Eating Well in Mykonos
While I don’t consider myself a culinary expert, I do have some food related credibility.
1. I’m Italian. Food is important in our family. Inviting someone to a meal and serving them dinner is our way of loving them. Mangia!
2. I’m a firm believer that food can save just about any travel disaster. Cranky kids or complete travel meltdown? Gelato will save the day. Lost? Missed connection? Time for a coffee or gin martini (I don’t care what you say, it IS food). No reservation? Enjoy a plate of something wonderful and all will be well.
3. Good food can transform a travel destination into something truly memorable.
What I was witnessing wasn’t an unusual scenario for our family.
Everyone was leaning forward to scrape the last bits of angel food cake from a plate while discussing their next meal. Should we eat in or out? Casual or not? Traditional or no?
Much of our holiday revolves around eating well and locally.
Mykonos isn’t known as a culinary hotspot, but you can find excellent, locally-sourced food on the island and we made it our mission to find as much of it as we can. We found the local tavernas provided the best in personal service and authentic, good-value cuisine. Many are family run and you are likely to meet Mom, Dad, Nana and the kids throughout the course of your meal. Here are a few of our Mykonos favorites…
Where to Eat in Mykonos
Kiki’s – is a small, unfussy taverna perched at the top of a hill overlooking a small swimming cove. Don’t bother looking for a sign, there isn’t one. Don’t bother trying to call for reservations, there isn’t a phone. Just look for the owner walking from group to group taking names and sorting out people waiting for a table. Go early if you want a table on the shaded veranda overlooking the sea. Order any of the grilled meats, fish or salads. The portions are generous and the prices reasonable. You’ll find Kiki’s at Ayios Sostis beach .
Fokos Taverna is a lovely taverna on secluded Fokos Beach (North East side of Mykonos). We ate here twice and had no trouble getting a table, especially since we ate at odd hours. The owner and his family run the taverna and offer friendly, casual service and authentic, fresh food grilled on the terrace overlooking the sea. The view of the ocean and beach is perfect from just about any seat inside or out. This was The Mister’s favorite taverna on the island and we spent hours at our table sampling the fresh, grilled fish and salads before heading to the beach to swim and sunbake. It’s only open 1pm to 7pm. Follow the signs to Fokos Beach from Ano Mera.
“We’re not moving unless we get ice cream…”
We stopped daily at a bakery on the main road that skirts the lovely little town of Ano Mera. Although the honey-laden pastries were fantastic, we stopped for the incredible selection of homemade “snack bars” set out on table-sized trays near the door. The pistachio was my favorite.
Handmade mini-ice creams!
While we loaded paper bags full of healthy snack bars, the kids found a freezer filled with homemade mini ice cream bars in dozens of flavors. They managed find that freezer every day. No surprise there. I’m not sure how they were made, but they were worth every calorie.
The town square is lined with tavernas, our favorite being Taverna Apostolis. I’ll admit that we chose it the first night because we were tired and it was the first one we came to. We returned for three more dinners because the food was excellent and the staff treated us like family.
Pasta Fresca Barkia
We ate once in town after our trip to Delos. It was mid-afternoon and the town was still recuperating from the night before, so we had our choice of where to eat. A friend sent a recommendation for Pasta Fresca Barkia and despite everyone insisting they “couldn’t possibly eat anything,” we enjoyed a leisurely afternoon at our street-side table. The thin-crust pizza was excellent, the gnocchi perfectly cooked and the salads light and fresh.
Things to Know About Eating Well in Mykonos
Eat during “off hours” if you can. It’s easier to get a table and the servers aren’t as rushed. Try lunch before 2pm and dinner before/around 8pm.
You will pay about 20% to 30% more eating in town or at a resort beach than you will at the more rural tavernas.
Many of the beach-side, remote tavernas close before dark (no electricity), so it’s best to check times before you go.
Many of the tavernas only take cash. If you see an atm/cash point, stock up on cash before you go. Atms are few and far between outside town.
Bring bug spray if you plan on sitting outside (and you SHOULD sit outside). If the wind stops, the mosquitoes are out in full force.
Try the grilled fish, the salads, the grilled feta (I really miss that) and the white wine. I don’t know where or how they grow the watermelons in Mykonos, but they were superior to any I’ve ever had. It was customary to enjoy a platter of watermelon slices at the end of a meal. I’m pretty sure I ate my body weight in watermelon while I was there.
What have I missed? Do you have a favorite place to eat in Mykonos? Tell me about it….
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