, or black truffle risotto. They also do pizzas and grilled fish and seafood.
Contact:00 30 22890 22563; pastafrescabarkia.com
Opening times: 1.30pm-3am
Located on one of Chora’s most fashionable shopping streets, this also happens to be one of the island’s most fashionable restaurants; thanks to designer and architect Paola Navone, it ticks all the style boxes, such as gleaming white floors, artfully placed lighting, angular chrome barstools, and oversized pots of cacti. Food comes served on tactile, rounded crockery, staff are hip and attractive, music levels are punchy, and the ambience is upbeat. Dishes skirt the Mediterranean end of the globe and add in Asian touches, such as beef tataki, ceviche, and black cod fillet. Guests have been known to go into rhapsodies over the Valrhona chocolate soufflé.
Contact: 00 30 22890 26333;
Opening times: 8pm–3am
Not that many restaurants in Chora sit by the sea, but Salparo bags a prime position on a curved pathway by the Old Port, with an irresistible view looking back over to the harbourfront. Get there early enough, or sweet talk the waiting staff, and you could secure one of the tables whose legs are planted firmly in the pebbly sand, just below the restaurant’s grounded red and white boat, which serves as its sign. By day the sea sparkles turquoise; by night, you’re illuminated by the boats bobbing in the water. The interior is somewhat on the plain and stripped back side, so outside is where you want to be, ordering freshly grilled catch of the day, lemon-doused grilled sardines, or, one of their specialities, perfectly al onda seafood risotto.
Contact: 0030 22890 78950;
Opening times: 12pm-1.30am
Mikrasia, Hotel Katikies
Located by the quiet sandy stretch that makes up Agios Ioannis beach, in the southwest of the island, is the recently opened hotel Katikies Mykonos – a series of chic stacked, snowy white cubes, its zigzag layout echoing the maze of Chora. Perched at the very top, just behind one of the hotel’s two expansive pools, is Mikrasia, which specialises in Greek cuisine with Anatolian influences. Its mere 16 tables are all set in sand, which bestows an intimate, exclusive feel, enhanced by hanging, rattan lamps, and a low, bamboo ceiling. So how does this actually translate into food? Well, you’ll find the likes of lamb with ‘imam bayildi’ sauce (and yes, the name refers to a Turkish official from the Ottoman empire), which consists of baked aubergine, peppers, garlic tomato and oregano, the intensity of the flavours lifting the meat; or pork with petimezi, an ancient Cretan recipe for a thick, sticky syrup traditionally made from grapes.
Contact: 00 30 22890 27890; katikies.com
Opening times: 7.30pm-12am
Once upon a time this was but a humble taverna whose main claim to fame was as the setting for actress Pauline Collins to find love with a handsome Greek waiter in the 1989 film Shirley Valentine. Today it’s had a slick, Ibiza-style makeover, complete with oversized, rattan lampshades, driftwood sculptures of fish, low-slung banquettes with colourful cushions and wafting white tablecloths. But what a setting; it looks right onto the beach, and is your go-to for everything from a delicious Greek breakfast to a dainty dinner. It's attached to a hotel of the same name and serves the likes of seabass carpaccio and tuna tartare on the raw bar, alongside sashimi, nigiri (the oyster with sesame ponzu and lime are a standout) and maki rolls. Those looking for something heartier can tuck into meatballs, shrimp saganaki (basically, fried cheese) and king crab papardelle.
Contact: 00 30 28890 23547; hippiefish-mykonos.com
Opening times: 9am–1am
Already one of the island’s hippest hangouts, Scorpios added serious cool points at the start of the season thanks to a takeover by Soho House. Sprawling across a section of the peninsula that sticks out due south of the island, it’s a laid back, yet oh-so-chic compound – billed as a modern-day agora, or meeting place - that comprises a restaurant, bar, and different lounging areas featuring tasteful wooden cabanas, linen hammocks and low-slung sofas. Amid a daily programme of music and live events, chef Alexis Zopas rustles up the likes of smoky, barbecued prawns, zingy seafood ceviche spiked with green chilli, and home made taramasalata, to the type of crowd you’d spot at one of Nick Jones’ other global establishments.
Contact:00 30 22890 29250; scorpiosmykonos.com
Opening times: 1pm-12am
Over to the eastern side of the island, and tucked away into a hidden cove right by the sea, is one of Mykonos’s best kept secrets. Spilia, on Agia Anna beach in Kalafati, is deeply treasured by those in the know. Tables hug the cliffside, reached by a wooden walkway, and, at night, appear to float over the water. Simple décor is enhanced by octopus hanging out to dry, while the absolute must-order dishes include the sea urchin pasta, with its just-caught, creamy, salty tang, and lobster, fresh from the sea.
Contact: 00 30 6949 449729; spiliarestaurant.gr
Opening times: 2pm-11.30pm
Please note: most restaurants open every day during the season, which generally runs from mid-April to the end of October. Contact restaurants directly for exact timings, especially when visiting outside of peak season.